A former Pakistan military official who is now the Parliamentary Secretary of Defence startled the National Assembly on Wednesday by disclosing that he was an activist of the banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.
"I want to inform the house that I have been a member of this (LeT) organisation," retired Major Tanvir Hussain Syed who later joined ruling pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League-Q said in the Assembly on Tuesday.
Hussain was taking part in the Assembly debate on the Pakistan army attack on a madrasa in Bajaur tribal area killing 80 persons and the subsequent suicide bomb attack on Pakistani troops in Dargai in which 42 soldiers were killed.
"The government wanted to resolve all disputes through dialogue, but if someone opens fire on the army, our jawans will reply," he was quoted as saying by Daily Times.
Hussain, however, did not explain what role he played in LeT whose leader, Hafeez Sayeed has started yet another outfit called Jamat-ud-Dawa, which was also kept under the watch list by Pakistan government.
Another newspaper, The Post, quoted him as saying that he was still a member of LeT even though it was banned. "I am still a member of the LeT. I go to its congregations and deliver speeches," he said.
He said he has no hesitation in "swimming against the tide" even though the government in which he is a part was trying to wash away the pro-jihad past from the memories of its people.
He added that he extends support to jihadi activists when they approach him, though he did not clarify the nature of support.