KARACHI, June 15: The Sindh Home Department on Friday issued a statement claiming to have identified the terrorist network behind the 2006 Nishtar Park bombing, which took place on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal (11 April, 2006).
The suicide bomber is identified as Mohammad Siddiq, son of Isreal, from Seri Karnashi village in district Mansehra, NWFP. He is said to have had links with the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.
According to the official statement, the network is based in Darra Adam Khel and is led by Amanullah, alias Mufti Ilyas. Other members of the group include Qari Abid Iqbal Mehsood, Mohammad Khalid Khan alias Abrar, Sultan alias Mehmood, Mufti Zakir and Rehmatullah.
Out of the six persons named, Sultan (Mehmood), is already in jail while Mufti Zakir and Rehmatullah have been arrested. The remaining three are still at large.
The statement says that this group has been involved in identifying, preparing and brainwashing people for suicide bombings to be carried out in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The leader Amanullah (Mufti) is said to be expert at making and using the explosive jackets used in such crimes.
Describing the preparations that led up to the Nishtar Park bombing, the statement said that “the group assembled at house no. 2, Islamia Colony, Pahari Wali Gali, Qasba Colony, Orangi on 11 Rabi-ul-Awwal.”
The next day, on 11 April, the bomber Siddiq “performed two Nawafil at the house of Rehmatullah and then prepared himself and wore explosive jacket having 7/8 kilogrammes explosive and 3,000 ball bearings specially designed for suicide bombing.” Subsequently the bomber, accompanied by Khalid Khan (Abrar) and Sultan (Mehmood) went towards Nishtar Park via M.A. Jinnah Road and joined a small rally headed there. As Maghrib prayers started, the statement continues, Khalid and Sultan slipped away. As soon as the prayer ended, Siddiq jumped towards the stage while detonating his explosives.
The Home Department’s statement says that “the motive of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi behind committing this offence was to create unrest and a law and order situation in Sindh in order to avenge the present government’s policy against religious extremism.”
Substantiating the evidence proving the bomber’s identity, the statement said that Siddiq’s parents, Mr Isreal and Mst Zewar Jan, are alive, as are his brothers Mohammed Shafi, Shafiqur Rahman and Mohammad Rafique and sisters Safia and Soba Jan. It adds that a DNA test was carried out at the Dr A.Q Khan Lab, using the bomber’s head and a sample of Mohammad Rafique’s blood. It turned up a positive result, showing that the two were brothers.
The statement claims that the group Siddiq belonged to was also involved in the 14 June, 2004, bomb blast in Orangi Town, an attempt on Allama Hasan Turabi’s life on 6 April, 2006, and Allama Turabi’s assassination on 14 July, 2006.
According to the statement, the Sindh Home Department has notified Rs10 million to solve this case, and “a summary in this regard shall be initiated in order to disburse the subject amount.”