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31 August 2013
Punjab anti-terror force on cards


LAHORE: Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has directed the Punjab government to present a comprehensive plan to curb terrorism in the province at the earliest.
“I have serious concerns regarding the capacity of civilian law-enforcement agencies to detect and fight militancy. And, therefore, a separate department to counter terrorism must be put in place immediately”, he remarked while chairing a high-level meeting to review the progress on the formation of Punjab Counter Terrorism Department.
The meeting was also attended by Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Planning & Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Water & Power, Kh M. Asif, Senior Punjab Minister Rana Sanaullah, and other senior officials.
Nawaz Sharif said that Counter Terrorism Force should be raised immediately in the province to fight the menace of terrorism.
He also ordered lifting of ban on all the recruitments in the law-enforcement agencies and directed that the recruitment process for the force must start within 10 days.
Nawaz stressed that de-radicalisation must also be made a part of the comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy.
He said that the Federal Government will assist the provincial government’s Counter Terrorism Force (CTF) in all possible ways including the provision of call data information.
He asked for an enhanced coordination and harmony among all State agencies for achieving the desired objectives of uprooting terrorism.
He emphasised that the training imparted to personnel of the CTF must match Army’s standards.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed that the Karachi-Lahore Motorway must be constructed early to benefit a huge population.
The Prime Minister said this while meeting members of China State Construction Company (CSCEC), led by Li Ji Qin, Managing Director of the company here in Lahore.
Highlighting the importance of better communications networks, Nawaz Sharif said that his government was determined to construct mega projects with the assistance of Chinese government which will boost the economic activities in the country and the region.
He said that construction of Karachi-Lahore Motorway will ease the link between Karachi and other major cities of the country.
He said that the road will also serve for speedy trade of goods.
Li JI Qin informed the Prime Minister that his company had already started the feasibility study of Karachi-Lahore motorway on their own expense as technical assistance to the government of Pakistan.
He said that his company had recently constructed a 600 km motorway in Congo and would be able to construct the Karachi-Lahore motorway in 3 years.
The Prime Minister, however, advised the State Engineering Executives to reduce the three-year time by making construction consortiums for the project.
Nawaz expressed the hope that Karachi-Lahore Motorway would be completed in less than two and a half years.
The meeting was also attended by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Planning & Development, Ahsan Iqbal, Secretary Communication, Chairman NHA and other senior officials.

Courtsey: The Nation
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