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Lal Masjid’s Abdul Aziz provided security by PPP govt, says Nisar

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday, in an implicit response to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmakers’ criticism of his ‘inaction’ against Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Aziz, alleged it was the previous PPP-led government which had ‘provided Aziz security guards.’

In a press conference in Islamabad, the interior minister said no one was above the law “but the government cannot arrest someone just to appease a section of society.”

“I never said that there is no FIR registered against Abdul Aziz, he had at least 31 cases registered against him,” said the minister, adding that “out of these, 12 were of a serious nature.”

Nisar had come under immense pressure to take action against Aziz after four key legal documents, asserting that the cleric was an absconder, were presented last month in the Upper House by Senator Farhatullah Babar.

Earlier, in a policy statement presented to senate on Dec 30, 2015, Nisar had said that if anyone came up with documentary evidence against Aziz, immediate action will be taken regardless of political considerations.

Nisar told media Pakistan is investigating the attack on the Indian Air Force base and and a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed in this regard had met four times.

“A special investigation team will be sent to India to launch a probe and we will soon request the Indian government to allow the team a formal visit,” the minister said.

Nisar repeated his earlier claim that the militant Islamic State (IS) group is a Middle Eastern and North African group and has no presence in Pakistan.

He said some militant groups were using Daesh’s name to “grab headlines over their activities.” Nisar also criticised media for “giving headlines space to such claims.”

“Even naming these groups on media increases their profile.”

He also lamented that some politicians “are issuing statements regarding the group’s presence in Pakistan for the same purpose.”

“I urge them to bring any evidence of group’s presence in the country before issuing such statements,” said Nisar, adding that the DG Intelligence Bureau’s statement regarding the issue was misconstrued.


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