LONDON: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that Tablighi missionary centre in Raiwaind is the breeding ground of extremism and terrorism in Pakistan as the centre has a major role in brainwashing the extremists.
Senator Rehman Malik told the audience at the security think-tank International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) while speaking on the topic of “Countering Extremism in South Asia”.
Rehman Malik said that all the terrorists arrested in Pakistan had three elements in common: they have visited the missionary Tablighi centre in Lahore’s Raiwind; their close family members have taken part in Afghan war of the Soviet era and they have been to one of the more than 25,000 madrassahs which have mushroomed in Pakistan following the USA and Pakistan’s joint war against the Communist USSR.
Malik spoke at length about the rise of religious and ethnic extremism in Pakistan and India, nexus of Al-Qaeda, Pakistani Taliben and sectarian groups such as Lashkare-e-jehangvi and Lashkar-e-Jehnagvi from the mainland Pakistan and how Al-Qaeda couldn’t operate in Pakistan without the help of Pakistani originated groups.
He said the terrorism inside Pakistan was being financed from outside and named both India and Afghanistan as the sponsors of terrorist mayhem in Pakistan but claimed that relations with Afghanistan had improved a lot in the last few months and that Afghanistan had listened to the concern of Pakistan - and some international friends - and asked Baloch leader Bharmdagh Bugti to leave its soil.
“We have signatures. We know that it’s coming from outside because a mullah cannot use laser guided missiles, internet and other sophisticated weapons. There is a support and this support was identified to us during our probe into Bombay blasts. The entire IT work telephonic emails were used from the outside in Afghanistan,” Malik said in reference to the anti-Pakistan elements, especially the Indian factor, were involved in proxy war inside Pakistan.
He appealed to the world to help Pakistan in this fight and don’t hurt Pakistan by refusing to acknowledge its role in the war on terror and instead express doubts on Pakistan’s commitment.
Rehman Malik said that he will not meet with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain as the leadership had not asked him to hold talks. “I have no such plan as I I am here to attend my son’s bar-at-law ceremony and this is my private visit,” Rehman said, indicating that some kind of tension still exists between the two sides as this would be rare of Mr malik not to have held talks with the UK based leadership of the MQM. He chose to send good
wishes to the MQM leader through the media. “Altaf Hussain is my friend and brother and I convey my best wishes to him through you (media). He has played a great role in the restoration of normalcy in Pakistan and was very helpful in urging his workers to stay peaceful,” said Malik but also added that foreign elements had a hand in Karachi disturbances.
He said that the problem of Karachi needs a political solution and the capacity of the policy should be strengthened to curb violence but also the Sindh provincial government should take the responsibility. He hoped that the committee formed by the government to look into the Karachi matters will make its findings public.
He said the weapons recovered from Karachi didn’t have anything to do with Israel beyond the fact that they were made in Israel but then he claimed that weapons from many countries are being used in Pakistan and nationals of countries such as China and Maldivers, as well as from many Muslim countries, were found to be training Pakistani extremists.
He asserted that Pakistan should not be left alone to deal with this menace as extremism is a problem spreading around the world so a united strategy must be evolved.
In response to a question asked by The News, Malik said that Lahskar-e-Jahangvi leader Malik Ishaq is a terrorist and was given life imprisonment which he has already completed but after being released from the court he “is under observation.
Answering a question about PML-N’s recent convention in Islamabad which saw the PML-N leadership calling names to the president of Pakistan, Malik said it looked like the Muslim League (N) leadership doesn’t have control over its workers. “We should tolerate each and respect the mandate of the Pakistan People’s Party,” Malik said, also reminding the PML-N of the times when they were all in exile in London. Malik alleged that the since separating from the federal government, the PML-N leaders were busy full time creating problems for the PPP government.