New Interior Minister of Pakistan has terrorist links: Accuses Opposition

Islamabad, Pakistan: Most Interior Ministers of Pakistan in the last three decades have had deep ties with militant groups from where they have sourced personnel for fomenting and exporting terrorism.

The letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is written by human rights minister Shireen Mazari, a security expert-turned-politician well known on the global circuit of security and foreign affairs conferences.

As the saying goes, it appears to be a case of kettle calling the pot black. Although Mazari does not mention it, Rana Sanaullah, the current Interior Minister is known to have connections with UN-proscribed Lashkar-e-Toyaba (LeT) and Jamaat-Ud-Dawa (JuD) of Hafiz Saeed, who is currently in jail serving a 31-year sentence.

The Imran Khan Government said that Mazari had served Brigadier (rtd) Ijaz Butt, a key officer of the Army’s ISI. While in service, he had accepted he surrender of Mohammed Khalid Sheikh, one of the 9/11 masterminds and the killer of American journalist Daniel Pearl. Butt was supposed to have protected Sheikh through the years of trial, jail and conviction. The conviction has been overturned and Sheikh’s whereabouts and the precise status whether he is in jail, or on bail, is not known.

Imran Khan’s last Interior Minister, Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed, was known to have links with the militants.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior, in Urdu Wazarat-e- dakhla (abbreviated as MoI) has been considered a key area. Earlier rulers, Field Marshal Ayub Khan and Z A Bhutto personally headed them till they found persons they could trust. Gen. Yahya Khan had as his Interior Minister Lt-Gen. Abdul Hamid Khan, one of the top serving corps commanders.

Senior military officers, retired or in service, politicians with clout and top intelligence operatives have handled this portfolio in the past.

Benazir Bhutto’s Interior Minister Major General (rtd.) Naseerullah Babar facilitated the birth of the Taliban in Afghanistan when Pakistan decided to end the lawlessness that was rampant among the squabbling Mujahideen who took power after the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan.

One of the longest-serving Interior Ministers who served in the Zardari Government was Rahman Malik, the former Intelligence Bureau Chief. He held the office for five years.

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