Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday said the government would “root out” terrorism from the country in the wake of the Kech incident where 10 army personnel were martyred in an attack on a military check post.
Ten soldiers were martyred in an attack on January 25 night on a military checkpost in the Dasht area of Balochistan’s Kech district on the border of Iran. Two of the soldiers from the ten belonged to Punjab’s Jhelum, according to media reports.
“Pakistan will remain till the end of times. We have previously also retaliated and will again do it. Not a single drop of our people's blood will go in vain. Terrorists will be brought to book,” Fawad said while addressing a press conference in Jhelum.
He added that the whole nation stood with the bereaved families and every citizen was indebted to the army personnel who were martyred in the attack.
In the past, he added the country has conducted “decisive” inquiries against such elements and will continue to do so this time also. “No doubt foreign hands are involved in this [Kech incident]. We have previously defeated terrorists and will do so again,” he said, adding that the government believed a “deep conspiracy” was behind matters of Balochistan.
Fawad was of the view that there were two types of violence in the country, religious and separatist. Both, he said take up arms if their demands are not met and the country cannot be run like this.
Referring to an unnamed newspaper’s editorial, he said that it appears to be an attempt to “justify” violence in the country. “What highly inappropriate talk is this? If someone has not been given royalty for gas or a road has not been constructed in their area, does it make it OK for them to go kill people?” he asked, while adding that there is no justification for citizens taking up arms.
‘Pakistan on right track’
During the presser, Fawad said, “Pakistan is on the right track and we have attained economic stability despite getting a bankrupt economy from the previous government.” The information minister said the country currently has a "solid base" for the economy.
He lauded a couple of media outlets for adhering to the premier’s call for increasing their staff salaries.
Moreover, the information minister continued his tirade against the opposition, saying that despite having a majority in the Senate the opposition faced defeat in the passing the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill. “We cannot hand over the country to dwarfs like [PML-N Vice President] Maryam Nawaz and [PPP Chairman] Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's," he said.
About the PM’s upcoming visit to China, he said the trip that would begin on February 3 was “very important” and will further increase ties and bring financial dividends. He added the premier would take two more foreign trips this year.
To a query on multi-party’s protest planned on March 23, he alleged that such leaders have no stature to do politics and advised Maryam and Bilawal to contest elections for mayor seats. He welcomed the “debate” in the PML-N for “change of top leadership” and hoped for the same for the PPP.
“This is the opposition’s seventh attempt against the government and they have opted for madrassa students of JUI-F leader Fazlur Rehman,” he said and claimed that the use of madrassas was very old in the country’s politics.
Fawad reiterated his hope that the government would bring back Nawaz Sharif as the British government has rejected two appeals from him.
“We can't give up on accountability, PTI voters will dictate us, we were voted on this promise,” he said.
To another query on the high court’s decision on the Ravi riverfront project, he said, the judiciary could not come in the policy decision making as it was not their matter. He was of the view that such attempts in the past have “damaged the country.”