KARACHI: The Counterterrorism Department DIG, Syed Khurram Ali, on Thursday claimed that the suspected terrorist, Allah Dino, who was killed in an encounter along with his accomplices in the Mauripur area on Wednesday, was the mastermind of the May 12 bomb blast in Saddar. He also claimed that Allah Dino was trained in Iran and had been operating under instructions of Asghar Shah, head of the proscribed Sindhudesh Revlutionary Army (SRA).

The DIG also claimed that Asghar Shah was living in Iran. He said although Iranian soil was being used by militants for their acts of terrorism in Pakistan but Iranian government was not involved in any such activities.

“The SRA is being operated from Iran but it is being financed by Indian agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing),” said DIG Ali. He said RAW was directly involved in financing SRA and providing training to its militants.

Speaking at press conference at police headquarters in Garden, the CTD DIG said Allah Dino had expertise in preparing IEDs and he had been involved in acts of terrorism in the past. He had gone to Iran and was trained there, the DIG said.

Tehran rejects allegation, sees third-party intention to destroy Pakistan-Iran relations

Accompanied by Sindh government’s spokesperson and Karachi administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab and Additional CTD IG Imran Yaqoob Minhas, the DIG also played a CCTV video showing Allah Dino walking with the bicycle, in which the IED (improvised explosive device) was believed to be fitted, for five kilometres before he parked the two-wheeler in Saddar and sitting at a restaurant, from where he detonated the bomb with a remote control.

“He (Allah Dino) could be seen in the footage obtained from the crime scene,” said the DIG, adding that he carried out the attack when he saw his target, an official vehicle of the Pakistan Coast Guards, close to the bicycle. He then fled the area by a rickshaw.

The DIG also played an audio in which he (Allah Dino) could be heard getting instructions from SRA head Asghar Shah. He said two more militants of the same network, Mohammed Sabir and Nadeem Ali Mugheri, had been arrested and explosive material seized from them. He quoted the suspects as telling interrogators that SRA militants were paid Rs15,000 for a bomb blast on railway tracks and Rs50,000 for a Saddar-like bomb attack.

Showing CCTV footage, the CTD DIG said his (Allah Dino’s) picture in the footage was clear. “Besides, we have technical and geo-fencing evidence showing his presence there. The explosives seized from his custody also matched the same IED that was used in the Saddar blast,” he said.

Allah Dino was living in Gizri area with another SRA militant, Nawab Ali, who was killed in the Mauripur encounter, the DIG said.

Wahab requests revision of bail policy

Sindh government spokesman Murtaza Wahab speaking at the press conference urged the judiciary to revisit the provisions of granting bail to suspects, particularly those involved in anti-state activities.

He recalled that Allah Dino had been arrested in 2021 but was released on bail.

“I will request courts to revisit the bail policy for suspects involved in such anti-state activities considering that the FIR (against Allah Dino) contained charges of terrorist activities,” he said.

Iran rejects allegations

A statement issued on Thursday from the embassy of Iran categorically rejected the allegations that the perpetrators of the Karachi terrorist bombings might have links to Iran. It regretted that the allegations were made in public and in the media without providing any evidence, proof or documents to the government of Iran through official means which, it said, was “completely unprofessional and unacceptable”.

“Those who act in this way are thought to give the wrong address and project the false blame. Undoubtedly, a third party seeks to destroy the brotherly and friendly relations between Iran and Pakistan,” the statement said. It advised officials and those involved in the media not to fall into the trap of enemies of close relations between Iran and Pakistan.

“Respected members of the media and truth-seeking journalists are requested to follow the content only through official channels and credible sources, and to reflect on it after ensuring its credibility,” the statement said.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2022

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