PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police chief Moazzam Jah Ansari has declared the militant Islamic State group’s Khorasan chapter (IS-K) a bigger threat to peace in the province than the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
“I see IS-K as a bigger threat to peace and security in the province compared to the TTP in near future,” Ansari told Dawn.
The police chief said both IS-K and TTP were involved in the recent acts of terrorism in the provincial capital.
He, however, said the IS-K’s hitmen were responsible for the recent spate of targeted killings of the police personnel in the provincial capital.
Says both militant outfits involved in recent terrorist acts in Peshawar
At least three police personnel were martyred in different parts of the provincial capital during the recent months of October and November.
Mr Ansari said following the martyrdom of their personnel, the police busted a cell of the IS-K in the capital on Dec 20 last year.
The police had claimed that the terrorists, who were ‘neutralised’ in the limits of Faqirabad police station, were involved in at least two incidents of targeted killings of the police personnel and one of the killings of Sikh hakim Satnam Singh near Charsadda Adda on Sept 30 last year.
However, there was another attack targeting a police official in Faqirabad area in the same evening. The three IS-K men were killed in the clash with police.
“These [militant] outfits are operating in small groups and the neutralisation of one cell does not end the possibility of another cell resorting to similar acts,” he said.
Mr Ansari said there had been security issues in North and South Waziristan tribal districts but the police had acted swiftly to enforce the writ of the state.
Regarding the terrorist outfits operating in the region, he said the Hafiz Gul Bahadar Group was the major outfit in North Waziristan tribal district, while a mix of militant groups was active in South Waziristan tribal district.
He also said the TTP’s Gandapur Group was active in Dera Ismail Khan and other areas.
The police chief, however, said the groups were not very organised and mostly operated in small cells and therefore, handling and tackling them required more sustained efforts.
He said terrorist groups were more transient in nature and their support base changed loyalty from one group to another with the passage of time.
Mr Ansari said at the same time, the provincial and federal governments were also focusing on development of tribal areas and creating employment opportunities for the youth.
“These efforts will motivate the people to support government efforts for peace,” he said.
The police chief said his force had completed the training of 17,000 out of 27,000 Levies and Khasadar Force personnel of tribaldistricts after their absorption.
He said the training of the remaining 10,000 personnel would be completed by June this year.
Mr Ansari said the vehicles, wireless sets and other equipment had been provided to the police department in tribal districts.
He said 53 police buildings were being put up at the cost of Rs4 billion across tribal districts, while the police were extending the Special Branch and counter-terrorism department’s setup to all parts of the region.
The police chief, however, said the introduction of a robust structure for the purpose would take at least two years.
He said the main focus of the police’s efforts for putting a robust policing infrastructure in place in the erstwhile Fata was to enable them to take over the responsibility of internal security so that the military could be allowed to concentrate on its responsibility of external defence.
Mr Ansari said the CTD was working in close coordination with the armed forces for bringing peace back to tribal areas and several notorious terrorists were neutralised in several operations.
Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2022