ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said that the national plan of action on counter-terrorism is to identify and destroy hardcore terrorists and protect the people.

“We’ll take the war to the hideouts of terrorists... We’ll not only fight terrorism but also prevent it,” the prime minister said in a daylong follow-up meeting on the implementation of National Action Plan on counter terrorism and extremism, here at the PM’s House.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab and ministers including Ishaq Dar (Finance), Pervaiz Rasheed (Information), Ch Nisar Ali (Interior), Khwaja Asif (Defence), Ahsan Iqbal (Planning) and Abdul Qadir Baloch (Safron) attended the meeting. Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, ISI Director General Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar and ISPR DG Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa were also present.

Vowing to defeat terrorism, the premier said the country’s entire political spectrum is united in the war against terrorism and extremism and will achieve success by taking effective measures at the right time. “Our war is against hatred, fear and terrorism,” he said, adding that nobody could remain neutral in this war against terrorists.

Prime Minister Nawaz has also convened a meeting of the heads of all parliamentary parties in Islamabad today (Friday) to review the progress made so far in implementation of the national plan of action. The PM, in this meeting, will consult the political leaders to ensure implementation of the plan in letter and spirit for elimination of the scourge of terrorism from the country.

In the aftermath of the Peshawar school terror attack, parents of schoolchildren across the country await practical steps federal and provincial governments need to take in addition to just directing the academic institutions to take care of their security, as primarily security and creation of an environment where people live free of fear remain the state’s responsibility.

In Thursday’s meeting, the prime minister said his government would support the armed forces and the other law enforcement agencies to keep the country and the children safe. He said terror would be fought holistically through diplomacy, intelligence, law enforcement and military means.

He added that the government would make sure that there was no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbored them. “We will make sure the sacrifices of our law enforcement agencies and the blood spilled in Peshawar does not go waste,” he said.

The prime minister said elimination of terrorists from Pakistan was his mission. The whole nation as well as the political and military leadership was fighting the war of Pakistan’s security. “We are engaged in efforts to make Pakistan a safer place, so that masses can live with peace and without any fear,” he added. He said the people should rest assured that their leadership was conscious and watchful. He said terrorists were being chased in every nook and corner of the country and they will not find any place to hide.

The PM said the implementation of National Action Plan was being treated as top priority and he himself was holding regular meetings to ensure its swift implementation. Prime Minister Nawaz was briefed by the ISI DG and the interior secretary about the progress on the operation Zarb-e-Azb and the National Action Plan against terror. He also offered Fateha for the martyrs of Punjab Rangers and directed National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz to take up the issue with the Indian government.

Monitoring adds: Media reports said that the meeting, chaired by PM Nawaz, also discussed strategy for the establishment of special military courts to tackle terrorism cases in the country.

The government was previously considering making constitutional amendments to introduce courts of military officers.

But media reports quoted sources as saying that the government was now considering amending the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) 2014 in order to provide legal cover to the special courts.

The sources said that the PPA already includes a section dealing with speedy disposal of terrorism cases by special courts, which could be amended to introduce military officers as judges and the death penalty to convicted terrorists.

Sources said the top leadership was of the opinion that amending the PPA would also enable the government to build a broad consensus with opposition parliamentarians and to address their concerns.

Sources said the top government and military leaders finalised a legal strategy Thursday to present it at the meeting of parliamentary leaders on Friday.

Meanwhile, many national political leaders have confirmed their participation in today’s APC called by the prime minister.

READ MORE: A leather jacket

Pakistan People’s Party’s delegation includes Asif Ali Zardari, Syed Khursheed Ahmed, Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Mian Raza Rabbani, Rehman Malik, Farhatullah Baber, Sherry Rehman and Farooq H Naik.

PTI’s delegation will comprise Imran Khan, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Shafqat Mehmood, Naeem-ul-Haq and Shireen Mazari.

From Awami National Party, Afrasiab Khattak and Ghulam Ahmed Bilour will take part in the roundtable, while Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMLQ) team will be represented by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain Syed.

Senior leaders Farooq Sattar, Babar Khan Ghouri, Khalid Maqbool and Barrister Faroogh Naseem have been given the responsibility of presenting Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) viewpoint during the conference.

National Party’s (NP) Hasil Khan Bizenjo, QWP’s Aftab Sherpao, Fata Senator Abbas Khan Afridi, Baloch National Party’s Kalsoom Perveen, Senator Sajid Mir and MNA Ghazi Gulab Jamal from Fata will be at the meeting.

Moreover, Jamat-e-Islami’s (JI) Sirajul Haq, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s (JUIF) Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) Muzaffar Hussain Shah and PkMAP’s Mehmood Khan Achakzai are also slated to share their suggestions and reservations in the all parties’ conference.