Govt to slap ban on Ansarul Sharia terror group

Published: September 13, 2017


Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday the government would soon slap a ban on Ansarul Sharia, a terrorist group involved in the recent attack on a Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) lawmaker in Karachi.

Giving a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control and his separate media talks in the federal capital, Iqbal said the anti-terror National Action Plan (NAP) would be implemented with full vigour and through coordinated efforts with the provinces.

Talking to reporters, the minister said four key members of the organisation had been arrested, while the law-enforcement personnel were searching for other culprits, who would be apprehended soon.

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“Important breakthroughs have taken place, Ansarul Sharia will soon be banned and the process has already been started,” he remarked. “The organisation’s chief has been arrested too and other members are being tracked down.”

Asked about MQM-Pakistan’s political activities, he said there were no restrictions on political activities, but violent activities would not be tolerated. Responding to another question, he said Russia, China and European countries did not pay heed to President Donald Trump’s speech but lauded Pakistan’s efforts in the fight against terrorism.

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Separately, the minister told the Senate committee on interior that NAP would be implemented through coordinated efforts with the provinces. He said it had been decided that all the provincial chief secretaries would meet once in a month and the chief ministers after every two months for the better implementation of NAP.

It had also been decided that a form prepared by the Wafaqul Madaris would have to be filled by Madrassah students in every province. “We should stop our educated youth from indulging in surge of terrorism and extremism,” the minister added.

Speaking on a bill moved by Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja, the minister said there should be punishment for the person attempting to commit suicide, stressing that it would serve as deterrence for those having suicidal thoughts.

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“Legislation on the issue of suicide should be in accordance with the spirit of the prevailing laws and no exemptions should be given,” he told the senators. “Suicide is forbidden in our religion and the law,” he added.

However, Khawaja, the mover of the bill, said that persons attempting suicide needed treatment and not punishment. Senator Javed Abbasi supported Khawaja saying those trying to end their lives needed sympathy.

Senator Rehman Malik, who is the chairman of the committee, told the participants that the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) had informed him that funeral prayers could not be offered for those committing suicide.

About a recent fire incident in Islamabad, Malik underscored the need for fire safety measures in the high rise buildings in federal capital. The committee also offered Fateha for Rohingya Muslims, killed in violence in Myanmar.

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