LAHORE - In its recently-printed Red Book , the Punjab counter-terrorism department (CTD) listed 109 most-wanted terrorists along with the head money worth Rs1 billion announced by the provincial government for their arrests, alive or dead.
Ironically, the names of leading TTP militants, Al-Qaeda commanders, and those fomenting insurgency in Balochistan are not included in the book titled ‘most wanted terrorists in Punjab.’
Neither Aiman-ul-Zawahri nor of Mullah Fazlullah are named in the book . Similarly, names of the militants linked to Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and BRA are also missing in the list of the wanted terrorists.
The Top-Ten terrorists in the list were allegedly involved in suicide attacks on former President Pervez Musharraf, ex-PM Shaukat Aziz and Benazir Bhutto in addition to sectarian violence. An award of Rs10 million has been announced for anyone providing information that can lead to the arrest of Mati-ur-Rahman of southern Punjab’s Bahawalpur district who continues to figure at the top in this list for the last decade.
The law enforcement agencies are unable to trace his whereabouts. He is followed by Mansur alias Chota Ibrahim and Qari Ehsan ul Haq in the list and Rs5 million each has been announced for their arrests. The new edition of the Red Book has also touched the most sensitive issue of sectarianism by naming the culprits involved in this menace. Among this list 42 Sunnis and 19 Shias are named as most wanted terrorists.
Officials familiar with the development insist that majority of the most wanted individuals listed in the book belonged to Sipah-i-Sahaba, Sipah-i-Mohammad, and the TTP, an outfit having several small groups as well including Amjad Farooqi group, Qari Obaidullah group, Tariq Karwan group and International Movement of Uzbekistan. These off-shoots are also involved in extortion and abductions fro ransom.
Several individuals, also listed in the book , belonged to different organisations and were involved in suicide bombings and sectarian violence in the Punjab. The provincial police had already declared them as proclaimed offenders.
The spate of suicidal attacks and sectarian violence had badly damaged the country’s image in the world as thousands of people besides senior officers have been martyred in the terrorists’ attacks. Security experts say that joint efforts are needed to check the activities of terrorists and bring them to justice.
In October, security and law enforcing agencies arrested three terrorists allegedly involved in the Lahore’s Old Anarkali bomb blasts. Jafar Khan, 23, Ameer Baqi, 26 and Saleh Baloch, 29, were nabbed in Lahore on a tip-off provided by the their accomplices detained earlier. The suspects confessed to the investigators that they had direct connections with the BLA. The blast had occurred in a restaurant on October 10, leaving two dead and injuring at least 16 others. Despite all evidences, the Punjab police were reluctant to include the names of key Bloch militants in the book . Baloch dissidents are still playing in the hands of foreign agencies which have anti-Pakistan agenda and intend to create trouble in Balochistan by using them as tools of their strategy.
During informal experts associated with the counter-terror unit say they believe people of Balochistan especially the youth are very loyal and patriotic Pakistanis who believe in unity and sovereignty of the state. Some dissidents, however, are being misled by elusive designs of greedy leaders of the banned outfits.
Since the federal government with the help of Chinese has made considerable progress to develop Gwadar into an international port with a future plan to link it with Kashgar (China) many powers have joined hands to destabilize the mineral-rich province. These powers are providing financial and material support to Baloch Sub Nationalists (BSN) for pursuing anti-Pakistan agenda.
Because of the presence of BSNs leadership in Afghanistan, it is very difficult for the security forces to locate BLA militants, an official says. But when asked why the names of Baloch militant leaders are missing in the red-book, he declined to comment further. However, he admitted that apart from Indo-Afghan sinister many forces are involved to destabilize the state using different internal and external assets especially Baloch sub nationalists.