Pakistan will not allow its territory to be used for terrorism abroad, says PM Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said his government will not allow the country’s territory to be used for terrorism, Reuters reported. “This government will not allow Pakistan’s land to be used for any kind of outside terrorism,” Khan said on Friday at a public rally in Tharparkar district of Sindh province.

Khan said his government is committed to implementing the National Action Plan, which is a plan to combat terrorism in the country, The Express Tribune reported. “Under the NAP we will not permit any armed group in Pakistan,” he claimed. “No country does this. This was decided by all the parties of Pakistan. Since our government came into power, we have decided that we will implement the NAP.”

Law enforcement agencies began the crackdown on banned groups on Tuesday, by detaining more than 100 people, and took control of 182 schools till Thursday. It added Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed’s organisations Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat to its list of proscribed groups. Previously, these groups were only on the “watch” list.

Pakistan also claimed to have detained 44 individuals linked to banned outfits, including Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar’s brother and son. Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14, which killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force soldiers.

On Thursday, Pakistan said it has sealed the Lahore headquarters of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniyat.

Khan reiterated on Friday that Pakistan decided to release Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman as a gesture of peace. “We returned the pilot because we don’t want war,” he claimed. “We decided that if you [India] have casualties in Pulwama we are willing to provide help. However, no one should mistake this for fear.”

The Pakistan prime minister claimed that minorities are targeted in India. “In Pakistan, it is our responsibility to ensure that minorities are equal citizens and will not be discriminated against,” he added. Khan said his government will not tolerate any injustice against the Hindu community.