Police pick up 35 Afghans in Rawalpindi
RAWALPINDI, Feb 23: Police detained 35 Afghan nationals during a search operation against suspects around the army general headquarters (GHQ) here on Wednesday, police and witnesses said.
More than one 100 police personnel, including women, officials from the special branch and elite force commandos carried out the operation around the GHQ and Qasim Market. Sniffer dogs were also used during the search.
Though Regional Police Officer Hamid Mukhtar Gondal had directed the SSP (operation) Yasin Farooq to launch the search operation early Wednesday and all the three station house officers and the deputy superintendent of police, cantonment circle, had been directed to lead the operation, neither the SHOs nor the DSP turned up.
This led to the issuance of show-cause notices to the SHOs and an explanation notice to the DSP.
The police formed 19 teams and conducted house-to-house searches after cordoning off the area. As many as 115 people were checked and 35 of them, all Afghan nationals, were detained after they failed to produce identification documents. The detainees were kept in a large room usually used for interrogating suspects.
Abdul Haq and his brother Wilayat Khan, who were among the detainees, said they were labourers and were waiting for work along a road when the police picked them.
The police took photographs and fingerprints of the suspects during the questioning which continued after sunset. A senior police officer, who requested not to be named, said: “All those rounded up during the search operation were Afghan nationals. Majority of them were labourers who had been staying here temporarily.”
He said all those detained were released at night after verifications.
Another police officer said: “They are being released either on personal or any other surety.”
A similar search operation is also expected around the army headquarters on Thursday morning.