ISLAMABAD - Pledging to root out the menace of terrorism from the country, the government on Friday told the National Assembly (NA) that Pakistan and Afghanistan have recently carried out joint operations in border areas in a ‘historic cooperation’.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan in their best coordination are working together against terrorism. It has been best ever coordination of Pakistan’s history with Afghanistan,” said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, sharing updates of both the Peshawar Army Public School and Shikarpur tragedies.

The minister, on a point of order, assured the affected family members of both the incidents of taking revenge from the terrorists. He revealed they had reached close to the mastermind of the Shikarpur tragedy.

Without sharing the details, the minister said the army chief visited Afghanistan on the next day of the Peshawar school attack after which Afghan forces, ISAF and Pakistan jointly carried out operations. Politicians and armed forces also showed unanimity to root out terrorism, he stated.

He further said all the attackers of the 16 December tragedy were killed by security forces and none could manage to flee from the scene.

About the Shikarpur incident, the minister also claimed positive development to reach out to the mastermind of this tragedy. “I can’t go into details as it helps terrorists change their locations,” he said and added the tailor who stitched the clothes the terrorist was wearing is being interrogated. He said progress in tracing the mastermind and the suicide bomber has been made.

Nisar said the suicide bomber’s finger found from the blast site is severed, hence yet no clue to his identity. “We found a head, feet and one finger,” he said, adding police, intelligence agencies, rangers are effectively coordinating for one cause. He reiterated the provinces are also coordinating with one another against terrorism.

Taking the floor, JI’s senior lawmaker, Tariq Ullah, lauded the federal government’s efforts against terrorists. “I appreciate you on your encouraging statement,” he said, addressing Nisar. “Why have the suicide bombers whose faces are not in mutilated forms not so far been identified?” he said.

PPP lawmaker, Abdus Sattar Bachani, once again complained that neither the prime minister nor the interior minister have so far visited Shikarpur. He further said the federal government has also not announced any package for the affected families of the victims.

Responding to the concerns raised by the PPP lawmaker, the interior minister said there was no tradition regarding the visit of the prime minister and his key minister to terrorist-hit areas in the past. “In dozens of incidents, PM or ministers neither visited the scenes nor did they announce any package,” he said.

MQM’s Asif Hasnain, on his turn, appreciated the role of the federal government for taking action against the terrorists. However, he criticised the provincial government for not making efforts against terrorism.

Earlier, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, during the question hour, said in a written reply that the situation of Line of Control and Working Boundary remained relatively calm till September last. However, a spike was observed in the number of firing violations by Indian troops between September and October, which not only resulted in military and civilian casualties but also raised tension between India and Pakistan, particularly along the Working Boundary.

To another question, Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights Pervaiz Rashid told the house that the government is preparing an action plan to improve human rights situations in the country in consultation with the relevant stakeholders, including provincial governments.

Pervaiz Rashid said in a written reply that the legal aid programme on the prohibition of torture through the bar councils is also being included in the plan. He said his ministry is launching a project titled “Establishment of Helpline for Legal Advice on Human Rights Violations” in the country.

To yet another question, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal said the government is committed to procuring LNG for the country by 31st of the next month.

He said 62 oil and gas discoveries were made during last five years in the country. He said as per report of Geological Survey of Pakistan, coal reservoirs were also discovered in the country during this period.