Anti-militancy KP men being targeted in Karachi
KARACHI: Many people who resisted militancy in their native areas mainly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the years and then moved to other cities, particularly Karachi, for security reasons are still the target of banned militant outfits, it emerged on Saturday.
While police authorities and some senior investigators partially agree that some people had been killed in the city for their or their families’ proactive role against militancy back in their hometowns, most such cases have to date remained unsolved, fuelling speculation over the exact motive.
“In a year or so, at least seven people who hailed from rural parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or tribal areas were killed in Karachi,” said a senior investigator.
“The incidents were mostly reported in the east and west districts of the police organisational structure where many communities from other parts of the country are mostly settled.”To back up his claim about the trend, he recalled a recent killing in a Landhi Town area.
“The victim was allegedly targeted for his family’s proactive role against militancy in Malakand over the past few years.”
Another murder said to have been committed due to this reason was reported in Baldia Town last month, he said.
The victim hailing from Khyber Agency had been settled here in Karachi for the past several years but his family in his hometown had played a key role in the formation of a community group to fight militancy, the investigator explained.
Police said the victims also included Awami National Party workers who had supported the migrant families and arranged accommodation for them in Karachi.
The ruling party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which claims to have suffered more losses than any other political group in the province for its ‘outspoken stand against the banned outfits’, agrees, only partially, to police findings. It raises a few questions challenging the authenticity of the investigation.
“It can be a reason for a few killings in Karachi,” said Bashir Jan, ANP general secretary in Sindh, while speaking to Dawn.
“We are the only party which is being targeted for its stand against terrorism and brutality mainly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Our people stand against that injustice and pay the price as well.”
He said some individuals here in the city were targeted only for their or their families’ anti–militancy struggle.
“But there is another point to ponder. When the police fail to undertake a credible investigation of the murder, it is an easy way out for them to blame militant outfits for the killing,” said Mr Jan.
He cited the example of Said Khan who was shot dead by a group of armed men in the Metroville area of SITE last month. One of the attackers was also killed when a guard opened fire on them, he said. “We were then told that the attackers were associated with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.”
But the claim by investigators was not followed by any arrest or corroborated by evidence, he added.
The police authorities said ‘links and traces’ lead to the motive and people behind a crime. Since Karachi had witnessed a number of terrorist activities from suicide blasts to sectarian attacks, the role of banned outfits in targeted killings could not be ruled out, they said.
“Those incidents did happen,” said Akhtar Hussain Ghorchani, additional inspector general of police.
“The ANP people and other individuals obviously faced the reaction. So you can’t rule it out, but one should understand that it’s not a trend but a few incidents over the period.”