Abettors of terror: Crackdown begins in South Punjab, interior Sindh

Published: February 9, 2015
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Civil and military intelligence agencies have identified individuals as well as groups supporting militants. PHOTO: AFP

Civil and military intelligence agencies have identified individuals as well as groups supporting militants. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

Security agencies have launched a targeted operation against the ‘supporters and abettors’ of terror outfits in southern Punjab and interior of Sindh as part of the new counter-terrorism strategy.

A security official told The Express Tribune that both civilian and military intelligence outfits have identified individuals as well as groups that have been supporting militants.

The official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, disclosed that supporters and abettors of terrorists, including banned outfits, had been under surveillance following the approval of the National Action Plan (NAP) to deal with the growing threat of militancy.

According to joint surveillance carried out by civilian and military intelligence agencies over the past few weeks, South Punjab and parts of interior Sindh have been identified as the strongholds of groups and individuals supporting several militant outfits.

In southern Punjab, both material and manpower support comes mainly from Rahim Yar Khan, Jhang, Chiniot, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur districts, whereas in Sindh, Khairpur, Hyderabad, Shikarpur, Nawabshah and Larkana are the districts from where militant outfits draw much of their support.

Intelligence agencies have also identified individuals, including religious figures as well as politicians, who are supporting these organisations.

“We will take action against all of them, irrespective of their rank or association with any group or party,” said a senior Punjab government official familiar with the development. “No matter what the reaction is, we will take them to task,” the official added. “For us, the interest and security of Pakistan is supreme.”

At least 90 hardcore terrorists from South Punjab were rounded up following the crackdown against supporters and abettors of militant outfits. Most of them are members of proscribed outfits.

The crackdown in South Punjab and interior Sindh is seen as crucial to effectively dealing with the several militant organisations.

“The actual battle may be taking place in the tribal areas but the job will only be half done if the militant support network is not destroyed in southern Punjab,” said another official. He pointed out that military authorities had been working with civilian agencies to take action against abettors and supporters of terrorist outfits under the NAP.

Pakistan stepped up its campaign against militant organisations in the wake of the December 16 attack on the military-run school in Peshawar. Since then, both the civil and military leaderships have repeatedly stated that they would fight against all forms of terrorism.

Recently, top military commanders also vowed to target sectarian outfits that have posed a major threat to the country’s peace and stability.

There are fears that sectarian organisations will ramp up their struggle in post-2014 Afghanistan as well as in the wake of attempts by the Islamic State ultraorthodox group to make inroads in this part of the region. “That is why the crackdown in South Punjab is vital,” the official explained.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Lord
    Feb 9, 2015 - 10:02AM

    Seeing is believing . Lets See.Recommend

  • saleem
    Feb 9, 2015 - 10:58AM

    action should be taken against known terrorist supporters who are also politicians like Maulana Fazlur Rehman .Recommend

  • Aslam
    Feb 9, 2015 - 11:24AM

    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Feb 9, 2015 - 11:39AM

    @Lord:

    South Punjab was already a known hot bed for militancy, but the Punjab govt under PML N never accepted it, because these militant outfits, religious madrassas were bank rolled by the Punjab govt to keep Punjab safe, that is why it remained relatively safe than other Provinces….now the task is being spearheaded by the Army, Punjab govt has no guts to interfere…..they are signatory to NAP, thus have no choice but to allow operation…Recommend

  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Feb 9, 2015 - 12:06PM

    Uproot the abettors and causes of the terrorism from all over Pakistan in any forms and manifestatios and without any prejudices and differences no matter who are their supporters and chiefs so that terrorism could be ended in Pakistan….Recommend

  • Jalbani Baloch
    Feb 9, 2015 - 1:29PM

    Uphold the interests of the country and crush terrorists in all forms without any distinction or budging to political pressures. We want to see Pakistan free from all kinds of terrorists based on religion, sectarianism, ethnicity or nationalistic politics. Recommend

  • Anoymous
    Feb 9, 2015 - 2:13PM

    “We will take action against all of them, irrespective of their rank or association with any group or party,” said a senior Punjab government official familiar with the development. “No matter what the reaction is, we will take them to task,” the official added. “For us, the interest and security of Pakistan is supreme.”
    I sincerely hope they stick to their words.Recommend

  • Sameer
    Feb 9, 2015 - 3:08PM

    Welldone!! this is the most avaited step to be taken by the authorities to crush the devil mindset and supporters otherwise all the lives given for this will go in vain. Wish you good luck.. and I hope big names will not hindre in the process.Recommend

  • Patriot
    Feb 9, 2015 - 4:03PM

    Plz start this operation in Gujrat Distt. as well especially in NA107. You have a big fish to catch there.Recommend

  • Whiskey Khan
    Feb 9, 2015 - 4:14PM

    Southern Punjab has been the heart of terrorist problem, including target killing, religious killing,financing bombing. Taking serious action against these groups would bring some peace and normalcy in Pakistan Recommend

  • woody
    Feb 9, 2015 - 5:27PM

    Acknowledging the problem is a nice gesture – doing something about it is another matter. The real shame is that the Americans, Indians, Afghans have been asking you to do this for over a decade — this isn’t a new problem.Recommend

  • Hiba Siam
    Feb 9, 2015 - 8:29PM

    @ishrat salim:
    PMLn does not tolerate voilence. The army chief is answerable to the PM and the action across the country is being done as it is the demand of the masses and not of the army or any political party. PMLn is executing the demand in recognition of this demand as it is trully a democratic party.Recommend

  • Hamood
    Feb 9, 2015 - 8:40PM

    @Ishrat Salim, very nice joke. PMLN has been killing their opposition workers for decades. Some recent examples include Model Town, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi. Their ministers have been supporting LeJ and other banned outfits. Few years ago Shahbaz Sharif even said to Taliban that they shouldn’t bomb Lahore because their policies are the same. Your comment about army chief being answerable to PM made me laugh so hard that I almost fell out of my chair.Recommend

  • Farhan
    Feb 9, 2015 - 9:03PM

    Excellent… Lets hope this time it would be really done.Recommend

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