LAHORE - In the list of most-wanted proclaimed offenders and terrorists in the Punjab province, Qari Muhammad Yasin, son of Hayyat Muhammad (a resident of Basti Sanuri Bahawalgarh Kehror Paccka district Lodhran), has been placed on number 10.
According to the website of the Lahore Police, the government had announced Rs two million bounty on his head since he was wanted to the law enforcing agencies in several deadly terror assaults.
As per police record, the militant affiliated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) or Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) masterminded terror attacks on key government installations in the Punjab province. In the section of “summary of offences,” the authorities have mentioned four FIRs registered against Qari Yasin with the Lahore, Rawlapindi, and Attock police.
The official record reveals that Qari Yasin was wanted to the Punjab police in four terror assaults (FIR No 215/04 dated July 30, 2004 under section 302/324/ 120-B PPC 5/4 Explosive Act, 6/7 ATA, PS Fateh Jang District Attock, FIR No 934/03 dated December 25, 2003 under sections 324/120-B, 302/121/440/ 124/436 PPC 7-ATA, PS Civil Lines Rawalpindi, FIR No 252/09 dated March 03, 2009 under section 302/324/427/186/120-B/395/148/149/109 PPC, 13/20/65, AO, 3/4EA, PS Gulberg Lahore and FIR No 786/07 dated November 24, 2007 under section 302/324/120-B/440/427 PPC, 4/5EA R.A Bazaar police station Rawalpindi.
Around Thursday midnight, another US drone targeted a compound of Punjabi Taliban in North Waziristan Agency, a restive region beyond the reach of Punjab police. Three suspected militants were reportedly killed and several others were wounded including Qari Yasin when two missiles fired by a US drone hit the compound in Angar Kalli area near Miranshah Tehsil. The identity of those killed is not known yet and there is no information about those wounded in the assault.
Security officials in Miranshah say two Taliban fighters were wounded in the fresh attack and were identified as “Punjabi Taliban” from the central Punjab province. One of them, Qari Muhammad Yasin alias Aslam, is linked with attacks on the Army’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi and another attack in Lahore’s Gulberg. Thursday’s drone attack comes at a time when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has taken an increasingly anti-drone stance with regular sit-ins being organised to stop NATO supply lines.
Angry protesters have blocked NATO supplies to and from Afghanistan and accused US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director and its station chief in Islamabad of murdering people in drone attacks.
Drone attacks are now posing a tough challenge for the newly-elected government of Nawaz Sharif and needs to be re-evaluated under the fresh setting. Drone attacks are counter-productive as well as against the sovereignty of Pakistan.
Killings of Punjabi Taliban leaders as a rebel are one thing but violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is another vital issue. The entire leadership must stand united to get rid of drone attacks and settle the issue of war on terror as well. Following the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud, return of Fazllulah as TTP Chief is not a big deal, as all stakeholders in Pakistan exactly know his worth. He is simply an instrument being used by foreign intelligence agencies to destabilize Pakistan.
Anti-Pakistan forces do not approve the idea of peace talks with TTP and would certainly go on supporting idiotic criminals like Fazllulah to make Pakistan bleed further.
TTP is based in NWA, where Fazllulah’s support base is limited. Reportedly many TTP gangs have been hurtfully whispering and furiously grumbling against the selection of Fazllulah as TTP leader. They argued that TTP head should have been from Mehsud tribe as majority voted for Khan Saeed Sajna while decision of Taliban Shura favoured Fazllulah. This came as a shock to all Mehsud tribal cliques who have serious objections against Fazllulah’s selection as head of the TTP.
Mehsud tribe firmly believes that only Mehsud have the right to lead TTP and they also assert that selection of Fazllulah has created differences among TTP factions. Mehsuds also feel disturbed as TTP’s leadership has been taken away from them whereas till now Mehsuds were the leaders of TTP.
The situation points at rift between TTP ranks and files. Many experts believe that the Punjabi Taliban targeted in a US drone strike on the information provided by disgruntled elements in Mehsud tribe. They did so because they wanted to get head money of Qari Yasin from the government of Pakistan.
Though details about the head money are not known, yet it is construed that internal conflict and rift in TTP leaders existed, which was exploited by some elements to eliminate Punjabi Taliban from the top leadership of TTP.
Instead of further waiting for US drone strikes, the Punjab police should intensify crackdown against militants to kill or capture 21 other TTP leaders, who are declared as most wanted terrorists in the list displayed on the police website.