Malir blast: TTP revenge or a case of personal enmity?

Published: April 8, 2012

Around seven suspects were being held in custody at an undisclosed location. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ ,OHAMMAD SAQIB

KARACHI: 

Around seven suspects were being held in custody at an undisclosed location by law enforcement agencies in connection with Thursday’s bomb attack on SSP Malir Rao Anwar that killed five people in Malir Halt.

Three people have been nominated in the FIR for the case including ex-SHO of Sohrab Goth Inspector Azam Mehsud and his two brothers, Sher Zaman Mehsud and Zubair Mehsud.

Sources told The Express Tribune that raids were likely to be conducted against members of the Mehsud tribe in Gadap area who have links with Azam Mehsud’s family. They say that the enmity between Anwar and Mehsud was not simply about the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan but more of a personal nature.

According to SSP Anwar, the enmity surfaced when a raid to capture TTP leaders, including Sher Zaman, took place in Sohrab Goth where security officials sustained injuries, and as a result of Azam’s brother being a target of the raid, Azam was suspended from his post.

“We have a JIT report showing that they have links with the TTP and Sher has even been shot once and registered a false FIR in some police station to show he was wounded in a robbery when he was in fact injured during a police encounter,” said SSP Anwar.

Anwar claimed that three suspects that he nominated in the case, being investigated by CID SSP Chaudry Aslam, were still in Karachi and that he had been receiving threats from them a couple weeks prior to the attack.

Admitting that there was an enmity between him and Azam, Anwar said that it was because he and Chaudry Aslam had arrested many of his associates who were involved in extorting businesses and then sending the money “up north” apparently to help fund militants.

When asked whether police may still be sheltering Azam and his brothers, Anwar says “a lot of police get paid off on the lower level and I would expect that there are people who are informing him to change his cell at any given time.”

Anwar claimed that each of the Mehsud brothers have fifty different sim cards and mobile phones and are being tipped off by low level officers on official moves against them.

However, another source told The Express Tribune that the enmity between the two dates back further and does not have to do simply with Anwar catching ‘terrorists.’ It was in fact an ongoing feud for power in the Gadap area when Anwar was posted there.

According to this source, Anwar would frequently cancel any postings that Azam Mehsud would be getting and was undermining Mehsud’s position in the jurisdiction, and that is what sparked this long-standing feud.

Citizens-Police Liaison Committee Chief Ahmed Chinoy says that this incident should be taken positively and that it was a good step that someone has identified a TTP man within the ranks of the police.

“What we have to do is take action against the terrorists from within the community. We have found them hiding in the media, and in the police,” said Chinoy.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2012.

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