Taliban terrorists have extorted Rs 1.5 million from 2 traders of Rawalpindi, the garrison city of Pakistan where army’s headquarters (GHQ) is also situated.
One of them, Zahid Nazeer of City Saddar Road, told Dawn newspaper’s staff reporter Mohammad Asghar that he went to the police because he was feeling insecure even after paying Rs1 million to the extortionists who had been hounding him since April 17.
Nazeer said he got scared after a man speaking in Pashto and claiming to be a member of the TTP called him thrice on that day and demanded Rs2.5 million for the outlawed militant group, currently holding peace talks with the government.
In the negotiations that followed the threatening calls, the extortionist lowered the demand to Rs1 million. His brother Amjad went to the designated place and delivered the money to two persons waiting in a car there, according to the victim.
“Two other persons on a motorbike kept a watch as the transaction took place. My brother noted ‘King’ emblazoned on the bike’s number plate but could not identify the riders as they wore helmets,” said Nazeer.
Trader Anjum Fasih of Ganjmandi, the other victim, had a more harrowing experience to report to police.
Fasih said in his complaint that he was driving home with his brother Anwar when four people in a car intercepted them. They identified themselves as members of TTP and said they had orders from their emir (chief) to collect money from him, and fired shots into his car to make the threat real.
“We narrowly escaped the attack,” Anjum said in the complaint.
Later threatening calls came from the gangsters and his brother eventually delivered Rs 500,000 to them near Mashriq Hotel on the City Saddar Road, according to the complaint.
DSP Raja Taifoor confirmed receiving the two complaints about extortion and assured that police would track down the extortionists soon.