Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday vowed to eliminate terrorism from his country.
Addressing the nation in the wake of a fedayeen attack at Lahore's Gulshan-i-Iqbal park that claimed at least 72 lives, Prime Minister Sharif said, "I reiterate our nation's resolve to fight out terrorism till it is rooted out from our society. Terrorists would be made accountable for every drop of blood of martyrs, and action against them would continue till we made them accountable for the last drop of the blood."
Prime Minister Sharif, who has decided to call off his visit to Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, said, "Today, Pakistan is reaching new heights even after all the misdeeds of terrorists, hence, we want to let the terrorists behind such attacks know that they can't hinder our progress."
Expressing determination of his Government to firmly continue with the mission of transforming Pakistan into a peaceful, progressive and prosper nation, he said terrorists have been deprived of their hide outs, training camps and infrastructure and that is why they are attacking soft targets like educational institutions, public places and recreation areas.
Prime Minister Sharif said he had given clear instructions to concerned institutions to bring terrorists and their facilitators to book where-ever they are, adding that 'Zarb-e-Azb' was launched to eliminate terrorists with full backing and ownership of the people of Pakistan.
Though the operation has achieved its major objectives, said the Prime Minister Sharif, it would continue till complete eradication of terrorism from Pakistan.
Earlier, chairing a high-level meeting in Lahore on Monday to review the Lahore terror attack and overall strategy against the terrorists, Prime Minister Sharif called for more proactive coordination amongst law enforcement and intelligence agencies to defeat terrorists' nefarious designs.
He said the provinces should also speed up intelligence-based operations against terrorists. Nawaz Sharif said we must take this war to the doors of terrorist outfits before they are able to hit our innocent countrymen.
He termed the victory in the war against terrorism indispensable for the survival of the country.
The death toll in the suicide blast on Sunday evening risen to 72, and at least 300 others were injured.
The Punjab government declared an emergency in Lahore and announced three-day mourning; schools and markets were closed in the provincial capital on Monday.
As per reports, Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed to have carried out the suicide attack in Lahore. The claimed that it had targeted Christians celebrating Easter, though police said they were still investigating the claim.
A spokesman for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Ehsanullah Ehsan said the group wanted to send a message to Prime Minister Sharif that they have entered Lahor and threatened further attacks.