Pakistan: PMLN lawmakers blame PTI for terror attacks

Islamabad [Pakistan], February 2 (ANI): In the first meeting of the Pakistan cabinet since the deadly suicide blast at a mosque in Peshawar, lawmakers from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) on Wednesday came down heavily on the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) regime over its counter-terror policy, the Dawn reported.

The report further quoted the Pakistan lawmakers as saying that the National Assembly was never at one with the counter-terror policies and strategies of the previous Imran Khan-led government.

They regretted the decision to negotiate with militants and resettle them in the country during the PTI regime, calling it ‘faulty’, said the report.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah of PMLN were quoted as being critical of the previous regime in the Dawn report.

The report quoted Asif as saying, "A message was given that talks could be held with them (terrorists)."He claimed that the briefings during the PTI days had remained ‘inconclusive’ and Opposition leaders were only informed about the decisions already taken and the National Assembly never endorsed them.

"Decisions made some two years ago had not been endorsed by this house. We were only told in the briefings that this decision had already been made. Now, who will be held accountable for the bloodshed?" Asif is quoted as saying in the report.

"We sowed the seeds of terrorism when the Russian troops entered Afghanistan and we provided our services to the US on rent," he added.

According to the report, Sanaullah said PTI had said there were 8,000 terrorists who should be given the chance to surrender as some 25,000 family members, including the children, were also associated with them.

Citing the recent rise in terror attacks across Pakistan, Sanaullah said "this decision may have been made in good faith but this policy proved wrong".

The minister claimed the PTI government released thousands of the militants from jails, including those sentenced to death, said the report.

"There is a need for the prime minister and the military leadership should take this house into confidence. There should be a debate in parliament," he said, asking the lawmakers to suggest a way forward, according to the report.

PMLN Senators Mushahid Hussain Syed and Senator Tahir Bizenjo also sought revision of policies pertaining to terrorism and Afghanistan.

The death toll from the mosque blast rose to 101 as the rescue operation to retrieve bodies from the debris of the mosque concluded on Tuesday.

According to Mohammad Asim, the spokesperson for the Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, 100 bodies were taken to the facility and 53 patients were being treated. (ANI)