ISLAMABAD – Former interior minister Rehman Malik has said on Friday that militant group Islamic State’s network is present in Pakistan and that it is led by Yousuf Salfi.
Speaking to journalist’s representatives in Islamabad, where the former interior minister had arrived to attend a meeting of the missing person’s commission, he said that security personnel had arrested several Islamic State militants during raids conducted in different parts of Pakistan.
He said that being a former interior minister, he had his own means of gathering information from sources which had provided him with information regarding the presence of Islamic State in Pakistan. The Pakistan People’s Party leader also said that the Islamic State group had emerged after infighting between different groups under the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella group.
He said that he would disclose that where the meetings of the militant organisation were held in Pakistan within a few days. The PPP senator said that he was optimistic that the negotiations between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the government will be successful. “It will be an achievement of the jirga if both parties start talks”, Malik stated.
“PPP never supported Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N). We are standing with the parliament for the survival of democracy”, he said. He termed the appointment of Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan as the chief election commissioner a “good omen”.
Commenting on the Article VI case against former president Pervez Musharraf, Rehman said that the ‘Pandora’s Box’ would be opened with addition of new names in the treason case. “Re-investigating the treason case will not bring any kind of harm to the government”, he added.
The statement from the former interior minister comes despite a denial of Islamic S tates presence by incumbent Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. Chalking in favour of Islamic State had appeared in various places across all four provinces of Pakistan causing a ripple of concern through the security administration.
A police probe into wall chalking was launched in the outskirts of Karachi and in Taxila where flags of the group, also known locally by its Arabic acronym ‘Daish’, were fixed to electricity poles near the Pakistan Ordinance Factories (POF).
Similarly, police in Lahore arrested two suspects for plastering Islamic State stickers on walls in various localities. Leaflets calling for support for Islamic States were seen in several parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Bannu and South Waziristan tribal region’s Wana area. Afghan refugee camps were particular targets of the Islamic State propaganda.