Mentors of terrorists based in Punjab: Minister

A Pakistani minister underscores need for action against Taliban in Punjab.

Peshawar: The mentors of terrorists are based in Punjab and quick action must be taken to dismantle their networks in the central province, a senior minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in northwest Pakistan said on Saturday.

Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who is also spokesman for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, underscored the need for action against the Taliban to dismantle their networks in Punjab.

There cannot be two opinions about the presence of the Taliban in Punjab province and action must be against "this cancer" Hussain told reporters.

"I have informed Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif about the existing threat of Taliban in the soil of Punjab," he said.

Close coordination among all provinces and law enforcement agencies is necessary to root out terrorism from the country, Hussain added.

Pashtuns are not terrorists and the community has offered maximum sacrifices while putting up a resistance against insurgency, he pointed out.

Hussain appealed to people to stand united against terrorism as unified action can help in tackling this cancer.

Pressure has been mounting on the PML-N-led government in Punjab to take action against militants referred to as the "Punjabi Taliban" in the wake of a string of audacious attacks in the provincial capital of Lahore.

Forty-five people were killed when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at Data Darbar, a Sufi shrine, in Lahore on Thursday.


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