Swat Taliban ‘commander’ among four held in Peshawar
PESHAWAR / SWAT: Security agencies detained four militants, including a senior ‘commander’ of the Swat chapter of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), from Peshawar suburbs late on Tuesday night, officials said.
Sources said that the arrests were made in the Danishabad area, in the limits of Pishtakhara Police Station. A security official said that the TTP top man, who has been identified simply as Wajid, is a resident of Mardan district and was wanted for suicide attacks, bomb blasts and other incidents of terrorism. The official said that Wajid also used to convene meetings of top militant leaders in various locations in Fata.
The identities of other militants have not been ascertained. Local police said they do not have any knowledge of the arrests, but sources said that a suicide vest, explosives and around 200 mobile phone Sim cards were recovered from their possessions.
Meanwhile, Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Asif Malik visited Swat on Wednesday to attend a ceremony organised prior to the reconstruction of the Government High School in Bandai which was destroyed by militants.
Talking to reporter, the corps commander said that the law and order situation in Swat is peaceful, adding that a reconstruction phase is underway in the valley and special measures are being taken to revive tourism.
“Tourism is the backbone of Swat’s economy. More tourists are expected…this season. The number of check posts has been reduced for the convenience of tourists,” he said. Commenting on the reopening of Saidu Sharif Airport he said: “I just visited the airport and we are trying our best to make it functional this season. We are hopeful that the first flight will land there in June.”
Referring to the reconstruction of schools in Swat, Malik said that nearly 400 schools had been destroyed, of which 44 were currently being reconstructed, adding that the rest would soon be rebuilt.
Sher Shah Khan, an elder of the Peace Committee in Kabal told The Express Tribune that Koza Bandai was a stronghold of the extremists. “This area was (like) their cantonment. Mullah Fazlullah, Muslim Khan, Mahmood Khan and other top leaders of the Swati Taliban belonged to this area so the degree of destruction here is greater than any other part of Swat,” he said. Khan said people were grateful to the army for bringing back peace and stability to the area.