Islamabad, July 23: Pakistani authorities claimed to have foiled a plot to target Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by busting a terror network planning to launch suicide attack on his residence in Raiwind on the outskirts of Lahore.
The plot was unearthed by a Joint Investigation Team of police and intelligence officials probing into the abduction of Ali Haider Gilani, son of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was kidnapped during election campaign in May.
The Express Tribune reported that officials while probing the case of Gilani traced a North Waziristan-based militant group operating in Lahore and plotting to target Sharif at his residence in Raiwind.
An operation conducted in Lahore to break the terror cell led officials to a terrorist group affiliated with Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan North Waziristan-based commanders Matiur Rehman and Muhammad Yasin alias Aslam.
Both Rehman and Yasin were involved in suicide attacks on former President Pervez Musharraf, former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Inter Services Investigation Hamza Camp, General Headquarters check post and some other terrorist activities. Both militants carry Rs 3 million on their heads. The report said the terror group had two sub groups.
One of the groups consists of Jaffar, Abdullah, Asad (all based in Bannu and surrounding areas); whereas the other one is linked with North Waziristan/Bannu based outfit operating in Lahore. A suspect, Faheem Meo, a resident of Raiwind, was found as linked with the terrorist group in Lahore. It emerged that militants were communicating primarily through the PCOs with minimal use of cell phones.
The suspects were conducting the activities from within the premises of the Tableeghi Jamaat headquarters in Raiwind, which made it virtually impossible for the team to track them down. The team stayed in Raiwind for nearly a week and finally apprehended Meo, who disclosed the location of another person linked with Bannu and North Waziristan based militants.
The other terrorist was arrested and identified as Usman alias Saifullah Mehmood Iqbal, resident of Pajiaan, Raiwind. Usman owns land adjacent to the house of Nawaz Sharif. The team learnt through technical monitoring that the NW-Bannu based terrorist had sent a group of 4-5 suicide bombers to Raiwind.
The team then intercepted 4-5 buses carrying Tableeghi missions from Bannu and arrested four alleged suicide attackers of Miran Shah, North Waziristan. The arms cache which was to be used by the terrorists has not been recovered so far. Therefore, the threat still remains, the paper said.