8 suspects in Safoora carnage arrested

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior was informed on Monday that 14 people allegedly involved in Karachi’s Safoora carnage had been identified and eight of them arrested.

561c66bfe7334Inspector General of Police, Sindh, Ghulam Haider Jamali also informed a meeting of the committee presided over by its chairman, former interior minister Rehman Malik, that about 25 people were involved in the incident.

He said the accused were highly qualified, some having masters and PhD degrees in Islamic Studies, and they were influenced by the Caliphate philosophy of late religious scholar Dr Israr Ahmed. They wanted to implement the ‘Islamic Caliphate’ in the country, he added.

Mr Jamali said the accused had formed their own terrorist group and remained consecutively associated with banned militant organisations like Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Al Qaeda and the self-styled Islamic State.

He did not clarify how someone could be associated with Al Qaeda and its rival ‘Islamic State’.

During investigation, the group confessed to its involvement in 37 incidents of terrorism.

It was also involved in cases of target-killings and kidnapping for ransom in the interior of Sindh and in Karachi.

Sindh IG police informs Senate committee that the accused were associated with banned outfits

The IG said the head of the group and mastermind of its activities Abdul Aziz was a resident of Kotri, Jamshoro. He fled to Syria. The other mastermind was Azhar Minhas who belonged to Jhelum.

He said Abdul Aziz had himself surveyed for about two months the Safoora Goth area before carrying out the carnage. A number of members of the Shia community were on his group’s hit list.

The group used to communicate through laptops and never used cellphones. Six laptops were found in their possession. GSM locators provided by the federal government made it possible for the Sindh police to track down the accused.

The Sindh police chief said the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi had killed former SP Chaudhry Aslam, but a member of the committee questioned the claim saying it had been done by a prayer leader of the locality.

Mr Jamali told the committee that there was a decrease of 80 per cent in acts of terrorism in interior of Sindh and in Karachi and cases of murder had dropped by 53pc. He said 186 people accused of being involved in Lyari gang war had been killed in police encounters.

The IG said 180 police officials had scarified their lives in incidents of terrorism in Sindh. A total 167 incidents of terrorism and 816 gang wars took place in the province this year.

The meeting was informed that some doctors providing treatment to injured Afghan nationals in hospitals of Karachi and other facilitators had been arrested.

Sindh Home Secretary Mumtaz Soomro said 18 terrorists had been hanged in Sindh since the lifting of moratorium on death sentence.

Brigadier Amjad Basharat of the Anti-Narcotics Force informed the meeting that production of poppy had almost been eliminated in Pakistan.

He said 329kg of heroin was confiscated in a raid in Rawat, near Islamabad.

The committee’s chairman recommended that the blood test prior to admission to educational institution should be made mandatory to detect any kind of addiction among students.