LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah dispelled the impression that there were any terrorist safe heavens or no-go areas anywhere in the province.
“I categorically state there are no terrorist safe havens. There are no no-go areas in Punjab. If there is any evidence in this regard, it will be shared with us, we will take action,” he told a press conference in Lahore.
He said that police, elite force, counter-terrorism department (CTD), Rangers and Pakistan army have conducted several joint intelligence-based operations in Punjab since the launching of Zarb-e-Azb Operation in Punjab.
“Already 8200 army troops, in addition to paramilitary Rangers force, are performing security duty in Punjab and thousands of IBOs have been carried out in Punjab,” he said.
“On the directions/instructions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, we have decided to step up intelligence-based operations in Punjab, Rana Sanaullah said.
The law minister also shared details of arrests made after the church bombing.
“Over the last 24 hours, 56 operations have been conducted by police in Punjab. The CTD has carried out 16 operations. Local police with the support of intelligence agencies have launched 88 operations.
As many as 5221 suspects have been rounded up in Punjab. After verification, 5005 have been released and 216 are still being interrogated,” he said.
The law minister said that Punjab government set up a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the park bombing.
“SSP CTD will head the committee. It will also have personnel of intelligence agencies.”
He said that rescue teams, civil administration and police responded within an hour of the operation and shifted the injured to hospitals after the attack.
“It is a national operation. All forces including police, CTD, Rangers and Pakistan army, are rigorously moving forward to combat terrorism,” he said.
He announced that operation was being launched in Kacha areas of the city.
“Initially, police, Elite Force and CTD will take on militants in these areas. And if required, we will involve Rangers at a later stage,” he said.