ISLAMABAD, Aug 26: The government has directed the police to overlook the involvement of Zamarud Khan in the Jinnah Avenue standoff on August 15 and not to involve Mr Khan in the case.

This was said by Inspector General of Police Islamabad Sikandar Hayat during a meeting held to chalk out a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the media to cover situations such as the standoff.

During the standoff, a gunman, Mohammad Sikandar, had shot multiple rounds and had led to a crisis in Islamabad’s Blue Area.

He was accompanied by his wife and two children, and was finally captured late night after he was shot and injured.

Zamarud Khan of the Pakistan People’s Party had attempted to tackle the gunman and immediately afterwards, Sikandar was caught by the police.

During the meeting, the IGP gave his suggestions regarding an SOP for the media and requested the latter to avoid breaching security lines keeping in view their security and that of others.

Regarding Sikandar, the IGP said he was a member of a proscribed outfit but avoided mentioning the organisation’s name.

The IGP added that it was yet to be established whether the standoff was an individual act or the gunman was acting on the directions of others.

The IGP said the gunman wanted to enter the Parliament House and take legislators hostage.

He added that in 1996, Sikandar had been trained for three months in weapon handling, close combat and ambush by militants active in the Kashmir Jihad.

Later, he went to Dubai and generated funds for the outfit in addition to transporting people to different countries, including the Middle East, by faking traveling documents.

He was caught in 1998 by the Dubai police and put behind bars for three months, the IGP said.

Sikandar was then released but again arrested in 2001 and deported to Pakistan in 2002. After his arrival in Pakistan, he met leaders of the banned outfit, the police chief maintained.

After changing his name from Sikandar Hayat Malik to Mohammad Sikandar, he again went to Dubai on the directions of the banned outfit’s leader, but this time was also working for an agency, the IGP said.

However, the police chief did not disclose the name of the agency and whether it was a local or foreign one. He said Sikandar was paid 2,500 dirhams by the agency, which was stopped in 2010 when the latter came to know of Sikandar’s role as a double agent.

Sikandar later came back to Pakistan and started using drugs for which he was treated for three months in D.I. Khan, the IGP said. He added that the court would decide the fate of Sikandar’s children and whether or not send them to a sweet home.

Wife’s remand extended

The Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad on Monday extended the physical remand of Sikandar’s wife Kanwal Sikandar who was produced before the court by the police amid tight security.

The police had requested the court to extend Kanwal’s physical remand for another seven days stating that they needed her for further interrogation.

However, Anti Terrorism Court Judge Atiqur Rehman extended her physical remand for two days only and asked the police to produce the accused woman after the remand expired.

The police had registered a case against Sikandar and Kanwal for the five hour long Islamabad standoff under the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA), Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Arms Ordinance.

According to the FIR, the police recovered two guns and 70 bullets from the scene after the operation.

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