Two more militant outfits banned

KARACHI: The federal government has banned two more militant outfits for their involvement in terrorist activities across the country, it emerged on Friday.

The move to proscribe the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Al-Alami came after recent attacks on sectarian grounds in different parts of the country were claimed by the two groups, said a senior official on Friday.

A spokesman for the interior ministry confirmed the development and said that the decision was made only a few days ago.

Referring to a revised list of banned organisations available on the website of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta), a senior official in Sindh’s security establishment said: “The two organisations were added to the banned outfits’ list on Nov 11.”

The updated list on Nacta website shows a total of 63 outfits that have been proscribed by the federal government.

“The latest addition came after series of investigations led to the fact that the two militant groups were actively involved in the terrorism activities mostly on sectarian grounds. Karachi has also witnessed a recent surge in attacks on sectarian grounds executed mostly by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Al Alami.”

The federal government took the final decision after feedback from different security, intelligence, investigation and law enforcement agencies and the same was forwarded by the Sindh police and its Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) mainly after the Oct 29 killing of five persons, including three brothers, outside a Nazimabad house where a Muharram majlis for women was in progress.

“Similarly, if you go through the recent history of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, they claimed the attack on the Civil Hospital Quetta that killed more than 70 people, including many lawyers,” the official said. “One of the curious things you would find in their jobs is that they are mostly active in the southern part of the country, posing a fresh challenge to the law enforcement agencies of Balochistan and Sindh.”

“So behind that decision, most feedback and inputs were given by the agencies of the two provinces which were hit the hardest by the activities of the two groups. I don’t think it would affect them but it would obviously help investigators and intelligence agencies to move against them proactively.”