Says Lahore attack fugitive suspects nabbed from Taxila, Attock; two brothers of Lahore attack facilitator arrested in Bajaur; breakthrough yet to be made
in tracing Sehwan Sharif attackers
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday said the Afghan refugees are being used in terror attacks in Pakistan.
The minister said the civil and military leadership had decided to deal with the recent wave of terrorism with an iron hand. Talking to journalists after a high-level meeting in the wake of recent terrorist incidents in the country, he said those who target innocent people, whether they are inside the country or come from foreign lands, would not be spared.
Stressing upon the need for national unity at this hour, the minister said the same spirit and unity was needed today which was displayed by the nation after the APS attack, adding that our unity and resolve were our real strengths.
Chaudhry Nisar pointed out that the government had successfully fought a situation when, on a daily basis, 5-6 terrorist attacks used to take place back in June 2013. “Similarly, this time also we would face the challenge with the nation's support and prayers,” he said.
The minister maintained that the policies of the government pursued during the last three years and continuing operations against the militants had clipped the terrorist operations and their evil actions in Pakistan. He said the action against the militants had forced them to flee Pakistan and build their headquarters and training centres across the border.
Nisar said investigations into the recent terrorist attacks have established that a coordinated effort was being made to disrupt improving peace and normalcy in the country. He said that it has become very clear that foreign powers and their intelligence agencies were involved in creating unrest in Pakistan. He said that during the recent high-level security meeting, it was decided that even diplomatic consideration would not impede actions aimed at ensuring national security and peace.
The minister told journalists that all those involved in recent terrorist attacks in Peshawar and Lahore, along with their facilitators, had been identified. He said it has also been established that Afghan refugees have also been used during these terrorists incidents. “I appeal to Afghan refugees not to be used and identify those black sheep among them who facilitate terrorists and terrorist activities,” he said.
The minister noted the Pakistani nation has been hosting Afghan refugees for the last 30 years and has looked after them despite its own problems. “It is now the responsibility of the Afghan refugees to identify the black sheep who are disrupting peace of Pakistan,” he said.
The minister said the accused of Lahore terrorist attack were fugitives who were later arrested from Taxila and Attock. Nisar appreciated the work of intelligence agencies who had worked hard to arrest not just the main facilitator of the attack but all those who were linked with the attacks in Lahore within 24 hours.
Regarding the blast in Sehwan Sharif, the minister said that a significant breakthrough is yet to be made into the incident. He said no clue of the attackers has been found yet. He however observed that it was unfortunate that some people in order to hide their criminal negligence and poor performance were doing politics on this incident. He said that during the last three years, he had strictly followed a principle not to blame anyone or attempt making political gains against his opponents over terrorist incidents but the statements issued during the last 24 hours by a few political leaders of a party are highly regrettable. This, he continued, shows their performance and their mentality. The minister questioned that the security of Sehwan Sharif mazar was the federal government's responsibility or that of the provincial government.
Nisar said he had himself witnessed poor level of security being provided to Sehwan Sharif but would refrain from commenting on it. He said if such statements would continue, he would bring all the facts and figures regarding the security of Sehwan Sharif before the people of Sindh and the country. He said that he has never indulged in politics on the issues of national security as he firmly believes that such a tendency can seriously undermine the successes achieved by the law enforcement agencies and the army and people of Pakistan after rendering huge sacrifices in their fight against the menace of terrorism. “But negatively skewed propaganda and the agenda of a political party necessitates clarification,” he said.
Regarding measures being taken to cope with the situation, Nisar said the recent actions is the first response from the overall strategy evolved and the goals set during the recent high level meetings. He said more actions would follow to eliminate terrorism emanating from the foreign lands as well as against their facilitators present inside the country.
Our Khar correspondent adds: The security forces on Saturday arrested two brothers of the alleged facilitator of the recent Lahore suicide attack along with other several persons in Mamond tehsil of Bajaur Agency, official sources said.
The sources said security forces carried out action in the Barkalan village and arrested two brothers of Anwarul Haq, the alleged facilitator of the Lahore attack. The arrested persons were identified as Khalilullah and Hameedullah. They were shifted to an unknown location for interrogation, the sources added. They said the security forces also arrested several other suspects.
It was learnt that Anwarul Haq and his family was living in Lahore since 2010. The accused used to sell shoes in Lahore. The other three brothers of the alleged facilitator, including Abdullah and Waheedullah, have already been arrested from Lahore.
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