Incidents like Quetta blast will not deter us in fight against terrorism, says Fawad

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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that incidents such as the blast in Quetta’s Hazarganji market will “not deter Pakistan in the fight against terrorism”.

Twenty people were killed and 48 injured on Friday when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) believed to be targeting members of the Hazara community went off in a market located in the provincial capital.

“Events like the Quetta blast will not deter us,” said Chaudhry during his speech at an event in Khewra, Punjab, adding that events like Quetta blast were orchestrated by forces from outside of Pakistan.

“When the prime minister says that stability is needed in Afghanistan, it is because we know that events like the Quetta blast have support not from within Pakistan but from outside of it,” he said. “That’s why we have a new foreign policy, and a new strategic policy in place now.”

The information minister deemed military courts as imperative to concluding the war against terrorism, saying: “This is why we tell the opposition that now that we are in the last phase of defeating terrorism, when we have almost completely defeated it, come, let’s discuss the military courts as well.”

Chaudhry urged the implementation of the National Action Plan, saying: “The consensus with which we signed the National Action Plan in 2014, we should move forward in the same manner and implement it.”

He said that it is the priority of the federal government to take forward the segments of the country that were left behind.

“PM has announced that Rs100 billion will be spent in [region formerly known as] Fata each year,” the minister said. “Over a period of 10 years, Rs1 trillion will be spent because Fata has been left behind.”

“People have suffered such cruelty and oppression that it is necessary we announce a special package for them. So Punjab has reduced its share and given to Fata. KP has also cut its share and so has the federation.

Chaudhry assured that “Balochistan is also among our priorities,” adding that “we wish to take Pakistan forward in accordance with the PM’s vision.”