PESHAWAR - Reiterating their stance that talks and terror can’t go together, Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali said on Thursday that government has made some crucial decisions about country’s security which would be announced soon.

“If Taliban want to carry forward negotiations process for peace, they must shun path of violence and bloodshed,” Nisar said while briefing the media after a joint meeting on internal security issues at Governor House in Peshawar.

He said that acts of violence could not be tolerated and state forces would appropriately respond to any provocative actions. Nisar however said that despite the events of the past several days, the government still preferred the route of peace talks with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

He confirmed the government and Taliban committees were constantly in contact to reinitiate broken peace negotiations process. He claimed the government was sincerely working towards establishing peace in the country, adding that it would remove all the stumbling blocks that lay on the road ahead.

“We are struggling for better future of Pakistan which is only possible through coordinated efforts of centre, provincial governments, security institutions and intelligence agencies,” said the federal minister, who was accompanied by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Governor Engineer Shaukatullah Khan, IGP Nasir Khan Durrani and Chief Secretary Shahzad Arbab on the occasion.

About recent airstrike in various tribal agencies, the interior minister said the security forces’ airstrikes are both pre-emptive and retaliatory in nature. About the claim of Taliban regarding killing of their associates in the custody of security forces, he termed it a baseless claim and part of terrorists’ negative propaganda against the security forces. He said the government had already asked them to provide evidence and list of such persons.

Responding to a question, he said the previous governments did not equip the law enforcement agencies with modern technologies and instruments besides ignoring their other requirements. The incumbent government is going to launch a Rapid Response Force at the Centre, while the idea would be replicated by government of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said around 500 to 2,000 personnel would be recruited in this force at federal level, and it will be equipped with last technologies and defensive and protective gadgets.

The minister informed that government is importing from China more than 65 vehicles equipped with instruments which would greatly help the bomb disposal squad to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs). He said four of these vehicles will arrive in few days. “Unless we equip law enforcement agencies with latest technologies and modern warfare instruments, we cannot ensure impregnable defensive,” Nisar Khan said.

The minister said the incumbent government had drafted a comprehensive National Security Policy within a shortest period of six months. He said the policy is not final and open to positive amendments. He said a clause would be added in the policy to take provincial governments on board to have better intelligence sharing between police and other law enforcement agencies, as earlier there was no coordination between 26 security intelligence agencies of the country. He informed that a joint directorate of all the intelligence agencies will be created.

Sharing the decision of the meeting on security issues, held at the Governor House, the minister said that their discussion focused on internal security and integrity of the country. He said it has been decided to hold meeting of the chief ministers of four federating units in few days, to be followed by a meeting of elected representative of parliaments and senate, to discuss overall security issues and development of better coordination among the provinces.

Chaudhry Nisar Khan said that during the Thursday meeting he realised that the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government are moving in the same direction to tackle the law and order and security issues. He reaffirmed the federal government would take every possible step to support and help the KPK in countering extremism and terrorism. He stressed the need for coordinated efforts beyond any political affiliation to combat terrorism and establishment of everlasting peace in the country.

KPK Chief Minister Pervez Khattak speaking on the occasion said that the provincial government fully agreed with the initiatives and efforts of federal government for countering terrorism and establishment of peace. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is frontline province in the ongoing war against terrorism. He also stressed the need for better coordination and consensus on all issues. He assured the federal government that the KPK will fully support any step for building sustainable peace.

Governor Engineer Shaukatullah Khan said that the federal government is taking serious steps for brining stability and everlasting calm in KPK, Fata and rest parts of the country. He urged the media to play its effective and positive role for highlighting efforts of the incumbent government for establishment of peace.