Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made his first televised address to the nation since taking office after winning elections in May. He called for dialogue with extremists to put an end to violence that has left thousands of people dead in the country over the past several years. But he also refused to rule out the use of force.
He said, “My offer of reconciliation and rapprochement is not for political parties and leaders alone. I would like to take a step forward and also invite those elements for dialogue with those who have adopted the path of extremism.
The government has more than one option to tackle the issue of terrorism, but it is wiser to adopt a path in which further innocent lives are not lost. I want to put an end to this bloodshed as soon as possible, whether this is done at the negotiating table or through the use of full-fledged state force.”