Police hunts ex-KU student dubbed as ‘mastermind’ of attack on Izharul Hassan
Karachi police claimed to have killed four terrorists affiliated to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Swat and involved in attack on Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai.
SSP Malir Rao Anwar claimed terrorist Khursheed was cousin of TTP Chief Mullah Fazlullah and was involved in attack on Malala and Pakistan Army officials. Khursheed was also the culprit of bomb attack on Karachi’s Quaidabad police, the police officer said.
The militants killed in the gunfight were affiliated to TTP Swat faction, Rao said and added that the exchange of fire with militants took place in Sadaf society near Quetta Town Karachi.
Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, who is known for human rights advocacy, especially education of women in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school, was injured on 9 October 2012 by a Taliban gunmen when she was returning home from school.
Malala’s advocacy has grown into an international movement.
Taliban militants had said that they attacked the girl for her pro-peace, anti-Taliban and ‘secular’ agenda.
Meanwhile, Karachi police conducted raids across the city to nab the suspected mastermind of the attack on Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan on the first day of Eidul Azha.
The suspected militant, who belongs to the newly-emerged outfit Ansar-ul-Sharia Pakistan (ASP), managed to flee a raid carried out by a police team led by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed on Monday in the city’s Gulzar-i-Hijri area.
courtesy Imtiaz Ali
According to the SSP, the suspect was identified as Abdul Karim Sarosh Siddiqui, a central commander of ASP and a dangerous militant described as the mastermind of the attack on Izharul Hassan.
Siddiqui, who was wounded during the raid before fleeing, is a former student of Applied Physics at the University of Karachi.
He is said to be a close friend of another suspected militant, Hassan, who was killed during the assassination attempt on Izharul Hassan.
Earlier on Monday, police along with intelligence personnel raided various houses in Gulzar-i-Hijri area of Karachi in connection with the presence of suspected militants. During the search operation, an encounter took place in Kaneez Fatima Society during which a policeman was martyred and another wounded, whereas the suspected militant, Sarosh Siddiqui, managed to flee.
Police have reportedly taken Siddiqui’s father, Sajjad, into their custody. They have also arrested Ansarul Sharia Karachi chapter’s spokesperson from the Defence area on Sajjad’s indication. Izharul Hassan, who is also the leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, escaped an assassination attempt on Saturday when he was returning from Eid prayers.
One of the assailants was killed in the cross fire, along with one of Hassan’s guards and a teenager. Four other people were reported to be injured. Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murad Shah, accompanied by Khawaja Izhar and PPP leaders visited the residence of Muhammad Kamran, the father of the teenager killed in the attack, and offered condolences to the family. He assured Kamran the killers of his son, Arsal, would be served justice.
Additional Inspector General Mushtaq Maher briefed Murad Shah about progress made in the case so far. Sindh CM Shah announced that a security audit and verification of students would be undertaken in each educational institute “to ascertain if they are breeding terrorists”.
“It is quite painful to see highly-educated people involved in terrorism… Academically we will have to review our education system to make it more efficient, and simultaneously we will have invest in a cyber system to keep necessary checks on social media which is importing terrorist proclivities through wire services,” he said.
The Sindh CM said this during a visit to Izhar’s residence 0n Monday to express solidarity with the MQM leader after the attempt on his life.
CM Shah claimed the Sindh government had provided security to MQM leaders and other important individuals. “I have requested Khawaja Izhar and Faisal Subzwari to review their security arrangements and let me know if some extra measures are required,” he added.
The Sindh CM, highlighting the need to formulate a comprehensive policy to fight terrorism, claimed that although the provincial government had sent a list of seminaries to the federal government requesting they be put on the fourth schedule, “they did not bother”.
“Then we requested them to at least keep watch on them, but even then they turned deaf ears to our apprehensions,” he said.
He said the Sindh Assembly had enacted a law to keep record of people coming to Karahi from other areas. “This is a cosmopolitan city, where people who speak different languages, from different areas and even from other countries live. Sometimes you do not know who lives in your neighbourhood, but we are trying to keep a record,” he said.