LAHORE: Amir Sarfraz Tamba, the man who allegedly killed Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Kot Lakhpat prison in 2013, was critically injured in an attack on Sunday, according to police officials.

Media reports claimed that the victim was killed in the attack, but Lahore SSP Operations Syed Ali Raza confirmed to Dawn that the victim was alive, but critically injured.

Tamba was at his residence in Lahore’s Islampura area when two masked armed men forcefully entered his home in Ganga Street and fired multiple shots.

They fled the scene, leaving the victim in a pool of blood. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was being treated, according to Tamba’s younger brother, Junaid Sarfraz.

Masked men shoot Amir Tamba inside his home; IGP says claim of Indian involvement ‘premature’

In a statement given to police, he said he lived on the ground floor of the house with his family, while his brother lived in the upper portion.

Around 12:40pm, two armed men entered his house, went to the upper floor and “fired multiple shots at Amir”.

Mr Sarfraz added that upon hearing the gunshots, he rushed upstairs and found his brother in a pool of blood. The masked shooter and his accomplice, who was wearing a helmet, fled the scene.

They were riding a Honda 125cc motorbike and escaped.

Mr Sarfraz said the police were informed about the attack, and his brother was rushed to a local hospital with three bullet wounds, including two in the chest. Later, sources told Dawn police were unable to trace the victim’s whereabouts.

Tamba’s younger brother first moved him to a hospital via a private ambulance and then informed the police, sources said, adding that police had yet to make any headway in locating the ambulance as well. However, there was no official corroboration of this claim.

Alleged ‘foreign hand’

The attack has raised concerns among the government higher-ups over the alleged involvement of India.

The attack came days after UK’s Guardian reported that the Indian government assassinated individuals in Pakistan as part of a wider strategy to eliminate “terrorists” living on foreign soil. While talking to Dawn, Punjab Inspector General Dr Usman Anwar said any statement about foreign involvement in the attack would be “premature or too early” at this moment.

A high-profile investigation has been launched to determine the motive behind the attack, including the possibility of a foreign government’s involvement. Islampura police have lodged a murder case against unknown armed men on Mr Sarfraz’s complaint.

Due to the significance of the attack, the Punjab government has referred the case to the police’s Counter-Terrorism Department Punjab for investigation.

According to sources, police have been ordered to increase the number of checkpoints in the city, besides heavy deployment at all entry and exit points to trace and arrest the killers.

One of two attackers

Tamba was one of the two inmates who had attacked Singh in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat prison, where the Indian was serving a death sentence after being convicted of espionage.

He and the other accused, Mudasir Munir, were acquitted in 2018 by a district and sessions court after all witnesses retracted their statements.

Singh was killed a couple of months after Kashmiri leader Afzal Guru was hanged in Mumbai’s Tihar Jail in Feb 2013.

Guru was awarded a death sentence by an Indian court over his role in a deadly attack on parliament in 2001.

Singh was serving his death sentence awarded by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for a series of bomb attacks in Lahore and Faisalabad that killed 14 people in 1990.

The execution of his sentence was repeatedly delayed by the government.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2024



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