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2,000 suspected militants under scanner in Pak

world Updated: Jun 13, 2007 14:58 IST

Security agencies in Pakistan were closely monitoring over 2,000 suspected militants who have been barred from leaving their hometown in a stepped-up effort to check growing terrorism in country.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Brig Javed Iqbal Cheema said the government has placed over 2,000 activists of 18 outlawed organisations on a watch list, effectively barring them from leaving their hometowns without permission of the district coordination officers.

He said the security agencies were monitoring the activities of people on the watch list to curb their involvement in terrorist and anti-state activities.

"People on the watch list have submitted affidavits, giving assurance to limit their involvement in political activities, public meetings, anti-government campaigns and even travel outside their home-towns without prior permission," Cheema told mediapersons at a weekly briefing on the law and order situation in the country.

"If they are found to be involved in violating pledges on the affidavits, they can be arrested under the Anti-Terrorism Act, he said. The spokesperson said the monitoring of the activists of the banned organisations started after the launch of a special campaign against terrorism and extremism in July 2005 and the number of activists under surveillance had gone up to 2,000.

Cheema said that during the 21-month campaign, the government had focused on six areas activists of banned organisations, publishing and sale of hate literature, clerics fanning sectarian hatred, misuse of loudspeakers, collection of donations and display of arms.

The 18 outlawed organisations include Al -Qaeda, Jaish-i-Muhammad, Lashkar-i-Tayyaba among others.