Monday, November 17, 2003

Pakistan grabs more

Pakistan has rounded up some more terrorists:

Pakistan rounded up dozens of Islamic activists, including a militant leader, in raids across the country after three outlawed militant outfits that had regrouped under new names were banned, police said on Sunday.

A police official told Reuters that Sajid Ali Naqvi -- head of one of the now banned groups, Islami Tehrik-e-Pakistan, and accused of involvement in sectarian violence -- was picked up in an overnight swoop in the capital Islamabad.

The authorities also raided mosques, homes and militant bases across Pakistan early on Sunday, picking up dozens of Islamic militants, another police official in the central city of Multan added.

Pakistan, a staunch ally in the U.S.-led war on terror, banned the renamed militant groups on Saturday, two days after U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Nancy Powell expressed concern over the re-emergence of these organizations.

Interesting that they raided mosques during Ramadan.

However, there seems to be some confusion regarding whether or not this was done at America's request:

Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali on Sunday said the government was striving to eliminate extremism, sectarianism and terrorism in Pakistan.

“It is my government’s priority to wipe out terrorism, sectarianism and extremism from Pakistan and to give the nation a neat and clean environment to prosper,” Mr Jamali told journalists at an iftar dinner hosted by Information Secretary Syed Anwar Mahmud.

The PM brushed aside the impression that the action against the banned outfits of various religious organisations had been taken under US pressure and said if the defunct groups re-organised under new names, their new identities would also be banned.


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