LAHORE - PPP Senator Taj Haider yesterday said that a nexus between the military establishment and some extremist groups still existed in Pakistan notwithstanding the ongoing operation against the terrorists.

“The extremist groups they {Establishment} had created are still operating with impunity,” he said while talking to The Nation.

Taj Haider said that PPP was still getting threats from extremists but it would continue its election campaign. “Jiyalas would not lose heart. They would run the party campaign”, he remarked.

The Nation asked him if the PPP still feared attacks from terrorists on its election rallies as was the situation at the time of 2013 general elections.

He was also asked if the ongoing military operation had made any difference when the PPP was again in the election campaign after two-and-half years.

“The unholy alliance among the Army, Nawaz Sharif and Taliban did not let the PPP candidates to hold even a corner meeting in the last elections”, he observed, adding, that he did not see any drastic change in the situation especially with regard to the PPP.

Senator Taj Haider, who is also General Secretary of party’s Sindh chapter, was here in Lahore on Thursday to participate in the PPP’s election rally to win support for party candidate Barrister Amir Hassan.

“People would now see that Taj Bhai has come here in Punjab wearing a jogger which symbolizes struggle”, he said, adding, that election campaign would continue despite all odds.

The PPP leader doubted the resolve shown by the establishment to curb extremism.

“Their policy to keep the PPP under terrorist threats has not changed”.

To substantiate his point, the PPP Senator said: “Two sons of Lal Masjid Khateeb arrested earlier on charges of terrorism have been set free on bail. But Dr Asim Hussain who has no established links with terrorists is under detention just because he belongs to the PPP”.

In an obvious reference to the PML-N and the PTI, he said that establishment-created right wing parties in Pakistan who were now vying to get close to establishment to remain in power.

On Taliban and the military action against them, Taj said: “They are now facing internal strife and anarchy because they have no philosophy to adhere to. Every creation is set to fight against its supporter”.

Taj said he saw a conducive environment in Punjab to initiate struggle against extremism.

“There is broader consensus in Punjab against extremism and it is time political parties and the civil society get their acts together to defeat the extremist forces”, he added.

Senator Taj did not agree with the supposition that PPP had vanished from Punjab. “It is very much there. What needs to be done is to chalk out a work plan and to implement it in its true spirit. Lower party cadres can make the difference”, he maintained.