Karachi police arrest militant’s 22-year-old widow
KARACHI: Police said yesterday they were investigating the 22-year-old widow of a militant, who was killed in an encounter with the police earlier this month. They want information on the Mehran air base attack.
The attack on the base took place in May this year, some four to eight extremists took the base hostage for more than 15 hours and killed 11 Pakistani soldiers and police. They also destroyed two US-made P-3C aircraft.
The arrest of Sabiha (the widow) is likely to give a good insight as to how the militants carried out such an attack on the sensitive installation.
“We are constituting a joint investigating team to thoroughly looking into her statements,” Mushtaq Shah, the provincial chief of Police told a press conference.
A joint investigation is usually carried out by police and civilian and military intelligence,
Sabiha’s arrest took place after a gunfight on December 5, when police raided a house in the Korangi area to recover Riaz Chenoy, an industrialist who had been kidnapped and held for ransom. Three gunmen were killed in the battle including Qari Shahid Khan, Sabiha’s husband. Khan was said to be the ringleader of the gang and head of the Pakistan Punjabi Taliban, the police said.
“She has told us that she along with her husband did a ‘recce’ of the Mehran Air base to plan the attack and her husband was the key man in that attack,” Gulam Subhan, head of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) said.
The initial investigation said Sabiha had a radical upbringing.
“She seems to be quite motivated and we hope the further investigation will give us valuable information,” Subhan said.
Initial investigations also suggested the group was involved in several other militant attacks in Karachi. Sabiha has a five-month-old baby and had been married to Khan for two years.