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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s remarks about classification of banned organisations in the Senate on Tuesday sparked controversy, prompting the opposition to walk out of the house in protest.

Responding to the objection to his meeting with a delegation comprising members of a banned outfit, the interior minister said outlawed sectarian organisations should not be equated with those of terrorist outfits. He also stated that unfortunately sectarian violence had been continuing for 1,300 years.

Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, who spearheaded the walkout, said before leaving the house that the banned outfit whose head had been served with tea was responsible for this violence.

Examine: Perpetuating sectarianism

Talking to Dawn after the walkout, the MQM Senator said the interior minister’s remarks were surprising as some sectarian organisations were more dangerous and cruel than the Taliban. Accusing the government of promoting sectarianism, Mr Mashhadi said these sectarian outfits were equally terrorists.

Chaudhry Nisar said some organisations were purely terrorists while some had clash on sectarian lines, adding that these organisations had been allowed to contest elections during the previous government.

About the issue of enforced disappearances, he said the practice had taken root during the period between 2002 and 2008, but added that now it was neither the policy of the government nor would the government brook it.


Minister says sectarian organisations should not be equated with terrorist ones; tells reporters madressahs can’t be proscribed


“Now the decisions are taken by the government and in parliament, and not somewhere else,” he said, claiming that a number of missing persons had been recovered over the past three-and-a-half years and the government had made its policy clear in June 2013 when it assumed power.

Rejecting what he called the propaganda against him, his ministry and the government over the National Action Plan (NAP) and the internal security plan, he said he had briefed the house four times since March 5 last year. He said a new record of intelligence sharing with the provinces had been set.

Chaudhry Nisar said his ministry had even been criticised for the attack on the Karachi airport despite the fact that three alerts had been sent to the Sindh government and even the gate from where the terrorists were to enter had also been specified.

He asked his critics to ascertain the domains of the provinces and the federation while indulging in political point scoring. He explained that the federal government had no authority to go for operation in the provinces. He said the Centre had a good working relationship with the governments of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and he had never allowed the political point of view to affect the nature of this relationship.

The minister recalled that the decision to launch the operation in Karachi had been taken with consensus. He referred to his meetings with the Rangers director general, the chief minister and the governor and some political figures of Sindh in July 2013 and the statement of MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar on Aug 28 calling for handing over of Karachi to the army.

He claimed that he had pleaded for an operation by civilian armed forces with the chief minister as its captain and said the operation had been launched by the federal and provincial governments.

He said that at a time when the graph of terrorism was going up in the world, the situation was entirely different in Pakistan where the situation was improving with every passing day. He said it was for the first time in the recent history that the number of terror incidents across the country had gone below 1,000 in a year. And of these, there was no loss of life in 474 incidents. Chaudhry Nisar claimed that he had issued a statement in favour of the then Sindh chief minister when demands were being made for his resignation. He said militants wanted to create chaos and when dealing with the challenge of terrorism, there was a need to create unity.

He said he had chaired 142 meetings on counterterrorism and security over the past three-and-a-half years, adding that in addition to these, 44 high-profile security meetings were held at the Prime Minister’s House.

Referring to the military operations launched in South Waziristan and Swat during the PPP government, he said these were very effective but followed a backlash in urban areas with the number of terrorist incidents jumping to 2,000 in a year. He was of the opinion that the military operation alone could not establish internal security.

The minister said joint efforts had resolved a big problem to a great extent, adding that a major role had been played by the armed forces whose sacrifices led to clearance of North Waziristan. The war on terror should not be politicised and should be jointly taken to its logical conclusion.

Religious seminaries

Later talking to reporters in his Parliament House chambers, he disclosed that the Sindh government, through a letter written to his ministry, had sought proscription of 94 ‘suspected’ religious seminaries.

“This is something ridiculous. How can you proscribe madressahs?” he wondered. He said it was for the provinces to take action against the suspected religious seminaries.

Chaudhry Nisar said the most ridiculous part was that the list included the names of seminaries in other provinces, including Punjab, KP and Balochistan. He regretted that before the letter reached the interior ministry, the Sindh chief minister made a statement on it.

Earlier, Law Minister Zahid Hamid laid before the Senate the recently promulgated National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan regretted that the ordinance had been promulgated even after a session of the Senate opposed the lifetime ban on holders of public office.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif will respond to the questions about appointment of former army chief General Raheel Sharif as commander of the 39-nation Saudi-led alliance of Islamic forces, when the house meets on Wednesday (today) at 2.30pm.

Published in Dawn January 11th, 2017


Comments (68) Closed



pk Jan 11, 2017 07:51am

Walking out parliament is not answer.

Shri Dagar Jan 11, 2017 07:55am

I don't know what is worng with these people They never tired of violence

Iqubal Jan 11, 2017 09:11am

This should be applicable to whole world..

Saqlain Jan 11, 2017 09:15am

Very insulting and irresponsible statement from the minister. These statements encourage such groups to flourish and empower their agenda, which is to add more chaos and violence. As a human, I want to lodge my protest over these remarks.

Syed Ali Jan 11, 2017 09:21am

Little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

asadlateef Jan 11, 2017 09:40am

To touch these organisations at this juncture,will be disaster for the country.Govt is wise not to disturb them.We may use them on different front as and when required.

Sunnyboy1 Jan 11, 2017 10:03am

Terrorists are terrorists no matter what sect they belong to. To bad ignorants are ruling the country.

M. Ahmed Jan 11, 2017 10:11am

pathetic interior ministor

DIL DIL PAKISTAN Jan 11, 2017 10:08am

Rediculous remarks by Ch Nisar

Hassan Jan 11, 2017 10:14am

I don't know when we will learn to live peacefully.

Fayyaz Jan 11, 2017 10:23am

Amazing stuff!

M. Siddique Jan 11, 2017 11:21am

@asadlateef, Such organizations should be crushed once and forever. They have ruined the peace of this country.

US_roamer Jan 11, 2017 11:29am

Nothing more unfortunate for people then ignorant govern you.

Taimur Jan 11, 2017 11:39am

Now it is clear why National Action Plan could not be implemented. There is no seriousness on the part of the government.

WataNparast Jan 11, 2017 12:41pm

One of worst Interior Minister Pakistan has seen.

Haider Jan 11, 2017 12:57pm

Nisar Ali is an honest and reasonable person. His points are valid.

BAXAR Jan 11, 2017 01:27pm

@M. Siddique "Such organizations should be crushed once and forever". That is not the educated opinion of your elected government, hence of the people of Pakistan. If they think these organizations should live in peace and continue disturbing others, they will. What are you complaining about?

Merchant Jan 11, 2017 01:42pm

The interior minister does not know that banned outfits exploit sectarian sentiments to carry out terrorists attacks. The minister has failed miserably in restoring law and order and must respectfully resign.

Merchant Jan 11, 2017 01:43pm

@DIL DIL PAKISTAN childish remarks by Ch Nisar!! Absolutely insulting and disgusting!!

kings way Jan 11, 2017 01:53pm

How can the Interior Minister talk like this? Dangerous for the safety and peace.

Lal Jan 11, 2017 02:02pm

@asadlateef what a pity !

RAJA CHILL Jan 11, 2017 02:28pm

If you have ministers of this caliber you dont need enemies..

AW Jan 11, 2017 02:48pm

unbelievable statement in this day and age - where are we heading?

Merchant Jan 11, 2017 03:08pm

With regards to Karachi Airport attack, it was responsibility of Federal Government to take urgent immediate action to save life and property if the Provincial Governmenr led by Qaim Shah was not competent enough!!

alqalandar Jan 11, 2017 03:07pm

Worst home minister ever..!

kings way Jan 11, 2017 03:14pm

With such Ministers at the top, even God will not save.

Zulfiqar Jan 11, 2017 03:18pm

If sectarian organisations are peaceful, then why sectarian organisations are banned by Pakistan Government?

Houlbelat Jan 11, 2017 03:35pm

What if sectarian groups adopt terror tactics to do their nefarious jobs?

Aadmi Jan 11, 2017 03:46pm

Does he remember why they were banned in the first place?

Zia ur Rehman Jan 11, 2017 03:52pm

@Saqlain I agree. We should ban all organizations who introduce them selves along sectarian lines. Sunni or Shia. All of them

MIRZA Jan 11, 2017 04:03pm

Just Wow!,so this is people's mindset.

MIRZA Jan 11, 2017 04:01pm

@pk LOL what do you want then,fight them.statement is obviously divisive as @SAQLAIN pointed out

MAS Jan 11, 2017 04:08pm

"outlawed sectarian organisations should not be equated with those of terrorist outfits" wait I am confused, arent they the ones inciting violence and terrorism !!!

Riazullah Baig Jan 11, 2017 04:13pm

@asadlateef at what stage should they be dealt with please? I don't think that we could slide further down the chasm as we have already hit the bottom of the fall. There is now or never stage now.

Muhammad Jan 11, 2017 04:12pm

Why there is so concern about sectarian outfits why our Interior Minister has soft corner for the sectarian groups whereas everybody know that the sectarianism is the mother of most brutal type of terrorism because it involve the sense of divinity. sectarian outfits are more dangerous than a simple terrorist organization because they create division and hatred in the society, which is more injurious for any country than simple terrorism

Shahid Jan 11, 2017 04:41pm

Is he forgetting decisions in the SCP? Why do some end up there anyway?

Muhammad Jan 11, 2017 04:39pm

When Interior Minister have meetings with sectarian outfits and allow them to hold rallies and contest general elections and make alliance and do seat adjustment with them then what else you expect from from him

Fawzia H Jan 11, 2017 04:54pm

Ch Nisar has made a ridiculous remark. Sectarian violence is also terrorism. Don't understand why opposition walked out though. Is there nobody in their ranks who could have effectively retaliated.

Last Word Jan 11, 2017 04:58pm

After hundreds of lives lost at the hands of sectarian groups, the state is still giving them a clean chit is the most shocking phenomena. The minister should be asked to resign.

javed Jan 11, 2017 05:10pm

The Interior Minister is right; sectarianism is worse than simple straight forward terrorism. And should be classed separately.

ejaz khan Jan 11, 2017 05:07pm

Ch Nisar is wrong. What is happening in Iraq? Lebanon was another battleground for secretarial violence. Hate speech should be banned. Any party based on secretarial ground should be banned.

javed Jan 11, 2017 05:16pm

I am sorry to predict quite confidently the Ch. Nisar will go down in history as one of the worst Interior Ministers. This dubious distinction belonged unequivocally to Ch. Shujaat before now.

sak Jan 11, 2017 05:16pm

We should stop blaming other country just look at his policy which fully supported by his province.

CONCERNED Jan 11, 2017 05:18pm

Ch. Nisar is part of the problem. His thinking on sectarianism and his justifications on inactions clearly show that he needs to be removed if Pakistan is to become a peaceful place for its citizens. This is not the first time he has made "irresponsible" statements. He is always defending his inaction against sectarian outfits.

Shairuu Jan 11, 2017 05:33pm

Unbelievable, and this guy is interior minister. shameful comment

Diplomacy works Jan 11, 2017 06:12pm

And then some people complain about bad image of Pakistan at international forum. This is the reason.

X factor Jan 11, 2017 06:12pm

Good sense of humour !

ghaznavi Jan 11, 2017 06:15pm

Anyone who lifts arms, challenges the law and spreads hate is a terrorist and this also includes Shia and Sunni religious leaders instigating hatred by bringing up the differences.

VENKATESH V Jan 11, 2017 06:31pm

Any group that unleashes violence on innocent people is a terrorist. Unfortunately politicians are short sighted and selective.

Yawar Jan 11, 2017 06:46pm

No need to apologize for sectarian hate mongers

Yawar Jan 11, 2017 06:54pm

@javed "The Interior Minister is right; sectarianism is worse than simple straight forward terrorism." Javed sahib, I, as most others, understood his remarks to imply that a sectarian hate monger is not as bad as a terrorist. This is totally opposite to how you see it and how you would like others to see it.

From USA, S.A.Hyder, Ph.D. Jan 11, 2017 07:43pm

Those on our side can not be terrorists !! American philosophy applied word-by-word.

Omair Jan 11, 2017 07:55pm

This is not something new. Sectarian organizations and pro-establishment parties are partners since long. Molana Azim tariq voted for Gen. Musharraf's PML Q PM candidate in 2002 when he was short of a single vote. These sectarian outfits never utter a word against establishment. I am not surprised at this comment!

Merchant Jan 11, 2017 08:13pm

@ejaz khan 100% agree, hate speech especially using religious platform must be discouraged and banned.

asadlateef Jan 11, 2017 08:33pm

@M. Siddique First get Karachi fully cleaned and then embark on other adventure.

asadlateef Jan 11, 2017 08:45pm

@Lal it is easy to talk while sitting on the fence.

Shah Jan 11, 2017 08:48pm

Does anybody know what is the agenda of these sectarian groups, almost all have militant wings. Why these groups deliver hate speeches and threat minorities. This is the job interior ministry to ban these groups.

khalil Jan 11, 2017 08:54pm

So terrorizing minorities by these factions is OK as happened recently in Dulmial! Nurturing and supporting the religious extremists is politically expedient and has been for years. Pathetic mindset. And the PM makes different statement on the same day that minorities are safe.

Ashfaq Jan 11, 2017 08:59pm

Tragedy of Pakistani nation, our Interior minister defending these banned outfits calling them just sectarian parties is itself a great lie.Who is not aware of the fact that ASWJ and Jhangvi group are the mothers of Panjabi Tailiban, DAESH in Pakistan,

Syed Ali Asad Jan 11, 2017 09:11pm

The minister statement signifies how flawed the state thinking is and the helplessness in which the state organs have gotten themselves into. His resignation must be demanded immediately.

Nasir Jan 11, 2017 09:24pm

Is this a joke or is he serious ?

aga khan Jan 11, 2017 09:30pm

There is NO place of terrorism in ANY religion. Hence, outlawed sectarian organizations SHOULD be equated with those of terrorist outfits IF they terrorize and use violent acts to FORCE their teachings on naïve and innocents in any name of Religion and Cause.

Such outfits/clergies (so called 'good' ones) should be eliminated as well.

Guest Jan 12, 2017 01:18am

He is always right. There are some and some bad.

AW Jan 12, 2017 02:07am

After expressing what he believes; enough has been said. The PM needs to replace him with someone who can do the job

Syed Daniyal ahmed Jan 12, 2017 02:49am

This is like saying that we should deal with the root cause of the problem but we should only deal with the outcomes of the problem. This is actually the Taliban mindset of our political elite talking. These so-called baned outfits are the integral part of our electoral system, our democratic system, and are very influential on the mindset of our illiterate population.

malik humayoun Jan 12, 2017 04:11pm

Mr. Nisar Ali is an honest and reasonable person.his point of view make sense

true pakistani Jan 12, 2017 04:25pm

Extremely irresponsible statement by the Interior Minister.

Joe Jan 13, 2017 07:08am

Hope people understand difference between Good,Bad and Ugly. Terrorist is terrorist.