SHAFAQNA- While the military has been fighting militancy in the turbulent tribal areas, sectarian violence, a strain of that militancy, has been on the rise elsewhere in the country. Targeted killings are the hallmark of the menace, which, sadly, has also arrived in Rawalpindi, according to DAWN report.
Rawalpindi police are alarmed at the wave of targeted attacks and think splinter groups of the banned takfiri militant Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) could be behind this murderous madness. But they have not been able to identify or reach any suspect. (It is because Chaudhry Nisar is federal interior minister who don’t see takfiri terrorism anywhere in Pakistan despite police and intelligence reports).
Regional Police Officer Akhtar Umar Hayat Laleka told Dawn that some among the hundreds of the takfiri militants killed during the Zarb-e- Azb Operation were believed to have been involved in the killing of policemen standing guard at the Imambargah Dhoke Syedan on December 30, 2013.
Officer Laleka added that investigations into the recent targeted killing of two policemen outside the Sadiqabad Imambargah also lead to banned TTP splinter groups.
Asked if these groups were present in Rawalpindi, he said: “Obviously. There are many individuals here who have links with the banned outfits. We have been trying to identify the splinter groups who could be involved in the targeted killings.”
Such malevolent elements first struck in the city this year on February 21, when five gunmen targeted four cloth merchants and killed a fifth person also by their indiscriminate firing. Three of the merchants they came for died on the spot while the two other victims died in a hospital.
Initially the city police claimed it was a case of old enmity but could not establish that before the joint investigation team, which comprised of intelligence, police and counter-terrorism department officials. Nor the investigation team could reach the five killers who escaped on two motorcycles without a trace. Motorcycles are the favourite transport for drive-by killers and street criminals as they provide easy get-away. A large number of motorcycles running on city roads are found without registration plates or violating traffic rules with impunity. The few traffic police wardens on duty or patrolling the streets watch them helplessly zoom by.