LAHORE - Expressing Army’s resolve to root out terrorism from the country, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif Saturday stressed the need for eliminating all manifestations of extremism and terrorism at the grass roots level.

Addressing a meeting of the Punjab Apex Committee on Saturday, he said, “The key to success lies in the whole-hearted participation of the society, as well as ensuring harmony among all intelligence and law enforcing agencies at every level.

Like in other provinces, a provincial apex committee has been set up in Punjab for rapid and effective implementation of the National Action Plan on countering terrorism. The Provincial Apex Committees comprise members of civilian leadership and military officers which aim at closer coordination between civilian and armed forces on the security matters.

According to ISPR, these committees would comprise representatives both from the military and political leadership and would regularly meet to monitor implementation of the National Action Plan and plug any loophole if found hampering effective and speedy execution of the same. They would also have close liaison on the security issues for addressing them timely and effectively.

The Saturday meeting of the Punjab Apex Committee was held at the Corps Headquarters which reviewed in detail the existing internal security situation in the province on the basis of lines set in the National Action Plan. Besides Army Chief, it was attended by ISI DG Rizwan Akhtar, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, heads of law enforcement agencies, senior officials and corps commanders from across the province.

While reiterating the resolve to root out terrorism and extremism, COAS Raheel Sharif said this menace will be eliminated at any cost. “Failure to eliminate all manifestations of extremism and terrorism at the grass roots level in our country is not an option, no matter what the cost [is]”.

The army chief said the commitment expressed by the national leadership at All Parties Conference (APC) to exterminate terrorism from our soil will serve as a ‘force multiplier.’ He assured the body that army will provide full support to the provincial government for a judicious and speedy action against all nefarious elements in the Punjab and other parts of the country.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif appreciating the support of the army emphasized importance of the joint execution of a comprehensive security plan within the parameters and timelines.