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‘LEAs concerned over threat from terrorist groups allied with Afghan Taliban’

The resurgence of the Tehreek-e-Taliban in Afghanistan (TTA) and terrorist groups allied with it, especially banned outfits which had fled to Afghanistan during the security forces’ operation in Pakistan, might affect the peaceful environment in Pakistan, especially in Sindh.

Official sources have said Karachi is facing a constant threat from banned outfits, especially from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Recently, the security departments have alerted the public by various means, including social media, about the threat posed by the banned outfits.

The official sources say they have announced a security alert for different law enforcement departments working in Pakistan, especially Karachi, and ordered them to expand their intelligence network and curb the nefarious desire of the terrorists.

Talking to The News on Thursday, Raja Umer Khattab, chief the Transnational Terrorists Intelligence Group (TTIG) of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Sindh, said that before discussing the present scenario, there was a need to review the past, as earlier there were differences between the Afghan Taliban and the Mujahideen and Abdul Shah Mehsud. Moreover, he said, the capture of Kabul and Kandhar should also be taken into account.

He noted that at present, Afghan Taliban were marching towards Afghanistan’s borders, especially with Chechans and Uzbiks, and had stopped their contact supply line there. Apart from that, he added, there was an alliance of Hazaras, Ubzbiks, Tajiks and separatist groups against the TTA, while the TTA had an alliance with Al-Qaeda and Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), and that they were busy fighting against Daesh in Afghanistan. The TTA was also busy fighting against the Afghan forces with the help of its allied groups, including the TTP, he said. Khattab said that in future if Tajiks and Hazaras got united, and the TTA and the TTP joined hands on the other side, Daesh would be in between, but chances were that Daesh would form an alliance with Al-Qaeda or local banned militant organisations in Pakistan so that it could achieve its sectarian motives. It would have an impact on the religious differences in Pakistan, especially in Sindh, he said, further warning that sectarian terrorism would intensify, with terrorism incidents expected to be committed by the TTA-allied groups -- TTP and LeJ -- in Pakistan.

The senior anti-terror police officer stated that the morale of the TTA men was high and it had also benefited banned outfits in Pakistan, and that might affect Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and especially Karachi in future.

He was of the view that the new strategy of these banned outfits (TTP and LeJ) would lead to killings of people on sectarian grounds, and attacks on police officers who worked against them and those people who had left the organisations or were spying for law enforcement departments.

Khattab said it was also likely that AQIS, AQ, TTP and sectarian outfits would regroup in the coming days, and the TTP sleepers cells could also become active in Karachi.

He said they were also looking for activists of banned outfits, especially from the LeJ, who were recently granted bail or acquitted after passing eight to nine years in jail and were missing.