‘With escalating terrorism threats in KP, Punjab police is on high alert’

DIG operations appeals to citizens not to disseminate unverified information because it can create panic

DIG Operations Punjab Waqas Nazir. Picture by Asif Jutt

Punjab police is on high alert with strict monitoring and surveillance mechanisms in place following increased threats about re-emergence of terrorist organizations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

In an exclusive interview with Minute Mirror, DIG Operations Punjab and Official Spokesperson for Punjab Police Waqas Nazir said that to understand the chemistry of terrorist organizations, it had to be recognized that there were very strong sectarian emotions present in society.

“Over a period of time, those emotions have been turned into hatred by such miscreants and these people are now easy targets and the main source of capitalization of these organizations,” he said.

While discussing the recent surge in the terrorist attacks in KP, Nazir said, “From the media and news we got to know that government is in some sort of engagement policy with the banned outfit and a ceasefire was finalized.”

He added, “However, through media we got to know that the ceasefire is no longer intact and in recent days we have seen brutal attacks on forces in KP and Baluchistan. Punjab police is totally aware of the circumstances and all the actions on administration level have been taken to make sure the security of our citizens.”

Referring to a recent announcement from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi of their reemergence, Nazir said that such organizations, just to show their presence and to make an appeal in their known circles, publish such materials related to their reemergence, leaving or joining some other groups. “But we do not address such issues publically. We do not take such things as a routine matter and take all necessary steps within our institution,” he stated.

“Counter terrorism department always take such announcements very seriously and we have taken preventive actions also,” Nazir said.

Answering the query related to the prevalent issue of blasphemy, Nazir told the scribe that police take all the measures to curtail any effort to flame Shia Sunni conflict in society.

“Punjab police made sure that the culprits in the brutal murder of a Sri Lankan man in Sialkot over the allegation of blasphemy in December 2021 get maximum punishment. This year we also saw some unrest during the procession of 10th Muharram in some areas of Sialkot. Last week, on October 3, a Zakir named Naveed Ashiq was shot dead in Sialkot district during a Majlis.”

He added, “But these all are different incidents and not inter-related.”

Sharing the details on Ashiq’s death, Nazir said that Ashiq was provided all the security but he did not inform anyone about this private majlis [where he was murdered]. Due to that, the grave incident took place, Nazir added. He also mentioned that every now and then, police made sure that all the religious leadership from different sects sat together and tried to preach peace in the society.

“Nobody should be killed on the religious differences,” said Nazir.

While making an appeal to the citizens of the country, Nazir said that parents had to level up their parenting skills with the new and modern age of information.

“Now, children are getting influenced through social media and most of the information available on social media apps is misinformation,” he cautioned.

“Punjab police’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram handles are very responsive and if people have any query they should reach out to the police. We will provide proper, fact-based and quick information about all the cases,” Nazir said.


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