LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said Pakistan was facing a serious challenge of terrorism which could be combated through a joint strategy. Talking to Britain Security and Counter Terrorism Department Director General Charles Farr at Model Town Wednesday, the chief minister appreciated the British cooperation towards enhancing counter-terrorism capability of the law enforcers of Punjab.“Peace in a society is essential for progress and development while Pakistan has been facing terrorism for the last many years. Pakistan has played an effective role against terrorism to safeguard the world and rendered maximum sacrifices for this purpose,” the chief minister added. Shahbaz said cooperation of Britain with the Punjab government in counter-terrorism was laudable. He said there was a need for capacity-building and training of investigation officers and prosecutors as well as police. “Fundamental changes are needed in order to make the criminal justice system more effective and for this purpose a modern forensic science laboratory has been set up in Lahore which authenticates evidence of important cases,” the CM added. Shahbaz said this laboratory was providing modern facilities not only to the province but also to the whole country. He said work was continuing on formulating a command and control system in Punjab in order to combat crimes. Speaking on the occasion, Charles Farr assured the chief minister that the Britain would continue to extend cooperation for the steps taken by the Punjab government with regard to security and counter-terrorism. He said agreements signed with the Punjab government on counter-terrorism would soon be implemented. During the meeting, views were exchanged on further improving measures for security and counter terrorism.   Senior Advisor Senator Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, officers of British High Commission, and others were also present.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 31-Jan-2013 here.