LAHORE: The Punjab Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) claimed to have arrested the mastermind as well as the facilitator of the Johar Town bomb blast from Balochistan.

The arrests came during an intelligence-based operation carried out by the CTD with the coordination of the top intelligence agencies.

Talking to the media at the Central Police Office on Thursday, Punjab CTD DIG Afzaal Ahmed Kausar and Operations DIG Kamran Adil identified the mastermind of Johar Town blast as Samiul Haq and facilitator as Uzair Akbar.

On June 23, 2021, a blast near the residence of Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed in Johar Town had killed three people and injured 24 others, including a police constable. Days after the incident, the then information minister Fawad Chaudhry and National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf told a press conference that the mastermind of the attack was “an Indian citizen and he is associated with [Indian intelligence agency] RAW”.

On Thursday, Mr Kausar and Mr Adil said the law enforcement agencies recovered from the alleged terrorists the currencies of Iran, UAE, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan, laptops and other electronic devices used by them to carry out the blast.

Afzaal Kausar insisted that the possibility of involvement of foreign elements in the incident could not be ruled out.

Giving the details, he said the CTD Lahore teams had left for Balochistan on a tip-off on April 24. The team arrested the suspects from Kundi checkpost on the RCD Highway, Quetta. He added that the terrorists were returning to Pakistan after crossing the international border.

Mr Kausar said Peter Paul David was earlier arrested from the airport and he had Samiul Haq alias Adnan who assigned him the target. He added that Samiul Haq, Uzair Akbar and some foreign elements had visited Dubai and held a meeting with another terrorist Eid Gul Khan.

After a week, Eid Gul Khan came to Pakistan. Later, Samiul Haq gave David three mobile phones and Rs600,000, asking him to reach Lahore to hit the target.

Both Samiul Haq and Uzair also sent some more money to David and Eid Gul through the known company. The DIG said David had told the CTD about the involvement of Ziaullah, Eid Gul, a woman, Ayesha, and Sajjad who were arrested on June 29, 2021.

DIG Kausar said the court had already awarded Eid Gul, Sajjad Hussain, Ziaullah, Peter Paul David death sentence. Ayesha Eid Gul had been sentenced to five years imprisonment.

To a question, the DIG CTD Punjab said another fugitive in the case, Muhammad Naveed Akhtar Khan, would also be arrested soon.

He said security had been raised in Punjab like other provinces after the Karachi University incident. To a question, he declared that the CTD Punjab had nothing to do with the arrest of the Baloch student from the Punjab University.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2022

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