Faiza, the wife of the slain chief of the Punjabi Taliban Group in Karachi, Qari Faisal, has disclosed that the militant outfit has been involved in major terrorist attacks in Lahore and Karachi, including the devastating strike on the PNS Mehran base.
The startling revelation has prompted the Sindh government to form a Joint Interrogation Team (JIT), which will consist of Intelligence Bureau and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officials.
SP Ghulam Subhani of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) said that a few months ago, prominent industrialist Riaz Chinoy had been kidnapped for ransom by militants in the Quaidabad area. The terrorists had demanded billions in exchange for Chinoy’s release.
The industrialist was recovered when an AVCC team raided the Korangi area and engaged in a fierce gun battle with the militants. During the raging shootout, the Punjabi Taliban leader in the city, Qari Faisal, and two of his accomplices were killed. Two policemen were also injured in the exchange of fire.
However, the police managed to safely recover Chinoy. During that raid, the law enforcers also managed to capture Qari Faisal’s wife and shifted her to the investigation unit.
The woman was identified as Faiza alias Sheeba, SP Subhani said. She said she tied the knot with Qari Faisal a couple of years ago and the couple had a baby boy, he added. Faiza said that she used to teach at the Madrassa Al-Rasheedia in Rajanpur and took admission to the Lal Masjid in Islamabad for further studies.
The woman recalled that after the attack on the Lal Masjid during the Musharraf regime, she went to Wana, the main town of South Waziristan. There the Punjabi Taliban Group was formed and associated itself with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Subhani said that the detainee also confessed to the group’s involvement in major terror attacks, including the 10th Moharram blast in Karachi and the attack on the PNS Mehran base. Faiza revealed that she and Qari Faisal, along with another Punjabi Taliban Group member named Aslam Mujahid, went to the PNS Mehran base to carry out reconnaissance.
The militants involved in the attack were of foreign origin and had been sent to Karachi, where the Punjabi Taliban Group provided them with food and logistical support, Faiza further disclosed. SP Subhani said that just a couple of days later, terrorists carried out the attack on PNS Mehran.
He claimed that Faiza also owned up to the fact that the militants in the explosives-laden hi-roof van that blew up in the Sea View area recently also belonged to the group. He added that the woman revealed that the group’s target, on that particular occasion, was a government office in Defence.
Subhani said that she had written letters to the families of suicide bombers, assuring them that their loved ones were making a supreme sacrifice. The group would also give a dose of some medicine to make the suicide bombers lose their senses before an attack.
Based on information provided by the detained woman, Subhani said that the police conducted another raid, in which they found literature and letters written to the bomber’s families and blindfolds used for kidnapping people. The police also recovered the laptop used by Faiza, an expert in computers.
Faiza, the SP claimed, even confessed to the Punjabi Taliban Group’s involvement in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
She also revealed that the group had planned a suicide attack on the Ashura procession this year. Future targets of the group included the Jinnah International Airport and Karachi’s Oil Terminal.