x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Pakistan vows to root out extremists

Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to root out extremists on its soil, with 124 people arrested in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan today reaffirmed its commitment to root out extremists on its soil, saying it had so far arrested 124 people in a crackdown on banned groups in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. Interior ministry chief Rehman Malik said those arrested were members of an Islamic charity linked to Lashkar-i-Taiba, which New Delhi has blamed for the Mumbai carnage.

"We are very, very serious" about fighting extremism, Mr Malik told a press conference, saying the anti-terror fight was the "only option" for Pakistan. The people arrested are members of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, one of the country's biggest charities, but which is widely viewed as the political wing of Lashkar-i-Taiba, banned here after an attack on the Indian parliament in late 2001. The crackdown came in response to a UN Security Council resolution passed last month, describing Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a terror group.

Mr Malik said that Islamabad needed more information from India in order to proceed with its own investigations into the Mumbai attacks and eventual prosecution of suspects. "This is the time that Pakistan and India need to stick together," he said. "We'll be needing more information." * AFP