KARACHI/ISALAMABAD - Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said, “If we claim our achievements in the war on terror, then we must admit our failures as well. Karachi terror attack is our collective failure and the responsibility should not be put on others’ shoulders.”

Talking to a private TV channel after attending a meeting chaired by the PM Wednesday, the minister said the elements behind this heinous terror attack would be given a befitting reply and brought to justice.

“We won’t let these sacrifices go waste,” he vowed. He said the Karachi situation came to normalcy, but the terrorists once again managed to shed blood in the city. He said the government has taken a stern notice of the hatred being spread in the name of religion. He said the community that played a vital role in the Pakistan Movement became victim of the Safoora incident.

The minister said that national unity is the need of the hour and every individual of the society must have to take responsibility in this regard.

Talking about the high-level meeting held in Karachi under the chair of PM Nawaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif said every issue related to the Karachi law and order came under discussion in the meeting. He said it was also pledged that Karachi peace won’t be compromised for political gains. All political parties would have to play their role in ensuring stability in Karachi. He said anti-state elements are trying to dismantle law and order of the country.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday gave a go-ahead to the law-enforcement agencies to carry out a decisive offensive against the terrorists in Karachi. Nawaz Sharif chaired a high-level meeting at the Governor House on the Karachi security situation Wednesday after gunmen killed 45 people in an attack on a bus carrying Ismailis.

“No matter who they target, the terrorists are the enemies of the whole nation. We will have to fight them together. And it’s time to strike a death blow to them with a death blow,” the prime minister told a high-level meeting held here in the wake of a deadly attack on Ismaili community members.

According to a private TV channel, the prime minister was absolutely dissatisfied with the performance of Karachi police. As per another TV channel, during the meeting it was decided that the ongoing operation against criminals in the city will be sped up and extended to target not only criminal organisations but also their workers and abettors.

The meeting resolved to carry forward the operation with more vigour and intensity to consolidate the gains that have been made.

The meeting was attended by high-level civil and military officials, including Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, ISI Director General Rizwan Akhtar, Karachi Corps Commander Lt-Gen Naveed Mukhtar, Rangers DG Maj-Gen Bilal Akbar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, the federal interior secretary, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad, the Sindh chief secretary and MQM leader Farooq Sattar and Rasheed Godail.

Officially, no decision of the high-level meeting on the security situation was announced. No media briefing was held after the meeting which continued for more than two hours. However, according to an official press release, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said all possible efforts be made to immediately nab the culprits of the bus attack in which peaceful persons, including women, were targeted. The Rangers DG and the Sindh IGP briefed the prime minister on the law and order situation in the city in the backdrop of this incident.

The prime minister said there were no words to express grief over this tragic incident. “Karachi is a commercial hub of Pakistan and every incident here does have importance,” he remarked.

He said the enemies did not like Pakistan to achieve economic progress and their agenda was to prevent the country from moving forward. There was a need to keep an eye on such elements, he added.

The prime minister said the law-enforcement agencies should work in complete coordination to ensure peace in Karachi. All institutions responsible for countering terrorism should gear up to meet the challenges, he added.