Punjab govt patronising banned militant groups

ISLAMABAD - Interior minister Rehman Malik has said that banned sectarian outfits have extensive presence in Punjab and accused the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of patronising these organisations.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Tue 26 Feb 2013, 12:33 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:34 PM

Talking to reporters here, Malik said the provincial government led by Shahbaz Sharif has been soft on terrorist outfits and wants to use them for support during coming elections.

He said the Punjab government released top leader of banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) malik Ishaq after which killings of Shia Hazaras in Quetta increased sharply.

“LeJ has safe havens in the Punjab,” Malik said and urged the provincial government to take action against the criminals of the banned outfit. He also asked the LeJ leadership to lay down arms.

Malik Ishaq was placed under preventive detention for one month on Friday.

To a question, the minister said that top Taleban commander Maulvi Faqir would be repatriated from Afghanistan through Interpol. He said the government would soon send a request to the Interpol to provide help for handing over the Taleban commander to the law enforcing agencies of Pakistan.

Malik said that Maulvi Faqir was behind a series of terror attacks in Pakistan, adding that the government wanted his deportation to Pakistan so that action could be initiated against him in accordance with the law. When asked about Taleban’s dialogue offer, Malik said first they (Taleban) should demonstrate seriousness for talks by surrendering their arms.

To another question, he said both the government and opposition would decide about the composition of interim set-up and hoped that they would reach an agreement in this regard with mutual understanding.

Reacting sharply to Malik’s allegations, Shahbaz Sharif said that Malik was shifting the buck to the Punjab government for failure to curb terrorism in Karachi and Quetta.

PML-N spokesman Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that Malik Ishaq was arrested twice and that too by the Punjab government of Shahbaz Sharif, first time in 1997 and now again in his present tenure. Therefore, he said, Rehman Malik is levelling false allegations only for political purposes.

Pervaiz Rashid said this was an open secret that 11 arm licences issued to Malik Ishaq and his two sons Malik Usman and Malik Haq Nawaz related to Sindh and Balochistan governments of the PPP.

Similarly, the licences of prohibited bores were also issued to Malik Ishaq by the federal government, he added.

Meanwhile, Punjab Police have so far detained 50 members of the defunct Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in a crackdown across the province in the last few days. The arrests have been made in the wake of recent Quetta blasts and a direction issued by the interior ministry.

news@khaleejtimes.com


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