Pakistan

LAHORE – The Punjab government has issued shoot at sight orders for terrorists in the wake of burgeoning terror attacks in the country, it has been learnt.

According to reports, during a meeting of Apex committee under the chair of chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, it was decided that the scope of operation against terrorists in Punjab would be expanded with the help of intelligence agencies to eradicate terrorism.

It was also decided to adopt zero tolerance policy against terrorists. Earlier, the provincial government decided to seek paramilitary Rangers’ assistance in anti-terrorism operations, Dunya news reported.

As per the decisions taken in Sunday’s meeting, the facilitators of suicide attackers would also be taken as ‘jet black terrorists’ while action will be launched against those found guilty of providing them shelter and residence.

According to the sources, it was also revealed to the attendees that the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group was being supported by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi network in Punjab.

National Security Adviser (r) Lt-Gen Nasser Khan Janjua, Corps Commander Lahore Lt-Gen Sadiq Ali, provincial Minister for Counter-Terrorism Colonel (r) Muhammad Ayub, DG Punjab Rangers Major-General Azhar Naveed Hayat, General Officer Commanding 10th Division Major-General Sardar Tariq Aman, Chief Secretary Captain (r) Zahid Saeed, Inspector General Police Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera, Secretary Interior Major (r) Azam Sulaiman Khan and several high-ranking civil and military officers attended the meeting.

The apex committee’s decision comes days after a series of deadly militant attacks killed more than 100 people across Pakistan in five days, including civilians, the police and soldiers.

At least 15 people were killed and 85 others wounded when a Jamaat-ul-Ahrar bomber hit a protest of chemists and pharmaceuticals manufacturers on Lahore’s Mall Road last Monday. At least six police officials were killed in the blast.

This is the worst spell of violence since 2014, when Pakistan launched an operation to eliminate militant sanctuaries in its north-western tribal region.

Following the Lahore attack, Punjab’s law enforcement agencies launched a province-wide crackdown on banned miorganisationszations.

On Friday evening, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif claimed the provincial government had arrested a facilitator and eliminated the terrorist network involved in the suicide attack. Sharif had said the army and Rangers could be called in on a need-basis.