Arrested militants name RAW, Afghan agency for funding

By MAK Lodhi

LAHORE: The three arrested members of a militants’ gang especially deputed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan have disclosed that RAW has been funding suicide bomb attacks in Pakistan and that the Indian agency has funnelled Rs 680 million through its links with the Afghan secret agency.The gang of three persons have brazenly admitted that they belong to the group of persons who had been deputed to ‘destabilise democratic Pakistan’ with the sole purpose of ‘enforcement of Shariah’ in the country.

Operators of an intelligence agency, working beyond the call of their duty, came into contact with a source ready for a tip-off against a reward and led to the arrest of Khurram Ishtiaq, Ghulam Mustafa and Shamim. The persons had been working under Qari Hussain, second-in-command to Baitullah Mehsud. All the three had been arrested on Aug 13 this year while they were on the prowl for a target. The militants had been arrested ‘red-handed’ as they possessed complete suicide kits, including two jackets and 70kg of explosives and detonators.

The accused were hardened militants and took a lot of time to break in and make confessions. They revealed that Qari Hussain had been working to help three adjutants—Farukh Usman alias Shahjee, Tayyab alias Baba; Ustad, the trainer to destabilise democratic government.

Qari Hussain, the leader, prepares suicide bombers and dispatches them throughout Pakistan. He also manages funds for the splinter groups from RAW which works in collusion with the Afghan intelligence agency RAM.

Farukh Usman works as Qari’s deputy and runs the sub-setup to carry out attacks in Lahore in particular and Punjab in general. He was the mastermind of suicide attacks on FIA building, Naval War College, Model Town, Lahore High Court and PAF bus in Sargodha, the investigation has revealed.

Tayyab alias Baba mainly deals with Rawalpindi/Islamabad. He was the man behind blasts at Aabpara Market and Marriott Hotel. The third person known only as Ustad is an expert of making bombs. He is said to be of Indian origin and he ‘works with a vengeance’. He is the man who leads suicide bombers to the marked site of the blast.

The investigation revealed that there are two sub-teams: three persons of one team work under Ustad. Two of the arrested persons—Shahmim Alam alias Sohail alias Kashif alias Uncle and Khurram Ishtiaq alias Ibrahim—have been active members of the TTP and worked under direct guidance of Ustad.

Shamim was the facilitator. His task was to distribute funds to suicide bombers at the behest of Qari Hussain and Tayyab@Baba. Being educated and a well-dressed civilian-look-alike, he was assigned another important job of providing ‘reconnaissance of the target area’.

He possesses the canny ability of mixing up with urbanites. Khurram Ishtiaq alias Ibrahim is a well-trained militant. His job is to harbour suicide bombers at a secret venue till they are led to the area of operation to carry out the job. The third person of this setup, Sajid, is a resident of Ali Khel, Waziristan. It is not certain whether his services were ‘utilized’ or made his escape good.

Another team which works under Farrukh Usman alias Shahjee includes Bablu, Rehan, Ghulam Mustafa @Asif (the third arrested person) and Abdul Rahim. Bablu’s assignment is to provide explosives at the nick of time when the suicide bombers have been finally prepared to perform the ‘sacred feat’.

Ghulam Mustafa and Abdul Rahim, a diehard Jehadi serve as guards and take care that none of perpetrators shows his back and become a deserter. In that case, there is only one choice left and that too leads one to heavens.

Former boss of the intelligence agency, Tariq Lodhi, had recommended a reward and commendation for the team who apprehended the culprits but they say their new boss Shoaib Suddle turned it down on the grounds that agency operators just did their job and no reward should be given for performing duty.

The team members disclosed that they had arrested two prime targets during Pervaiz Musharraf regime and they both had a head money of $5 million each but the reward money was shared by the two premier agencies instead passing it on to the individuals who had arrested them on their own initiative.

The team has long been working on the intelligence of militants but they got the culprits apprehended through a middleman who is ready to divulge more but “only if he is rewarded for the catch.”

The team claims that it could reach out to Qari Hussain and his gang and thus eliminate the danger of suicide blasts in Pakistan by 90 percent. Talking to The News on the condition of not divulging their names, they said, “We neither have free hand nor enough resources to break the hornet’s nest.”

Source: The News, 22/10/2008

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