Active recruitment: Law minister confirms Da’ish footprint in Punjab


Rana Sanaullah says 42 supporters of the group detained; about 100 left to join IS. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD UMAIR/EXPRESS
Rana Sanaullah says 42 supporters of the group detained; about 100 left to join IS. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD UMAIR/EXPRESS
FAISALABAD: 
While officials continue to deny organised presence of the Islamic State, also known by its Arabic acronym Da’ish, in Pakistan, at least 42 suspects with alleged links to the Middle Eastern terrorist group were detained over the weekend in Punjab.
“The suspects were arrested during raids in four cities across the province,” Law Minister Rana Sanaullah disclosed to journalists in Faisalabad on Monday. They include the group’s purported Islamabad chief Amir Mansoor, his deputy Abdullah Mansoori and its Sindh chapter chief Umer Kathio
The suspects were involved in setting up sleeper cells for Da’ish, which has set up a self-styled caliphate on large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq. The law enforcers also seized militancy literature and weapons in the raids.
Sanaullah added not more than 100 Pakistanis had left the country to join the Middle Eastern ultra-extremist group. “Our security agencies are making hectic efforts to round up people involved in recruiting for ISIS in Pakistan,” he said, taking a different name for the terrorist outfit. “We are making all-out efforts to strengthen the security agencies to effectively curb any influence of ISIS in the country.”
Sanaullah’s statement came a week after the counter-terrorism force busted a Da’ish cell in Sialkot. Nine suspects were arrested and weapons, explosives and laptops seized from them. A large number of CDs containing publicity material for the terrorist group was also confiscated in the raid.
The law minister claimed those rounded up in Daska near Sialkot on December 29 were preparing to leave for Syria. All the nine suspects belonged to Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), he added. The JuD, a local charity organisation, was put on the UN terror watch-list in December 2008 for allegedly carrying out the 2009 Mumbai attacks.
In reply to a question, Sanaullah said no direct association of the Daska militants was proved with Da’ish during preliminary investigation. “The arrested suspects were preaching and trying to get financial support in the name of jihad,” he added.
Lauding the role of the security forces in eliminating terrorism, he said although the forces were playing a vital role in dealing with terrorists, the government had yet to overcome the scourge of terror completely.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2016.

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Source http://tribune.com.pk/story/1022111/active-recruitment-law-minister-confirms-daish-footprint-in-punjab/

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