Need to win war against terror psychologically: Nisar
Equipped with statistics on the past year's terror incidents across the country, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan hit out at critics of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Thursday saying those criticising the policy "had never read NAP".
During a press conference in the capital, Nisar boasted the gains made through NAP and claimed terror incidents and casualties are the lowest in nine years. In an apparent remark to growing criticism of NAP in the wake of the recent Charsadda University attack, he said Pakistan is militarily winning the war on militancy but "we are losing the psychological war against terror", he said. "Whenever there is an attack, a storm begins. We behave exactly how our enemies want by creating an atmosphere of fear. People criticise the government saying no progress has been made." Nisar took issue with the closing of schools in Punjab. "Security can be improved while schools are still on." "We should give a message of strength and unity and fight against the atmosphere of fear and terror."
"The terrorists are desperate so they are attacking the softest targets. There are hundreds of thousands of schools in Pakistan. Securing each is a difficult job, but it must be done." The minister said he told the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) minister Tariq Fazal Chaudhry that schools should not be closed "I will request Punjab and other provinces to not shut down schools," he said. "I am saddened by the closure of schools."
"If we close all our educational institutions, hospitals, streets, neighbourhoods and hide ourselves in our houses; this is what the terrorists want." The minister rubbished critcism that NAP is controlled by the military saying, "Operation Zarb-i-Azb started before NAP. It is not a part of NAP." "One or two things [in the NAP] are informed by the Ministry of Defence and the army. Everything else is from the civilian government." Nisar said he would brief the media managements next week on the gains of NAP.
"Networks of terrorism have been broken. The terrorists are on the run so they hit the softest targets. Instead of 7-8 attacks every day, they hit one target. They create so much terror that everyone roams fearfully," he said. "The government policy is very clear - there are no good or bad militants." He also hit out at the PPP and referring to ex-president Asif Ali Zardari's notorious 'eenth-se-eenth' outburst against the military establishment, Nisar said, "A few political elements have problems elsewhere but they vent out their frustration on NAP." Following the recent attack on the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda which had claimed 21 lives, Leader of Opposition in the national Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah had pointed the finger at NAP meant to curb terrorism and held the interior minister responsible for the attack.