MINGORA/ SWAT (Agencies) - The prime minister Wednesday asserted that his government has been enjoying the establishments support right from the beginning, while Gen Kayani averred that the army derives its strength from the people and was answerable to their representatives. While speaking to the media alongside the army chief after both the big wheels addressed a seminar in Swat, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that the establishment has been with the government since 2008. He said that the country was determined to fight all the internal and external threats and has, in fact, achieved significant successes in fighting the most challenging threat of extremism. Prior to this while addressing the National Seminar on De-radicalisation in Swat the prime minister said that after 9/11 Pakistan had initiated the process to rid terrorism from its soil and had cleared Swat from the grip of terrorists. He vowed to eliminate terrorism from the country and said the people of Pakistan and the state institutions were united in their resolve to take this campaign to its logical end. Pakistans commitment is total and unwavering. Despite the challenges, the political leadership, Parliament and other state institutions stand united for elimination of terrorism, he added. The conference was also addressed by Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani. Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Barrister Masood Kosar and federal and provincial ministers were present at the seminar besides several foreign speakers. Gilani who flew into the picturesque valley on a day-long visit termed the war against extremism and terrorism as a matter of national survival. He expressed the hope that with collective support and struggle of the masses, political parties and military leadership, we will overcome extremism and terrorism. The prime minister said Pakistan shares global concerns about extremism, militancy and terrorism and dilated in detail on the geo-strategic environment, the challenges and the way forward towards an enduring national policy and strategy. He said the country faced several challenges in its fight against terrorism as he called for recognition of its efforts in political and military domain for combating terrorism at international level. There is a need to bridge trust deficit and allow Pakistan space to manoeuvre and contribute significantly without international pressure, he said. Gilani said cooperation in counter-terrorism warrants a partnership approach which fully accommodates others interests and respect for the clearly stipulated Red Lines. Drone attacks inside our boarders are in conflict with the ground realities, impacting negatively on our efforts in controlling radical trends, the prime minister said. He said sustainable success would come from promoting socio-economic development and resolving long standing political disputes. The global resolve should manifest commitment in addressing the root causes that militants exploit as psychological tools. He said working out such a strategy calls for serious and enduring commitment amongst stakeholders. Pursuing narrow interests at the cost of coalition partners and aspirations of people will be self-defeating. Sovereignty and self-respect of partners is to be respected, Gilani stressed. We are working closely with our global partners to fight terrorist groups and are determined not to allow use of our soil for terrorist activities against anyone, he added. Gilani said regionally Pakistan was committed to working in unison with all neighbours for establishment of peace and elimination of terrorism. He pointed that a stable united, friendly and peaceful Afghanistan was in Pakistans best interest and pointed that Pakistan wants independent and sovereign Afghanistan without any external influence. Gilani said Pakistan views India as most important neighbour and desires sustained, substantive and result-oriented process of dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. We sincerely hope that ongoing process of comprehensive engagement will be fruitful. Pakistan would like to resolve all outstanding issues with India in a peaceful and just manner. He however said that India will have to play a more positive and accommodating role and respond to Pakistans legitimate security concerns. India will not find Pakistan lacking in will to write a new chapter in our bilateral relations, he added. The prime minister said in the war against terrorism, the nation has made great sacrifices and achieved tremendous successes. We lost over 30,000 men, women and children and more than 5,000 personnel of the security forces, he said. Gilani said the phenomenon of terrorism has not only created the law and order problem in the country but also cost the nation dearly in financial terms as economy has suffered a loss of billions of dollars as a consequence. We are aware that without an effective national strategy marked by de-radicalisation, we will not succeed fully and comprehensively, the prime minister said. He said Pakistans armed forces carried out successful operations in Swat, Malakand, South Waziristan, Mohmand and Bajaur Agencies against terrorists and militants, done with full support of the nation, and in accord with the political will, articulated by the parliament of Pakistan and a meeting of all political parties. Gilani said Pakistan, today, faces multi-dimensional challenges both at external and internal levels. He termed the challenge of unintended radicalism and consequent terrorism as complex and a real barrier to the common goal of peace and stability. He said without a dispassionate strategy appraisal, the assessments and policy formulation on de-radicalisation can go wrong. Gilani, while acknowledging the efforts of Pakistan Army in fighting terrorism and rehabilitation, noted that the army had again contributed immensely and provided a nucleus to build on, by fighting de-radicalisation. He said the Swat De-radicalisation Programme was a model for other relevant organisations to learn from and replicate. The prime minister said since 2008 Pakistan has taken a number of measures at different levels to fight terrorism, in line with the countrys national interest. The prime minister also spoke at length about Pakistans security paradigm that owes its genesis to traumatic events of United States led Afghan jihad, inept post-cold war handling of Afghanistan by the West, festering regional conflicts and post 9/11 war in Afghanistan. What we witness today is the consequence of history and has an internal, regional and global context. He said the prolonged struggle against USSR brought various Jihadi organisations from around the world under one umbrella and encouraged the radicalised ideas and mindsets. The concept of Jihad, hitherto responsibility of a state, was privatised and politicised. Consequently, Pakistan continues to suffer from its ramifications. Post 9/11, Pakistan embarked upon a mission to eliminate terrorism and militancy from its soil. At the internal front, Gilani said Pakistans Counter Terrorism Strategy was home-grown and indigenous in character and was based on dictates of environment. We are following a 4-D strategy Dialogue, Deterrence, Development and Defeating the Terrorists ideology and mindset. He said Pakistan has come a long way from where it was in 2001-02. The government galvanised public support against terrorism and gave political ownership to the national struggle against terrorism. He said the law enforcement operations conducted by the valiant security forces were a success in arresting militancy, being emulated in Afghanistan as well as elsewhere. He said elimination of radical threat in Swat, once propagated in global media as hub of terrorists, was a significant success and added it includes return and rehabilitation of 2.4 million displaced people in a record time. We banned organisations that fomented terrorism and sectarianism in the society. Efforts of our intelligence agencies have led to apprehensions of hundreds of al-Qaeda operatives and targeting of their leadership. Gilani said a National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) was constituted in 2008 to create a database of terrorists and terrorist organisations and coordinate and exchange important information between the federal and provincial civilian agencies and security organisations. He said process of de-radicalisation of reconcilable detainees alone cannot pay the dividends unless the hardcore category of apprehended terrorists was awarded exemplary punishment through an appropriate judicial mechanism, and added that so far, such a legal framework was missing. The prime minister said Anti-Terrorism Act promulgated essentially to tackle law and order situation. He said that through elaborate and cooperative efforts of Federal Ministries of Law and Interior, the Chief Minister and the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a legal Framework Order has been prepared. He said the framework, endorsed by the President after approval of the Federal Cabinet, has become a law for FATA and PATA. Gilani said in due course, it would be extended to the settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and subsequently to entire Pakistan through acts of Provincial and National Assemblies respectively. He said it provides answers to a host of questions starting from requisitioning process of Army in aid of civil power, prolonged detention of terrorists and most importantly, expeditious dispensation of justice. Gilani said his government has taken concrete steps to enhance capacity building of para-military forces and police. We have set up community policing system for intelligence gathering and networking arrangement with NADRA to trace terrorists. He said Pakistan believes in democracy and pluralism. A society that strives for equality and dignity is undoubtedly essential for addressing the rage and anger arising from political or economic injustices. We acknowledge that without these steps, this rage will find new ways of expression. Our government is committed to ensure improved access to physical assets, education, vocational skills, training and other education services that enhance human capital of the poor and enable them to generate better income through gainful employment opportunities, the prime minister said. The participants of the conference would share experiences on radicalisation challenges and various de-radicalisation models being followed in different parts of the world. Gilani assured that the government would consider the recommendations in formulating its national response to the challenge. In his key note address at the seminar, the Chief of the Army Staff General (COAS) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said that Pakistan Army being a national army derived its strength from the people of Pakistan and was answerable to the people and their representatives in the parliament. Gen Kayani said, accordingly, Pakistan Army considers peoples support vital for its operations against terrorists, and believes that only the people of Pakistan can determine the national interest and armys role in their achievement. Gen Kayani said that Pakistans commitment to war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates is total and unwavering as it firmly believes in taking stern action against all terrorist groups. The Pakistan Army is determined to lead the fight on terror in partnership with other law enforcement agencies and in line with the constitution, he added. Gen Kayani reiterated that there is no military solution to terrorism since military strategy can only provide an enabling environment. The menace has to be tackled in the domain of national security which warrants a comprehensive response entailing synergy by all elements of national power, he added. The COAS said following the success of military operations, reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure was immediately launched to restore life. This rehabilitation effort, in addition to a host of other activities, included an effective de-radicalisation programme. He said that de-radicalisation, as a process, is gaining eminence in many parts of the world. He said, there is general consensus in societies that the national security interests are better served by de-indoctrinating and re-integrating the radicals back into the society. By radicalism, I refer to a socio-psychological process of incremental commitment to radical trends may it be political, psychological or religious. Radicalism is, therefore, a risk factor that can transform into violence and push societies into anarchy. He said the de-radicalisation effort was a result of the demand placed on the Army by the post-operation environment. Driven by the detention of thousands of miscreants after the operation, our de-radicalisation programme was built around four pillars, including de-radicalisation of juveniles, de-radicalisation of selected reconcilable detainees, de-radicalisation of families of selected detainees and de-radicalisation of certain villages in general, from which the bulk of militants had originated, he added. Gen Kayani said this programme was initiated with the help of Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and certain NGOs, in specially created facilities. Our effort to transform the members of public who embraced radical trends, has met considerable success. We are getting back to you with validation and a sense that this is doable, he added. Gen Kayani said it would be prudent for all elements of national power and the nation to take a holistic view of national security, within the purview of 'state as well as human security in modern times, no single organ of the state, was configured to mount a wholesome response to the challenges confronting national Security. He said all instruments of state and society have a role to play. De-Radicalisation is an important contributor towards achieving human security. Such efforts are to be expressed through attempts to change behaviours, primarily by 'rehabilitating or de-indoctrination, he added. The COAS said the effort, therefore, has a larger context and merits time resources and commitment. To sustain these undertakings, the state and the society, have to provide enabling ideological, political and socio-economic safeguards integrated into a well thought-out, encompassing national policy with the ultimate goal of achieving counter-radicalisation of the society at large in the long term, he added. He said that army is following a well thought out campaign plan, which is succeeding and providing space to other organs of state which must expeditiously build on military success to achieve during peace and stability. While we have taken the first step here in Swat by initiating de-radicalisation programme, it needs support and initiative of the society, intellectuals and policy makers to take the lead and put into effect a counter-radicalisation construct, not only to sustain the de-radicalisation effort, but also to assure a free and progressive future for Pakistan, he added. Commenting briefly on the situation in Swat, as it existed in 2009, he said Swat was virtually lost to terrorists, writ of the government had ceased to exist while police and other government functionaries had almost stopped functioning. Public stood terrorised and powerless against the militants. Images of armed militants moving freely raised concerns regarding the Armys capabilities and resolve to fight militants, he added. In order to re-establish writ of the government, eliminate miscreants and restore general publics confidence, he said, the largest Pakistani counter insurgency operation was launched by the Army, involving approximately three divisions i.e. 30,000 troops supported by artillery, combat aviation and air force. Kayani said the largest ever helicopter borne operation on altitude of 7,000 feet was conducted in Peochar, an inaccessible mountainous area, not far from where we are sitting today. Within three months, Swat stood restored. 2.4 million displaced persons were managed, and helped safely return to their homes, he said and added, 75 per cent of the IDPs were looked after by extended families. Gen Kayani opined that it was difficult to find a parallel in history considering the magnitude and scale of operation in a short time of three months. He said that Pakistan Army suffered 985 casualties (including 228 officers and men killed and 757 wounded) with high officers to troops casualty ratio 1: 8 in known history. Additionally, there were 595 casualties of other LEAs and 981 civilians lost their lives, he added. When we were still in the recovery process, Swat was hit by the worst floods in its history. It further compounded the problem, he said. Gen Kayani also paid tribute to the resilience and sacrifices of valiant people of Swat, Pakistan Army Shuhada and their families. The debt owed to them can only be repaid by achieving and ensuring lasting peace in Swat as well as in Pakistan. De-radicalisation is therefore, a step towards that end, he added.