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Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif pledges to eliminate terrorism from its soil

On Wednesday, he lifted a self-imposed moratorium on death penalty in terror-related cases, in place since 2008.

By: Press Trust of India | Lahore |
Updated: December 21, 2014 3:38:09 pm
Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz Sharif.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday vowed to eliminate terrorism from the country and welcomed the unity demonstrated by political parties following the brutal Taliban attack on an army-run school in Peshawar.

“Pakistan’s main focus right now is to fight terrorism as we have to eliminate it from our soil,” Sharif said.

He termed the coming together of all political parties on one platform after the brazen Taliban attack that killed 148 people, most of them children, a major step to help eliminate terrorism from the country.

“It is a welcome sign that all political parties have united on one platform against terrorism,” he said during a meeting with a delegation of princes from the UAE at his palatial residence in Raiwind near Lahore.

Sharif said operation Zarb-e-Azb launched by Pakistan army in northwestern tribal region in June was progressing successfully and added that no terrorist would be spared.

Read more: Afghanistan, Pakistan to conduct anti-terror ops

The visiting UAE delegation expressed their sorrow over Tuesday’s massacre of children and teachers, adding that the UAE stood with Pakistan to fight terrorism.

Sharif also stressed that his government was working to expedite the delivery of justice.

On Wednesday, he lifted a self-imposed moratorium on death penalty in terror-related cases, in place since 2008.

Later, Sharif discussed steps to curb terrorism with meeting with Punjab Chief Minister, and also his brother, Shahbaz Shharif.

They also discussed the executions of militants and security measures taken to neutralise any reaction from the Taliban groups.

So far two terrorists — Mohammad Aqeel alias Dr Usman and Arshad Mahmood — involved in attacks on army headquarters and former military ruler Pervez Musharraf have been hanged.

Eight more could be sent to the gallows in the next 48 hours in various prisons of Punjab.

Rights campaign group Amnesty International estimates that Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row, according to the government.

The Taliban attack on the school in Peshawar was claimed by the Taliban as a retaliation to Pakistan army’s military campaign in the northwest.

The army has intensified its operations in the region after Tuesday’s attack, with fresh airstrikes.

Pakistan’s army says it has killed more than 1,700 militants so far, with 126 soldiers losing their lives.

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