Pakistani soldiers cordon off a residential building during a raid on a militant hideout in Peshawar on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse
A massive anti-terrorism operation in Peshawar concluded on Tuesday after a 17-hour standoff between suspected terrorists and security forces in which all the five criminals were shot dead and policeman died.
Officials said the terrorists suspects had taken cover in a residential building in Phase 7 of Hayatabad and attacked security forces. The building was also demolished with explosives after bomb disposal experts combed the premises and surrounding areas.
They said four or five suspected terrorists had been killed before the final push. They said two or three suspected terrorists had continued to offer resistance after having taken refuge in the top floor of a house.
The holdouts were neutralised as security forces breached walls and stormed the building. At least one policeman was martyred in the operation.
Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Shaheen Mazhar Mahmood visited the site and directed security officials to adopt all possible precautions to ensure the security of the area residents.
He lauded the security personnel present at the site, who had been engaged with the suspected terrorists since 8pm last night. He offered that army commandos could be involved in the final push, if need be.
Residents living around the house were evacuated with the help of security personnel and rescue forces. Two injured women from the area were also shifted to the Hayatabad Medical Complex for treatment.
Meanwhile, funeral prayers for the martyred policeman, Qamar Alam, were offered in Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines in Peshawar.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Corps Commander Mahmood, Inspector General of Police Mohammad Naeem and other officials attended the prayers.
The chief minister told reporters that police launched the operation on a tip off that suspected terrorists were hiding in a house. He said that seven terrorists had been hiding in the house.
A local resident said that cross firing had started in the midst of a search operation launched by police in the area. “This area was considered peaceful, but the recent incident has proved it otherwise. The suspected terrorists had been living in the house on a rental basis for almost 15 days. They seemed to be from the rural areas from their appearance. All of them were middle-aged men and there were no woman with them. They used to enter and exit the building using the basement door only.”
Separately, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has claimed that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has got evidence of a link between alleged crime — kickbacks, commission etc. — and the money laundered by the family members of leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif.
However, the Sharif family rebutted the allegation and said no such accusation will stand the scrutiny of law in a court.
A highly placed PTI official, however, when asked about the details of the alleged commissions and kickbacks associated with the family, said that the prosecution will share these details with court of law at the right time.
He asserted that the alleged money laundering probe is not a case of whitening of untaxed money/black money and assets beyond known source of means but is linked with crime money i.e. commissions and kickbacks received. The PTI official, however, said that nothing out of $26 million remittances, received by the family, landed directly in Sharif’s accounts. He claimed that these remittances got in the accounts of Sharif’s wife and his children and thus Sharif is indirect but real beneficiary of these transfers of money.
“There is no scam, no scandal, no kickbacks and these are not the proceeds of any crime. All investment done has been according to Pakistani laws. Nothing illegal has been done and all funding has been done through banking channels,” the Sharif family said in a statement.
“With regard to Hamza (Sharif’s elder son) from 2008-2019, there were no remittances. With regard to Salman (Sharif’s younger son) from 2008-2019, all remittances are declared in his Federal Board of Revenue BR record. Out of the total value/amount, Salman’s personal loans are all declared with the FBR. Some of these loans have come from abroad and some for local parties, all of which have been declared with the FBR.”
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