Pak Punjab police launches crackdown on banned militant organizations

Lahore [Pakistan]: Law enforcement agencies in Pakistan’s Punjab Province have launched a major crackdown against militant organisations in the region following Monday’s horrific suicide attack on The Mall which claimed 13 lives and left over 100 people injured.

According to the Dawn, the Provincial Intelligence Centre of the Punjab Home Department has issued a letter directing senior police officers to beef up security in different cities of the province.

The letter has reportedly been forwarded to divisional commissioners, regional police officers, capital city police officer of Lahore, deputy commissioners, city police officers and district police officers.

The Dawn quoted one unnamed police officer, as saying that the crackdown was ordered on the basis of intelligence reports suggesting that militants might have planned similar attacks in other cities.

The Home Department has directed law enforcement agencies to ensure extreme vigilance and heightened security.

“Combing operations [must] be conducted in all targeted areas, particularly where the Afghan/Pathan community is residing,” the letter reads.

It recommends thorough snap checking at police check-posts and says that abandoned or unidentified vehicles should not be allowed to be parked near public places.

“Traffic jams must be avoided by intelligent use of traffic police staff as [they] can become a serious security hazard,” the letter says.

Meanwhile, Punjab Police have confirmed that the body parts of the suspected suicide bomber have been sent for DNA test to establish his identity.

Officials involved in the investigation into the incident said that senior police officials were the main target of the suicide bomber who blew himself up during a protest by chemists.

Chief Traffic Officer retired Captain Ahamd Mobin and acting DIG (operations) Zahid Nawaz Gondal were killed in the suicide attack.

They said that Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), an offshoot of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, which claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, had attached a photograph of the bomber to the statement.

There were more than 150 traders, pharmacists and chemists at the protest camp when the attack took place. (ANI)