Islamabad: Pakistan`s laws need to be improved
to control the activities of banned organisations, Interior
Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday against the backdrop of
concerns over a spurt in the activities of hardline and
extremist groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Sipah-e-Sahaba.
Banned groups were organising rallies under different
names, Malik said in the National Assembly, lower house of
Malik was responding to a point of order raised by PML-Q
lawmaker Sheikh Waqas Akram, who said outlawed organisations
were holding public rallies in various cities though such
activities were banned under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Malik said banned groups were also collecting funds under
different names and underlined the "importance of proper
legislation to curtail their activities".
A bill dealing with the activities of banned groups has
been pending with a Standing Committee of the Senate, the
upper house of Parliament, for the past two years, he said.
Law enforcement agencies need "more empowerment" to take
action against banned organisations, and the passage of the
bill stuck in the Senate is necessary to maintain a strict
check on the activities of such groups, he said.
Recommendations of all political parties will be
accommodated while making a comprehensive legislation, he
Malik further said "strict action" will be taken if any
evidence is found that a banned group had held a public rally
in the capital territory.
Lawmaker Sahibzada Fazal Karim too raised concern about
the activities of banned organisations and demanded foolproof
security arrangements for public gatherings to be held later
During a cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani directed the Interior Ministry to counter
the political activities of banned and extremist groups in the
Defa-e-Pakistan Council, a conglomerate in which the
Jamaat-ud-Dawah is the driving force.
Gilani acted after several federal ministers expressed
concern about the activities of these groups.
Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, a key accused
in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, has played a major role in
putting together the Defa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan)
In recent weeks, the conglomerate of about 40 extremist
and hardline religious groups has organised a string of
massive rallies at which speakers targeted the US and India.