Controversial statement: Malik ‘respects everyone in Raiwind’

Denies giving statement against religious centres; says his own relatives participated in tableegh.

Express August 02, 2011

ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be another volte-face, Interior Minister Rehman Malik categorically denied on Sunday giving a statement on Raiwind religious centre’s alleged role in nursing extremism and terrorism, saying his own relatives participated in the “holy cause of tableegh”.

Accusing certain political rivals of distorting his comments for political point-scoring, he said that he respected everyone working in Raiwind for their noble work and “could never have made such a statement”. However, he said he would continue to criticise the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) for its sectarianism even if his remarks hurt certain political rivals in Punjab.

“I don’t know why whenever I speak up against LeJ, certain PML-N leaders in Punjab get upset,” said Malik. About the four suspected terrorists arrested on Friday Malik said the group was involved in attack on the ISI Multan office.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.