Islamabad: It`s an "open secret" that numerous Pakistani organisations banned for their involvement in militant activities have simply developed fronts, a leading daily said on Saturday.
An editorial in the Dawn said that though the constant threat of terrorist attacks looms over the country and the world continues to describe Pakistan as an exporter of terrorism, "the focus of domestic authorities seems to be on all the wrong issues".
It said Interior Minister Rehman Malik has reportedly claimed that all terrorists arrested in Pakistan had visited the Tableeghi Jamaat`s centre in Raiwind. "While some militants may have been attending its gatherings, the group is a missionary organisation that has never been accused of violence, and, in fact, condemns it."
The editorial added: "It is an open secret that numerous organisations banned for their involvement in militant activities have simply developed fronts. Jamaatud Dawa, positioned as a charity, has deep links with the banned Lashkar-i-Taiba, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat is simply the new name adopted by Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, and these are just two of multiple such instances."
It went on to say that these fronts openly hold rallies and propagate extreme views; "in private their operatives remain free and continue to plot attacks".
Noting that an organisation is banned as its members have carried out terrorist activity, it said that in Pakistan "they are routinely acquitted or charges are never brought against them".