‘Unprecedented’ crackdown launched against banned outfits: Afridi

Minister says political parties, religious scholars taken on board


Naeem Asghar April 04, 2019
A file photo of Shehryar Afridi. PHOTO:ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi said on Thursday that the federal and provincial governments had launched an unprecedented crackdown on banned outfits and all political stakeholders were on board on the issue.

"The decision to take action against proscribed organisations is our own. It was adopted under the National Action Plan (NAP), which was signed by all political forces in 2014,” the minister told a group of diplomats.

“Nobody would be allowed to challenge the writ of the State. Our land would not be allowed to be used against any country," he added.

Afridi said all key stakeholders, including opposition and religious parties, had been taken on board for launching the clampdown on proscribed organisations.

Ministerial and secretarial level committees, which include religious clerics, have been formed for the crackdown.

Referring to the government's action against non-State actors, the minister said the handling of protests in the wake of the Aasia Bibi verdict had sent a loud and clear message that such elements would not be dictating the terms now.

"The crackdown against Tehreek-e-Labbaik was an example of the State's resolve against extremism. It has also been lauded by opposition parties and the global community,” Afridi maintained.

“The action against banned outfits has nothing to do with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In fact, it is for the sake of our future generations,” he added.

Afridi said Prime Minister Imran Khan had met leading religious scholars from different schools of thought.  The religious leaders, he added, had assured the prime minister that they would stand by the decisions made by the federal government.

The minister urged the diplomats to play a positive role in projecting Pakistan's true image.

Afridi also informed the diplomats that the government was taking action against human trafficking, money laundering and drug smuggling.

PM, army chief for implementation of NAP in ‘letter and spirit’

“We are fencing our borders and all exit and entry points are being monitored,” the minister explained.

“We are also monitoring banking channels besides launching action against Hawala and Hundi (illegal money transfer practices),” he added. “We have choked currency movement from all airports and officials of the Customs, the FIA, the Anti-Narcotics Force and the Airport Security Force are taking strict measures.”

The minister also maintained that the government was ensuring the provision of equal rights to members of religious minorities and action was being taken against the alleged abduction of two Hindu girls in Ghotki district of Sindh.

He assured the diplomats that whosoever is found involved in wrongdoing in the incident would be taken to task.

Speaking about the new visa regime, Afridi said the government wanted to facilitate investors, tourists and adventurists as Pakistan was blessed with world's most exciting tourist destinations.

NGOs

Speaking at a separate event, Afridi said the government would not allow any non-governmental organisation (NGO) to advance some political agenda in the name of social development.

A new framework has been chalked out under which NGOs will have to register themselves. The minister also said fencing on the Pak-Iran border would be completed soon.

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