Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday praised the government decision of lifting the ban on death penalty moratorium in a bid to quell terrorism in the country.

He was talking to mediamen at the residence of late MPA Sardar Khalid Saleem Bhatti after offering Fateha here on Monday. He said that Pakistan Army alone cannot fight the war against terrorism thus the nation should back it.

“It is a good omen that the entire nation is on the same page against terrorism. The PPP has fully assured the government of its support in implementation of the decisions taken at the all parties’ conference held in Islamabad after the Peshawar school attack,” he said.

He said that terrorism had become the most serious threat to the country. It is a major hurdle in the way of development and investment. He urged the government to come up with a concrete strategy to overcome such incidents. Gillani said conspiracies were being hatched to divide Pakistan on linguistic basis, but hoped that such conspiracies would not succeed.

Mr Gillani said that all the parties and leaders have endorsed the government stand in fight against terrorism following the tragedy. He added that the present government’s decision had proved that the PPP-led government’s policies against terrorism were right. He said that the current situation demands implementations of APC decisions. With regard to rumours about the presence of PPP Chairman Bilawal abroad, he said the latter could not come to Pakistan because of security reasons. PPP workers are the asset of the party, he said. Meanwhile, he refused to comment on a statement issued by party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari against Pervez Musharraf, saying that only the party co-chairman could answer it as he had valid evidence in support of his statement.

SECURITY BEEFED UP: In the wake of the Peshawar terrorist attack, security of sensitive places including schools and colleges in Bahawalpur has been tightened by the police with issuance of special directives to the educational institutions to ensure their security.

The district police officer directed its subordinates of Bahawalpur to make the security of schools, colleges and other sensitive locations more effective. The DPO also issued the security plan properly in which district’s 18 schools and colleges had been put in category A and 22 in category B. He also ordered the deployment of police personnel there.

He directed the police to coordinate with the administration so as to make the plan a success. “Every school and college administration will be held responsible for deploying a security guard in the institutions. Boundary walls be higher than eight feet; entrance and exit only be one where entering individuals be searched; search lights be placed around the schools and barbed wire be installed on the walls,” he directed. “CCTV cameras be installed on all the four sides of schools and a special room be allocated for their monitoring with the capacity of at least storing the recordings of 15 days; and parking be made far away from the school.” He also directed for organising trainings and special lectures for students, staff members and security men at school and college level. He said the schools not following the instructions be closed down. He also directed all SDPOs and SHOs to check educational institutes located in their areas frequently and prepare a proper report in this regard.