Pakistan has thwarted IS attacks in country: Military

Rawalpindi, PakistanUpdated: Sep 01, 2016, 04:43 PM IST

Pakistan military insists there is no IS presence on their soil. Photograph:(Getty)

Pakistan has foiled Islamic State's plans to launch attacks in the country, its military establishment said.

Pakistani authorities have so far arrested 309 extremists to nip terror attacks in the bud.

"They (the apprehended men) were involved in attacks on media and security personnel and were planning attacks on government, diplomatic and civilian targets," said Lieutenant-General Asim Bajwa, Pakistan military's top spokesperson. 

"They tried to make an ingress, and they failed, and they have been apprehended so far," he further said.

Most of the arrested militants are Pakistani jihaidists who switched allegiances to the IS. There were a few foreign fighters including some from Afghanistan and Syria.

Bajwa also said authorities have arrested a core group of 20 organisers. "We have captured all of them, except for one who I am sure is not in Pakistan."

The comments come a few days after a bomb explosion ripped through a Quetta hospital, killing 70. The attack was claimed by the IS, stoking fears that the West Asia-based jihadi militants were building up a presence in the country. 

A Pakistani Taliban splinter group also claimed responsibility for the attack. This prompted Bajwa to say IS's claims of perpetrating the bomb attack were false. 

Bajwa also said there were IS militants active in the Afghan provinces of  Nangarhar, Khost and Kunar. 

The spokesman also responded to US secretary of state John Kerry's comment made in India that Pakistan was not doing enought to wipe out militants from their country.

"Terrorists of all organisations, including Haqqanis, including Afghan Taliban, have been killed and some apprehended ... so if you say that you know actions have not been taken or (are) not being taken, that is wrong," he said, referring to US concerns about the country being lenient towards certain jihadist groups.

"We have paid $106.9 billion (on) this war ... If anyone points a finger at Pakistan or casts an eye of suspicion on Pakistan, they need to know this cost," said Bajwa.

(WION with added inputs from Reuters)