Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Wednesday that the fiancée of a key suspect involved in shooting 15-year-old child activist Malala Yousufzai, Ataullah Khan, has been arrested along with others, reported BBC Urdu.
According to the report, Khan had crossed over from Afghanistan in to Pakistan, before making his way to Swat. There, he tracked down his target, intercepting Malala’s school van on October 9, 2012. He fled shortly after the assassination attempt.
Khan, a former Swat resident, was last week identified by police officials as the main suspect in the shooting incident. Police said that Khan had been a studying for a master’s degree in chemistry prior to opting for militancy and had studied for his Bachelor of Science degree in physics at Jahanzeb College in Swat.
The interior minister said that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had adopted a new strategy of carrying out attacks and were now teaming up with proclaimed offenders.
Responding to a question regarding handing over of Maulana Fazlullah, Malik said that the government had not only spoken with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, but a written application had also been sent out to the Afghanistan government. However, he said, the Afghan government has not yet responded.
Pakistan had requested Afghanistan to hand over Maulana Fazlullah, claiming that he was involved in planning major attacks in Pakistan from across the border, including the attack on peace activist Malala Yousufzai.
Malik said that Malala shooting cannot be used as justification for demanding a military offensive in North Waziristan.
He said that before a military operation, many aspects are looked into, on top of which is the security of the locals. The evacuation of inhabitants of that area is one of the implications other than appropriate time, weather and action.
Correction: Due to a translation error, an earlier version of this article had stated that the main suspect Ataullah Khan had been arrested. This has been corrected after verification from the reporter of the original article.