ISLAMABAD - The military and political leadership, at a high-level meeting on national security with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the chair Tuesday, decided to tackle terrorists with iron hands, beef up security of sensitive government installations and bring some structural changes in the operations against the militants, both in tribal areas and major cities.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stressed the need for enhancing coordination between the law-enforcement and intelligence agencies to contain the growing militancy across the country.

The meeting, which was attended by Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Chief of General Staff Lt-Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad and Major General Nasir Dilawar Shah, had a unanimous view that pro-active intelligence techniques should be adopted to track down the militants and, at the same time, stressed the need of further enhancing coordination between the law-enforcement agencies to thwart the militants’ activities.

The details of operational changes were not shared with the press.

Sources in the government informed The Nation that Prime Minister Sharif was of the firm view that lives and properties of the people and national assets should be secured at all costs. He directed the law-enforcement agencies to break the network of the militants attacking the national assets.

According to a brief press release issued by the prime minister’s media office, the high-level meeting reviewed the overall law and order situation in the country. The matters concerning internal and regional security, including Fata, Karachi and Balochistan, were discussed.

Federal Defence Minister Kh Asif and ISI DG Lt-Gen Zaheerul Islam missed this important meeting on the security situation in the country held after a day after the Taliban militants’ attack on the Karachi airport.

It is also interesting to note that a few moments after the meeting on national security, Defence Minister Kh Asif who is also holding the portfolio of water and power attended a meeting on loadshedding and privatisation of some power generation and power distribution companies.

Sources said the initial report on the Karachi airport attack figured in the meeting while another attack of the militants which was repulsed by the Airport Security Force and Rangers also came under discussion. A number of measures to bring improvement in the overall law and order situation with specific reference to Karachi were also discussed.

The prime minister expressed surprise how arms and ammunition in such a big quantity reached the port city of Karachi and ordered strict checking and surveillance of suspects coming to Karachi.

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif briefed the meeting on the targets achieved by the air strikes carried out in Tirah Valley bordering Afghanistan.

The situation in Balochistan in the scenario of the recent terrorist attacks on Shia pilgrims also came under discussion. The civil-military leadership of the country strongly condemned the Taftan attack.