KARACHI - The law enforcers are running after the operatives of newly emerged militant group, Ansarul Shariah Pakistan (ASP), which attempted to kill Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hassan on Eid day.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) senior leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan narrowly escaped a gun attack when he was on his way back home after offering Eid prayers. One of Hassan’s guards and a teenager lost their lives while four other people were wounded.

Police investigators said that Ansarul Shariah, a newly emerged militant group, having well-educated people in its ranks, was involved in various incidents of terrorism in Karachi, adding that one of the attackers on Khawaja Izharul Hassan, Ahsan Israr, resident of Sohrab Goth, was later allegedly killed by Taimuria police.

CTD officials said that the slain militant was PhD and was associated with an engineering university of Karachi as a professor.

Ahsan is not only ASP militant whom the investigators know, but they have also managed to trace and identify another hardcore militant of the same group, Abdul Karim Sarosh Siddiqui, who is also believed to be the mastermind of attack on Khawaja Izharul Hassan, and also the group’s Central Commander.

Police officials said that Siddiqui was enrolled in the BS programme of Applied Physics at Karachi University.

As police team, led by District Malir SSP Rao Anwar, along with intelligence personnel, raided various houses in Gulzar-e-Hijri on a tip off, Siddiqui managed to flee while spraying bullets at the police party, leaving a cop dead and wounding another.

Rao Anwar said that Siddiqui was wounded during an exchange of fire, but he managed to escape under the cover of fire while one police constable, namely Aijaz lost his life while another Khalid was wounded during an encounter at Kaniz Fatima Society in Gulzar-e-Hijri.

Siddiqui is said to be a close friend of another suspected militant, Hassan, who was killed following the assassination attempt on Izharul Hassan.

Police have also detained Sajjad, father of Siddiqui and Israr, father of the slain militant Ahsan besides taking into custody nearly a dozen more militants of the same group, including its spokesperson, during various raids in Gulzar-e-Hijri, Defence Housing Authority, Super Highway and Sachal areas.

Police officials remained busy inquiring about the killing of Hassan, one of the attackers on Izhar, allegedly in an encounter as police had claimed that he was killed in an encounter when he was trying to flee after the assassination bid. While it was later reported that he was handed over to the police by a crowd of people alive and later police shot in his head, killing him on the spot.

The investigation into murderous attack on opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hasan has opened up a number of cases that were lying dormant previously.

The forensic report of empty shells of two 9mm pistols used in attack on Izhar suggests that these weapons had been used in various targeted attacks in Karachi earlier, including in the killing of a traffic police DSP in Azizabad, four cops in SITE area, attack on a police mobile van in Dhoraji area, killings of two security guards in an attack on FBR’s Regional Office and a targeted killing of a Police Foundation personnel in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.

 

Mansoor Khan