ISI officers’ killer ‘gunned down’ near Afghan border – Pakistan

LAHORE: The ‘milit­a­­nt’ allegedly involved in the assassination of two intelligence officers in Khane­wal three weeks ago was gunned down near the Afghan border, security officials have claimed.

Punjab Counter-Terro­rism Department (CTD) on Tuesday recei­ved the body of suspected Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakis­tan (TTP) member Umar Khan for conducting a post-mortem, which was later handed over to his family after completing legal formalities.

A senior official on condition of anonymity told Dawn that the suspect was killed in crossfire with the security agencies when he was trying to escape to Afghanistan near Kurram Agency on Monday night.

The suspect had gun­ned down Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Multan region director Naveed Sadiq and inspector Nasir Abbas at a roadside hotel on the National Highway near Pirowal in Khanewal district on Jan 3, and fled from the scene.

Two gro­ups, including the banned TTP and the so-called Lashkar-i-Khora­san, had claimed responsibility for the attack.

The CTD Multan police station had registered a case under murder and terrorism charges on the complaint of the officers’ driver and started an investigation.

The senior official said security agencies had been chasing the suspect after the killing and he was traced while trying to escape to Afghanistan.

On being asked to stop in the Kurram Agency area, he opened fire on the security team that was retaliated.

The suspect suffered injuries and was taken into custody and shifted to a nearby hospital where he died of the wounds.

ISI director Sadiq was heading the CTD wing and was awarded the Sitara-i-Shujaat on March 23, 2021 in recognition of his services. He had joined the police force as a sub-inspector in 2002. After appearing for a high-level exam in 2009, he was appointed to the ISI as assistant director.

During his tenure, the official is said to have exposed key networks of banned outfits. After months of efforts, he reportedly gained access to the high command of the militant Islamic State group and had also neutralised militants after raiding their hideouts in Faisalabad.

Similarly, Mr Sadiq also fought suicide bombers in Gujranwala, and tracked down the network involved in the abduction of Ali Haider Gilani, a son of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

He had also busted a network of a banned organisation that had martyred two officers of his own unit.

Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2023

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