Nisar for concerted efforts to combat terrorism

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Tuesday the country was facing serious security issues and concerted efforts by the whole nation were needed to combat the menace of terrorism.

Responding to points raised by members in the National Assembly, he said the politicians should forge unity instead of point scoring. The media should also play its due role. Only one message should be disseminated that the nation was united against terrorists.

He said, “We are in a war zone and only unity among our ranks can foil the nefarious designs of the country’s enemies.”

Nisar said the security of the country would be reviewed in consultation with the provincial governments. There was time to take bold decisions.

A consensus strategy would have to be evolved to avoid the recurrence of terror incidents like Karachi airport attack.

He said some channels had aired conflicting news regarding the airport attack. The media should only release news reports after confirming and verifying facts. There should be a code of ethics for live coverage, he added.

The minister said the terrorists had failed in their objective to target national assets, occupying the old terminal of the airport and making the passengers and staff hostage.

He said total 10 terrorists had attacked the airport, seven of them were killed by the security forces while the three had blown themselves up.

Nisar paid tributes to the security forces, saying that the whole National Assembly acknowledged the sacrifices and bravery of their personnel. The airport incident Shuhada (martyrs) had made the countrymen proud, he added.

He said the personnel of Airport Security Force (ASF) exhibited exemplary gallantry as its 11 personnel were martyred. The terrorists tried to storm the old airport terminal in groups of five and they were engaged by three on duty ASF personnel for 15 minutes. In the meantime the reinforcements of Rangers, police and army completed the outer cordon of the airport.

He said the exchange of fire with the heavily armed terrorists continued for two hours. At 1:45 am the last terrorist was killed by the forces, he added.

He said the terrorists, who were wearing clothes having resemblance with the uniform of ASF, had earlier started their journey somewhere from Karachi, but they were stopped by none.

The minister said the agencies had warned the Sindh government in March last that the entry gates of old airport were vulnerable and security risks, but no measures were taken to make them secure.

Responding to a point raised by a PPP member, he refuted another attack at ASF Academy in Karachi on Tuesday.

He said concerted efforts were being made to provide security to Zairain (pilgrims) visiting Iran as air link with that country had already been restored.