MULTAN/VEHARI, Feb 24: Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday in Vehari that Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar were being targeted by militants to destabilise Pakistan consequently to hit the economy.
He said this at the opening ceremonies of passport offices in Jehanian and Vehari.
He said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) would launch a crackdown on Lashkar-i-Janghvi (LeJ) and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) if the Punjab government did not take action against them.
He said target killings in Quetta and Karachi would not happen if the Punjab government had taken action against the proscribed outfits.
“The nation must know who withdrew cases against (LeJ leader) Malik Ishaq and provided him security,” he said.
He said that maintaining of law and order situation was the responsibility of the provinces after the passing of the 18th Amendment and the federal government just shares information with provincial governments.
He said that the Punjab government should take action against 734 activists and leaders of the LeJ and Taliban as the FIA had provided information regarding them to the Punjab government.
“Punjab government should arrest all those people whose names on the list,” he said.
In Vehari, he told reporters that the spate of terrorism was linked with foreign hands because of Pakistan’s strategic location and nuclear assets.Mr Malik told reporters though the government was trying to eliminate terrorism, joint efforts were needed to address terrorism and extremism.
He said he hoped that the nation would overcome the terrorism with the help of law enforcing agencies. He praised the Punjab government for arresting militant Lashkar-i-Jhangvi’s activists.
He cited government’s Aghaz-i-Haqooq-i-Balochistan initiative by the government to address the Balochistan issue. He said the government had given representation to the Baloch people in departments, especially in Islamabad police. He urged the Baloch youth fighting law-enforcement agencies to become the part of mainstream Pakistan.
He said that government’s priority was to hold impartial, fair and peaceful elections in the country.
He advised politicians, particularly to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, to be decent while talking of PPP Co-Chairman President Asif Zardari. He said Mr Zardari had braved 11 years in jail for the cause of democracy.
He said the provision of basic facilities to the people of far-flung areas was the priority of the government.
He said the PPP believed in the politics of reconciliation and mutual co-existence and was ready to work with the PML-N government in Punjab. PPP MNA Natasha Daultana thanked the interior minister for establishing the passport office in Vehari.