Nisar denies IS has gained foothold

Updated May 17, 2015

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Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan addressing the gathering of notables of Kallar Syedan. — INP
Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan addressing the gathering of notables of Kallar Syedan. — INP

GUJAR KHAN: Denying the impression that the self-styled Islamic State (IS) group had gained a foothold in the country, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Saturday that peace would be restored in the country at any cost.

Shrugging off the possibility of a proper IS presence on Pakistani soil, he said that law enforcement agencies had tightened the noose around terrorists who wanted to drive a wedge between people through their actions.

The minister’s denial came a day after investigators hinted at the possibility of the Islamic State’s involvement in the horrific attack on a bus full of Ismailis.

Mr Khan was addressing a public gathering in UC Darkali Mahmoori, located in the Kallar Syedan constituency.

In remarks made after the inauguration of a Punjab government-sponsored and -subsidised bus service between Rawalpindi and Kallar Syedan, he said that it was the responsibility of the entire nation and the political parties to send out a message of unity and unwavering commitment to defeating terrorists in these crucial times.

He said that the law and order situation in the country had improved since the launch of military operations against terrorists. He said that from June 2014 till date, the country’s security agencies had conducted over 10,000 operations against terrorists on the basis of credible intelligence.

The minister also criticised the PTI, saying it was not a political party but a “fan club” that revolved around an inept figure, “just like the Q-league”.

He said the PML-N was making all possible efforts to revive the economy. When reporters, in a separate meeting, asked the minister several pointed questions, he denied the impression that there were differences between him and Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif.

When asked about his absence from the public eye when the PM dashed to Karachi in the aftermath of the Safoora Goth bus tragedy, he said that an illness kept him from travelling to Karachi.

The federal minister also inaugurated a 2km stretch of metalled road in Kallar Syedan city, which was completed at the cost of Rs120 million.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2015

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