Saturday, December 5, 2020

Is RAW behind sectarian violence in Karachi? Senior police officer presents evidence

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On Monday, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) announced that dissidents of the Lyari gang wars were being employed by the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to instigate sectarian violence in Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi.

CTD DIG Omar Shahid Hamid at a press conference explained that a new pattern of “contract killings” had emerged. The revelation had come from interrogating suspects held for a recent attempt on the life of Mufti Amin aka Mufti Abdullah.

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The three suspects; Mudassir Javed, Haris alias Langra and Abu Sufyan were involved in an attempt on Mufti Amin’s life in Jamshed Quarters. CTD DIG also revealed that the suspects belong to a group led by Lyari gangster Zahid also known as ‘Shooter.’ Zahid lives in the UAE and works for the for Indian intelligence agency, RAW.

Other than ‘Zahid Shooter’ another gangster from Lyari, ‘Haji’ has been found to be providing funds to his gang to carry out targeted operations to create a sense of insecurity in the general population.

New chapter of sectarian violence, perpetuated by RAW

Omar Shahid told the press conference that a CTD team led by Raja Umar Khattab had arrested ‘Haris’ and ‘Sufyan’ from Kakri Ground, Sunday. Another accomplice Mudassir Javed, was arrested at the crime scene with the assistance of locals after a failed assassination attempt last month.

He assessed that these incidents were linked by a local network comprising members of old Lyari gangs, who now worked as hired assassins having “international links”.

The DIG alleged that a transport app and online food delivery company were also involved in the siphoning of funds and weapons to these assassins.

“A new chapter of contract killings has started in the city and now we will focus on its foreign branches with the help of the federal government,” he said.

Remedies for the situation in the law

According to the Library of Congress website, Pakistan has principally adopted an antiterrorism legal framework in order to address extremist activity in the country.

Though Pakistan does not have a specific crime of “extremism” within its laws, it does have a series of other connected criminal offenses, primarily crimes against the state or incitement crimes, that form close proximity to the crime of extremism defined under international conventions and statutes of other countries.

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Such provisions can be found in Pakistan’s principal antiterrorism law, the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997, and in Pakistan’s Penal Code. Pakistan’s antiterrorism law is enforced through specialized antiterrorism courts and a listing system to designate organizations and individuals involved with terrorism. More recently, however, Pakistan’s legal approach to combating terrorism and extremism has become increasingly militarized, with the establishment of specialized military courts to try suspected terrorists.

Karachi’s crime index fell from 6th to 70th last year

Karachi has since the PTI took power, seen a strong improvement in crime reduction.

Once listed amongst the world’s top 10 dangerous cities, crime in Karachi dropped significantly according to a World Crime Index last year.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), chief spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces had tweeted a report by Numbeo, which is described as a crowd-sourced global database.

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“We consider crime levels lower than 20 as very low, crime levels between 20 and 40 as being low, crime levels between 40 and 60 as being moderate, crime levels between 60 and 80 as being high and finally crime levels higher than 80 as being very high,” Numbeo says on their website.

On his official Twitter account @OfficialDGISPR, he had posted: “Karachi at one point in time (2014) was 6th in World Crime Index. Alhamdulillah, today it’s at 70th with many first world cities behind. Credit to team of Civil Administration and Security Forces esp Int, Police and Sindh Rangers. Also to the citizens of Karachi. More stability IA.”

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He had credited the security forces, police officials, Sindh Rangers (part of the Pakistan Rangers who are a paramilitary law enforcement organisation), and intelligence agencies in helping to decrease crime.

This year, Karachi has been ranked at 93 in the latest global crime ranking by Numbeo, improving its standing by 22 places since mid-2019.

GVS News Desk

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