KARACHI – Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Lt Gen Asim Bajwa on Friday revealed that the law-enforcing agencies have successfully shattered the network of militants belonging to al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
During the press briefing in Karachi, the Pakistan army spokesman said that the security forces have achieved a major success during the ongoing Karachi operation by arresting over 97 hardcore militants, including three high value targets. “We have broken the overall network and nexus of terrorists belonging to al Qaeda subcontinent chapter and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. They were backed by the Taliban… This is a major achievement, but we have much more to do,” he said.
Bajwa said that the terrorists were involved in almost all major incidents of terrorism in Karachi, adding that all of them are in army’s custody. He said that they committed several heinous crimes, including attacks on security forces, Kamra airbase attack, Mehran airbase attack in Karachi, suicide attack on senior police officer Chaudhry Aslam, attacks on naval buses in Karachi and other incidents of terrorism.
About the three high value targets, he said that they are three hardcore terrorists – Masna, the ‘number two’ of al Qaeda subcontinent chapter, Naeem Bukhari, the head of LJ’s Sindh chapter, and Munna, a wanted terrorist of Al Qaeda. “They had head money of Rs.15 million, Rs.20 million and Rs.5 million respectively,” Bajwa said, adding that Masna was mastermind of June 2014 airport attack in Karachi.
The three hardcore terrorists were later presented by the private TV channel. The ISPR director general said that the army foiled a plot of Hyderabad jailbreak by arresting perpetrators from the city, seizing their arms and ammunition.
“Several of those arrested – including Bokhari – were in the advanced stages of carrying out car bomb attack on Hyderabad Central Jail to free Khalid Omar Sheikh,” he said. Sheikh was convicted of killing US reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002.
Bajwa also briefed journalists about success of Zarb-e-Azb operation and anti-criminal Rangers operation in Karachi. About Zarb-e-Azb operation, he said that the massive army operation has significantly helped forge regional peace.
However, Bajwa warned citizens to cautious of their surroundings and not become facilitators of terrorists unknowingly. “Beware of your surroundings and don’t become a facilitator unknowingly,” he warned
About Rangers operation in Karachi, he said that it was kicked off in Karachi when the mega city was plagued by terrorism and street crime. “Rangers carried out 7000 operations in Karachi, arrested at least 12000 criminals of them 6000 were handed over to police. During this operation, Rangers have seized huge cache of ammunition and more than 9000 weapons,” he elaborated.
The army spokesman said that Rangers operation in Karachi has resulted in major decline in crimes. “As a result of this operation, the target killing has dropped by 70 per cent, extortion by 85 per cent and incidents of kidnapping for ransom by 90 per cent… but we still have much to do.”