ISLAMABAD: The federal capital was put on alert on Tuesday after incidents of terrorism and a warning issued by Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad of more terrorism-related incidents.
A policeman was shot dead and two others were injured at a checkpoint on Tuesday. On Monday night, a gunbattle took place in which two militants were shot dead, before two gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on a police checkpoint in the vicinity of the Karachi Company police station.
"This was not an incident of dacoity or theft. Terrorists opened fire on them [police officials]. This is a signal for us that terror incidents have started taking place in Islamabad," he said while speaking to journalists after the martyred police official's funeral prayers.
The interior minister said authorities needed to remain alert, as he noted the incident was "purely of terrorism". Sh Rashid said the authorities had tracked down the "sleeper cell" of the terrorists through their motorcycle.
"Islamabad police and other forces are on alert." Shahid Zaman, a senior Islamabad Police official, told AFP the incident was "an act of terrorism". The martyred police official has been identified as Head Constable Munawwar, while the injured include Amin and Rashid, a spokesperson for the police said.
The spokesperson added that the wounded officers received treatment at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). "This is the first terror-related incident in the country [...] but police, through this encounter, have proved that they are ready to lay down their lives no matter what comes their way," the interior minister added.
Talking to a private news channel, Sh Rashid said threats regarding terrorist activities in the country were present and the government was investigating the tragic incident which occurred in the capital city of the country Monday night.
The minister said enemies of the country wanted to create unrest in Pakistan through terrorist activities but they would not succeed in their nefarious designs. Elsewhere, at least six persons were injured on Tuesday when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted with track in Mashkaf area of Sibi district went off as the Rawalpind-bound Jaffar Express passed.
According to Levies sources, three bogies of the train carrying passengers from Quetta, derailed due to the IED blast. Railway officials and rescuers, along with a bomb disposal squad team, reached the site and started investigation about the nature of blast. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital. Train service between Balochistan and other parts of country was temporarily suspended after the incident.
Also, security forces on Tuesday conducted an intelligence-based operation (IBO) on the reported presence of terrorists in Thal, North Waziristan district, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
According to a statement issued by the ISPR, during an intense exchange of fire, two terrorists -- Ghayoor and Bahauddin -- were killed. A large number of weapons and ammunition were also recovered from the killed terrorists, the statement added.
The killed terrorists were involved in terrorist activities against security forces, target killing, and kidnapping for ransom, the statement read. Meanwhile, United Kingdom High Commissioner Christian Turner Tuesday called on Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed here. Issues of mutual and bilateral relations came under discussion in the meeting, said a press release. Pakistan and the UK agreed to finalise and sign at the earliest agreements for repatriation of convicted citizens and criminals.
It was realised that the agreements were in the interest of both the countries and there was need to accelerate progress on it. The two sides were also of the view that bilateral agreements would further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
The interior minister said “Pakistan and the UK have long-standing ties and we attached immense importance to our relations”. He said the Pakistanis residing in the UK were also helpful in promotion of bilateral ties. The HC said Pakistan and the UK have friendly multi-faceted relationship. He also appreciated Pakistan’s assistance in evacuation of foreigners and Afghan citizens from Kabul.