ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) rapped Interior Minister Ch Nisar’s remarks about making distinction between sectarian and non-sectarian militant outfits.

According to a statement, PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said his party deplored and condemned the distinction between sectarian and non-sectarian militant outfits reiterated by the interior minister , as “deeply flawed, grievously offensive and extremely dangerous for the state and society.”

Earlier, the interior minister not only defended his previous remarks in the Senate but also defended the “Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC)” on the grounds that it was not a proscribed organisation claiming also that its leaders had met the former president in the presidency.

In a statement, PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the minister seemed unaware that the DPC had been publicly calling for waging an armed jihad in a neighbouring country and had been allowing its platform to be used by banned outfits.

“Does the minister wish to assert that proscribed organisations can freely assemble under the banner of the DPC because the latter is not proscribed? Or does he wish to assert that calling for armed jihad in a neighbouring country by any outfit is state policy?” he asked.

Babar said: “It is atrocious to allege that the former president had a soft corner for the DPC.” When the DPC invited the PPP to participate in a moot ostensibly for a noble cause, the then president rejected the suggestion citing huge differences in their worldviews, and said that the PPP leaders could not share the stage with the DPC leadership, the senator said.

To assert that banned sectarian outfits cannot be equated with banned terrorist groups, reflects ignorance of the violence that has taken place due to the extremist rhetoric championed by the sectarian groups, Babar said.

“It only shows that the supposed leader of the fight against militancy is not even aware of who the real enemies of the state and society are,” the lawmaker said.

“How can the nation hope to win the fight to retrieve the ideological, cultural and social space increasingly captured by these enemies of the state and society,” he questioned.

Babar said that the minister ought to know that militancy in Pakistan was fundamentally sectarian in nature.

“By [virtue of being able to] operate freely within the society they are more dangerous than Al-Qaeda and Daesh who need cover for operations,” he said.

Furthermore, Babar said, the militant terrorist organisations, be it the Al-Qaeda or Taliban or Daesh have sectarian agendas and use sectarian outfits as strategic partners. “An interior minister who is blind to this fundamental reality cannot achieve anything except to unwittingly place the country in the path of grave danger and harm,” he said.