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Pakistan

We must put our house in order, says Asif after Peshawar mosque bombing

  • Defense Minister says we need to rise above political, religious, and sectarian differences to defeat the menace of terrorism
Published January 31, 2023

A day after a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque in Peshawar, Defense Minister Khwaja Asif said "we should put our house in order" to deal with the issue of militancy, Aaj News reported.

Addressing a National Assembly session today after the deadly bombing, which martyred 100 people, Asif said Pakistan must keep friendly ties with the United States, but should not fight anyone's wars.

"The destruction we are facing today is the result of our own faulty policies in the past. We first fought against the Soviet Union in the 1980s in Afghanistan on behalf of the US and called it Jihad.

"Fast forward to 9/11, we joined the US invasion of Afghanistan — but this time against the very actors we had jointly supported to fight the foreign occupation."

He said the war in Afghanistan spilled over and we lost over 83,000 lives and billions of dollars. "Still, we are not in their good books," he lamented.

The minister called for the need for unity in the war against terrorism.

"We need to rise above political, religious, and sectarian differences to defeat the menace of terrorism, which has been costing us precious lives," the minister said.

Khawaja Asif said that a war was fought against terrorism from 2010- 2017. “This war started in Swat during the PPP’s tenure and it was concluded during the PML-N’s previous tenure, and peace was established in the country from Karachi to Swat.

“But if you remember, a year-and-a-half or two years ago […] we were given several briefings in this parliament that militants who got 'jobless' after the end of the Afghan war could be 'civilized', and resettled in the country, but there was no clear plan given.

"The house never gave approval to such plans. We had our reservations about the plan, which proved true after we saw a surge in the insurgency in Swat, Wana, and other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa," Khwaja Asif said, adding that the nation was paying for the blunders made by the PTI government.

He said the resettlement of the militants was a faulty decision, which is now proving very costly for the nation.

The minister said the recent terrorist activity in Peshawar has put the nation in a great dilemma.

He said the country needs to show resolve, which was shown after the APS attack, to defeat the menace of terrorism.

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