ISLAMABAD - Expressing his government’s resolve to quell terrorism, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday directed all the provincial governments to take proactive measures for ensuring speedy and effective implementation of the National Action Plan on counterterrorism.

While chairing a meeting to review progress on the implementation of the action plan, Premier Sharif made it loud and clear that the government would take strict action against those found in glorification of terrorism and spreading hatred in any way.

Premier Sharif also called a meeting of all the four chief ministers next week to have direct input on the steps being taken by the provincial governments in the implementation of the National Action Plan and share with them the efforts on part of the federal government in this connection.

The prime minister expressed government’s resolve to eradicate the menace of terrorism and extremism from the country and directed all the provincial governments to take proactive measures for ensuring speedy and effective implementation of the action plan.

The meeting was informed that FIRs have been registered against 341 persons involved in hate speech, 251 have been formally arrested and 41 shops disseminating hate material closed while action has been taken against 1,100 persons on the misuse of loudspeaker. Madaris are also being closely monitored to stop spread of terrorist ideology, while 95 proscribed organisations have been identified in Punjab that are still engaged in spreading terrorism and extremism.

The prime minister asked FBR to effectively block funding to proscribed organisations from local or foreign channels. He also directed the Ministry of Information Technology to take steps for blocking websites and social media platform being used by terrorist organisations.

He said the federal government would provide all possible resources to the provincial governments with the direction to be proactive in tackling the menace of terrorism.

The prime minister said a state-of-the-art rapid response force is being formed to meet the challenges posed by terrorism and extremism. This properly equipped force would be trained on modern lines and given better pay package.

Federal Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan told the prime minister that 180 miscreants have been picked up from various parts of Islamabad while 48 of them have been formally arrested. Similarly, in Punjab 14,000 suspects have been picked up and 780 of them formally arrested and are under investigation, he said.

Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Special Adviser to PM Barrister Zafarullah, Political Secretary to PM Dr Asif Kirmani, the interior secretary, the attorney general and other senior officials attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif met President Mamnoon Hussain at Aiwan-e-Sadr and discussed with him the overall situation.

The PM briefed the President on implementation of the action plan. Nawaz said those spreading hatred and sectarianism would be tried in special trial courts.

He said Zarb-e-Azb had played an important role in dismantling terror infrastructure. Those terrorising the society in the name of religion would be brought to justice, he warned.

He said the cases of attacks on Malala Yousafzai and tourists in the northern areas (Nanga Parbat attack case) will soon be sent to the special trial courts (military courts).

Later, the president and the prime minister together met a delegation of business community at Aiwan-e-Sadr and told them that the national economy has been put on the right track.

The president underscored the need for the traders and business community to take maximum benefits from the policies of the government so that the economy could be stabilised and more job opportunities created.

The prime minister said energy shortage and terrorism were the major problems and the government was making all-out efforts to address them.

The prime minister said the decision to set up military courts had not been made by a dictator, but by a democratic government. He asserted the independence of the judiciary was essential, but equally important was its performance. He reiterated the government was addressing energy and petrol issues of domestic consumers and business community.

He said the government wanted maximum production of electricity by 2017 so that investors and business community could have all the resources to meet their requirements.

The prime minister directed the FBR chairman to consult traders and leading businessmen of the country on possible reduction of taxes on various items.