ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan famously denies the presence of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) or Daesh in the country. But even before Wednesday’s attack on ARY News, opposition lawmakers had been saying in the National Assembly that he is not doing enough to counter the extremist elements who had visible footprints in the federal capital.

Talking to Dawn, ARY anchorperson Rauf Klasra said the attack on their offices was a reminder of how dangerous the country was for mediapersons. More disturbing, he said, was that the channel’s office was located quite close to sensitive installations such as the PM’s House, the interior minister’s office, and the offices of security agencies.

“If terrorists can attack here, then I am afraid no one in the country is safe”, he said.

The PPP’s Shahida Rehmani, Imran Zafar Leghari and Dr Nafisa Shah had spoken several times about how the interior minister is not keeping the city safe, even accusing him of “protecting terrorists”.

PTI’s Dr Shireen Mazari and Ghulam Sarwar Khan alleged that some extremists had even contested the local government elections.

Earlier this week, Mr Sarwar deplored on the house floor that not much could be expected of the interior minister if he could not keep a small city such as Islamabad safe.

“Illegal mosques and madressahs are mushrooming in the city, right under the interior minister’s nose and no one is taking action against them,” he had said.

In response, the interior minister had said the 28,000 students in madressahs could not all be expelled from the city.

About Maulana Abdul Aziz, he had said: “So far, the government does not possess incriminating evidence against Maulana Aziz, which is why he cannot be arrested”.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2016

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