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Extremism increasing even in India: Rehman Malik

March 13, 2013 19:08 IST

Extremism is increasing in the region, including in India, while Islamabad's "proactive policies" had ensured peace in most parts of Pakistan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed on Wednesday.

"Extremism is increasing even in India and there is a need to combat this menace, threatening peace in the world," Malik said.

Even developed countries were facing turbulence due to a typical mindset that is spreading violence, he contended.

On the other hand, he claimed, peace has been ensured in Pakistan, except for the port city of Karachi, due to the government's "proactive policies".

He contended that people could "roam even in areas which were once the hub of proscribed organisations".

"Now wherever we go, there is a peace. We can go to Gilgit and even to those areas which were once the hub of banned outfits. We can see peace and can roam without any fear," he said in an interview with state-run APP news agency.

Malik, whose term as interior minister will end when the government completes its five-year tenure on March 16, said Karachi is a mega-city with a large population and has "certain issues" linked with political forces.

He regretted the Punjab government's "lukewarm response" in taking action against banned groups like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which had become more powerful than the Taliban.

"Had the Punjab government taken timely action against LeJ, the situation in Karachi, Quetta and other parts of the country could have been averted," he said.

The threat of the LeJ "still exists as they have become stronger and, if appropriate action is not taken, they would create more problems," he added.

The government had pursued a policy of dialogue, development and deterrence and a "line of action without caring for anyone" for the cause of peace and security, he said.

Malik said when the Pakistan People's Party-led government came to power in 2008, it faced several challenges, including economic issues, an energy crisis and terrorism.

He said he had taken steps to improve the overall security situation and to ensure peace despite limited resources.

The policies adopted by the government had produced "good results as the Taliban have now become weak", he claimed.

He advised the Taliban "to shun violence and stop killing innocent people".

The interior ministry also took steps to make the upcoming polls free, fair and transparent.

The National Database and Registration Authority worked with the Election Commission to prepare computerised list of voters.

"Today, 96 per cent of the adult population in Pakistan have Computerised National Identity Cards," Malik said.

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