In the aftermath of the blood-curdling Taliban assault on Peshawar school kids, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday lifted the moratorium on capital punishment and approved the implementation of death penalty to any and all of captives who have been involved in terrorism or militancy.
The key measure comes just a day after Pakistan was at the receiving end of the deadliest terror attack in its history that saw over 130 children being slain. The move was announced in an all party meet held in the Governor House today that was led by the PM Nawaz Sharif and attended by all parties like PML-N, PTI, PPP, ANP, MQM and also Jamaat-e-Islami.
Meanwhile the death toll from the school attack rose to 144 today as three more staff members succumbed to injuries, reports said. Earlier the death toll stood at 141, which included 132 students and 9 staff members.
Expressing grief over the tragic attack, PM said that it was the worst inhuman barbaric act and “the losses of children will not go in vain”. He added that the talks with terrorists had not yielded any results and hence permanent peace in the country will be established only with the logical conclusion of the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Sharif added that there was no question to leave the mission unaccomplished and said that the fight against terrorism will continue.
“We have had talks with Afghanistan about jointly fighting the menace of terrorism,” said the PM. Also, Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday left for Afghanistan`s capital Kabul to meet the top Afghan military and political leadership. Reports said that in Kabul the Pakistani Army Chief will seek extradition of Taliban leader Mullah Fazlluah, whose group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.
“We will fight this war keeping in mind the faces of our children martyred yesterday,” said Sharif.
Announcing the key decision, the PM also said there was a dire need of speedy trials of terrorists, who need to be brought to justice speedily. These remarks came at an APC (All Party Conference) that started in Peshawar today afternoon. The APC that was held with an agenda to discuss measures to weed out terrorism began with a Fateha being read for the martyrs of the school attack.
Before leaving for Peshawar APC, PM Nawaz Sharif said that the Army will continue the anti-terror Operation Zarb-e Azb as it has “broken the backbone of the terrorists”.
Sharif vowed that Pakistan will chase the terrorists to their hideouts and eliminate them as it was high time to take to task all the elements “who martyred our children”.
Sharif had on Tuesday called the assault on the school “a national tragedy” and declared three days of mourning.