'Banned terror outfits highly active in Pak Punjab, functioning under new names'

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Lahore, July 12(ANI): Pakistan's intelligence agencies have reportedly revealed that there has been a worrying increase in the activities of banned religious and militant organisations in the Punjab province.

According to The Daily News, some of the banned units have been functioning under new names, and have been found to be distributing hate literature.

It also said that organisations are still functioning in Hafizabad district, Gujrat, Pakpattan, Attock, Mianwali, Khanewal, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rahim Yar Khan.

Earlier, under immense pressure from various quarters to take on the militant groups thriving in the province, the Punjab Home Department had set up a task force to crack down on 17 banned terror organisations.

However, the terror list amazingly had no mention of the 'father' of all groups - the Tehreek-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The Punjab Home Department had reportedly asked officials to launch a crackdown on militant hideouts and nab all those associated with the terror groups as soon as possible.

The task force was also directed to trace people and organisations providing strategic and financial support to these 17 banned groups and take immediate action against them.

The list of 17 banned outfits included groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), and others.

It may be noted that Interior Minister Rehman Malik had pointed that groups like the LeJ and SSP were operating in Punjab in collaboration with the TTP and Al-Qaeda.

Pakistan Punjab province Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had admitted that a deadly network of extremist groups exits in the province, adding that the government would soon dismantle the nefarious nexus.

"The Punjab government will soon be successful in breaking the terrorist network in Punjab," Shahbaz had said. (ANI)

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