Network of Daesh unearthed: IB chief

ISLAMABAD: The chief of country’s premier civilian intelligence agency on Wednesday revealed before a Senate committee that the network of Daesh in Pakistan has been unearthed. Director General (DG) Intelligence Bureau (IB) Aftab Sultan said this while briefing a Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control presided over by Senator Rehman Malik.

He said that Daesh and other banned organisations are using social media but effective steps have been taken to counter cyber crime and abuse of social media.

Sultan further said that the government is planning to rehabilitate those Jehadi elements who have surrendered before security forces. “The rehabilitation plan which is under consideration includes provision of interest-free loans and recruitment of surrendered terrorist elements in security forces”.

To a question raised by senators about intelligence of Bacha Khan University (BKU) terror attack, the IB chief admitted that there were intelligence reports regarding attacks on educational institutions in general but there was no specific information about any attack on BKU.

The IB chief claimed that the law and order situation has improved across the country including Karachi. The Operation Zarb-e-Azb has broken the back of banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and now terrorists are on the run, he said. He said that the number of terrorist attacks has dropped in the country as total of 208 terror attacks were carried militants in 2013, 149 in 2014 and 141 in 2015.

He said that during the last six months, IB has shared intelligence of 11 terror attacks in advance and arrested 581 terrorists and killed 84. He said that IB has arrested 101 terrorists in Sindh and killed 27 while the Bureau nabbed 581 terrorists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and killed 84.

Sultan said that terrorists involved in major terror attacks including attacks near Wagah Border, Shikarpur Imambargah attack, attack on Awami National Party (ANP) leader Bashir Ahmad Bilour, terror attack in Meena Bazaar Peshawar, attack on Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro and SSP Chaudhry Aslam have been arrested. About the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), he said that the law enforcement agencies have done a great job but there is a lot more that needs to be done. The Punjab government is seriously focusing over countering terror financing and arrested many people in this regard, he said.

He said that an arms depot of terrorists was also eliminated in Tarnol and terror elements of the Umer Khalif group were arrested. “TTP and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have links with each other and these have sent 200 fighters to Syria,” he said. To a question raised by Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Sultan said that TTP fugitives are locals and foreigners. He said that around 8 to 10 years will be required for changing the terror mindset.

“Terror attacks may continue for next few years but we must move forward instead of being intimidated,” he said. Rehman Malik said that unless the border with Afghanistan is fenced terrorism cannot be stopped. “Pak-Afghan border is the only border in the world where there is no immigration,” he said. Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Muhammad Javed Abbasi and senior official of Ministry of Interior also attended the meeting.

Source: Business Recorder