ISLAMABAD, Feb 23: The government will soon approach Interpol to seek repatriation of senior commander of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, now under detention in Afghanistan.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters here on Saturday that Maulvi Faqir was involved in a series of terror attacks in the country. The government wanted his deportation from Afghanistan so that legal action could be initiated against him, he added.
The minister claimed that the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), which has claimed responsibility for recent sectarian carnage in Quetta, had safe havens in Punjab, and asked the provincial government to act against the banned outfit.
To a question about the Taliban’s talks offer, Mr Malik said they should lay down their arms to demonstrate seriousness.
About deteriorating law and order situation in parts of the country, he said provincial governments were primarily responsible for maintaining law and order because it had become a provincial subject after the adoption of 18th Amendment.
Praising intelligence apparatus for providing ‘timely, complete and correct information’ about terrorist activities, he expressed the hope that such information would help eliminate the scourge of terrorism.
Malik Tahseen Raza adds from Muzaffargarh: Talking to the media in a wedding ceremony, the minister said he would order the FIA to take action against the LJ if the Punjab government failed to so.
He wondered ‘why the Punjab government is not conducting an operation against sectarian outfits’.
He said there were two factions of the LJ, one led by Malik Ishaq and the other called Ludhyanvi group.
He said he had been advising the provinces for the last five years to keep watch on banned organisations and launch operations against them.
On a query put by a Shia leader about the perceived law enforcement negligence in the recent Quetta blasts, he said intelligence agencies had informed the Balochistan government and the Frontier Corps about the possibility of the attacks.
He said he was happy to read media reports quoting LJ leader Malik Ishaq as saying that his arrest was caused by a statement issued by him (Rehman Malik).
The minister had come to Muzaffargarh to attend the wedding of PPP MPA Irshad Ahmad Sial’s brother Abu Bakar.