A decorated senior intelligence officer martyred in a terrorist gun attack earlier this week in southern Punjab was a “nightmare for Da’ish” who had “singlehandedly” denied the Khorasan enterprise of the Middle Eastern terrorist group a foothold in the province, according to sources.
Muhammad Naveed Sadiq, a director at the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and his comrade Inspector Nasir Abbas were martyred in a gun attack by a terrorist, identified as Umar Khan, s/o Muhammad Akram Khan, at Bismillah Restaurant on the National Highway in Pirowal, Khanewal, on January 3.
A relatively unknown terrorist group calling itself Lashkar-e-Khorasan immediately claimed responsibility. Within hours the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) cast doubts on the claim with its spokesperson Muhammad Khorasni saying the deadly attack was carried out by a “secret squad” of the TTP.
Khorasni cited a “delay in information from the ground” as the reason for the delay in the TTP’s credit claim. Both the claims, however, appear to be doubtful because the suspected attacker, who earlier had tea with the two officials at the restaurant, was an “intelligence source” on al Qaeda terrorist group. It is suspected that he might have been a double agent.
Also read: Two CTD officers shot dead in Khanewal
According to the FIR, “They walked to the parking lot [of the restaurant] after having tea when the ‘source’ suddenly pulled out a gun and shot the ISI officers. He escaped on a motorcycle after the deadly shooting.
Despite technological advancement, it is still a standard practice for secret agencies and intelligence sleuths to cultivate sources among terrorist networks to frustrate their plans.
Director General ISI Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, who keeps a low profile, travelled to Lahore to join other senior military officials and government functionaries to attend the funeral of the martyred intelligence officials.
Naveed Sadiq Shaheed, who was Officer Commanding of ISI’s counter-terrorism department for Multan Region, had served the premier intelligence agency for more than 16 years.
“The brave son of the soil had conducted multiple operations against Da’ish and al Qaeda across Punjab,” the sources told The Express Tribune. “During the war against terrorism he became a terrorists’ nightmare,” the sources added. “He had singlehandedly defeated Da’ish, especially in Punjab.”
Naveed Sadiq was decorated with Sitara-e-Shujaat, Pakistan’s second highest civil award, by President Arif Alvi at a special Investiture Ceremony held at the Presidency in March 2021.
“On the night between January 14 and 15, 2021, Naveed Sadiq successfully traced the residence of Da’ish’s deputy commander in Faisalabad and conducted a raid along with his team,” according to the citation that described him as an “officer of extreme gallantry”. “Naveed Sadiq and his team neutralised the terrorists after a fierce encounter,” it added.
During another operation in Gujranwala, Naveed Sadiq bravely fought against suicide terrorists. “He and his team risked their lives and successfully took the two suicide terrorists out of the densely populated areas of the city before neutralising them,” according to the citation.
Naveed Sadiq Shaheed, who was equipped with modern intelligence craft and gifted with exemplary bravery, had always been on the hit-list of hostile elements, according to the sources.
Also read: Funeral prayers offered for martyred CTD officers
Inspector Nasir Abbas Shaheed had also served the ISI for about 16 years. “During his posting in Multan, he was the linchpin of operations against Da’ish, al Qaeda, and other terrorist outfits in South Punjab,” the sources said.
“He had a very deep ingress in terrorist organisations through a source network which facilitated a number of counterterrorism operations,” the sources added. “For this very reason, the brave son of the soil, who always fought on the front, was also on the hit-list of terrorist organisations.”
“Naveed Sadiq has left behind a rich legacy,” the sources said, adding that the “unsung heroics of these officers will live forever”.
Pakistan has seen a spurt in terrorist violence since the outlawed TTP publicly tore up a ceasefire agreement that they had never fully honoured in November, last year. The group, which enjoys de facto political asylum in the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, has carried out dozens of attacks in different cities of the country since the collapse of the truce.
The uptick in TTP attacks has prompted back-to-back huddles of the National Security Committee, the country’s highest forum on security and foreign policy, which has pledged that “no country will be allowed to provide sanctuaries and facilitation to terrorists and Pakistan reserves all rights in that respect to safeguard her people”.
Earlier, the 254th Corps Commanders’ Conference, chaired by army chief General Syed Asim Munir, also resolved to “fight against terrorists without any distinction and eliminate this menace as per the aspirations of people of the Pakistan”.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ