Pakistan's president cracks down on extremists
From Syed Mohsin Naqvi
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, directed law enforcement agencies Friday to launch a nationwide campaign against banned extremist groups, targeting their donations, weapons and the holding of meetings.
The campaign also aims to remove all "hate" material from markets by December.
His actions come in the wake of an alleged Pakistani connection in last week's terrorist bombings in London.
Neighbors of the family of one of the four men suspected of being a London suicide bomber -- Shahzad Tanweer, 22 -- have told CNN the family is of Pakistani origin.
Since the bombings, Musharraf has expressed condolences to the families of the bombing victims, pledged assistance in the investigation and insisted that Pakistan has played a crucial role in the war against terror.
Addressing top police officers from around the country, Musharraf said the government will not tolerate extremism and will continue to combat terrorism "with unflinching determination and force," because doing so is in the interest of Pakistan's continued socio-economic progress, according to a statement released by the president's house.
He also reiterated the government's resolve not to allow banned militant organizations to resurface under new names, the statement said.
By December, writers, publishers and distributors will be banned from publishing and distributing hate material, including pamphlets, booklets and CDs, the statement said.
Musharraf emphasized to police officers that his actions were not anti-religion, but were aimed at the extremist minority that is harming Pakistan's interests and tarnishing the image of Islam.
"No government can be anti-religion -- Pakistan undoubtedly is an ideological state and is an Islamic republic. We have to take it forward as a modern, dynamic, progressive, forward-looking Islamic state," he was quoted as saying.
"We owe it to our future generations to rid the country of the malaise of extremism," he said.
|© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.