ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: No Islamabad police officer - from top to bottom - was willing to confirm on Monday Interior Minister Rehman Malik's overnight disclosure that a government servant wanted for helping terrorists had been arrested and Inspector General of Police Bani Amin Khan would announce the details within a few days.
All of them were even more unwilling to deny the arrest on record - not so much out of fear of the minister but for their own good.
Insiders told Dawn that the police did arrest the fugitive Sardar Ali Khan Khattak, a naib qasid in Ministry of Finance, last Friday but cannot own it because that would bring them legal trouble and shame.
Khattak was being hunted since August 26 when the capital police busted a terrorist plot on the eve of Jumatul Wida day - the last Friday of Ramazan - by arresting six plotters from his official residence in G-6/1. Khattak himself had gone to tribal area to bring suicide bombers, according to the plotters.
Police's predicament is that Khattak visited Rawalpindi last week but it got a whiff of his visit only after he had returned to his hideout in the lawless tribal areas armed with a date in late September from an Anti-Terrorism Court for hearing his pre-arrest bail plea.
Red faced, officers of the Islamabad police intensified their efforts to nab the lowly naib qasid who could trick them so brazenly.
They ultimately traced him through his cellphone number mentioned in his bail application and “somehow” coaxed him out of his hideout in the lawless land to visit a town in Azad Kashmir where he was arrested.
Sources say the information was shared with the interior minister, technically their top boss, but the shame of their inefficient ways made them slip on the legal requirement of producing Khattak in a court of law to record his statement.
That makes it enormously embarrassing and difficult for the Islamabad police to own his arrest, otherwise something to take credit of.