Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday vowed to eradicate militants across the country as incidents of terrorism, claimed by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) over the past few days, grew.

Addressing a gathering in Dera Ismail Khan, PM Shehbaz said that with the help of provincial governments and security forces, the government would eliminate terrorism in all its forms.

He said that a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) would be summoned in a few days to take stock of the security situation.

The premier said the menace of terrorism was on the rise but the state would crush it very soon and no effort would be spared to prevent its return.

PM Shehbaz said the Bannu incident was heart-breaking and added that the law enforcement agencies conducted a successful operation, killing all terrorists who had taken over the compound.

“We offer our condolences; the officers and personnel who were martyred in the incident are our heroes, their sacrifices will always be remembered,” he added.

IMRAN CRITICISES GOVT: Meanwhile, former prime minister Imran Khan lambasted the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government for its “failure” to rein in terrorism after coming to power in April this year.

During a PTI meeting at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, Imran said that his government had “controlled terrorism and was proudly leading the country towards making it one of the world’s top tourism destinations.”

The PTI chairman appeared concerned over the situation at the Pak-Afghan border as well. He claimed that there was a 52 percent increase in terror incidents since April and chided the government for the resurgence of terrorism.

“At least 52 percent increase has been recorded in terrorism cases across the country that claimed some 270 precious lives and left over 550 people injured,” the former premier added.

Separately, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry told reporters that terrorism was returning to Pakistan.

In our stint in the federal government, he said, the PTI was proudly projecting Pakistan as the world’s top tourist destination and major news channels like CNN and magazines were referring to this South Asian country as a world’s top tourist destination.

Unfortunately, he said the nation was being pushed into the “fire of terrorism and the embassies were issuing advisories to their employees to avoid five-star hotels” in Islamabad.

ECONOMIC CRISIS: Speaking about the economic crisis plaguing the country, PM Shehbaz said the federal government was determined to steer the country out of the current difficulties.

The PM inaugurated multiple development projects, including 50-kilometre motorway section of CPEC’s western route from Yarik to Saggu, the rehabilitation of Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC), Tank Zam Dam, Chashma Hydel Power Project, and Gomal University’s Paharpur campus. He also inaugurated the repair work from Pezu to Tank road, D I Khan bypass, and two 132 KV grid stations for Abdul Khel and Band Kurai.

He said the plan for the western route of CPEC to Zhob was completed in 2017. But, the previous government of PTI had stopped this “important project”, he said, accusing it of destroying the national economy.

The premier also welcomed a suggestion put forth by Maulana Fazlur Rehman that an industrial estate should be established near the new airport. He added the ministry of industries and production would discuss the matter with the provincial departments and other stakeholders.

FILM FESTVAL: Separately, PM Shehbaz attended the National Amateur Short Film Festival in Islamabad and announced formation of a committee to find talent in all fields.

Speaking on the occasion, the premier directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to increase the number of scholarships from 15 to 50 under the National Amateur Short Film Festival so more students could get an opportunity to attend foreign training.

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