ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today (Friday) chaired a high-level meeting to discuss external and internal security situation of the country.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, DG ISI Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar and Prime Minister’s special advisor Tariq Fatemi were present in the meeting.
The meeting reviewed progress on the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb. It was noted with satisfaction that the operation has made significant gains.
The participants reaffirmed the resolve to root out the scourge of terrorism and strongly condemned the blast that targeted government officials in Peshawar on Wednesday.
At least 17 people were killed and dozens wounded on Wednesday when a bomb exploded inside a bus in Peshawar.
No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion, which happened as the bus carrying mainly government employees was passing through the city’s crowded shopping district of Saddar.
Pakistan has been battling a homegrown insurgency for more than a decade, with groups such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban routinely carrying out attacks.
The insurgency began after the US-led invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan in 2001, which led to a spillover of militants across the border and a surge in recruitment for extremist groups.
The army launched the latest of a series of offensives in the region in 2014 to try to wipe out militant bases and end the insurgency that has cost thousands of lives. Overall levels of violence have fallen, with 2015 seeing the fewest civilian and military and police casualties since 2007.
But the militant group is still able to carry out periodic bloody attacks, particularly in the northwest.