Pakistan revises list of terror groups
ISLAMABAD / LONDON
Pakistani policemen inspect a room damaged by a suicide blast at a police station in Peshawar in this file photo. AFP photoPakistan yesterday invited Islamist militant groups including the Taliban for peace talks and said banned organizations would be delisted if they “closed down their militant wings.”
Pakistan has banned more than 30 militant outfits, including al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the group blamed by New Delhi and Washington for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. “If the proscribed organizations assure us that they have closed down their militant wings and abandoned extremism, then we would like to meet them in next few days,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters.
Pakistan has faced heavy criticism for not doing more to clampdown on the groups, many of which are allowed to operate freely under new names, such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a U.N. blacklisted charity considered a front for LeT. “We have been contacted by several banned organizations that want to sit and talk. If they want to give up militancy we will talk to them as we are revising the list of proscribed organizations,” Malik said.
Hague faces suit over Pakistan drone strike
He did not identify any group but said that the government had “even offered the Taliban to give up militancy and join the federation.” According to an Agence France-Presse tally, militants have killed more than 4,900 people across Pakistan since government troops raided an extremist mosque in Islamabad in July 2007. The military says more than 3,000 soldiers have died. Meanwhile, lawyers for the family of a man killed in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan said they would begin legal action against Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday, accusing him of complicity in strikes they say broke international laws. London law firm Leigh Day & Co said it had “credible, unchallenged” evidence that Hague oversaw a policy of passing British intelligence to U.S. forces planning attacks against militants in Pakistan.
It plans to issue formal proceedings against Hague at the High Court in London on behalf of Noor Khan, whose father was died in a drone attack last year, Reuters reported. Malik Daud Khan was part of a local “jirga”, or council of elders holding a meeting in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan when a missile fired from the drone hit the group, the law firm said.