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Interior minister says Ansar ul Shariah largely been contained

Report in Pakistan Today, Sept 12, 2017
KARACHI: Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said that Ansarul Shariah has largely been contained and the remaining members of the group will soon be nabbed by the law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

Addressing the media after visiting the headquarters of the Pakistan Coast Guards, he said that the group came to light after an attack on Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Khawaja Izhar on Eidul Azha, adding that the country will soon hear the good news of the group’s elimination.

Expressing dismay at the trend of university graduates joining terrorist organisations, he said that the media, government and parents of students need to play their part in resolving the issue. He added that he has directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to take concrete steps to ensure that students keep away from ideologies which promote terrorism and militancy.

He further highlighted that youth, having access to social media, fall prey to such groups which create sensational and motivational videos to lure such youngsters into the pit of militancy.

The federal minister, stressing on the importance of ensuring coastal security, also said that miscreants, terrorists and smugglers have used sea routes to conduct their activities in the past. Therefore, it was important for Pakistan to consolidate successes achieved against terrorism in the past four years, he added.

Earlier, security forces had a few days ago nabbed Pakistan Ansarul Shariah Chief Shehryar alias Dr Abdullah Hashmi, who worked as an IT (Information Technology) expert and was an employee of NED University in the computer department. He received his Master’s degree in Applied Physics from the Karachi University.

Group’s Commander Sarosh Siddiqui, also a student of Karachi University and the mastermind behind the attack on MQM leader, had escaped a police raid previously.

The group has been involved in multiple terrorist attacks in Karachi and Mastung, one of the initial ones being the murder of a retired army colonel. Police officials also believe that the banned outfit was behind several attacks on police officials in Karachi in the past few months and an IED blast targeting security forces in Mastung.

Later, talking to media at a college, the federal minister said that “census is a national matter and should not be politicised.”

Irregularities in the census were highly unlikely he said adding that the process was carried out on two levels, by civil and military authorities, which then reconciled their results.

“If anyone has spotted any irregularity they should point it out and it will be looked into. We should avoid politics on this because it is a national matter and we should have a national consensus on this,” the minister said, adding that the exercise was not biased towards a particular province.https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/09/12/interior-minister-says-ansarul-shariah-largely-been-contained/

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