Several leading politicians, including Pakistan Muslim League –Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, are on the potential hit-list of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), according to an intelligence report circulated among law enforcement agencies.
Also appearing on the list are Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Fakhar Imam and the head of the Shia Ulema Council Pakistan Allama Sajid Naqvi. The report, citing plans of TTP Punjab’s commander Matiur Rehman and his associates, also spoke of terror plots being hatched by the group in Punjab. For instance, it warned of a possible suicide attack on the police force in order to free their jailed comrades who were implicated in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009.
One of the suspects in the attack, Qari Waqas, who is imprisoned in Kot Lakhpat Jail, is said to be in constant touch with the TTP, providing them with the dates of the court hearings. The alleged attack is likely to be carried out while the police would be taking him to the court hearing.
The report stated that the group was also involved in kidnapping wealthy businessmen, in particular those from the Ahmadi community in Lahore.
Another intelligence report revealed that members of the TTP were planning attacks on prominent Shia leaders residing in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and surrounding areas. Prominent hotels, VIPs, foreigners and other sensitive locations in the twin cities and Lahore are also on the targeted list.
Terrorists are also alleged to be preparing for a strike in retaliation for any military operation launched in North Waziristan Agency.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.