ISLAMABAD: More than 500 suspected terrorists belonging to banned outfits have been nabbed by the security forces from across Pakistan including the federal capital, an official of the interior ministry revealed on Wednesday.
Speaking to BBC Urdu on condition of anonymity, the official said these detainees would be treated under the newly legislated Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) 2014.
The arrests have been made against the backdrop of ongoing military operation Zarb-i-Azb in North Waziristan to curb the likely backlash from the militants.
According to the interior ministry official, more than 300 suspects were arrested from the Punjab province mainly from Bahawalpur while more than 100 were arrested from Karachi and around 150 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
A report sent to the federal government by the intelligence agencies cited most number of Taliban and their sympathizers were settled in Karachi after North and South Waziristan tribal agencies bordering Afghanistan, the official revealed.
Law enforcement and secret agencies have apprised the interior ministry and Nacta – newly formed government body mandated to form the country’s anti-terrorism policy – about the crackdown against banned outfits.
It may be mentioned that the Islamabad High Court (IHC), invalidating a notification to bring the Nacta under the interior ministry, had recently ordered it to work under the Prime Minister Secretariat.
Meanwhile, intelligence units, formed at the police station level in the federal capital to eliminate networks of criminals, have started functioning. As many as 36 police officials have been deputed in the intelligence units.
According to the police, the units have been formed in all police stations, while two officials from each of the 18 stations in Islamabad have been chosen to make up a team that will trace the networks of criminals.
This two-member unit at each station will perform the executive functions of intelligence gathering and will keep their station house officers (SHO) and senior officers in the loop regarding the activities in their own areas. They will also highlight the aspects that require special attention from the police force.
According to the intelligence report, a large number of tribesmen were living on the outskirts of Islamabad in Tarnol and Bara Kahu areas. Police and officials of Nadra, however, were yet to visit the areas to conduct a survey.