LARKANA: An active faction of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Baloch Republican Army (BRA) have joined hands to disturb peace in Balochistan and Sindh, according to Larkana DIG Abdullah Shaikh, who told reporters here on Thursday that security had been beefed up in both provinces in the wake of the intelligence reports.

Giving details of the reports, the DIG said that TTP’s Sajna group had undertaken to provide suicide bombers to the BRA. The Taliban group has lately been operating from Afghanistan and its involvement in terrorist activities in Chaman (Balochistan) was being closely monitored.

The DIG said that the BRA had now offered the Sajna group to act as facilitator in such activities by identifying targets in Sindh and Balochistan. Balochistan is already in the grip of terrorism as a series of bomb and gun attacks had taken place over the past few weeks.

DIG Shaikh, accompanying Larkana SSP Tanveer Tunio at the press conference, said tat the TTP group and BRA had developed a chain of coordination with the [separatist group operating in Sindh] Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), led by Shafi Burfat.

‘Special measures being taken to foil enemies’ nefarious designs’

“We are closely and effectively watching their links,” he said.

The senior police officer said that enemies of Pakistan were bent upon destabilising the country through such terrorist outfits “but our security forces are fully alert and ready to foil their nefarious designs”.

The enemies’ ultimate target, he said, was the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Giving a hit to the special measures to avert acts of terrorism and subversion in Sindh and Balochistan, the DIG said that stricter checking and patrolling along the Sindh-Balochistan border areas -- Jacobabad, Qambar-Shahdadkot and Kashmor-Kandhkot districts — in the entire Larkana [police] range had been intensified.

At a recent meeting between top provincial officials of police and the Rangers director general, it was decided that 59 more check points along “infrequent routes” be established in addition to regular posts along the National Highway, Indus Highway and other arterial roads so as to effectively check movement of anti-state elements, he said, and explained that these “infrequent routes” had previously been used by terrorists who had hit certain targets in Shikarpur and Jacobabad districts.

He pointed out that IBOs (information-based operations) were already under way in the Larkana range as police were playing a proactive role in pre-empting subversive or terrorist acts.

Anti-dacoit operation

DIG Shaikh also made mention of a surge in criminal activities in the katcha areas of Larkana range, saying that dacoits’ gangs in such areas had lately become active to some extent.

“Keeping his in view, we are planning an anti-dacoit operation which would be launched soon. This time, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary will provide back-up support to the police force as was decided in the Rangers director general’s meeting with senior police officers of the Larkana and Sukkur ranges,” he said.

He said a meeting of the inspector general and other senior officers of the Sindh police and Rangers officials with the corps commander of Sindh was scheduled for Tuesday (Jan 16) in Karachi to discuss the operation against outlaws in the katcha areas.

‘Police ill-equipped’

DIG Shaikh told reporters that the Larkana range police lacked essentially required speedboats to have access to certain katcha areas around the islands in the Indus River. The matter, along with other issues, would be discussed with the corps commander to ensure an effective operation against dacoits’ gangs, he added.

He said the police would suggest transportation of armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to the kutcha areas — the strongholds of dcoits’ gangs — to facilitate the proposed operation.

SSP Tanveer Tunio, in reply to various questions, said that police officers specially trained to counter dacoits in katcha areas were needed so that they could be posted as station house officers in such areas.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2018