Hafiz Saeed was detained under fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) on January 30. He was arrested in the larger interest of the country, Asif held.
“Terrorism is not synonymous to any religion. Terrorists aren’t Christians or Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus. They are terrorists, they are criminals,” said Asif while addressing the audience.
In a panel discussion on countering extremism and terrorism, the minister said more than ninety percent of individuals killed by terrorists are Muslims.
Strongly opposing the term ‘Islamic terrorism,’ Asif said: “I have heard the term “Islamic terrorism” maybe a dozen times since morning, President Trump uses it frequently and this is fuelling Islamophobia because terrorism is being branded as Islamic terrorism.”
The minister stated the fight against terrorism is a common fight for mankind and humanity, and Pakistan expects and hopes that its brothers across the border from Afghanistan will cooperate to counter this threat.
In a statement harshly criticising the United State’s policies, Asif said Pakistan is determined to fight terrorism: “Let me assure the world community that Pakistan is a frontline state in this war and it will continue to fulfil its obligations to its own people and the international community but if the West’s policies are going to be isolationist it won’t help the fight against terrorism, only fuel it.”
Discussing the armed forces’ performance, the minister admitted that Pakistan made mistakes in the past but continued to say that the country’s armed forces did a commendable job in the past three years.