One of Sindh’s top counterterrorism institutions has termed the takfiri terrorist group Daesh a serious security challenge for the province, and a real threat to Karachi in particular.
“Rising influence of [Daesh] near Balochistan border as well as in Karachi is a real challenge,” said the Counterterrorism Department of Sindh in its latest policy report, where senior officials have prepared a future strategy to cope with the quick rise of Daesh in the province.
“We term Sindh a ‘fertile growth area’ for Daesh. To nip this evil in the bed we are raising special security force to counter Daesh — over 1, 500 personnel are being trained by the military,” said a senior official of CTD Sindh who was part of the team which prepared this policy report.
New anti-Daesh policy has emerged as a result of a study where 14 jet-black terrorists who took part in Safoora Goth bus attack, Karachi Airport attack and Mehran Airbase attack gave their opinion, added the official who did not want to be named.
The agencies posed one question to these terrorists asking what they would do if they are freed. They said, “we will join [Daesh] in Syria,” revealed the official, terming them ‘lone wolfs.”
The CTD Sindh arrested some 373 jet-black terrorists who had affiliation with banned outfits where some two dozen had enjoyed contact with Daesh. “All [two dozen] were inspired by Daesh — this network was getting deeper foot in the port city,” confirmed Additional Inspector General Police Sanaullah Abbasi.
Recent attacks conducted by international banned outfits pose a real threat to law enforcers towards possible intrusion of militant groups, Daesh in particular, into Sindh, Abbasi said.
More than 209 terrorists were linked with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, revealed the policy report, exclusively made available with this correspondent. Some 53 terrorists were operating for al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent while 73 had links with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in the province. The rest of around two dozen were operating for other banned organisations, revealed the report. The counterterrorism officials believe that all the terrorists who were arrested – from 2014 to 2017 – had been operating in the port city of Karachi.
Authorities under this policy plan to establish a CTD Center in Shaheed Benazirabad in a move to break the hotbed of Daesh in interior Sindh. Authorities believe that banned organisations operating in interior Sindh, bordering areas adjacent to Balochistan in particular, are gradually joining ranks of Daesh.
The CTD also plans to establish a ‘Research and Analysis Wing at CTD Headquarters’ just to assess the threat from banned outfits in the province. Under the new counter violent extremism strategy, the forces will also start a youth de-radicalisation program in prisons across the province. For ‘Cyber Terrorism Monitoring’, the institution will start awareness programs in educational institutions across the province.
The CTD teams also plan to start ‘strict monitoring of madaris/religious groups with sectarian and Salafist tendencies.’ A center for counterterrorism is also being established at the University of Sindh, officials said. Ten more cases of terrorists, Ashaq Boobi and Asim Capri in particular, were sent to the military courts last month, they added.