Sharif said the country is passing "through an extraordinary situation which requires extraordinary steps."

The history and the nation will not forgive us if we failed to rid the country of this menace, Sharif said in his address to a meeting of parliamentary leaders about the decision of the National Action Plan Committee (NAPC) to raise a 5,000-strong counter terror force.

The National Action Plan Committee was set up after the brutal Taliban attack on a military-run school that killed 148 people, most of them children on December 16 to suggest measures to deal with militancy.

Sharif asked the political leadership to take strong and decisive decisions to rid the country of terrorism, Radio Pakistan reported.

The Prime Minister said the gruesome attack in Peshawar has united the entire nation which is now looking towards the leaders to take the right decisions.

"The responsibility rests on all of us, and we have to take tough decisions against those who want to rip the country apart, those who are killing innocent children and have no mercy in their hearts." He said all political parties should demonstrate unity and discuss the concerns if they have any on any issue.

"We are ready to address the concerns pertaining to the imminent legislation," he said.

He regretted the barbaric Taliban attack on schoolchildren in Peshawar and said it was unprecedented in the world's history. Sharif said Pakistan has paid a heavy price both in terms of human losses and economy in the war on terror.

Sharif said operation Zarb-e-Azb against militants is progressing successfully in North Waziristan and there is a dire need to expand it to the entire country against those elements who want to destabilise Pakistan.

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