ISLAMABAD: Secret agencies have alerted the police that militants opposed to the government-Tehrik-i-Taliban peace talks are planning terrorist activities in Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta, according to police and interior ministry officials.
They did not know when the malignant elements would strike, but the officials confided to Dawn that a new group, Ansarul Hind, would claim responsibility for the attacks.
Their intelligence sources, who raised the alert on April 3, said the TTP leadership had wished its informal affiliates to create the so far unheard of group.
Despite the possibility that the TTP sympathisers may be trying to pressurise the government by raising the threat of terrorist attacks in the three cities, the authorities took the threat seriously, police sources said.
“Although peace talks are in progress, we are taking necessary measures to counter terrorism in the cities,” said one official.
“Law enforcing agencies will be the main target of the terrorists, and in the case of their failure, any other official installation or public place.”
“TTP will choose the targets and the informal groups under its umbrella will provide support to the Ansarul Hind activists with weapons and other materials,” he added.
Security sources say the scenario looks similar to the terrorist attacks that quickly followed the announcement of a month-long ceasefire by the TTP last month. The most audacious of them was the bomb-and-gun attack on the district courts complex in Islamabad on March 3, which was claimed by Ahararul Hind group.
That group was heard of for the first time on February 9 when it sent emails to media outlets that it shared the ideology of the TTP but opposed it negotiating peace with the Pakistan government.
Its ownership of the March 3 attack gave rise to speculation that the Ahrarul Hind was affiliated with the Al Qaeda.