Wednesday May 22, 2024

Pakistan mounts secret raids in hunt for Chinese militants

By Zahid Gishkori
April 03, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani spy agencies mounted clandestine raids for hunting militants of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as part of an operation in the border region of Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Secret crackdown was started soon after Beijing alerted Pakistani authorities about gravity of threats to workers associated with Chinese projects in Pakistan which according to them prove tempting targets for multiple terrorist groups, operators of ETIM in particular last year. “Such operations are matter of sensitivity. The ETIM and its new allies, Baloch rebels included too, tried to assemble themselves near the CPEC’s routes — but we have almost eliminated ETIM bases on our soil,” one of security operators engaged to monitor the operation revealed. “Some four dozen Uighur fighters were operating in sensitive areas of GB, KP, Gwadar and Balochistan.

They all remain committed to sabotage work on Chinese projects,” security operator who did not want to be named revealed this on Monday. Pakistani spy agencies have mounted secret raids to hunt down Chinese militants after reports that members of Islamic State militia from Xingian's Uighur community might be returning from Syria.

Hundreds of the members of the ETIM, militant group behind attacks in China Xinjian province, joined ultra extremist Islamic State in recent years, but they are now returning to Pakistan and Afghanistan after a near fall of Abu Baker al-Baghdadi-led group in Syria.

According to a secret documents Geo News have had accessed to security agencies are trying to trace six Chinese militants, who have sneaked into Pakistan from Afghanistan to launch attacks against Beijing interests.

Chinese diplomats on 8th December last year warned its nationals of possible terrorist attacks targeting “Chinese-invested organisations and its citizens” in Pakistan. Around 30,000 Chinese workers have been engaged in around 280 projects across the country where about 35,000 security personals were deployed.

Confidential official documents revealed that security operators are trying to hunt Mahesuti Maimaiti who belonged to Shache district Kashi of Xinjiang. He travelled on fake documents and participated in terrorist/extremist activities since 2014. Abudusadike Simayi who is also from Yutian district, Xinjiang illegally crossed China border in 2012. Baitula Aobulikasimu who belongs to Hetian City of Xinjiang illegally left the country in 2014 and was also involved in terrorism. Jumaniyazi Maitikuerban who is from Luopu, Xinjiang left the country in 2013 for jihad. Maitisaiyidi Maitituersun who is from Cele, Xinjiang illegally got exit from China and participated terrorist activities in 2013. Maimaiti Hailipaiti who comes of Yutian, Xingjiang illegally left China in 2016 where he was involved in terrorist activities. Two key militants of ETIM Memetiming Memeti and Emet Yakuf killed in drone strikes in North Waziristan.

Security forces in multiple secret operations killed militants of ETIM Hasan Mahsum, also known as Abu-Muhammad al-Turkestani, Ashan Sumut, Ubul Kasimu, Mohanmetemin Hazre, Ahmat Tuhit, Muhammat Wupur, Abudumijit Muhammat Kelim and Hudaberdi Haxerbik. Both ministry of interior and Chinese officials based in Islamabad also confirmed this development.

Security forces have also arrested some militants of the ETIM in various operations. They included Umer Kanat, Dolqun Isa, Memet Reman, Abudukadir Yapuquan, Ayat Mahmut, Ibulayin Ismayil and Abdul Kareem. Conducting secret raids, forces, either arrested or killed over a dozen militants of the ETIM which include Usiman Yimit, Abudula Kariaji, Abulimit Turxun, Hemit Muhanmed, Yasen Muhammat, Ahet Yimin, Balat Alifu, Atahan Abuduhani, Emeri Yakufand, Memetituersun Abuduhalike, Metusun Abuduhalike Ansarui, Abudu Rehmen, Muhanmmed Tuhit, Abu Umar Alfarouq, Abdul Haq al-Turkistani and Shaykh Bashir.

Security forces also pursuing case of Abdulla Salim who entered Afghanistan and Turdi Guzalinur and Hailiqiemu Abulizi who entered China. Pakistani authorities also handed over around a dozen militants associated with ETIM; they revealed that they were arrested in northern areas. Officials associated with intelligence agencies and counterterrorism departments further disclosed that hostile intelligence agencies, the NDS and RAW in particular, recruited at least 2,000 local young men having affiliation with local proscribed organisations from Awaran, Taftan, Kurram, GB and tribal district, Hangu, Tal and Kohat for disrupting the ongoing work on various projects in the country.

Majority was former Taliban members, activists of sectarian groups like Baloch Libration Army, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jihadist including Jaish-e-Mohammed. Around a 1,000 came back from Afghanistan recently and some of them were arrested.  

Several networks recruiting for the IS (Daesh) from Punjab, Sindh and KP were busted by the intelligence agencies and counter terrorism departments of provinces, officials further revealed. “But challenge now is that nearly 1,000 (500 Sunni and equal number of Shiite battle-hardened) militants are likely to return to Pakistan after the fall of IS in Iraq and Syria,” revealed a security operators overseeing. “It is a huge number to deal with for law enforcers,” he said adding that “the ISI, the CTDs and local police departments in Punjab, KP and Sindh have already put in place a plan to tackle these boys if and when they make a comeback to Pakistan.”