ISLAMABAD - Law enforcement agencies arrested a diehard commander of TTP along with his two accomplices, who were tasked to kill Khyberpakhtunkhwa IGP Nasir Durrani, during an operation conducted near the Swabi Interchange at Motorway on Wednesday.

According to sources, Durrani was scheduled to pass through the Interchange after some time and attackers were tasked to kill him.

The sources further said that the mastermind of attack was none other than Qari Anas, a diehard commander of TTP.

The failed ‘assassination bid’ has marked the emergence of a new and dangerous trend in the wave of suicide attacks that have engulfed the country since 2001. This new phase targets high-ranking police officers and key investigation officers handling cases against the Taliban.

Earlier in the past, terrorists had assassinated a number of high ranking police officers SP Karachi Chaudhry Aslam, Chief City Police officer of Peshawar Safwat Ghayoor and former capital city police officer of Peshawar Malik Saad, in terror operations.

The list of mid career and junior police officers, who were martyred in the line of duty over the years, is too long.

On January 9, 2014, Chaudhry Aslam, who had been leading the operations against militants and extremists in Karachi for years, had fallen prey to a suicide attack engineered by TTP.

Know as fearless and brave police office, Chaudhary Mohammad Aslam was among a few career-police officers who had challenged the militants and Taliban and arrested key operatives of militant organization in city of lights- Karachi.

A TTP spokesperson in a later development had argued, he (Aslam) was martyred for killing their several members including Arif alias Dr. Maqbool and Abdur Rehman in October 2013.

In a similar attack on February 10, 2010, a suicide squad of TTP rammed an explosives-laden van into the official vehicle of Sifwat Ghayur, the FC Commandant, killing him on the spot. His four guards were also killed as a result of suicide attack.

Safwat Ghayoor, the charismatic police officer had turned the US-trained and equipped Frontier Constabulary into a Frontline force, which is still being used in the war against TTP.

The former government of KPK province had admitted at several occasions that it was the police officers like Safwat Ghayoor who had given tough time to TTP in the past.  The KPK also lost a two star-police officer, Malik Saad, on January 27, 2007, as a result of a suicide attack Peshawar. Deceased was serving as Chief City Police officer of Peshawar city.  On January 31, 2012, another suicide bomber had blown himself up near the police car of DSP Rasheed Khan killing the police officer and two of his guards.

Khan’s only crime was to break a Taliban ring responsible for a wave of kidnappings for ransom in KPK province. TTP claimed responsibility of his killing.  In November 2010, TTP attack in Karachi killing 18 police officials. In January 2011, TTP killed Deputy Superintendent of Police Rasheed Khan in Peshawar. On May 12, 2011 a police training centre came under attack in KPP province killing 80 police officials.  “Police is meant to be a crime-fighting force. However, it has been turned into an anti-terrorist force, albeit with severe limitations. Policemen are ill-equipped, poorly trained and above all deeply politicized. It is hard to tackle militancy with poorly equipped police force,” said a high-ranking police officer who spoke with The Nation on condition of anonymity.

The attacks have spread a wave of terror among police officials and their families.  “The most vulnerable are officers dealing with high-profile cases involving the Taliban and banned militant groups,” says the cop.