State 'involved' with terror groups like Jaish, says Pakistan minister

The admission by Mr Sanaullah about the Pakistani is expected to increase international pressure on Pakistan to act against all militants.

State 'involved' with terror groups like Jaish, says Pakistan minister

Islamabad: A senior minister of Pakistan's Punjab province has said the Pakistan government cannot take legal action against terror groups like Jamaat-ud-Dawah or JuD and the Jaish-e-Mohammad or JeM, as the "state itself remained involved" with them.

In an interview to BBC Urdu, Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah was asked why legal action has never been taken against anti-India groups in the province which were close to the "establishment".

"By pro-establishment groups if you mean JuD and JeM, then let me tell you that they have been declared proscribed organisations and they can no longer carry out any activity in the province," he said.

But the minister ruled out the possibility of any legal action against the groups, saying "How can you prosecute a group with whom the state itself has been involved with?"

Pakistan had repeatedly denied that it is patronising terror groups like JuD and JeM, which have carried out multiple terror attacks in India, contending that they are "non-state actors" who are not in its control.

The admission by Mr Sanaullah about the Pakistani is expected to increase international pressure on Pakistan to act against all militants groups including the Haqqani network, which is active in Afghanistan.

The last big terror attack in India - the attack on Pathankot air base on January 2 - was carried out by 6 suspected terrorists of Jaish e-Mohammad. But the Pakistan media, quoting officials in Pakistan, have scoffed at evidence presented by India showing the involvement JEM. An Indian investigation team, which was expected to visit Pakistan as a reciprocal gesture, is still awaiting clearance.

Also, Pakistan had refused to act against  Hafiz Sayeed, the chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the terror group Lashkar e Taiba, who is also the mastermind of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, which killed 160 people. He roams free in Pakistan.

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