Intelligence Reports Claim Hardliners Gathering Across Provincial Capital
LAHORE: More than 300 hardliners and their mentors from various parts of the country have gathered across the provincial metropolis, acquiring houses in Afghan and Pakhtun populated localities, sources told Daily Times, adding that several high-profile hardliners are also hiding in posh localities across the city.
According to sources, intelligence personnel has informed police high-ups that more than 100 individuals belonging to six different terrorist groups, had entered the city and set up their residences in the past few months. “Due to the floods, a large number of hardliners had also migrated to the provincial metropolis from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and from southern Punjab,” the sources said.
The sources said that intelligence agencies have already forwarded their reports to the high-ups in this regard, adding that there are several “terrorist hideouts” situated along the outer boundary of the city.
According to the sources, it has been mentioned in the intelligence reports that “several businesses across the city are being run by these hardliners, and the authorities concerned are not taking any proper action despite having knowledge of all such activities.”
The intelligence reports said that there are numerous Afghan nationals living across the provincial capital, posing themselves as “Pakistani Pukhtuns” and “surprisingly” most of them also have Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs). “These Afghan nationals facilitate terrorists through their contacts and widespread business, and allow no one except Afghans to enter their inner circle,” the intelligence reports added.
The reports also mentioned the undercover work some of these Afghan migrants carry out while doing their daily jobs outwardly. Many, including children, work as garbage collectors and sweepers. They collect garbage from city’s roads and streets and later sell it as scrap. Side by side, they are also reported to have been transporting drugs and weapons, working as criminals’ messengers and carrying out surveillance purposes as per the orders of terrorist groups.
Misri Shah: The intelligence reports declared the scrap market in Misri Shah as the safest hub for hardliners across the provincial metropolis. This market was once called the “grave of Russian weapons” including tanks, used in the Russian-Afghanistan war zone. The reports said that majority of workers and dealers in the market are Afghan nationals or people belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who have close links with people who fought in Afghanistan against Russia, then against America and are now fighting against Pakistani law enforcement agencies.
Surprisingly, most of them now not only obtain CNICs, but also have flourishing businesses as well as permanent residences across the city. The intelligence reports further disclosed that the business of clothes’ transportation across the country from the country’s biggest Azam Cloth Market is in the total possession of Afghan nationals. “Hundreds of Afghan nationals and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa people are working in this market who have links with hardened militants”, the reports said.
Similarly, most of the business in city’s Landa Bazaar is under the control of the Afghan nationals, the reports disclosed, adding that there are several small hotels and inns situated there to facilitate Afghan traders. The reports also said that several evidence has been collected which points towards the possibility of the people from Landa Bazaar providing “law enforcement agency uniforms” to the terrorists, which they used in their attacks in Islamabad and Lahore.
The intelligence reports further said that besides the abovementioned professions and businesses being run by Afghans, Afghan colonies across the provincial metropolis are also one of the main threats to the law and order situation in the city.
The intelligence reports also said that there are several Afghan colonies established within city’s posh localities, as well as along the city out skirts. Some of these colonies are also considered as tribal areas, from where anyone can purchase anything, including weapons and drugs.