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  World   Asia  22 Feb 2019  Imran asks Army to ‘respond decisively’, bans Hafiz-led JuD

Imran asks Army to ‘respond decisively’, bans Hafiz-led JuD

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Published : Feb 22, 2019, 5:59 am IST
Updated : Feb 22, 2019, 5:59 am IST

It added Pakistan has sincerely offered investigation of the “incident” and dialogue on the issue of terrorism among other disputed issues with India.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo: ANI)
 Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (Photo: ANI)

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday authorised the military to “respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure” by India, but also banned the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.

A spokesman of the interior ministry said that the decision to ban JuD and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation was taken during a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) chaired by PM Khan at his office on Thursday. “It was decided during the meeting to accelerate action against proscribed organisations,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

But Prime Minister Khan also struck an aggressive pose and said that the Pakistan government was “determined to demonstrate” that it is capable of protecting its people and authorised the armed forces to “respond decisively and comprehensively to any aggression or misadventure by India.”

“This is a new Pakistan and we are determined to demonstrate to our people that the state is capable of protecting them,” Mr Khan was quoted as saying by the Radio Pakistan.

The move comes amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack that killed 49 CRPF soldiers, and intense global pressure on Pakistan to rein in the terror groups.

Days after the terror strike by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said security forces have been given free hand to avenge the dastardly act.

Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership said that “Pakistan is not involved in any way, means or form in Pulwama incident and it was conceived, planned and executed indigenously”, according to a statement issued after the NSC meeting.

It added Pakistan has sincerely offered investigation of the “incident” and dialogue on the issue of terrorism among other disputed issues with India. “We expect India to positively respond to these offers,” it said, adding that based on the investigation or any tangible evidence provided, Pakistan shall take action against anyone found using its soil.

The NSC urged the global community to play its part in resolving the Kashmir issue.

The decision to ban JuD and its charity wing has been taken just a day ahead of the concluding session of the Financial Action Task Force meeting in Paris. According to sources, India has intensified its efforts to get Pakistan blacklisted by the watchdog after the Pulwama attack, for not cracking down on terror financing.

In a video message on Tuesday, Mr Khan assured India that he would act against the perpetrators of the Pulwama terror attack if New Delhi shares “actionable intelligence”, but warned against any “revenge” retaliatory action.

India rubbished Mr Khan’s comments, saying disclaiming Pakistan’s link with terrorist attacks is an oft-repeated excuse by the “nerve centre” of terrorism.

In a statement, the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi on Tuesday said India was not surprised that Mr Khan refused to acknowledge the attack on India’s security forces in Pulwama as an act of terrorism, adding his offer to investigate the attack if provided proof is a “lame excuse”.

Ahead of the NSC meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Khan and Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa held a one-on-one meeting during which they discussed region’s security situation.

The meeting was attended by Army chief General Bajwa, services chiefs, heads of intelligence agencies, security officials and federal and state ministers for finance, defence, foreign affairs and interior.

Mr Khan also directed both the interior ministry and the security institutions to immediately accelerate actions on ground to ensure that militancy and extremism are routed from the society and the country.

Tags: imran khan, pulwama terror attack