Days after Pakistan witnessed a deadly attack on its security forces inside a Peshawar mosque, the country's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah admitted inside the National Assembly that it was a collective mistake to prepare the mujahideen to go to war with a global force.
"We did not need to make Mujahideen. We created Mujahideen and then they became terrorists," Sanaullah said while addressing the country's upper house of Parliament on Tuesday.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also speaking in the National Assembly said that the country's National Security Committee will decide on the operation against terrorists.
The Interior Minister also claimed that former Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had released members of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or Pakistani Taliban who were serving death sentences.
Sanaullah's remarks came after the proscribed TTP on Monday claimed responsibility for the January 30 mosque attack in Peshawar which left 100 people dead and over 220 injured. The explosion occurred in the mosque's central hall on Monday at around 1 pm after a suicide bomber blew himself up.
Pakistan's Interior Minister admitted the belief that the TTP, formally called the Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan, is an umbrella organization of various Islamist armed militant groups operating along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
After the Peshawar mosque blast, a faction of the TTP claimed responsibility for the attack but hours later a TTP spokesperson tweeted distancing itself from the claim and said their policy does not include targeting mosques.
Since November last year, terror attacks across Pakistan have been increasing after a peace deal between the TTP and the Pakistan government was called off by the proscribed group. The TTP was formed in the year 2007 by banding together several armed groups who protested against Pakistan's cooperation with the US in its war on terrorism. The TTP supported the Afghan Taliban's fight against the US and The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
On Tuesday, in the National Assembly Pakistan Interior Minister Sanaullah stressed that it was incorrect to think that the TTP was separate from the Afghan Taliban. He said that the prior policy to resettle the Taliban could not bear fruit and led to the current situation in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also speaking in the National Assembly blamed Afghan refugees for the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan.
He said that in the last 1.5 years around 4.5 lakh Afghans had entered Pakistan with valid documents but have not returned to Afghanistan. "Who is the terrorist among them, I cannot say anything about it," he said.
Khawaja further stated that Afghan refugees are present even in the smaller cities of Pakistan and they are in millions.
ALSO READ: Pakistan: Peshawar suicide blast toll rises to 90
"As per some reports, other than UNHCR reports, more than 1.5 million Afghan refugees are present in Pakistan," said Khawaja.