KARACHI: Joint teams of three militant organisations are believed to be planning to target the provinces' chief ministers and Iranian diplomatic missions in the country, claims a letter issued by the National Crisis Management Cell in light of intelligence reports.
Small factions of Jundullah, Harkat-e-Jihad-e-Islami and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have joined hands to carry out terrorist attacks. The federal interior ministry has informed all the provincial governments about the threats and has asked them to take precautionary measures, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The cell's communiqué said that these groups are led by Hafiz Laiqullah (Jundullah), Hafiz Khursheed Bahadur (Harkat) and Abdullah alias Sher Alam Muavia (Lashkar's Fidai Force). According to reports, Hafiz Laiqullah is a resident of Karachi and commands a group of 13 militants. Bahadur lives in Muzaffarabad and claims to enjoy the support of 11 men while Abdullah is from Bahawalpur and leads seven members. The activists of these groups have been part of the Lashkar-e-Islami and the Sirajuddin Haqqani group and would now like to be known as leaders of their own groups, stated the communiqué.
The militant leaders are believed to have recently met at Khair-ul-Madaris in Multan and then at the residence of Qari Habibullah in Ziaul Haq Colony, Karachi. The leaders are attempting to create confidence with such meetings. They also met at the house of Hafiz Naimatullah alias Chota Qari Ilyas in Muzaffarabad. They have reportedly decided to prepare a squad of six men.
Security officials are cognisant of these developments. An official at Sindh CM House told The Express Tribune that stringent measures are already in place. "We were put on high alert, especially after the assassination of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer," said CM House Security DSP Asghar Hussain Shah. Thorough checks are carried out for everyone, including those who are part of the CM's VIP movement and all visitors.
A senior investigation officer said on the condition of anonymity that all intelligence and law-enforcement agencies are working to counter the strategies of these three groups.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2011.
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