MARDAN - Advising against playing politics on terrorism, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan yesterday put the blame for Mardan terrorist attack on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

The minister was talking to media persons after visiting the Mardan district courts where a suicide bomber killed 14 people and injured over 50 on Friday.

“We had intelligence alert about the terrorist action,” Nisar said, adding that the provincial government was informed about terror threat beforehand, as he called the attack failure of KP authorities.

He stressed the need for unity among the ranks and files of the people ‘instead of levelling allegations’. He said he had never criticised the provincial governments over security matters but only pointed out weaknesses in internal meetings. “To do politics on terrorist attacks is like putting the country’s future at stake.”

Foreign attackers

The minister said the four suicide bombers who stormed Peshawar’s Christian Colony the same day were foreigners but it was yet to be ascertained which countries they belonged to. No one from Fata was involved in this terrorist act, he added.

He emphasised the need for a policy about Afghan refugees, adding that peace in Pakistan is possible only when there is peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan was doing its best in this regard.

Chaudhry Nisar said the terrorists have run away from Pakistan and established their bases across the border in Afghanistan. He said they have to cleanse the terrorists and their facilitators and secure 2,500km of borders.

A Long War

The interior minister said that war against terrorism is not over and vowed to take it to logical conclusion. He said Pakistan has won the gun fight with terrorists but they are hiding and attacking the soft targets. In this connection he also referred to the Quetta civil hospital blast in which a number of lawyers were killed.

He said Pakistan’s war against terrorism was for its own survival. The minister said the policies of former President Pervez Musharraf inflicted huge losses to the country. However, he said the situation is much better today than what it was in 2009-10 when every day five to six blasts were taking place while now only a stray incident takes place in weeks.

Message to terrorists

Nisar said the future of Pakistan depends on defeating terrorists and the nation should give a clear message to terrorists that such attacks will not deter or determination to eradicate them. He said schools, markets and courts will not close due to dastardly acts of terrorism. He said he was pleased to see that there had been no depression on the faces of people of KP whenever there is an act of terrorists.

“Terrorists are at the verge of collapse as their capacity of hard targets has been neutralised and they are now chasing soft targets in perplexity”, Nisar said. He said the terrorists have the hideous aim of spreading hatred against the state institutions which will be put to a death knell with the courage and unity of the nation.

Praise for security men

The minister lauded the army, civil armed forces, intelligence agencies, rangers, FC and police for collectively winning a difficult war against terrorists. He however said there are weaknesses at every level which will have to be addressed. He said the federal government is sharing intelligence with the provinces on regular basis.

The interior minister met with the lawyers at the city courts and assured that the government would not spare those behind the attack that claimed lives of innocent people including lawyers. He said that the loss of lives in the Mardan attack could not be repaid however the victims will be provided financial compensation.