Pak assurances to clamp down on banned outfits mere promises?

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Karachi, June 15(ANI): Despite repeated assurances and announcements by the Pakistan government to come down hard on banned groups in the country, the facts reveal that the reality is completely different, with anti-social elements and organisations regularly being seen enjoying the patronage of the country's leadership.

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has once again warned banned groups in the country to refrain from organising rallies or resorting to open advertising.

Talking to the media after a meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) delegation, Malik also said that activities of groups would be prohibited, even if they were operating under the garb of new names.

However, despite the warnings, several wanted terrorists like Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who is one of the prime accused in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, were seen rubbing shoulders with some mainline leaders of religious parties in a march in Lahore last week.

The march was held to express solidarity with Palestinians and condemn Israeli atrocities.

Along with the JuD chief were Syed Munawar Hasan, the Amir of Jamaat-i-Islami, Senator Sajid Mir of Jamiat Ahl-i-Hadith, Hafiz Husain Ahmed of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and Hameed Gul, a former chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence, The News reports.

It was the second public activity of Saeed, after being released from house arrest on court orders.

He had taken part in a pro-farmers rally in Lahore last month.

What remains to be seen is what effect the current statement will have to curb the activities of men like Saeed and his ilk. (ANI)

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