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37 parliamentarians staged a walkout from the National Assembly yesterday after Intelligence Bureau (IB) report accused them of having links with terrorist organizations. While addressing the participants in the assembly, Federal Minister Riaz Peerzada said that the government should launch an investigation into the matter and unveil the name of the person who prepared the report.

He further warned of staging walkout on daily basis against his own government until the explanation from senior leaders in the House is given. Moreover, the minister left the session along with other officials despite Speaker Ayaz Sadiq’s order not to do so. The government meanwhile has stated that no such report existed.

It is an unfortunate fact that there exists a nexus between politicians and terror groups within Pakistan based on the motives of power acquisition and all such allegations cannot be lightly taken

State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurganzeb on Thursday said there has been no report of Intelligence Bureau (IB) about allegations on Parliamentarians for having links with banned outfits.

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“Intelligence Bureau vehemently denies existence or initiation of any such report. The story is false, baseless and unfounded,” the bureau said in a statement issued here in response to a news story telecast by ARY News in its programme “Power Play,” hosted by Arshad Sharif on September 25. The IB has recently come under the spotlight for a variety of reasons. During the Panama trial of now disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the IB was castigated by the Supreme Court for hampering the workings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

One of its MPA, Chaudry Abid Raza who has strong links with the notorious sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhanbvi was awarded a ticket on the LeJ reccomendations

In September, Intelligence Bureau (IB) was accused by one of its own personnel of “protecting” terrorists. A serving assistant sub-inspector of IB, ASI Malik Mukhtar Ahmed Shahzad, accused his senior officers of not taking action against terrorism suspects and filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) requesting it to refer the matter to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for a thorough probe.

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Political parties or their members have been found to have formed a nexus with various militant groups in the past. In the 1970s, the brothers of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto formed a left-wing terror group known as “Al Zulfiqar Organization” who used hijackings and other terror tactics to destabilize the then government of Pakistan.

The MQM was reported to be behind the worst terrorist atrocity in Pakistani history, the Baldia Factory fire which claimed the lives of at least 258 factory workers

Karachi based political parties like the MQM, PPP, Sunni Tehreek, ANP, and Jamaat-e- Islami were found to have armed wings involved in extortion and target killing. The MQM was reported to be behind the worst terrorist atrocity in Pakistani history, the Baldia Factory fire which claimed the lives of at least 258 factory workers. The MQM was later discovered to have links with hostile Indian intelligence agency RAW.

Similarly, In April 2017, Pakistani LEAs took a Karachi based PPP affiliated gangster Uzair Baloch into custody. It was revealed that Uzair Baloch had deep ties with both Indian and Iranian agencies and Baloch had divulged information about the Armed Forces of Pakistan, including intelligence officials, and details of sensitive installations and offices.

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A serving assistant sub-inspector of IB, ASI Malik Mukhtar Ahmed Shahzad, accused his senior officers of not taking action against terrorism suspects and filed a petition

The PML(N) itself has been observed to have links with proscribed militant groups. One of its MPA, Chaudry Abid Raza who has strong links with the notorious sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhanbvi was awarded a ticket on the LeJ reccomendations. Abid Raza escaped from Lahore High Court after a divisional bench awarded life sentence to him for killing 12 people in October 2016.

The Punjab Law Minister and staunch PML(N) member, Rana Sanaullah too has been seen to have deep ties with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and other proscribed sectarian groups. Officials on condition of anonymity confirmed that LeJ Kingpin Malik Ishaq enjoyed Punjab government’s financial assistance ever since the Sharif’s came to power in 2008.

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It is an unfortunate fact that there exists a nexus between politicians and terror groups within Pakistan based on the motives of power acquisition and all such allegations cannot be lightly taken.

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