A suspected Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militant, caught by the police a few days ago, confessed to the assassination of former Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti.
The terrorist killed the former minister for speaking against the blasphemy laws, said the Islamabad police on Monday.
Around two weeks ago, Hammad Adil was arrested in a raid, along with Muhammad Tanveer, an alleged TTP ringleader. They were caught, with the help from intelligence agencies, from their hideout in Phulgran, in Islamabad’s suburbs, and car laden with explosives was also seized from their possession.
These two were suspected of planning the attack on Bhatti with the help of another accomplice, Omer Abdullah.
“They waited for the former minister in a car outside his residence and opened fire,” said a police official. Adil was among the planners while Tanveer provided them with the AK-47 and other weapons used in the assassination.
In March 2011, Bhatti was gunned down in the Sector I-8/3 area of the capital, where the militants forced his vehicle to a halt.
During the interrogation, Adil told the police that he planned to murder Bhatti as he had spoken about amending the blasphemy laws and supported ‘blasphemers’. The militants studied his routine and monitored his movement for a few days before the attack.
Meanwhile, he also told the police that he was preparing for another terrorist attack on a major installation. A suicide bomber was on his way from the tribal areas to Islamabad to drive and hit the explosives-laden vehicle (found during the raid) into a key target in the capital city, Adil told investigators.
The confession by Adil came at a time when the police had given up the tracing of Shahbaz Bhatti’s killers.
After Adil’s confession, the police arrested another suspect, Shakil Indrabi, from a house in Islamabad a few days ago. Indrabi is being interrogated, and the court has sent Adil to a three-day police remand. The police said they are trying to arrest the other two accomplices as soon as possible.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2013.
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