RE - City police Tuesday launched a massive crackdown against Pashtuns belonging to NWFP and Afghanistan and arrested hundreds of them during raids at their colonies in the provincial capital.
Reliable sources in police department said that police had also recovered some photographs of banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Chief Baitullah Mahsud and other leaders from the residences of arrested Pashtuns.
A large number of Pashtuns had been settled in different localities of the provincial capital for the last several years. According to the sources, some arrests came on the basis of some evidences and important information of their involvement in providing assistance to hardened criminals and also the terrorists.
A senior police officer seeking anonymity said that law enforcement agencies had collected information about the indirect involvement of the Pashtuns in the recent terrorists strikes in Lahore. The terrorists always used the Pashtuns settled in the city, for accommodation, transportation, for the information about the targeted places and other help. The terrorists also used their residences as hideout before, during and after the attacks in the city.
He said that most of them hailed from tribal areas, some districts of NWFP and Afghanistan. To a query, the police officer said that in Liberty and Manawan incidents, police found some evidences about the indirect involvement of these 'outsiders.
He said that city police high-ups once again received intelligence reports from sensitive agencies about the presence of some terrorists in the provincial capital for another ugly episode that was expected within next days or weeks.
To avoid any untoward incident and to counter any expected terrorist attack, the police officer said, several police teams had been constituted which conducted raids in the slum areas of Shafiqabad, Lower Mall, Misri Shah, Nolakha, Mughalpura, Race Course, Sanda, Sherakot, Nawankot, Hanjarwal, Chuhng, Sanda, Sattokatla where a large number of Pashtuns are settled for the last several years.
To another question, the police officer said that only those Pashtuns had been arrested who failed to show their identity or any other documents. Several of them were taken into custody on the basis of intelligence reports according to which they were found involved in mysterious activities in the city.
The police officer said that as many as 300 Pashtuns have been arrested so far and shifted to the undisclosed places for interrogation.