A Punjab Police constable who is a member of a banned militant outfit and recruiting for the group is currently serving on security duty at Data Darbar, according to an intelligence report doing the rounds among security institutions.
Tahir Farooq of the Punjab Constabulary is an activist of Sipah-i-Sahaba and the Malik Muhammad Ishaq group of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and arranges accommodation for some militant leaders when they visit Lahore, states the report, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.
Farooq is the son of Muhammad Afzal of Boruch village in Gujrat district, which is in Kotwali police jurisdiction. He retired from the Pakistan Navy in 2010 and was inducted into the Punjab Constabulary, where he is currently attached with Omar Company. The intelligence report states that Farooq is organising a ‘Farooqia Force’ in his home village in support of LeJ.
“In the backdrop of previous blasts at Data Darbar, which led to loss of scores of lives and created panic amongst the Barelvi sect, the presence of such a hardcore activist at such a sensitive shrine is a matter of grave concern from a security point of view,” states the report.
It calls for an immediate transfer of the constable away from the shrine and an investigation into his alleged illegal activities in order to take legal action against him. It also says the local administration in Boruch village should be alerted to his activities so he can be stopped.
The report has been shared with the Home Department, the capital city police officer and other officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2013.