LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has ordered a full-scale crackdown on the banned outfits in the province.

The order comes as the first solid action against the militancy in Punjab since the brutal assassination of late Punjab home minister Shuja Khanzada last month.

Colonel (retd) Shuja Khanzada was killed in a suicide attack on his political office in Shadi Khan village, Attock, along with 20 others.

The chief minister, while underscoring the need for stepping up efforts for speedy implementation of the National Action Plan, directed the police and the law enforcement agencies for a direct action against the banned outfits in Punjab.

“Activities of banned organisations should be eliminated with full force in the province and indiscriminate action will be continued against terrorists as well as their facilitators,” Shahbaz Sharif said while presiding a meeting on Tuesday.

Initial report of bomb blast in Multan was also presented in the meeting.

The CM has directed the police for accelerating search operation in the province including Lahore in an effective manner. He said modern technology should also be used in conducting search operations and a vigilant eye be kept on mischievous elements.

The Punjab police have been directed to further tighten the security of mosques, Imambarghahs and other worship places across the province by deploying additional force.

“Indiscriminate action should be taken against the publication and distribution of literature based on hatred and law of ban on wall-chalking and use of loudspeaker should be strictly implemented,” the CM ordered.

Shahbaz Sharif said the provocative speeches would not be tolerated, ordering stern action against those delivering such speeches. He said the Punjab government was taking all necessary steps for improving law and order situation and protecting life and property of the people. “All out resources are being utilised for improving law and order situation and modern technology is being fully benefitted for this purpose.”

Under the National Action Plan, timely and effective steps have been taken in the province evolved with national consensus for eliminating terrorism and extremism. “The results achieved so far are encouraging,” he added.

“Elimination of terrorism, extremism and sectarianism is the voice of the entire nation. The decisive war is being fought on every front against terrorism, extremism and sectarianism.

“Present situation demands emergent steps and in view of this situation and the police will have to discharge its duties efficiently and devotedly.

“The war against terrorism is survival of Pakistan while Zarb-e-Azb, the ongoing military operation, has defeated terrorists.”

Lauding the Pak-Army role in curbing the menace of terrorism in the country, Shahbaz Sharif said the army men, police personnel, politicians and citizens have sacrificed a lot in the war against terrorism. “The entire nation is proud of great sacrifices of these martyrs,” he added.

He said those who sacrificed their lives for peace were heroes of Pakistani people and their sacrifices will not go waste. He reiterated that the menace of terrorism and sectarianism will be eliminated at all costs.

The CM vowed that the promise of giving peaceful and safe Pakistan to the coming generations will be fulfilled.