Press Trust of india

Pak committed to not allow any militant group to operate in country: Imran Khan

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Islamabad, Mar 28:  Pakistan will not to allow any militant group to operate in the country or use its territory for any militant activity within or outside the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan asserted Thursday.

Chairing the first meeting of the National Internal Security Committee here at the Prime Minister Office, Khan said the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) to combat terrorism and extremism was the foremost priority of his government.

The meeting took place on a day when a delegation of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on money laundering, a regional affiliate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), was in Islamabad to assess if Pakistan has made enough progress on global standards against financial crimes to warrant its exclusion from the watchdog's grey list.

Prime Minister Khan said the formulation of the NAP was reflection of the will of the nation and a consensus document agreed upon by all political parties of the country.

The NAP was formulated after the 2014 terror attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed nearly 150 people, mostly students.

He said the government was committed to remove all impediments towards implementation of the plan in letter and spirit.

"Pakistan is firmly committed to not allow any militant group to operate in the country or use its territory for any militant activity within or outside Pakistan," he told the meeting.

Khan's government is under international pressure to rein-in militant groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), responsible for the Pulwama suicide attack on CRPF personnel. The attack led to spiralling tensions between India and Pakistan.

The prime minister said Pakistan had suffered immensely, both in terms of human lives as well as material losses, due to the menace of terrorism.

"Pakistan had made significant progress towards combating terrorism and ensuring peace," Khan was quoted as saying by ‘Geo News’.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, director generals of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and senior officials.

Recounting various legislative and administrative measures taken by the government in dealing with militancy, combating terror-financing, money laundering, Khan stressed the need for continued and sustained on-ground efforts towards taking this struggle to a conclusive end.

Finance minister Umar gave the meeting an update about the Financial Action Task Force related matters and meetings held with the Asia Pacific Group.

Secretary of Interior Maj (retd) Azam Suleman Khan apprised the meeting about the progress of implementation of the NAP and highlighted the efforts being made in dealing with the issues of cybersecurity, money laundering, madrassa reforms, and addressing various challenges in the way of successful implementation of the plan.

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