Peshawar: Pakistan`s judiciary is under an
obligation to root out the scourge of extremism and should
award the death penalty to persons convicted for acts of
terrorism, a provincial minister said on Friday.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Information Minister of
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, said "the heads of several banned
groups have claimed responsibility for masterminding acts of
sabotage in mosques and bazars and (attacks) on security
"Therefore, in view of the serious nature of these
acts, the judiciary should impose the death penalty on
terrorists," he said.
Addressing a seminar on violence against journalists
organised by the South Asia Free Media Association at Peshawar
Press Club, he said when terrorists are killed, "they are
termed as extra-judicial killings and when innocent people
die, nobody bothers about them."
"When we arrest terrorists, they are freed due to
lack of authentic proof," the minister said.
Hussain said that terrorist groups have claimed
responsibility for various terrorist attacks across the
country but the judiciary continued to ask the government to
produce viable proof against terrorists.
The network of terrorists has been weakened in areas
of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa bordering the tribal belt, he said.
"Earlier it was the war of our survival, whereas it
is now the war of the terrorists` survival," he added.
"This is a guerrilla war and it will continue till the
interests of superpowers clashed with each other. Unless these
differences are resolved, the war cannot be taken to its
logical conclusion," Hussain said.
The US, Pakistan and Afghanistan should share
intelligence with each other as these countries are the major
forces in the war on terror, he noted.
Any clash in the policies of these countries could
impact the results of the war, he said.
Iran, Russia, India and China have their own interests
in the region and unless they find a viable solution to their
problems, the war against terror could not be won completely,
Terrorists were made into hero-like figures by certain
sections of the media but the government`s political policies
turned the tide, he said.
The suicide blasts at Data Darbar shrine in Lahore
were an indication of the presence of the Taliban in Punjab,
Senior journalist Rahimullah Yousafzai, Peshawar Press
Club president Shamim Shahid and a large number of media
persons were present on the occasion.