India’s RAW ‘hiring local criminals’ to carry out bomb attacks in Pakistan, says Sh Rashid

ISLAMABAD – Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Monday informed the Senate that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had been hiring local criminals to carry out sabotage activities in Pakistan. 

Winding up the debate on a motion regarding increasing incidents of terrorism in the country, the minister reiterated that no talks were underway with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as demands of the group were against the country’s security interests. 

He said that the terrorists behind Lahore’s Johar Town blast that occurred in June last year were launched by India. He further said that recently held local criminals by country’s security forces have disclosed that they were hired by RAW to carry out terrorism in Pakistan. 

“India has faced worst defeat in Afghanistan,” he said adding that it did not see that Pakistan has good relations with the Taliban.  

Sheikh Rashid said that terrorists involved in Dasu and Gwadar attacks have been arrested. He said that counter terrorism departments are monitoring the terrorist activities in Sindh and Punjab, while this job is being looked after by 10 and 11 Corps of the Pakistan Army in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

The interior minister said that Taliban had assured the government that TTP would not be allowed to use Afghanistan’s soil against Pakistan. He said that the government was ready to hear only those who want to come within the ambit of the Constitution and law. He made it clear that no talks with TTP are taking place at the moment.  

“Those who talk against the integrity of the country, they would be dealt with iron hand,” he said. He added that Pakistan would not allow terrorism in the country at any cost. He also agreed that there should be a unanimous narrative against terrorism.  

Speaking on the politics, Sheikh Rashid said that there was no harm in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement that he would become even more dangerous for the opposition if forced out of office.  

He again requested the opposition to reconsider their protest march from 23rd March this year to any other appropriate date. He said there would be a very high-profile movement on March 23 because of Pakistan Day parade and OIC Foreign Ministers meeting. He also said that there was a threat of terrorist attack on the opposition’s march and they should reconsider their decision. 

Earlier, the opposition taking part in the debate criticized the government for adopting the policy of appeasement towards the terrorist outfits. The opposition lawmakers voiced their concern over talks with the TTP. They also criticized the statement of PM Imran Khan that he would be more lethal if forced out of the government. 

Parliamentary leader of the PPP in the House Sherry Rehman who opened the debate sought an explanation from the treasury on how a sitting prime minister says he will decide who is leader of opposition or who is not. 

“This is not his decision, nor is it his prerogative. Members of Parliament are elected by the people of Pakistan, who are sovereign according to the Constitution of Pakistan,” she said. She said that it was the sovereign right of the people to elect their representatives. 

She also came down hard on the Prime Minister what she said that he was constantly resorting to blaming either the previous rulers, or external circumstances for all the bad things happening under his rule. 

“On the one hand, we have calls for a presidential system which has broken Pakistan in two, and on the other, we have the bizarre and unedifying spectacle of a prime minister threatening an entire nation and state that he will cause havoc if he is removed,” she remarked.  

Leader of the House in the Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem in his response defended PM Khan and said that he has just showed opposition the mirror. 

“Who will threaten this incompetent opposition,” he asked. He said the opposition was criticizing the economic policies of the government, ignoring the fact that a growth rate of 5.37 percent has been recorded despite pandemic.

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