Shehbaz Sharif admits failure to prevent the Peshawar massacre and calls for “national unity”

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Peshawar: Amidst a wave of terror attacks in Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday acknowledged the failure to avert the Peshawar carnage that killed over 100 people and called for “national unity” to tackle the menace.


Addressing an apex committee meeting at the Governor House here on the mosque attack and the overall emerging terrorism situation in Pakistan, Sharif also expressed frustration at the criticism levelled against the federal government from opposition parties in the wake of a series of terror attacks.


“There is a need for unity across the political spectrum. This act of terrorism managed to breach the security check post and reach the mosque. We should not feel hesitant in admitting the facts,” Sharif was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.


In the Peshawar mosque attack on Monday, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up during the afternoon prayers, killing 101 people and injuring more than 200 others.


The police on Thursday said that the bomber disguised himself in a police uniform to sneak into the high-security zone and was riding a motorcycle with a helmet and mask on.


Pakistan has been hit by a wave of terrorism, mostly in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, but also in Balochistan and the Punjab town of Mianwali, which borders the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.


Expressing sympathies with the families of the deceased in the mosque attack, Sharif said that it was being asked how terrorism — which had been eradicated a few years ago — let this happen.


“In the wake of this incident, undue criticism was seen on social media. This is certainly condemnable. The occurrence of the incident due to security lapses will be probed. But saying this was a drone attack and similar related accusations were uncalled for in this tragic time,” he was quoted as saying in the report.


The Friday meeting was attended by several senior functionaries of the Pak government, including Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, chief ministers of four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan, federal ministers and national political leaders.


Sharif said that the entire Pakistani nation was thinking about how the menace would be tackled in future.


“What measures will be taken to stop this terror wave? It is the need of the hour that provinces and the Centre along with the leaderships of political parties take ownership and shun their differences, be they political or related to any religious reasons. We should unite and tackle this,” he said.


Calling it a tough time for the country, Sharif, who is also facing a difficult time managing the country’s debt-ridden economy, vowed the country would “collectively” overcome this challenge.


“All resources will be mobilised. This meeting reaffirms our aim to sit together until this menace is eradicated,” he said.


The prime minister further emphasised that the government will not rest until terrorism is eradicated and his government will try to control terrorism despite the many challenges facing the country, according to another report in The Express Tribune newspaper.



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