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Anti-terrorist force for Punjab approved

Decision taken at high-level meeting chaired by Pakistan prime minister

  • By Mohsin Ali, Correspondent
  • Published: 19:06 October 18, 2013
  • Gulf News

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday approved the formation of a special anti-terror force in Punjab, the largest province and stronghold of Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N party..

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the prime minister at his Raiwind estate near Lahore, capital of the province.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif — the prime minister’s younger brother — and senior officials, including the provincial police chief, attended the meeting. .

The prime minister ordered that the anti-terror force be kept separate from the police.

Sharif said those inducted in the force should be professional and competent, should be paid well and given the most efficient equipment to carry out their duties.

Meanwhile, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government also decided to establish a special task force to combat terrorism. It will be headed by the province’s police chief. The provincial government also asked the federal government to return Frontier Constabulary platoons to Khyber Pakthunkhwa so that they can be deployed in sensitive areas.

During Eid Al Adha celebration, a suicide bomber blew himself up as soon as he embraced a minister on the occasion of Muslim Eid al-Adha festival, killing him and seven others and injuring around 30 people.

Israrullah Gandapur, the law and parliamentary affairs minister in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, was its third lawmaker to be killed since June.

The bomber, in his early twenties, is believed to be a local. Eyewitnesses said he was wearing a turban and had spoken with the minister in a regional language .

Gandapur belonged to PTI, which is led by former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, a strong advocate of peace talks with the Taliban.

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