ISLAMABAD, March 26: The country’s premier intelligence agencies fear increased terrorist activities in the border agencies of Mohmand and Bajaur and Dir, Swat and Chitral because of a recent nexus between the Tehreek-i-Taliban Swat (TTS) and the Afghan government.
A report on military operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) submitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday by Advocate Raja Mohammad Irshad on behalf of Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence suggested that after having been dislodged from the area, the TTS had resorted to IED (improvised explosive devices) attacks on law enforcement personnel and volunteers of Aman Lashkar.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry hearing a challenge to the Action in Aid of Civil Power Regulations 2011 (AACPR) had asked for the report on internment centres set up in KP.
The report carried graphic pictures of decapitated victims along with compact discs (CDs) and annexure showing statistics of casualties, suicide attacks, targeted killings and schools and colleges destroyed between 2008 and this year.
The government set up an internment centre in Parachinar, Kurram Agency, under the AACPR 2011 which allows it to confine persons accused of terrorism.
Advocate Ghulam Nabi, representing Prof Ibrahim of the Jamaat-i-Islami who had challenged the regulations, informed the court that he would file a reply to the report on Wednesday.
Read out by Advocate Raja Irshad in the court, the report suggested that sectarian outfits had taken a leading role in victimising the Shia community, especially in Quetta and Karachi, and the message conveyed was that the war on terrorism was not yet over, rather the profile had changed and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had merged itself with the sectarian outfits.
The TTP and its allied groups have again adopted the conventional method of gathering funds -- chanda (donation), bank robberies and kidnappings for ransom.
The report explained that the AACPR 2011 had been enacted to provide legal umbrella to the military and to deal with the unprecedented ground realities. Furthermore, it said, continuous stationing of the armed forces in the territories secured from the miscreants in Fata/Pata was necessary and, therefore, it was imperative that a proper authorisation be given to the armed forces to take certain measures to incapacitate the miscreants by interning them during the continuation of actions in aid of civil power. The AACPR is also necessary to ensure that the armed forces carry out operations in accordance with the law. The apprehended militants, the report said, had been shifted to the internment centres.
On Jan 24, Attorney General Irfan Qadir had conceded for the first time before the Supreme Court that 700 suspected terrorists were in custody under the regulations.
The report said the AACPR would not apply once the operation was over or the notification under article 245 of the constitution to call the army in aid of civil power was withdrawn.
It said some of the men kept in the internment centres were hardened miscreants and terrorists. If released for any reason they will make every effort to rejoin the private armies and carry out terrorist activities and offences against the state, particularly the KP government.
It would be difficult to confine them to KP; they would slip away to the main cities like Lahore and Islamabad to start another wave of terrorist strikes, the report said, adding that in these circumstances it was necessary that they must be kept in internment centres. Their internment orders documented the reasons for interning them, the nature of charges and other details, it said, adding that through a comprehensive de-radicalisation programme attempts were being made to revive their loyalty to Pakistan and its constitution.
“Military operations are conducted only to create an enabling environment wherein political and development strategies are also being applied,” the report said, adding that the army had designed a concept of quick impact projects to enable peace-loving tribesmen to see tangible dividends of peace at a fast pace and started the process of rehabilitation.