Action against banned outfits ‘not taken under pressure’: DG ISPR

Islamabad: Director General (DG) of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Tuesday asserted that the decision to take strict action against all banned individuals and outfits over the National Action Plan (NAP) was not taken “under any pressure”.

Arguing on the same lines, Dunya News quoted Ghafoor, while addressing a local television channel, as saying that the decision to implement NAP for countering terrorism and extremism was chalked out in December 2014.

“All the political parties agreed over National Action Plan (NAP). The actions have not been taken under any pressure as NAP is being implemented since 2014 when there was neither FATF nor Pulwama incident,” Ghafoor noted.

The decision to ban front organisations of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its sister organisation Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) was taken in January, Ghafoor said.

The statement by the Major General came a day after Islamabad vowed to take resolute action against all extremist and militant organisations operating in the country under the guidelines regulated by the United Nations.

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry on Monday directed all provincial governments to “speed up” action against banned organisations during a high-level meeting to discuss the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).

The National Security Committee had in its February 21 meeting “decided to accelerate action against proscribed organisations” and ordered re-imposition of a ban on JuD and FIF.

There has been mounting global pressure against Pakistan to cease providing support and a safe haven to terror outfits and terrorists on its soil, following the February 14 attack in Pulwama, which claimed the life of over 40 CRPF personnel.

Pakistan had proscribed JeM during the rule of General Pervez Musharraf but the outfit has been lately operating openly and its chief Masood Azhar roaming about freely.

During the interview, Ghafoor also stated that the Pakistani army is fully prepared to respond to Indian aggression.

He said that the Pakistan Air Force had shot down two Indian jets for their intrusion in Pakistani airspace on February 26 and arrested one of their pilots, who was released after two days as a peace gesture by Islamabad.

Meanwhile, investigations on the dossier provided by New Delhi over the Pulwama terror attack of February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir, Ghafoor said, adding that Islamabad in all possible measure would want to restore peace and security in the region.