Ministry of Interior’s Crime Control Unit (CCU) revealed on Sunday that Interior Minister Rehman Malik had been receiving death threats from a detained activist of a banned militant outfit from southern Punjab.
The CCU was investigating threatening calls which Malik had been receiving since over a year and a half. The CCU investigators, with assistance from Islamabad Police, arrested Khadim Hussain from a village Sirashta Nashaib – a stronghold of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan – situated around 20 kilometres away from Layyah.
A senior official of the Islamabad Secretariat Police claimed that 35-year-old Hussain was the head of a militant group which was threatening Malik.
“We have leads on some more persons belonging to Sirashta Nashaib — a strong hold of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan in district Layyah,” he disclosed.
His mobile SIM (subscriber identity module) card was reportedly used for communicating with planners of the blasts that occurred in Bara Kahu, Islamabad last month, the official added.
However, Superintendent of Police (SP) Muhammad Ilyas said that the police have no proof yet that the accused’s SIM card had been used for communicating with Islamabad-based journalist Saleem Shahzad, who was mysteriously found dead in district Mandi Bahauddin in May this year.
Another police official claimed that the cellular number 0307-7431354, registered in the name of the accused, had been used in various terrorist activities by the banned outfit’s activists. Layyah District Police Officer Chaudhry Saleem, quoting findings of the CCU, said that Hussain was said to be involved in cyber crime.
“Ninety per cent people of this area use unregistered SIM cards because they are unaware about the proper usage of cellular services in the villages of Jamman Shah and Kot Sultan,” he explained.
The Kot Sultan Police Station SHO Sarfaz Khan Gaddi Baloch claimed that Hussain appeared to be innocent and had no criminal record.
“A sub-inspector of the Islamabad Police had lodged a report with us and formally arrested the accused under 324/7 Anti Terrorism Act in case number 89/11 dated June 12, 2011,” said Baloch.
On Saturday, Islamabad’s Assistant SP Dr Khalil Ahmed rushed to Layyah along with the records of the case so that the accused could be presented before the district magistrate for further procedure, local media reported.
Hussain, who has four children, is a peasant by profession, according to his relative.
“We are innocent people. We are illiterate and we don’t even know who Rehman Malik is,” he told The Express Tribune while seeking anonymity.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2011.
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