ISLAMABAD - The Interior Ministry on Tuesday decided to ask the Punjab government for launching a crackdown on the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a proscribed organisation, and its hideouts in the province without further delay as it was allegedly involved in the sectarian-based terrorist activities, including the killings of Hazaras in Quetta.

The decision was taken during a high-level meeting, chaired by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, held to review law and order as well as security situation of the country. Senior officers of the Ministry of Interior, FIA and law enforcement as well as intelligence agencies attended the meeting.

The analysis done on the basis of available intelligence and from strong indicators, the participants of the meeting observed there was a strong nexus between the LeJ and one of the factions of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It was also observed that the TTP with the help of LeJ was behind the sectarian killings in Quetta and around the area only for petty financial gains. The meeting ordered complete investigation into the visits of Ishaq Malik, the chief of LeJ, abroad. The meeting felt that that two former Harkat-al-Ansar terrorists who were supervising and handling the killings of the innocent Shias in Balochistan and other parts of the country. It also includes also the role of Asmat Muavia, who is operating in upper and central Punjab.

It is beyond doubt that there is no religious strife between Sunnis and Shias whereas the hostile elements are trying to create a conflict between Sunnis and Shias after killing of Shias. It was also examined that the Mastung area was full of elements hailing from TTP, BLA and LeJ. The intelligence agencies have also identified some of the camps of militants around that area. Accordingly, the FC is being directed to raid those camps without further delay and to ensure that they only raid on the specific information on specific targets to avoid any casualty of innocent persons.

The intelligence agencies also suggested that there was special conspiracy plan to kill Hazaras in maximum numbers to create unrest and chaos in Quetta and adjoining areas to achieve their nefarious designs.

The home secretaries of Sindh and Balochistan have been directed to monitor the entry and exit points of Karachi and Quetta respectively to avoid further act of terrorism in these two cities. The officers posted out to Balochistan from FIA have been ordered to be relieved with immediate effect. The FIA DG has been further directed to verify the antecedents of some agents working for their masters abroad urgently. DG FIA and IG FC to form a task force to monitor the border with Afghanistan and Iran to control human trafficking and movement of terrorists.

The IB DG has been directed to submit comprehensive report based on the available intelligence about the recent wave of sectarian terrorism. The two intelligence agencies (IB and ISI) have been directed to provide real time intelligence to FC and police to counter the recent wave of sectarianism in Quetta.

Security during Muharram was also reviewed and Secretary Interior has been directed to hold a preliminary meeting with all the Home Secretaries, IGPs and intelligence agencies to work out a plan for the entire country. The Additional Chief Secretary FATA has also been directed to take special measures in Parachinar to avoid any untoward incident. All the five provincial governments have been directed to send the progress report to the Ministry of Interior as to how many members of proscribed organizations have been placed in Schedule 4 of ATA enabling the federal agencies to monitor their activities.

The FIA chief has been directed to provide list of those who are violating ATA or they are already wanted by the law enforcement agencies.

 The meeting noted that all the members of proscribed organizations have been placed on the ECL with immediate effect.