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  4. OPINION | DEATH OF TERRORISTS IN PAKISTAN: WHO’S BEHIND IT?

OPINION | DEATH OF TERRORISTS IN PAKISTAN: WHO’S BEHIND IT?

On December 3, Adnan Ahmed alias Abu Hanzla, a top-ranking Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander, who masterminded lethal attacks on security convoys in India, was gunned down by unknown persons in Karachi.

Rajat Sharma Written By: Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive New Delhi Updated on: December 08, 2023 6:06 IST
India TV Editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma
Image Source : INDIA TV India TV Editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma

The recent killings of anti-Indian terrorists living in Pakistan are not only surprising but have also sent shivering down the spines of other terrorists hiding in Pakistan and Pak Occupied Kashmir. On December 3, Adnan Ahmed alias Abu Hanzla, a top-ranking Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander, who masterminded lethal attacks on security convoys in India, was gunned down by unknown persons in Karachi. A close associate of LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, he had coordinated the terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pampore, Kashmir in 2016 resulting in eight casualties. He also masterminded the attack on a BSF convoy in Udhampur in 2015 in which two BSF jawans were killed. He was involved in the planning and execution of a dozen suicidal attacks in Kashmir Valley during the past one year. He was provided a two-tier security ring by Pakistan’s espionage agency ISI, but the assailants managed to break the cordon and shot him multiple times. His bullet-ridden boy was found in a van. He was rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where he was declared dead. Abu Hanzala had shifted base from Rawalpindi to Karachi in 2020. He had worked as the chief of Milli Muslim League, the political arm of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. Already political and media circles in Pakistan are agog with speculations about whose hand is behind the killings of terrorists. 

The latest attack comes a month after two terrorists were mysteriously eliminated. They are LeT commander Akram Ghazi and Khwaja Shahid.  Akram Ghazi was killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, while Khwaja Shahid Ilyas was abducted and later found beheaded near the Line of Control in Pak Occupied Kashmir on November 5. Khwaja Shahid weas the mastermind behind the terror attack in 2018 in Sunjwan, Kashmir. Already, terror has gripped the Lashkar fraternity about whose turn will be next. In October, Dawood Malik, a close aide of wanted terror mastermind Maulana Masood Azhar, was killed in North Waziristan by unknown gunmen. Dawood Malik was the founder of Lashkar-e-Jabbar. On October 11, Shahid Latif, a wanted terrorist and key mastermind of 2016 Pathankot terror attack, was shot by unknown gunmen in Sialkot, Pakistan. On October 1, Mufti Qaiser Farooq, a Lashkar-e-Taiba leader and close associate of Hafiz Saeed was also killed. Mufti Qaiser Farooq was among the masterminds behind 26/11 Mumbai attacks. 

In May this year, Abdul Salam Bhuttavi, brother of Hafiz Saeed was found dead in his prison cell in Pakistan. Jail authorities later said he died of cardiac arrest. On March 1 this year, Mistry Zahoor Ibrahim, one of hijackers of Indian Airlines plane which was taken to Kandahar, was shot in Karachi. It was he who stabbed Indian passenger Rupin Katyal during the hijacking incident in 1999.  Sajid Mir, one of the terrorists who masterminded 26/11 Mumbai attacks, was found poisoned inside his jail cell in Dera Ghazi Khan. He was taken to an army hospital, where he died. It was Sajid Mir, who used to give directions to the terrorists in 26/11 Mumbai attacks over phone. His telephonic audio conversations were played by Indian authorities in the United Nations. Sajid Mir was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in Pakistan. Pakistani police is trying to find out the person who gave poisonous food to Sajid Mir in jail.  Khalistani terrorist Lakhbir Singh Rode, who masterminded the bomb blast at Ludhiana court, was also killed. The mysterious part of these killings is that Pakistani authorities are trying to suppress leak of details about these murders. Pakistani security expert Qamar Cheema said, this is not the first time that any wanted terrorist was killed in Pakistan. He alleged that Pakistan government, army and ISIS are suppressing details of these killings. In the last one year, at least 12 terrorists have been killed in Pakistan. Almost all of them were involved in terror attacks in India. According to security sources, several terrorists wanted by India, including Syed Khalid Raza, Bashir Ahmed Pir, Paramjit Singh Panwar, Sardar Husain, Riaz Ahmed alias Abu Qasim, Zia ur Rehman, Shahid Ilyas, Muhammed Muzammil, have been killed in Pakistan. 

In September this year, terrorist Riaz Ahmed alias Abu Qasim was shot dead by unknown persons in POK. In ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ show last week, I had askewd Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri why anti-Indian terrorists are being killed one by one in Pakistan, and whether Indian agencies had any role in these killings. He replied: “Should we all shed tear on these (killings)?..I am not involved in foreign or security matters, but I can tell you, ,this is not our style…. even though people here say, they should be killed… You can say (why they shouldn’t be killed) ,  but I cannot say. ..The reason could be group rivalries, like (those happening) in Balochistan. But we must remember, what these Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists did in India.  After Modi Ji came to power, look at his decision making. Srinagar Smart City ads have started appearing, flights to Kashmir have increased.” On Wednesday, Home Minister Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha that terror related incidents have declined after 2014 when Modi came to power. There is no doubt that the number of terror incidents in the Valley registers a decline, when their masterminds hide in their ratholes. The question is, who is striking fear in the hearts of these terrorists hiding in Pakistan? Who is trying to square up the account? Pakistani media is blaming Indian intelligence agents, Pakistani security expert is blaming RAW. If our intelligence is so strong and resourceful, as to enter Pakistan and eliminate terrorists, it should be a matter of pride for all of us. What is wrong if RAW secret agents are taking revenge for the death of hundreds of innocents in terror attacks in India?  The bitter truth is: after 26/11 Mumbai attacks and other terror attacks, Indian government sent dossiers on terrorists to Pakistan. Nothing happened. Evidence about involvement of terrorists in attacks were sent to Pakistan. Nothing happened. India raised its voice at international forums. Nothing happened. There was no way out, except to repay the killers in their own coin. Indian government will surely say that this is not our policy. 

The US will ask how Indian agents can take revenge on foreign soil. In that case, people must ask the US, why its Navy SEAL commandos entered Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden? Why were they not put on trial in Pakistan? The truth is that Pakistan has become a safe haven for dreaded terrorists. Terror masterminds like Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim, Abdul Rehman Makki are still living in Pakistan. Does India have no right to take the killers of innocent people to task? It does not matter if Pakistan says that these are ‘targeted killings’ of terrorists. The nice part is that there is a debate going on in Pakistan that India has changed and it can strike even inside Pakistan.

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