Although there was no decision on whether the final of the ongoing Pakistan Super League T20 tournament would be held in Lahore, the Punjab Apex Committee on Sunday decided to intensify and expand the scope of joint raids in the province being carried out as part of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.
The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, agreed to tighten security along Punjab’s border and initiate an operation in areas adjoining it to completely eliminate masterminds of extremism, sectarianism and fanaticism from the province, sources said.
They said participants of the meeting – the second such in seven days – decided to expand the scope and intensify joint anti-terrorist operations being conducted by Rangers, the Counter-Terrorism Department and police and accelerate Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.
“The committee resolved to take indiscriminate action against terrorists and their facilitators, root out terrorist networks and eliminate the mindset of militancy, extremism, and fundamentalism from Punjab with full force,” said an official privy to developments in the meeting.
Participants expressed satisfaction with Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad and decided to enhance cooperation with other provinces in order to tackle both internal and external terrorism challenges. They decided to choke sources of terror-funding and vowed to continue the military operation until militancy was wiped out in its entirety. The meeting also agreed to provide foolproof security to mosques, Imambargahs and other places of worship.
“We will not allow terrorists and their abettors to succeed,” Shehbaz told the meeting. He lauded the high morale, courage and patriotism of the people, and vowed not to rest until terrorism was weeded out from Punjab. “The entire country is on the same page in this fight against terrorism,” he said.
After the meeting, the chief minister tweeted that “We cannot waver because what we do today will decide the fate of our coming generations.”
Participants of the meeting included National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua, Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Sadiq Ali, Punjab Counter-Terrorism Minister Col (retd) Muhammad Ayub, DG Rangers Punjab Maj Gen Azhar Naveed Hayat, General Officer Commanding 10 Division Maj Gen Sardar Tariq Aman, Chief Secretary Capt (retd) Zahid Saeed, police chief Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera, Interior Secretary Maj (retd) Azam Sulaiman Khan and other top civil and military officers.
The chief minister met the Lahore Corps Commander separately before the apex committee meeting as well to discuss Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.
Check posts set up on motorway
Army, Rangers and police have set up check posts on the M-1 and M-2 motorways, and issued contact numbers to report any suspicious activity or persons, the military’s media wing said on Sunday.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the purpose of the check posts was to enhance security and surveillance. ISPR also shared landline, SMS and WhatsApp numbers, and postal and email addresses, requesting public to report any suspicious activity or information related to terrorism to Punjab Rangers. ISPR asked to call at 04299220030/99221230, SMS at 03408880047, WhatsApp at 03408880100, email at firstname.lastname@example.org pr post at the address Headquarters Pakistan Rangers Punjab, 33 Ghazi Road Lahore.