Won’t make differences with party public at this tough time: Nisar

  • ‘I never leaked any news but those who leaked news about meetings are dishonest’

Former interior affairs minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday said that Pakistan was among few countries where graph of terrorism had come down and no network of terrorists existed in the country.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that security situation improved considerably in the country in four years due to coordination and efforts of the government, military, civil armed forces and political parties.

Nisar, senior leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N, said that when the government came in 2013, five to six explosions occurred daily. After a meeting with the prime minister in 2013, an internal security policy was announced, he said.

When the decision was taken to initiate a dialogue with Taliban, all political parties and the military were on board and dialogue process continued for eight months, he said. The dialogue was discontinued after a terrorist attack on Karachi airport and military operation was launched, he recalled.

Initially, the Jamiat Ulema Islam, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Jamaat-e-Islami were not ready but later on they did not oppose the military operation launched with consensus among the stakeholders, he added.

He said that the National Action Plan was activated after the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in 2014 after consultation with all the parties. He said that despite reservations of some parties, consensus was developed for an operation in Karachi and law and order improved in the city.

“Now Karachi is not hostage to madness of one man,” he added. “Now we are at the last stage of operation against the terrorists and need to continue the fight against terrorism with steadfastness and patience,” he said.

The army and the civil armed forces gave unprecedented sacrifices in fight against terrorism, he said, adding that despite the fact that police was ill equipped and lacked training, it also countered terrorism bravely.

He said that the Interior Ministry took initiatives to improve matters related to issuance of visas, weapons of non-prohibited bores and non-governmental organisations. He said that his ministry cancelled thousands of fake identity cards and 32,000 illegal passports, adding 2000 unauthorized official passports were also cancelled.

Nisar mentioned that names of 10,000 persons which were on the Exit Control List (ECL) for many years, were removed. He said that about 100 million mobile SIMs, many of which were used in terrorism and criminal activity, were cancelled despite all the pressure.

He said that the security mechanism was made effective in towns of Chaman and Torkham on the borders of Afghanistan and performance of the civil armed forces was improved with spending of Rs 100 billion. To a question, he said that the government conducted the inquiry of the ‘news leaks’ and the Interior Ministry had no role in it except that it issued the notification.

About departure of Pervez Musharraf, he said that once he stopped the former military ruler at airport as he was about to take a flight but later on he was allowed to go abroad on the orders of the courts. He said that he had announced that he would leave the ministry, regardless of outcome of the court case against Nawaz Sharif.

“If I talked about my reasons for leaving the ministry it would hurt my party at a time when the party and its leadership were facing a difficult time.” He said that Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi wanted him to again take up the portfolio of the Interior Ministry but he declined.

Nisar said that he had difference of opinion with the party but he always talked about it in the party’s internal meetings and never leaked any news about what he said. Those who leaked news about party meetings were dishonest, he added.

He said that during his tenure as the federal minister, he saw good civil military relations and never felt any problem in sharing of information and intelligence between the departments.