All terrorist groups working in collusion to launch attacks: Bajwa

Published: February 12, 2016
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Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa addresses a press conference in Karachi on February 12, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa addresses a press conference in Karachi on February 12, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Around 97 al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants, including three commanders, were arrested in Karachi and a planned attack to break US journalist Daniel Pearl’s killer out of jail was foiled, Director General Inter-Service Public Relations Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said on Friday.

The men are accused of involvement in major attacks on two air bases, the Karachi airport, several regional intelligence headquarters and on police installations between 2009 and 2015, DG ISPR said.

PHOTO: FARAZ KHAN

The LeJ’s Naeem Bokhari and Sabir Khan, as well as Farooq Bhatti, deputy chief of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), were captured by forces in recent raids, military spokesperson Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa said.

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“Our conclusion is that all of the terrorist groups are trying to cooperate with each other in order to carry out terrorist attacks,” he told a news conference.

PHOTO: FARAZ KHAN

The LeJ and AQIS had been working “in collusion” with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Bajwa added. Bajwa declined to give details of the raids, including their timing.

Several of those arrested, including Bokhari, were in the advanced stages of planning a jailbreak attempt on the Hyderabad Central Jail, Bajwa said.

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Khalid Omar Sheikh, who kidnapped and killed the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Pearl in 2002, is being held at that jail and was to be released during the raid, he said. Six suicide bombers had been enlisted in the attack plan, in addition to 19 involved in facilitating it, Bajwa said. More than 350 kg of explosives had been recovered from a building believed to be a hideout, he said. Video images of the building showed blue plastic barrels filled with explosives, washing machines that had been used to transport arms and ammunition, long lengths of detonating cord and dozens of ball bearings.

The footage also showed several rifles that Bajwa said had been stolen from police in earlier targeted attacks. “This plan was 90 percent ready for execution,” he added.

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“Rangers carried out as many as 7,000 targeted operations in Karachi and 6,000 militants out of over 12,000 arrested by the military have been handed over to the police,” he said, adding the achievements of the Pakistan Army lie in successfully wiping out militant hideouts from the country especially those in Fata.

He went on to say that the effects of Zarb-e-Azb were not limited to the country but the entire region.

The DG ISPR claimed that since the launch of military operations in the country, there has been significant respite in kidnappings, murders, snatching and other crimes which were at their peak before the start of the operation. “In September 2013, when the Rangers operation began in Karachi, terrorism was at its peak.”

EXPRESS NEWS SCREENGRAB

Further, Bajwa pointed out that some factions of the society had raised concerns before the start of the military operation fearing it will create backlash in the country. “13,212 operations have been carried out by intelligence agencies,” he said.

EXPRESS NEWS SCREENGRAB

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Regarding assassination of Karachi Police SSP Chaudhry Aslam and Karachi airport attack, Bajwa said these attacks were carried out by al Qaeda’s South Asia network, claiming the group’s commander handled those attacks from Afghan soil.

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EXPRESS NEWS SCREENGRAB

Bajwa also showed a map of the Hyderabad Jail which he said was prepared by terrorists with the help of a police constable at the prison and revealed they intended to jailbreak. “Three terrorists, including a police constable, who helped terrorists make this map, have been apprehended and are being interrogated by intelligence agencies.”

During the presser, the DG ISPR showed a video of a terrorists’ compound with a huge quantity of explosives, communication equipment and material. “Weapons have been recovered in Hyderabad jail break attempt. Recoveries include machines to grind explosives and make explosive material, vehicles, ball bearings, police and military uniforms, backpacks and communication equipment,” he said.

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EXPRESS NEWS SCREENGRAB

Regarding terror activities in Karachi, Bajwa said there has been 70 per cent respite in terrorism in the metropolis whereas cases of extortion have been reduced by 80 per cent.

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The DG ISPR went on to say that Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif visited Karachi multiple times and spent days in the city to oversee the operation, suggesting implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) should be sped up to reduce terrorism.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Parvez
    Feb 12, 2016 - 1:46PM

    Great work……now lets hope the S.C does not wash it all away.Recommend

  • Athar
    Feb 12, 2016 - 2:42PM

    that’s a big bust Recommend

  • Salman Hussain
    Feb 12, 2016 - 3:40PM

    Well done Pak Army Zindabad…Recommend

  • Haris
    Feb 12, 2016 - 4:18PM

    Why are they being kept alive.Recommend

  • Striver
    Feb 12, 2016 - 5:16PM

    Great to have you as our protectors. Ultimate protector being God. We have faith in you.

    We are waiting for the civilian government to step up its part of the agreement under the NAP. Where are you Mr Prime Minister have you come home yet I mean home as in Pakistan not England)Recommend

  • shazada zahid malik-loan
    Feb 12, 2016 - 5:46PM

    This Bajwa guy is lying – they have not provided any proof or confessions from these terrorists – the public has the right to know. There is nothing secret about it – we want to see who these killers are, foreign hand or internal black hand – we then need to bring them to trial and kill them without any mercy – Bajwa you are lying.Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Feb 12, 2016 - 6:06PM

    Only 11 month left for expiry of military court and till today no step has been taken to reform criminal justice system, which was the reason that all party agreed with reservation for formation of military courts for 2 years. Now only 11 month left. This shows the will, capability and intention of political parties who are only busy with trivial issues. Recommend

  • zain
    Feb 12, 2016 - 6:16PM

    +1 = Pakistan Army
    -1 = Police and Judiciary Recommend

  • Shuaib
    Feb 12, 2016 - 6:52PM

    The Government need to pass legislation which requires less evidence to convict terrorists. Fewer testimonies, more witness protextion, etc.Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 12, 2016 - 7:16PM

    A speedy trial and sentencing is required to give a clear message.Recommend

  • nadeem
    Feb 12, 2016 - 7:44PM

    OK, so now that you have yourself declared that these groups are all collaborating with each other, the only logical conclusion is as follows: the menace will go away only when ALL militant groups have been decimated. There cannot be a policy of ‘good militants’ and ‘bad militants’ – just like there is no ‘good cancer’ and ‘bad cancer’ . The state – comprising military, politicians, bureaucrats, and police – says that it is going after all militants, but its actions (and inactions) prove otherwise. To the eyes, it still looks like many pet groups among these killers are being protected, funded, and trained by the state. Just look at that guy in Lal Masjid.Recommend

  • Assad
    Feb 12, 2016 - 7:45PM

    Can we not send the killer of Daniel Pearl to the gallows quickly enough so these people will not even think about attacking such prisons. The idea is to give speedy justice. Daniel Pearl’s killer has been sitting in jail living it up on the taxpayer’s dime. He committed murder which in Islam has to be repaid in blood.Recommend

  • Feedback
    Feb 12, 2016 - 8:00PM

    Yesterday USA announced allocation of 836 million dollar to Pakistan for war against terrorism and today the DJ started giving feedback to the authorities in USA. The USA should stop giving monetary support to Pakistan or else terrorism will never end. Fake reporting will carry on till eternity.Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Feb 12, 2016 - 8:11PM

    Reading the statement from ISPR Director General Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa “Our conclusion is that all of the terrorist groups are trying to cooperate with each other in order to carry out terrorist attacks,” I have to admit, though with a heavy heart, that at least the terrorist display a sense of unity and cooperate with each other.

    This is in quite a contrast to the character of so many extremists wearing the mask of religious leaders who spend most of their resources and energies fighting each other. And not content with that, they even go to the extent of calling each other infidels – fit for killing – and do not desist even from killing each other.

    I fondly remember the early days of Pakistan when people were religious all right but were tolerant, and not fanatics, like so many are now. And the disease shows no sign of going away.

    Unfortunately for us, Gneral Ziaul Haq and his likes have done great harm to Pakistan and Pakistanis, and on many fronts. And to add to our misfortune, well-organized religious parties like Jamaat-e-Islami, which carry sufficient influence, and are in the best position to carry out reforms, themselves appear to have developed sosft corner for some of these outfits, and have become interested primarily in politics, to the exclusion of all else.

    KarachiRecommend

  • Ashraf Chaudhary
    Feb 12, 2016 - 8:52PM

    Well done! We are proud of our defenders!Recommend

  • NHA
    Feb 12, 2016 - 9:51PM

    It looks all criminals have descended on Karachi. We wish Pak security and defence institutions success and pray for their safety.

    There is a nexus between criminality and corruption. This will need to be broken for all times to come. Further , provincial governance is far from satisfactory. People of Sindh must agitate for better performance from political & bureaucracy leaders.

    Democracy is ‘governance by the people’. Don’t accept anything below standard , be it commodities, services, security, or any thing else. Recommend

  • CONCERN
    Feb 13, 2016 - 1:51AM

    @Parvez: THE JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT ARE COWARD, THEY DONOT CARE ABOUT PAKISTAN, FOR THE ARE THE CHELLAS OF UNCROWNED KING OF HEERA MADIRecommend

  • Hameed
    Feb 13, 2016 - 2:00AM

    All terrorist groups working in collusion to launch attacks

    And still you want talks with them?Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Feb 13, 2016 - 2:11AM

    Why the murderer of Daniel pearl is not being hangedRecommend

  • Feb 13, 2016 - 3:37AM

    very simple…..India is asking all these terrorist groups to unite themselves into one group DAESH…. Recommend

  • Sharath Chandra
    Feb 13, 2016 - 8:23AM

    @syed & syed:
    Because he is a strategic asset.Recommend

  • Naim Khan
    Feb 13, 2016 - 9:34AM

    Only 11 months left before military courts date expires, our civil courts are not ready to take on the cases of terrorists, now can you trust civil or so called democratic government? No I don’t have faith in PMLN government? All the hard work of the army is going to be waste of time. Unless military courts are given to operate for next 5 years. Our politicians are problem to a solution, prosecutions should be on fast track please don’t leave for our corrupt judiciary. Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Feb 13, 2016 - 7:16PM

    @Sharath Chandra:Is Mumtaz Qadri and Kanjo also an asset or is it cowardliness of the Nawaz Government Recommend

  • Jey Shah
    Feb 13, 2016 - 11:43PM

    @Sharath Chandra:

    Why don’t you just stay out of it. Every nation has its peculiar situation. Pak will handle things the way suits it.

    India for Pak is an enemy land and Indians enemy people. What it has done to Afghanistan , future generations of Afghans will square it up with Indians. Recommend

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