Saturday 9 March 2019 2:32 AM UTC
ISLAMABAD March 9: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan today said no terror group would be allowed to operate on Pakistani soil and carry out attacks abroad, days after his government began a crackdown against terror organisations.
“This government will not allow Pakistan’s land to be used for any kind of outside terrorism,” Imran Khan said while addressing a public rally in southern Pakistan.
“We will not allow any terror group to function in our country now,” he added.
Pakistan began a crackdown against terror groups this week amid growing international pressure in the wake of the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed. The attack was claimed by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The terror attack led to rising tensions between India and Pakistan. The Indian Air Force struck a Jaish terror training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot; Pakistan retaliated the next day by targeting Indian military installations which led to an aerial dogfight between jets of the two nations.
The United States, Britain, and many other nations are urging Pakistan to act against anti-India terror groups.
Pakistan has a history of using Islamist groups to pursue foreign policy aims in the region, but it has denied India’s accusations it actively supports terrorists fighting Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Monday, Pakistan announced a new crackdown against terrorists and by Thursday, 182 religious schools run by banned groups had been seized, and more than 120 people detained.
Pakistani governments have in the past made similar pledges to stop terror attacks being launched from its soil, notably in early 2002, after a raid by Pakistani-based terrorists on Indian parliament brought the two countries to the brink of war.
Crackdowns have been launched with fanfare but faded out after a while, with the proscribed groups able to survive and continue their operations.
Given the history, India has been sceptical about Pakistan’s latest steps to dismantle terror groups, with Indian officials calling the action cosmetic.
But Imran Khan said there was a huge desire to build a peaceful and stable Pakistan.
“We will not allow any terror group to function in our country now,” he said.
Pakistani officials say this crackdown is part of a long-planned drive and not a response to Indian anger.
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