LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the distinction between good and bad Taliban is over.

“All Taliban are terrorists. They will be dealt with iron hands,” the chief minister said while addressing a conference on Monday. Lawmakers Shuja Khanzada, Atta Manika, Bilal Yasin, Rana Mashhood Ahmed, Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, Afzal Khokhar, Rana Sanaullah and top babus were also present. The CM lauded people for getting united against terrorism. He reiterated his government’s resolve to bring in peace and prosperity.

The chief minister said elimination of terrorism is the top priority and all necessary resources will be utilised. He said that it is a critical juncture in war against terrorism. He said that political and military leaderships are on the same evolved a unanimous action plan to eliminate terrorist and the course of history will be changed through its implementation.

He said that the brutality of terrorists in Army Public School Peshawar on December 16 shocked and grieved the whole nation, however, it has emerged as a strong and vibrant force to put an end to terrorism in the country.

Shahbaz said that officers and jawans of armed forces, police officials and citizens have rendered supreme sacrifices in war against terrorism and the sacrifices made by the Pakistanis nation are unprecedented in the world history.

He said that it is time to learn from the past mistakes and move forward to achieve the goal of a peaceful Pakistan. He said that political and military leadership are determined to root out the menace of terrorism and if this opportunity was lost, nothing will be left.

Shahbaz Sharif further said that it is unfortunate that while the elite have all facilities while the common man is deprived of basic amenities such as education, health and justice. He said that extremism and terrorism can be rooted out also with the provision of justice, elimination of corruption and socio-economic reforms and not only with bullet as terrorists benefit from the situation and play with the sentiments of innocent citizens. He said that corruption, nepotism and injustices will have to be eradicated while equitable distribution of resources will have to be ensured for eliminating terrorism.

He said that there were already laws against wall-chalking, provocative literature speeches and the misuse of loudspeakers, however, Punjab government has carried out legislation for giving strict punishment to the violators.

He said that besides effective implementation of these laws, terrorism, extremism and secretarianism will have to be controlled.

He said that police force should ensure strict implementation of laws and take action against the violators without discrimination.

The chief minister directed that special attention should be paid to the security arrangements in private and public educational institutions and the committees set up for this purpose at district level should monitor the security measures. The CM said that there is also need to improve intelligence system.

Shuja Khanzada in his address said that the spirit and determination shown at the times of natural calamities is needed to overcome the menace of terrorism. He said that victory is the only option in the war against terrorism as it is for the survival of the country.

Atta Manika said that the country is facing an extraordinary situation, however, the nation has awakened and war will be won at any cost.

Rana Sanaullah said that the terrorists showed extreme brutality against innocent children in Army Public School, Peshawar. He said that the Pak Army is fighting against terrorists with courage and the whole nation is standing behind it. He said that victory is the only option in the war against terrorism.

The Punjab chief secretary said that terrorism is a difficult challenge but will be overcome successfully. Inspector General Police said that government and the nation are determined to defeat terrorists and every sacrifice will be made for ensuring a safe future of the country. He said that national action plan will be fully implemented.

Separately, lawmaker from various districts called on the chief minister. They included Sultan Hunjra, Sahibzada Faiz-ul-Hassan, Armughan Subhani, Provincial Minister for Forests Malik Muhammad Asif Bha, Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhaba, Karam Elahi Bundial, Waris Kallo, Zafar Iqbal Nagra, Ch Tariq Subhani, Rao Kashif Raheem Khan and Lt Col (r) Ayub Khan.