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Pakistan says to stop banned groups under new names

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the war against terrorism, said on Monday it would not allow any banned Islamic militant group to continue its work under a new name.

Interior Minister Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat told a news conference that provincial authorities have been instructed to take action against such groups.

"It has been seen that some of these groups have started working under a new name. This is illegal," he said. "It has been decided to send notices to all those who had been banned...and the provinces have been asked to take action."

Pakistan outlawed two Islamic sectarian groups in August 2001 and added five more to the banned list after September 11 attacks on the United States and an assault on the Indian parliament in the same year.

Hayat refused to name any particular militant party which had regrouped under a new banner.

However, two outlawed militant groups fighting in Indian-controlled Kashmir -- Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad -- have regrouped as Jamaat-ud-Dawaa and Khudam-ul Islam.

Hayat said a high-level meeting of law enforcement agencies and provincial authorities also decided to beef up the country's counter-terrorism efforts.

"Pakistan is a key ally in the international coalition against terrorism," Hayat said. "We not only have to fulfil our obligations and responsibilities but we also have to demonstrate that we do not show any flexibility."

He said a specialised investigation group was being set up in the country for counter terrorism and to fight cyber crime and money laundering.

Pakistan and U.S. official have said that Islamabad has handed over more than 400 Taliban remnants and members of al Qaeda network to U.S. authorities since a crackdown was launched in the wake of September 11 attacks.

"It is our resolve to cleanse the country of all kinds of terrorism," Hayat added.

Source: in.news.yahoo.com

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