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Banned outfits active in Karachi, Malik tells Senate

January 30, 2013

Interior Minster Senator Rehman Malik debates on Karachi situation in the Senate. – Photo by Online/File

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday said three banned organisation are responsible of target killings and law and order situation in Karachi.

Speaking in the Senate in response to a point of order by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, the interior minister said Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jaish-i-Muhammad and Sipah-e-Sihaba are terrorizing people in Karachi. “It is not Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as a whole involved in Karachi killings. But, these are the splinter groups,” he said.

The minister also claimed that Ehsanullah Ehsan is not a TTP spokesman. “He is nobody but these are the hawks in these organisations who are inflicting terror on innocent people,” he remarked.

Mashhadi had mentioned the recent statement by the minister that terrorists were conspiring to launch massive attacks in Karachi in early Feb and sought explanation from the minister and background of his statement.

Rehman Malik explained that those busy in Karachi are different extremist factions and mentioned that when the interior ministry warned of an attack on long march of Dr Tahirul Qadri, the same Ehsanullah Ehsan withdrew his statement.

But, after killing of MQM leader Manzar Imam, he claimed the responsibility as a spokesperson of the TTP. But, it is evident that he is not working for TTP but for somebody else, said the minister.

He said internal and external groups are involved in Karachi situation and killers are paid Rs 80,000 to Rs 90,000 for each killing. “I have asked the intelligence agencies to enhance monitoring as well as security. I have asked the agencies that when they get any information, they should apprehend the suspects and take preventive action.”

The minister said he had reasons to suspend the service of the mobile phones and record is evident that when this decision is imposed, no incident of killing or other sabotage activity occurs that day.

He once again appealed to the parliament to enact anti-terrorism law and claimed that passage of this law will help control 50 per cent of terrorist activities as he also requested the house to provide him an opportunity to brief in-camera.

Malik further stated that killings in Karachi and Quetta and statement of Indian Services Chiefs are not a probability “but there is a theory of certainty.”

The interior minister said he did not mean to hurt anybody from his previous statement because he believes that everybody here is patriotic and peace loving.

“What I had stated was just a caution because if anything had happened the government was to be blamed. I am talking fact and my warnings and suspension of mobile phone service has averted many incidents,” he said.

He also offered the house to constitute a committee to whom he can show the statement and videos of those arrested. “I am talking facts. I never meant to terrorize anybody. I said what I was informed by intelligence agencies.”

The minister vowed to continue fighting against terrorism and said, “Whether I am in the government or not, I will continue fighting against terrorists till my last breathe.”

He invited suggestions from the members to improve the law enforcing initiatives in the troubled areas. “I will brief the house about all facts. Give me an opportunity.”

Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Mustafa Kamal and Senator Babar Ghauri of Muttahida Qaumi Movement demanded that if the minister and the law enforcing agencies are aware of the groups involved in Karachi situation, a prompt action should be taken against them.

Later, responding to the offer of the minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Ishaq Dar requested Deputy Chairman Sabir Shah to allocate time for an in-camera session of the house to have a detailed briefing from the interior minister.

The upper house of the parliament later evolved consensus to hold in-camera briefing next week.