ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday lashed out at the critics of National Action Plan (NAP) saying the country was winning the war against terrorists as the working of security institutions were further being improved.
Addressing a press conference here, he said that Pakistan armed forces, police and other security institutions were winning the fight against the militants, but their successes were belittled by undue criticism on the NAP.
The critics of the NAP had not probably read the plan. Instead of highlighting the successful operations against terrorists, they were trying to get the war lost on psychological front, he added.
In an apparent remark to criticism of the NAP in the wake of Bacha Khan University Charsadda attack, the minister said,”We are winning the war against militants militarily but losing the psychological war against them.”
Nisar shed light on the gains made through the NAP. The terror incidents and casualties were the lowest in nine years. There was a time when some 14 bomb blasts used to occur in a day but after the NAP now occasionally a terror incident was taking place over weeks.
He said there should be no point scoring over terror acts. Successes against the terrorism were being achieved with the national unity. But creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear would serve no purpose rather it would only encourage the terrorists.
In the presence of such people, Pakistan needed no other enemies, he added.
Referring to closure of schools in Punjab, Nisar said it was not a right step. Instead of closing the institutions, their security should be improved.
“Why do we close all our educational institutions, hospitals, streets, roads and hide ourselves in our houses? This is what the terrorists want.”
He said the terrorists were in a state of desperation and were attacking the softest targets. There were hundreds of thousands of schools in the country and securing all was a difficult job, but it must be done, he added.
He had asked the Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry that schools in the capital should not be closed. And he would request Punjab and other provinces not to shut down schools there.
“We should give a message of strength and unity to fight the atmosphere of fear and terror,” he added.
To a question, Nisar rejected that the NAP was controlled by the military. The operation Zarb-i-Azb was not a part of NAP as it had started before the latter. Only one or two points were handled by the Ministry of Defence and the army while everything else was from the civilian government, he added.
He said he would brief the media on the gains of NAP next week. He said the terrorists’ networks had been broken, who were now on the run and hitting soft targets.
Nisar also lashed out at the Pakistan People’s Party. Referring to PPP leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari’s outburst against the military establishment, he said whenever some politicians had problems somewhere else but they vented out their frustration on the NAP.
Referring to criticism on him as regards Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid in the Senate last week, he said many misstatements in this regard were given in the Upper House of Parliament. He said he would request the Senate Chairman to broadcast his response on the matter on live.
He said he could make a mistake unintentionally, but he should not have been called a liar. He would make every thing clear regarding Maulana Aziz.
To a question, the minister said some 73 passport offices were opened in a year. A passport office would be opened in every district. The people used to suffer for obtaining passports and Computerized National Identity Cards. Now the system would be streamlined to facilitate the masses. The applicants would obtain information about their application for passports just dialing 9988.
He said the process for updating the Exit Control List has already been improved and it would be further streamlined.