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LAHORE: Officials arrested 42 suspected militants with alleged links to the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

"The arrests were the result of raids in four Punjab cities over the weekend," said Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah.

The minister said those arrested had been tasked with setting up sleeper cells for IS, and that those arrested include the purported IS Islamabad chief Amir Mansoor, his deputy Abdullah Mansoori and the group's chief for Sindh province, Umer Kathio.

The minister said the raids also yielded IS literature and weapons.

Sanaullah said the operation against alleged IS militants was launched after a raid last week in Daska district, when 13 other IS suspects were arrested.

The minister's statements come nearly a week after the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed busting an IS terror cell in Sialkot. The CTD said it arrested eight suspects and seized weapons, explosives and laptops, as well as a large number of compact discs containing publicity material, during the raid. An 'IS recruiter' was also arrested in Karachi earlier this week.

In December 2015, four well-educated men held on terrorism charges were arrested in Karachi for their involvement in the Safoora attacks, while their wives and their accomplices were accused of brainwashing educated and rich women through sermons and videos about the militant Islamic State (IS) group and other terrorist outfits.

An investigation report into the Safoora attackers in August alleged that the suspects were affiliated with Al Qaeda and IS.

Comments (36) Closed

Akram Jan 04, 2016 04:04pm

Sleeper cells should be put permanently to sleep.

Angry Pitbull Jan 04, 2016 04:07pm

Would you believe as per the pakistani official there is no ISIS footprints inside pakistan ...

Dr. Farooq Khan Jan 04, 2016 04:08pm

There are probably thousands. Go check out facebook.

Philosopher (from Japan) Jan 04, 2016 04:09pm

But our foreign minister used to deny the presence of IS in Pakistan. Isn't?

M.Saeed Jan 04, 2016 04:11pm

----and still the Foreign and Interior Ministers claim there were no IS operatives in Pakistan!

Faisal Jan 04, 2016 04:12pm

But there is no ISIS in Pakistan.

Jainy Jan 04, 2016 04:13pm

Government/ Army should conduct a large scale operation in Punjab like it is being carried out in FATA areas.

Threat Alert Jan 04, 2016 04:15pm

Good job done intelligence agencies. The success or failure of this war on terror will solely depend on the success and failure of our intelligence network. The best way to destroy evil of ISIS is to nip it in the bud.

Effective intelligence based operations need to be carried out relentlessly. If given free hand, this evil will surface up and it would even be more difficult to eliminate them than TTP. So there is no room for complacency for our intelligence community and other law enforcement agencies.

Sudhanshu Swami Jan 04, 2016 04:28pm

@Faisal It was not there few days ago. It just came and eliminated now.

Changez_Khan Jan 04, 2016 04:28pm

Hand over to Military courts for prosecution.

nabil Jan 04, 2016 04:41pm

Excellent result to secret agency and police dept, But who are the real people funding these sleeper Cells?

a Ali Jan 04, 2016 04:44pm

Ch Nissar there's no ISIS in Pakistan......... but one of your minister is stating otherwise.......... what next ?.

pk Jan 04, 2016 04:44pm

@M.Saeed You can't trust politicians words.

adnan Jan 04, 2016 04:55pm

dont trust Rana Sanaullah

Kabeer Jan 04, 2016 05:00pm

Why the Saudi stooges in Pakistan are now silent Saudi ideology of extremism and Saudi funding of extremist madrassas are now paying its dividends in the shape of Daesh (ISIS)

Zain Jan 04, 2016 05:21pm

Was is not sometime back that the Chowdry Nisar saying no ISIS in Pakistan ??

Asif Kashmiri Jan 04, 2016 05:34pm

Eliminate ALL of them - Period!!!

Aman Jan 04, 2016 05:53pm

We first deny....then ignore...then again deny.....and one fine day we accept we victim of terrorism..!!!

ishrat salim Jan 04, 2016 06:11pm

Yet the govt, FO & Mr Nisar, all are in the state of denial. Unless this is accepted, how do we go in for busting this looming menace, when it blows on our face ?

ishrat salim Jan 04, 2016 06:12pm

@Philosopher (from Japan) We do have any foreign minister. The denial comes from our foreign office.

Umar Jan 04, 2016 06:15pm

What about Ghazi who supports them most?

ishrat salim Jan 04, 2016 06:15pm

Unless our intel agencies infiltrate these terrorist groups, we will never succeed in eliminating these terrorist groups.

Jawad Jan 04, 2016 06:18pm

There is a theory in economics that even evilish activities create jobs in the country. These terrorists groups create jobs for thousands at the cost of civil unrest. More demand for rangers, more demand for security cameras, more demand for bullet proof cars, and so on. Let them exist, find them, execute them, and keep that loop. That loop creates jobs in the country.

Mike London Jan 04, 2016 06:41pm

According to the ministers there were no IS in Pakistan until last week?

Canada Jan 04, 2016 06:42pm

@Kabeer Because they are "brotherly nation"

Desi Dimag Jan 04, 2016 06:43pm

only 42?

DifferentPerspective Jan 04, 2016 06:51pm

Good job. Please spread this good work across Pakistan and not just Punjab. Baluchistan and Sindh next.

Syed Hussain Akbarii Jan 04, 2016 06:56pm

@Philosopher (from Japan) And also the Pakistan Minister for Interior Affairs. Why don't they act immediately after the first indication is given about the presence of several militant groups ? No the Ministers make it a matter of their prestiege and negate such informations. They stick to their negation till the cancer takes its roots. One example also is that of Lal Masjid about which the Interior Minister is still not accepting the facts that its cleric is speaks in favour of Daesh.

Junaid Jan 04, 2016 07:08pm

First, arrest the killers of model town Lahore massacre and Lahore mall road gang rapists. Give them exemplary punishment and then move forward to IS.

Cyrus Jan 04, 2016 07:49pm

IS in Pakistan is only recruiting party workers.

Cyrus Jan 04, 2016 08:08pm

@Syed Hussain Akbarii .... Those clerics want IS to do their dirty work for them. Clerics never get their hands dirty.

Jawad Jan 04, 2016 11:30pm

So the world is right about us

berni Jan 04, 2016 11:56pm

It's interesting to see many people who still believe govt or others are serious about elimination of extremism. They both thrive on them.

arif durrani Jan 05, 2016 02:52am

where r Rangers? Are they only for Sind?

Adnan Aziz Jan 05, 2016 09:11am

So there is IS in Pakistan.

My Analysis Jan 05, 2016 01:35pm

Why not they use technology to caught them. If those terrorist could take advantage of the technology to spread their ideology and recruiting persons then why not our agencies could do the same by making an IT cell and keep eyes on so many radicalized minds. I am sure anyone could track activities of such distorted minds at least social media is too open for that and you could easily guess what is going on with a particular person in social circle by his/her changing moods. Hope our government and security agencies could take this matter more seriously and work intelligently to counter fight with this menace.