Thursday, February 29, 2024

‘Pak Taliban chief convenes meet to plan revenge attacks’

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Islamabad: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakeemullah Mehsud convened a meeting in North Waziristan tribal region to plan targeted attacks to prevent the reopening of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, a media report said today.

Mehsud convened a meeting with several senior commanders of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda in North Waziristan Agency in the second week of February, The Express Tribune quoted an intelligence agency’s report as saying.

The intelligence report said if the NATO supply routes were reopened, the militants would “show their anger” through terrorist activities across Pakistan, including targeting high-profile personalities. Information about planned attacks and other possible threats were forwarded to police and other law enforcement agencies by the National Crisis Management Cell of the Interior Ministry.

Officials were directed to beef up security at possible targets, the report said. The report said possible targets included US diplomats and their bases in Pakistan, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Pakistan Tehrik-e- Insaf chief Imran Khan and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

A separate report revealed that the Jundullah group too held a meeting to plan attacks across the country, particularly in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore, the Tribune reported.

It said Jundullah had established a force of 21 militants for this purpose. The force will report to Hakeemullah Mehsud, who will assign targets.

The report said the targets assigned to this group of Jundullah will include government offices, sensitive installations, important personalities and law enforcement agencies. Yet another intelligence report said five Pakistani Taliban militants had entered Punjab province from Darya Khan Bridge in a pick-up truck and were equipped with huge quantities of explosives, ammunition and different licence plates.

The report said law enforcement agencies had been alerted about planned attacks in and around Lahore, particularly near the Fortress Stadium within the cantonment, during April. The report identified two militants – Waqar and Atique – as the masterminds behind attacks planned in metropolitan cities and mentioned two suspected suicide bombers from Orakzai Agency.

Law enforcers have noted suspicious activities of two suspects around the US consulate in Lahore. According to a report, security staff was alerted about a Toyota Corolla car hovering around the area. It said the licence plate on the car, LWK-3393, was counterfeit and actually belonged to a motorcycle.

Pakistan shut down the NATO supply routes after a cross- border air strike from Afghanistan killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

Following a parliamentary review of Pakistan-US ties, the government recently announced it would negotiate new terms for reopening the NATO supply routes. (PTI)

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