ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid on Thursday said that no armed group would be allowed to dictate its agenda and disturb the peace of the country.

Rashid said this while addressing a candlelight vigil ceremony organised by the National Broadcasting Corporation [PBC] to pay tributes to martyrs of the deadly terrorist attack on Peshawar Army Public School.  The minister said the country has resolved that it would not allow the formation of armed groups to dictate to the nation about its way of life and relations with neighbours. At the same time, he said that it is prerogative of the people of Pakistan and the elected parliament as to what system should be enforced in the country.  He said that it was because of the sacrifices rendered by the children in Peshawar and the people of Pakistan that the country has united against terrorism. "It is time for us to have some self-accountability as to where and why we erred," he added.

The minister said that losses after a natural calamity can be forgotten but those which happen due to own mistakes cannot be forgotten.

The loss of people of Peshawar cannot be narrated in words and several generations would feel the pain of this tragedy, he added.  While referring to All Parties Conference [APC], organized by the government to formulate national plan of action against terrorism, the minister said that consensus reached during the meeting of parliamentary leaders would serve as a journey 'from darkness to the light'.

The minister said only those institutions authorised by the Constitution have the right and responsibility to possess the gun and use it to defend the country and its people. "No other group or militant organisation can be given this right," he said.  "By remembering tragedies like Peshawar, we can learn from the mistakes of the past and reflect how to prevent them in future," he added.

He said that the militants even did not spare bazaars, mosques, defence installations or hospitals. He said with unity and collective wisdom future tragedies can be prevented.