Ban on Ansarul Shariah soon, says Ahsan

ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said that government will soon impose a ban on Ansarul Shariah, the terrorist group allegedly involved in attack on Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader in Karachi on Eid day.

He made the remarks at the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior. Ahsan claimed that all of the militant group’s members in Karachi had been arrested. He added that remaining militants, who were on the run, will be nabbed soon as well.

Iqbal said it was a major breakthrough and the government was committed to breaking the entire network of the group.

He said Sindh Rangers Director General Maj-Gen Mohammad Saeed had briefed him about the attack on the MQM-P leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan and the developments in the case.

The minister also said that every political party, including MQM-Pakistan, had political freedom. He added that no violent group or party would be allowed to spread anarchy or chaos in the country.

Later, talking to reporters in Islamabad, the minister said four key members of the organisation had been arrested.

“We have to carry out the National Action Plan (NAP) effectively and save young minds from menace of extremism,” he added.

The minister further said it had been decided in a meeting of top officials that a format prepared by the Wafaqul Madaris would have to be filled by madrassah students in every province.

“Important breakthroughs have taken place, Ansarul Sharia will soon be banned and the process has already been started,” he remarked.

“The organisation’s chief has been arrested too and other members are being tracked down,” he maintained.

The interior minister said the world did not side with US President Trump.

“Russia, China and European countries did not pay heed to Trump’s speech but lauded Pakistan’s efforts in the fight against terrorism,” he claimed.

When asked about MQM-Pakistan’s political activities, he said there were no restrictions on political activities in Karachi, but violent activities would not be tolerated.

In a talk with media persons, Iqbal expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the recent Awami Markaz fire incident in Islamabad, saying he had sought the inquiry report of the incident.