LAHORE - Calling the Peshawar tragedy the ‘worst in the history of the world’, Punjab Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has stressed the need for forging unity to combat with such a scourge.

“This incident of terrorism is highly condemnable and the people of Pakistan are shocked and grieved over this tragedy,” he said while talking to the media Tuesday.  The chief minister appealed to Imran Khan, Maulana Fazalur Rehman, Altaf Hussain, Asfandyar Wali, Mehmood Achakzai, Maulana Samiul Haq, Sirajul Haq other key leaders to be united for the sake of Pakistan.

He said mutual differences must be set aside and all the parties and their supporters must stand by the solider for eliminating terrorism from the country. He also paid tribute to martyrs. He said that besides officers and jawans of Pak-Army, their children have also rendered sacrifices. The chief minister appealed to entire nation including political, religious and civil society leaders to unite for the sake of Pakistan.

Shahbaz said that he has no words to express his sentiments over this tragic incident.

He said that Punjab government has announced three days mourning and the national flag will fly half-mast.

He said funeral in absentia will be offered on Wednesday(today). Shahbaz Sharif said it has become very clear from today’s tragic incident that the entire nation will have to decide that terrorism and extremism is the number one enemy of the country.

He said that elimination of terrorism is the only way to put the Pakistan of Quaid and Iqbal on the road to progress and development and prosperity of the country is directly linked with it. He said that national solidarity and unity is much needed than ever before and after today’s heartrending and tragic incident, there is no room for differences. The Chief Minister said that Pak-Army has faced terrorism bravely and Zarb-e-Azb operation against terrorism has yielded positive results. He said that the incident of terrorism in Peshawar school can be reaction of operation Zarb-e-Azb. He said that we have to adopt only one agenda of fighting against terrorism with unity for safeguarding the country.

Shahbaz Sharif said that he has conveyed the sentiments of Punjab government and people over this tragic incident telephonically to Governor and Chief Minister KPK and offered all possible cooperation. He said that we equally share the grief of bereaved families. He offered to KPK government every kind of cooperation including doctors, nurses and medicines. He said that the entire nation will have to be united in the war against terrorism and face the menace of terrorism with unity so that a peaceful and safe Pakistan could be given to the coming generations. The Chief Minister said that we have to demonstrate unity by giving preference to national interest over political and personal interests and save the future of coming generation. Replying to a question, Shahbaz Sharif said that it is time to rise above politics and play our due role for elimination of terrorism and extremism from the country forever. Provincial Minister for Law Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman and spokesman Punjab government Zaeem Hussain Qadri were also present on the occasion.