LAHORE: Punjab Inspector General of Police Shoaib Dastgir has said the Counter Terrorism Department CTD and special branch were playing a key role in the elimination of terrorism across the province.

He was visiting the officers at the CTD Punjab Headquarters and Special Branch Headquarters at the Robert’s Club here on Sunday.

Mr Dastgir said the process of eradication of terrorism, especially its facilitators and financiers, should continue and there should be special monitoring of such groups and organisations which promoted extremism and sectarianism.

He said that delay in security clearance cases of citizens would not be tolerated at all and such cases should be cleared within the given time frame, whereas special branch should keep the district police aware of the criminals activities.

Briefing the IGP, CTD chief Addl IG Rai Tahir said there was 90 percent reduction in terrorism cases in Punjab in 2019, and no case of sectarian terrorism was reported in the province during the last three years.

He claimed militant organisation Lashkar-e-Jahngvi (LeJ) was completely eliminated from Punjab, whereas effective action was being taken against Al-Qaeda and Daesh.

Mr Tahir said as many as 281 cases were registered against terror suspects and their facilitators and 310 suspects were arrested during the last 11 months. “Five suicide jackets, 100kg ammunition material, 125 hand grenades, 200 detonators, 15 kalashnikoves, multiple pistols and bullets were recovered from them,” he said.

He said challans of 267 accused were submitted in the courts, of them 136 were handed down sentences, whereas the rest of the cases were being heard.

Mr Tahir said 173 accused were arrested for providing financial support to militants and Rs12 million were recovered from them. Similarly, 61 financiers were also handed down sentences.

He said the action was also being taken against the leaders and workers of the organisations banned by the UN and cases were in the courts.

At Roberts Club Adll IG Zaeem Iqbal Sheikh gave him briefing.

He said special branch was playing a crucial role in maintaining peace in the province and intelligence wing must be further empowered for timely provision of information.

Security and Admin DIG Rao Abdul Kareem, VVIP Security DIG Mirza Faran Baig, SSP (Survey) Irfan Amir, SSP (Security Headquarters) Hasan Afzaal, SSP (Intelligence) Shakir Hussain Dawar, SSP (Admin) Nida Umer Chatha and other senior officers were also present.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2019