Punjab CM sets up anti-terror cell following Sharif`s advice

Nawaz Sharif has directed Punjab govt to set a cell to fight terrorism.

Updated: May 30, 2010, 13:57 PM IST

Lahore: Jolted by the deadliest attack on the minority Ahmedi sect here, former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif has directed the Punjab government led by his PML-N party to set up a separate cell to fight terrorism.

Sharif issued the direction to his younger brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and asked him to set up the anti-terror institution on a war footing.

Acting on his elder brother`s advice, Shahbaz Sharif announced the setting up of the anti-terrorism cell.

Since the PML-N came to power in the province in 2008, Nawaz Sharif never "officially" interfered in the business of the government of Punjab, Pakistan`s largest province with a population 90 million.

After two Ahmedi mosques were stormed by heavily-armed terrorists who killed 95 people on Friday, Sharif said a separate cell, having modern facilities, equipment, trained officers and retired Army officials, should be set up to fight terrorism.

"We have to win the war against terrorism and extremism and the entire nation will have to be united on one platform for this purpose," he said.

Sharif also directed his brother to constitute a special committee headed by the Punjab Chief Secretary to review all aspects of the attacks on the Ahmedis and to submit a report.

"The inquiry into the tragic incidents of Model Town and Garhi Shahu should be conducted on scientific lines to ascertain the real cause," he said.

"Eradication of terrorism is a challenge for the nation. Although it is a hard task, the nation will succeed in weeding out the menace of terrorism and extremism from society," he said.

Sharif said the Chief Secretary and Punjab police chief should work on a war footing to establish the anti-terrorism cell.

He said the people should also be kept abreast of the progress in the investigation and police officers should arrange regular press briefings in this regard.

Police officials who courageously faced the terrorists should be rewarded and strict action should be taken against those responsible for negligence, he said.

"Those spreading hatred in society are not well-wishers of the country and such persons should be taken to task at all costs. A comprehensive system of monitoring should be adopted for this purpose," he said.