Taliban’s attack on D.I.Khan prison was not possible without Pakistan army’s connivance
Related post (in Urdu): ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان جیل پر تکفیری دیوبندیوں کا حملہ اور پاکستانی فوج کا کردار
Media and insider reports from Dera Ismail Khan confirm that the jailbreak (29 July) and the subsequent safe transfer of Taliban and Sipah Sahaba (ASWJ-LeJ) terrorists from D.I.Khan to North Waziritan could not be possible without Pakistan army’s tacit support and connivance.
It appears that Pakistan’s pro-Jihadist intelligence agency, ISI, played a key role in securing release of hundreds of its Jihadist proxies from the D.I. Khan jail. It may be noted that Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi), Jaish-e-Muhammad and other similar militant groups follow Deobandi (semi-Wahhabi) sub-sect of Sunni Islam and consider it permnissible (Halal) to kill all non-Deobandis and non-Wahhabis to enforce their version of Shariah and Khilafah.
Given that Pakistan army’s cantonment is located on both sides of the D.I.Khan city, at less than five minutes distance from the central jail, and given that Taliban spent at least three to four hours within the jail, identifying each prisoner, segregating and killing six Shia prisoners, fighitng with and killing a few resisting policemen, and given that hundreds of Taliban attacked the prison using at least 13 vehicles, and the fact that hundreds of released terrorists were able to safely move to North Waziristan agency without any engagement with army shows that Pakistan army is complicit to the D.I.Khan jail break. There is heavy presence of army in that area from D.I.Khan to North Waziristan with dozens of checkposts and units deployed but none of them bothered to intecept the large Taliban-ASWJ caravan.
Instead of debating and highlighting Pakistan army’s questionable role (complicity or/and incompetence), ISI’s paid propagandists and Taliban apologists in the media and social media started placing the entire blame on politicians, this time on Imran Khan and his PTI government in KP province. Pakistan army’s right-wing and fake liberal loyalists and propagandists in the media tried to shift blame from the ISI and Pakistan army to an incompetent PTI government in the KPK province, blaming them for army’s inaction against the Taliban. There was almost no debate in Pakistani and intenrational media about the dirty role played by Pakistan army in this action replay of the Bannu Jail break (2012) in D.I.Khan (July 2013).
ISI, the mastermind of the D.I. Khan prison break, thus successfully shifted the blame to incompetent PTI govt in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The current Supreme Court – Imran Khan contempt of court saga too is a diversionary tactic by Pakistan army’s loyalists in Pakistani establishment (including judiciary) and media.
Dr. Taqi writes in Daily Times (with minor edits):
The jailbreak in Dera Ismail Khan (DIK) earlier this week where the TTP freed over 200 of their cohorts and a similar assault on Bannu jail last year (springing Adnan Rashid Deobandi among others) are but a page from the al Qaeda manual. The terrorist hydra is very much alive and kicking. The devastating attack in Parachinar, Kurram (killing more than 70 Shias in July 2013) and the audacious jailbreak in Dera Ismail Khan (DIK) suggest that the Deobandi terrorist outfits at minimum have support among the security and law enforcement agencies’ cadres. TTP freeing LeJ terrorists from the DIK prison while assassinating five Shia inmates indicates a remarkable Deobandi ideological and operational synergy and inside knowledge. The planning and training for such massive operations is not possible without a logistical sanctuary that the HQN (Haqqani Network) continues to provide in its North Waziristan stronghold. Also, while the terrorists appear to have penetrated the security forces, the Pakistani intelligence apparatus has limited inroads into the jihadist underworld. An operation as spectacular and substantial as the DIK jailbreak may have been detected and thwarted by a more proactive intelligence service. The Pakistani security establishment needs to take a long and hard look to see how many Adnan Rashids are still hiding among its ranks. The man after all was a Pakistan Air Force employee and chose to work with the Taliban and plan an attack on General Pervez Musharraf. The establishment should also consider that they are perhaps the only ones to believe that the HQN is a legitimate contender for the Kabul government. The world at large must realise that working on the demand aspect of the al Qaeda-HQN-TTP brand is also imperative. As long as there are buyers, including states, of the deadly potion the terrorist enterprise sells, it may be difficult to put it out of business and carnage, like in Kurram, inevitable. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\08\01\story_1-8-2013_pg3_2
Kamran Shafi writes in Express Tribune:
Just so long as we can deflect attention away from ourselves, the real perpetrators of all that is wrong with us, we are fine, no matter that in the next day or two all our home-spun tales come back to haunt us, making us look like utter fools. Whether it was the shame and the embarrassment of the attack on GHQ itself; attacks on our ISI’s buses and offices in three (now four, cities); the Parade Lane Mosque massacre; the OBL raid deep into Pakistan; the Mehran Naval Base attack; or the Kamra airbase attack, we always have someone else to blame. We never look within ourselves: no one gets fired, even disciplined.
When, for God’s sake will we grow up, have faith in ourselves as a self-reliant and confident and alive and fearless nation? When, for heaven’s sake, will we stop looking for bug-bears and vampires and the walking dead out to haunt us? When will we face our real enemies who have just destroyed DI Khan jail? http://tribune.com.pk/story/585158/we-must-face-our-demons/
According to a news report in Dawn:
The heavily armed militants had attacked the prison from different sides around midnight. Armed with guns, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and bombs, the militants dressed in police uniforms bombarded the prison before escaping with scores of inmates after a three-hour shootout.
According to police, the gunmen launched their attack with a series of heavy explosions before firing rocket propelled grenades and machine guns. The attack began with a huge explosion and several smaller blasts before security forces engaged the attackers. An intelligence official said the militants shouted “God is great” and “Long live the Taliban”.
Military troops were eventually called in which conducted a six-hour long operation to take back control of the prison. A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Shahidullah Shahid, accepted responsibility for the attack. Speaking to Dawn.com, he claimed around 100 militants attacked the prison including a number of suicide bombers.
The D I Khan central prison, one of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s oldest and largest central jails, was said to house several Taliban militants and members of banned sectarian groups. According to the jail authorities, there are at least 5000 prisoners in the Central Jail Dera Ismail Khan which is near the bordering town of Tank adjacent to volatile South Waziristan tribal agency.
Senior police official Khalid Abbas told Dawn.com that jail authorities had previously received a threatening letter regarding the attack. He claimed the prison was one of the safest in the province but said it was built to house ‘criminals’, not terrorists and militants.
This not the first instance when militants have attempted to free their captive associates in Pakistan. Nearly 400 prisoners including militants had escaped on April 15, 2012 from Bannu Jail after an attack by insurgents armed with guns, grenades and rockets. More than 150 heavily-armed militants had stormed the central prison outside the restive northwestern town of Bannu bordering the lawless tribal regions. TTP commander Adnan Rashid, who was serving a jail term for attacking former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, was among the freed detainees. http://dawn.com/news/1032777/pakistani-taliban-free-over-175-inmates-in-di-khan-jailbreak
Another report in Dawn:
The attack took place at around 11.30pm and went on till 2am – three hours with one hour inside the jail compound. The militants equipped with megaphones called out names of their brothers-in-faith and broke open their cells with explosive devices, all the while raising slogans of Allah-o-Akbar and TTP Zindabad. Then they went on a slaughtering spree, beheading four inmates, taking away heads of two of them.
In all, by the last count, 248 prisoners have escaped, among them 30 hardcore militants, including Qari Asif and Khalil, the group involved in bombing in Dera Ismail Khan that had left 25 mourners dead on the ninth and tenth of Muharram last year.
Law-enforcement agencies scrambled and the army was called in but what they found in pitched darkness were bodies of the slain prison guards, slaughtered and beheaded inmates, a strong stench of explosives and smouldering lockups. The hundred or so militants, along with a horde of escaped prisoners, melted away amid the ensuing mayhem and confusion. The incident has thus become the biggest jailbreak in Pakistan’s history.
That no lessons were learnt from the Bannu jailbreak hardly comes as a surprise. Pakistanis as a nation, it appears, never learn from history, but what boggles the mind is that the administration would take its time to prepare for an assault which, it thought would come at a time of their choosing, said one official. They were upstaged by militants.
The irony is, according to a senior official, the civil and military authorities had done mock exercises, assigned specific tasks and roles and worked out a clear standard operating procedure of who was to do what. “On paper everything was worked out meticulously to prepare for both day and night assault. It was a video game played out in real time,” the official said.
What seems more bizarre, the minutes of the meeting presided over by the commissioner were properly recorded. “Everybody had taken the threat alert seriously,” the official said.
Light machinegun-mounted armoured personnel carriers and mobiles of the Elite Police force were deployed and guards deployed on rooftops.
But what happened was even more unbelievable. When the attack came, the mobiles disappeared along with the Elite force which was to stop the assault. The district police officer went to seek help from the brigade commander, but neither showed up. “The gun was there, but there was no one to pull the trigger,” an official said.
There was no breach of wall of the prison. The main gate remains intact and the guard manning the gate told investigators that when he saw the militants blowing up the APC and when they approached the gate and ordered him to open it he had no option but to open it. The militants walked in, made announcements on the megaphones and took away their men. http://dawn.com/news/1033064
Apparently, the rogeu elements in Pakistan army and ISI helped at least 300 Taliban and LeJ Deobandi Jihadist fighters to escape from prison to conquer Afghanistan in 2014 and perhaps also to reinforce Al Qaeda in Syria. Such work cannot be done with inside support.
[youtube id=”rgGS3Mm4lSQ” width=”600″ height=”340″ position=”left”]
The fact that intelligence agencies had given a heads-up to just about everyone – from the provincial home secretary to the prime minister to DG ISI – makes the security lapse all the more grating for locals. The details of the collective failure of the law enforcement apparatus is an “open tale” – the success of the TTP brazenly taking their colleagues ‘home’ in vehicles festooned with banners sporting ‘Long Live Taliban’. Residents want to know why they are imprisoned by the curfew when the prisoners roam free.
“What Sulemani topi (invisibility hat) were these militants wearing which helped them come and go with such ease? This is a complete failure on part of the district government which just sat on its hands,” argued the provincial president of the Shia Ulema Council Allama Ramazan Tauqeer.
In fact, the 150 heavily-armed TTP militants were completely visible on their 15 cars and 10 motorbikes, traversing the city of DI Khan.
“If the attack could not be prevented, then helicopters should have been able to follow the escaping prisoners, many of whom were on foot,” maintained a local. “The authorities could have targeted them through aerial firing and assault.”
The distressed resident of D.I.Khan went on to point out “the very same aircrafts were buzzing overhead now, but what are they searching for? It’s all over the news that militants have reached the safe havens in tribal areas.” “Please stop this irrelevant search operation and end the curfew, the arrests and checking,” he asked the government. http://tribune.com.pk/story/584698/after-the-levee-breaks-public-irate-as-useless-curfew-continues-in-di-khan-tank/
Taliban provide details of their planning and operation for D.I.Khan Jail Attack
Planning & Operation of Taliban for D.I… by RohailAsghari
This exclusive video of D.I.Khan by Voice of America (in Pashto) confirms that Taliban-ASWJ attackers of D.I.Khan jail were wearing military commando uniforms. They were chanting Shia Kafir slogans, while freeing Deobandi Taliban-ASWJ-LeJ terrorists and killing Shia prisoners. They fled in an APC (armored personnel carrier).
د طالبانو حملې وروستو د ډیرو جیل حال
According to initial investigations, the first prison gate was destroyed by the attackers equipped with hand grenades and automatic weapons, but the other two gates were let open by security personnel. The police personnel who were responsible for security of the prison’s outside building were not present at the time of attack and arrived there four-and-a-half hours later. It seems that the first and second defence lines of the jail offered no resistance. Clearly army too did not deem it fit to engage the attackers on their way to D.I.Khan, during their attack on the prison, and also on their way back to North Waziristan.
The fact is that the army is everywhere in Pakistan so they should have intervened and engaged with the Taliban and kill them all. Of course the army commanders dont need anyone’s permission to attack terrroists. They also know how well the police are equipped. Reading from Pakistan’s financial bill, the budget of the army is over 30% of the national budget. Does poor civilian police get that kind of money?
Faisla Awam Ka: Asma Shirazi – This video shows everyone in DI Khan knew Taliban were doing a jail break. Army, police and govt silently stood by for four hours while Taliban-ASWJ terrorists successfully secured their friends from D.I. Khan jail.
Faisla Awam Ka – 30th July 2013 by zemvideos
Appendix: Taliban, IMU form Ansar al Aseer to free jihadist prisoners
By BILL ROGGIOFebruary 5, 2013
In a recent video (Feb 2013), the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan announced the formation of the Ansar al Aseer, a unit tasked to free jihadist prisoners and support their families. The video features Adnan Rasheed, a dangerous Pakistani jihadist who was freed in a jailbreak last year; Yassin Chouka, a wanted German commander in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan; and Abdul Hakeem, a Russian IMU member.
Adnan Rasheed Deobandi led off by announcing the formation of the Ansar al Aseer, defining its mission, and praising the Taliban for his release. “The first purpose of this group is to make your release possible by all means,” Rasheed said. “And the second purpose is to take care of you in jail, provide for your families, fulfill your needs and necessities and arrange finances for your trials. And finally the third purpose is to take revenge against the enemies.”
“You should send us the names and addresses of those who serve the police, ISI, army, as well as those jail wardens, officers and their aides and spies, plus the names of those who dared to harass your families and your old parents and those who still treat you inhumanely,” he continued. “We, the mujahideen in Khorasan, promise you that we will, Allah willing, take revenge against them.”He also warned the Pakistani security forces against harassing the families of jihadist prisoners, and said that they “are all on our hit list.”
Adnan Rasheed Deobandi is a Pakistani terrorist who was involved in the Dec. 14, 2003 assassination attempt against then-President Pervez Musharraf. A member of the Pakistani Air Force, Rasheed was sentenced to death for his role in the assassination attempt.
Rasheed worked for Amjad Farooqi, the Pakistani terrorist who engineered the two assassination attempts against Musharraf in December 2003 at the behest of al Qaeda leader Abu Faraj al Libi; Farooqi is suspected of involvement in other terror attacks as well. Farooqi was a member of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan; the Harkat-ul-Ansar and its successor, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen; Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami; and Jaish-e-Mohammed. He served as a close aide to Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. In addition, Farooqi served as the group’s representative to al Qaeda’s International Islamic Front.
On April 15, 2012, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan launched a successful operation to free Rasheed and nearly 400 prisoners, including an estimated 200 Taliban fighters and jihadists, being held at a prison in Bannu. The operation was directed by Hakkemullah Mehsud, the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Waliur Rehman Mehsud, the group’s emir for South Waziristan. More than 150 fighters assaulted the prison. Rasheed was later featured in a videotape celebrating the jailbreak.
Next to speak on the videotape announcing the formation of the Ansar al Aseer is Abdul Hakeem, a previously unknown Russian operative in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Hakeem chastised the Muslim Ummah, or community, for doing nothing to further the release of prisoners. “Our beloved brothers and sisters have had to live in captivity,” Hakeem complained. “When they spit, they spit blood. Yet this 1.5 billion-strong Ummah is doing nothing about it.” Hakeem also claimed he was detained by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, and accused it of working in concert with the US.
“When I was in jail I witnessed how hypocritical the ISI agents were,” he said. “This anti-Islamist institute of Pakistan fights against the Muslims standing shoulder to shoulder with the USA. When they interrogated us these two devils would work together.”
Yassin Chouka praised jihadists who are in prison, but his statement takes a considerably more conciliatory position toward Muslims “who have not yet dedicated their love to the Muslim prisoners worldwide” than does Hakeem’s. “Look into your hearts and see whom you have dedicated your love to, whom you hate and whom you love,” he advised. “Let me give you a piece of advice: Force your unconcerned soul to love the Muslim captives around the world.” http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/02/taliban_imu_form_ans.php#ixzz2aocNJlvn
Taliban exact revent on IB officials in Peshawar
LeJ terrorist arrested by IB
20 July 2013
Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) has arrested the chief of the death squad of anti-Shia terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), according to security officials. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) made the announcement on Friday during a briefing to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistani television network Dunya News reported. IB officials identified the captured terrorist as Masoom Billah. The officials did not provide details about where and when Billah was arrested. http://en.shiapost.com/2013/07/20/top-anti-shia-lashkar-e-jhangvi-terrorist-arrested/
IB official succumbs to injuries
August 02, 2013
PESHAWAR: The Intelligence Bureau (IB) official, who was injured in an attack a day earlier, succumbed to his injuries in the hospital on Thursday. Unknown (Deobandi) motorcyclists opened fire on Inspector Mazhar Hussain near his house at Sarki Gate in the limits of Shah Qabool Police Station on Wednesday. The official was rushed to the nearby Lady Reading Hospital in a critical condition.
It was the third attack on IB officials in the city in the recent days. Two former assistant directors of IB — Mohammad Arif and Mujahid Khan — were killed by Deobandi terrorists in similar attacks a few weeks back. http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-193860-IB-official-succumbs-to-injuries
Takfiri Taliban terrorists have killed a Shia Officer of Intelligence Bureau in Peshawar on Wednesday late night, The Shia Post reported. Manzar Hussain, an Inspector of the Intelligence Bureau, was seriously injured due to Taliban terrorists attack. He was rushed to hospital for treatment. He embraced martyrdom at the hospital succumbing to the fatal wounds. The attack evoked an instant reaction from the Shia parties and leaders who demanded an army operation to eliminate the terrorists. http://en.shiapost.com/2013/08/01/taliban-terrorists-kill-ibs-shia-officer-in-peshawar/
2012 video: Taliban terrorists video of attack on Bannu Jail:
Reaction on Twitter after D.I. Khan jail break:
Abbas Nasir writes in Dawn:
As in the case of the Kurram Agency bombings, that the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) represent a hate-filled, toxic ideology was again on display as the ‘Taliban task force’ attacked the D.I. Khan jail and facilitated the escape of dozens of prisoners described by the authorities as dangerous. They also slaughtered four Shia prisoners before leaving.
Being a city person, I take refuge behind complete ignorance of the geography and security arrangements around D.I. Khan and South and North Waziristan. So, will a knowledgeable security expert tell me if there are no ‘checkposts’ on all routes in the area?
The irony is whether the answer is in the affirmative or negative, it’ll be equally shocking. If a hundred, or double that number, armed men can freely travel out of and then back to an area described as the epicentre of all terrorism in the country, something is horribly wrong.
And it goes beyond the sort of criticism the Pakhtunkhwa minister Ali Amin Gandapur has levelled at the police and jail guards. In fact, the local police could also have bought into the theory that TTP are drone victims’ heirs and the government needs to talk to them; not fight them.
But surely the checkposts on all access routes into and inside the two tribal agencies must be manned by members of a much better trained, armed, motivated and organised force than the D.I. Khan police. How could dozens of motorcycles and coaches, yes coaches, travel to and fro freely?
The fall of the DI Khan prison has few parallels in history. The only true comparison is the fall of Bannu and before that, of Bastille which unleashed forces of revolution across the world. This epoch making event has also fired the imagination of revolutionaries from Somalia to Yemen and from Diyala Province to Arakan. Allah be praised.
The commander of the faithful, the rightly guided caliph of the Ummah, Imran Khan, has rushed back to Wana where he has received a tumultuous welcome. Addressing a gathering of the adoring masses and the three surviving maliks from the martyrdom missions, he said that this war is not our war. He also said that Mumtaz Qadri has been misunderstood just as Adolf Hitler was misunderstood before him. He should be released from prison and allowed to return to his peacetime vocation of shooting people in the back.
Kudos have also be heaped upon Pervez Khatak for his contribution to peace in a troubled region. Apart from attending the marriage parties of his kith and kin on the helicopter provided by the taxpayer, he oversaw the whole DI Khan peace mission. As a result, all the events were carefully rehearsed the day before, so that everything went without a hitch on the day.
The two Div Commanders have emerged from the sewage drains in the early hours to eat sahri and reap the bounties of Ramzan (Ramadan). May Allah give them the best of rewards.
A DAY after the epic debacle that was Monday’s assault on Dera Ismail Khan’s Central Jail, KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said it was “very strange that people came in pickup trucks, motorbikes, broke into the jail and took away 250 prisoners easily”. Strange may be the correct term but it is equally applicable to the failure of his administration whose responsibility it is to ensure that such security breaches are prevented. This was no repeat of the Bannu jail raid last year. In this case, security and administration officials knew that such a hit was imminent. On Monday, hours before the attack, the area’s commissioner held a conference to discuss the matter with law-enforcement agencies and the civil administration. For the provincial administration to say, then, that it was an intelligence failure was both disingenuous and an irresponsible effort to deflect culpability. It was a tactical failure, pure and simple.
Why this tactical failure occurred, though, is extraordinarily disturbing in its implications. After the jail-break information was shared, standard operating procedures were fleshed out and specific response tasks were worked out. Over 100 jail guards and 75 personnel of the Frontier Reserve Force were available, as well as the Elite Police Force and armoured personnel carriers. But when it came to holding the line, the defences melted away. As a disgruntled security official said, metaphorically, the gun was there but there was no one to pull the trigger. Do law-enforcement personnel even have the capability of facing hordes as organised, single-minded and well-armed as the various militant groups clumped under the TTP? True, money has been pumped into the police force, particularly in KP, but most of it has gone towards salaries and increased strength. There has been little consideration of the fact that the numbers of personnel are immaterial if they aren’t trained for a fight that makes very specific demands.
If we are not to reach a situation where militant groups can set their sights on ever higher targets, the law-enforcement apparatus needs an immediate overhaul to meet the escalating challenges posed by what has been the reality for several years now. Pakistan needs to set up modern maximum-security prisons designed to resist assault and prevent escapes; colonial-era internment centres, relics of another age, are simply not enough. The equation is, on paper, simple: the militants are increasingly well-organised, trained and armed; the state law-enforcement apparatus is not. The outcome of the conflict will ultimately be decided on the basis of the disparity between the two sides’ capabilities.
Aasim Zafar Khan
Saturday, August 03, 2013
From Print Edition
49 29 20 0
After months of planning, 200 Taliban fighters left for Dera Ismail Khan a few hours before Iftar. En route they stopped somewhere between Tank and FR Tank. There, the fighters broke their fasts, said their prayers, and welcomed into their crew a man who goes by the name of Umar Khitab, and who would be the operational commander of the plan. Their mission: rescue and bring back 48 very valuable comrades imprisoned in the Dera Ismail Khan jail.
The daring attack was the brainchild of one Adnan Rasheed, who recently gained international fame for a near-apologetic letter to Malala Yousufzai, in which he explained, to the best of his abilities, why Malala had been shot in the face. But Adnan’s an old hand at terrorism, and was himself serving time in Bannu prison for his assassination attempt on then president General Pervez Musharraf. That is, till he himself was jail broken, along with hundreds of other terrorists.
Adnan didn’t take part in the actual operation though. He left that to Umar Khitab, who is the leader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Gandapur faction. Adnan’s plan was intricate: the 200-strong team was broken into three groups, packed like sardines into twenty vehicles and each took a different route to the same destination. The routes went through the regions of Darra Pezu, FR Lakki and FR Tank.
The mission’s objectives were crystal clear: there were 48 very important comrades currently held captive in the prison, and they were to be freed and brought back. Out of the 48, the three most valuable ones were Haji Mohammad Ilyas, Commander Abdul Haqeem and Waleed Akbar. All these comrades hailed from, and were active in Quetta, Dera Ismail Khan, and the agencies of Bajaur and Khyber. Till their capture and captivity, these three had been playing a leading role in the continuing Shia genocide in the area.
The attacking squad was armed to the hilt, with suicide attackers, rocket launchers, hand grenades, and automatic weapons. The one piece of equipment in their use that stood out was night vision goggles, which allowed the attackers a crystal clear green view in the dark of the night.
It’s not that the attack caught the local authorities with their pants down. Actually yes it did. It wasn’t an intelligence failure, though, but a security failure on the part of the provincial government. On the 26th, 27th, and 28th of July, three top-secret urgent memos were sent from local intelligence authorities to the provincial government, repeatedly warning that an attempt on the jail was imminent. But nothing happened. Well, a lot happened. But nothing from the provincial government’s side.
The attack commenced around half past 11 at night. Rather than attack from different sides, the attackers came through the main entrance. Contrary to media reports, no suicide attackers were used; the jail’s defences were so sparse, the need didn’t arise. The jail defenders had nearly obsolete weaponry with only a handful of Kalashnikovs. Some poor souls only had sticks to defend the jail and themselves with. Many, when they saw the superior weaponry of the attackers, simply threw down their weapons, and stood aside.
The attackers made their way, without much resistance, into the prison and started searching for their comrades. During the search, a team came across a captive by the name of Khalifa Abdul Qayyum, an ex-MPA from Dera Ismail Khan and also allegedly associated with a banned terrorist organisation whose claim to fame is a major attack in Mumbai. Although his name wasn’t in the list, they offered to set him free, but he politely refused and remained seated in his cell.
Within half an hour, they were on their way back – with the 48 they came for, and another 194 for good measure. However, the number of passengers had greatly increased for the 20 cars the attackers had come with. Hence, some were pushed off, others weren’t let on, and a few were shot dead.
The return route was the same as when they came, but with one exception: the meeting point for all three groups was FR Tank’s exit point into Waziristan. Once everyone had reached the rally point, the convoy became one, and they victoriously returned home, where they were given heroes’ welcome.
Later, Adnan Rasheed and Umar Khitab contacted members of the local media, and told them that the operation had been a complete and utter success. Adnan claimed that it was even better the Bannu jailbreak because the Taliban had minimal losses and were able to exactly get what they came for. They closed the interaction with a grizzly warning: “We know where our brothers are being held captive in jails across the country. It is part of our jihad to help free our brothers and rest assured that we will free them, soon.”
The writer is a media consultant and trainer. He tweets @aasimzkhan
Zahida Hina (Express):
31 جولائی کو اس خبر نے ہلا کر رکھ دیا کہ ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان کی جیل پر جدید ترین اسلحے سے مسلح اور نائٹ گاگلز سے لیس دہشت گردوں نے دھاوا بولا اور اپنے ساتھ 248 قیدیوں کو چھڑا کر لے گئے جن میں سے درجنوں نہایت خطرناک تھے۔ بہت کچھ برا بھلا ملک کی خفیہ ایجنسیوں کو کہا گیا جنھوں نے اس حملے کی پیشگی اطلاع خیبرپختونخوا حکومت کو نہیں دی۔ پھر صوبے کے وزیر اعلیٰ کا وہ بیان نظر سے گزرا جس میں انھوں نے ڈیرہ جیل واقعے میں بہت بڑا ہاتھ ملوث ہونے کا خدشہ ظاہر کیا اور اسے انٹیلی جنس کی کمزوری سے تعبیر کیا۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ جگہ جگہ ناکے لگے ہوئے ہیں تو پھر اتنے لوگ وہاں کیسے پہنچے جو دو سو سے زائد قیدیوں کو چھڑا کر لے گئے۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ اگر محکمہ جیل خانہ جات کو دھمکیوں کا کوئی خط موصول ہوا تھا تو اسے ان کے نوٹس میں لانا چاہیے تھا۔ انھوں نے شکایت کی کہ وفاقی حکومت نے تا حال اس ایشو پر بات کرنے کے لیے کوئی رابطہ نہیں کیا۔
ان ابتدائی خبروں کے بعد کچھ اور خبریں سامنے آنے لگیں لیکن ان کے تذکرے سے پہلے یہ جان لیجیے کہ 1857کے بعد جب ہندوستان پر ملکہ وکٹوریہ کا راج ہوا تو برطانوی افسروں نے اپنی عملداری کو مستحکم کرنے کے لیے جہاں بہت سے تعمیراتی کام کیے، وہاں دریائے سندھ کے کنارے پر آباد ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان میں ایک جیل تعمیر کی اور اس میں پتھریلی چٹانوں سے تراش کر بنایا ہوا ایک پیل پیکر دروازہ نصب کرایا۔ دروغ بر گردن راوی، اس کی مضبوطی کے امتحان کے لیے اس پر ایک توپ سے گولے بھی داغے گئے لیکن بارود کی یہ بارش اس سنگی دروازے کا کچھ نہ بگاڑ سکی۔
اس جیل خانے کا شمار پاکستان کی اہم جیلوں میں ہوتا ہے اور جب سے ملک پر دہشت گردی کا آسیب مسلط ہوا ہے ملک کی دوسری جیلوں کی طرح یہاں بھی درجنوں اہم دہشت گرد قید کیے گئے ہیں۔ بنوں اور سکھرجیل کے واقعات کے بعد 27 جولائی 2013 کو ملکی خفیہ ایجنسی کی طرف سے علاقے کے کمشنر، ڈپٹی کمشنر، ڈی آئی جی پولیس، ڈی پی او اور ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان کی سینٹرل جیل کے ایس پی کے نام خفیہ خطوط بھیجے گئے جن پر ’’انتہائی اہم‘‘ اور ’’فوری کارروائی کے لیے‘‘ تحریر تھا۔ اس خط میں لکھا گیا تھا کہ ’’ہمیں ذمے دار ذرائع سے معلوم ہوا ہے کہ مستقبل قریب میں ڈی آئی خان سینٹرل جیل پر اسی انداز سے حملہ ہونے والا ہے جس طرح بنوں جیل پر ہوا تھا۔ ہمارے علم میں یہ بات آئی ہے کہ ان شرپسندوں کے پاس جیل کا نقشہ موجود ہے اور وہ حملے کے لیے علاقے میں پہنچ چکے ہیں۔‘‘
اس خط میں عسکریت پسندوں کے اس گروہ کی بھی نشاندہی کر دی گئی تھی جو یہ کارروائی کرنے والا تھا۔ خفیہ ایجنسی نے یہ بات یقینی بنانے کے لیے کہ یہ اہم ترین خط تمام متعلقہ افسران تک بروقت پہنچ جائے، ان خطوط کو وصول کرنے والے افسران کے دستخط بھی لیے تھے۔ اس کے فوراً بعد نیشنل کرائسس مینجمنٹ سیل اسلام آباد جو کہ وزارت داخلہ کے تحت کام کرتا ہے، اس کی طرف سے 28 جولائی کو ایک خط بھیجا گیا جس پر ’’خفیہ‘‘ ’’اہم ترین‘‘ اور ’’انتباہ نمبر 699‘‘ تحریر تھا۔ اس میں بھی عسکریت پسندوں کے اس گروہ کے نام کی نشان دہی کی گئی تھی جو ڈیرہ جیل پر حملہ کرنے والا تھا اور یہ بھی تحریر تھا کہ یہ گروہ ڈی آئی خان میں داخل ہو چکا ہے۔ عسکریت پسندوں کے متوقع حملے سے آگاہ کرنے والا یہ اہم ترین خط خیبر پختونخوا کے ہوم سیکریٹری پشاور، صوبائی پولیس افسر، ایڈیشنل چیف سیکریٹری فاٹا، آئی جی فرنٹیئر کور، آئی جی جیل خانہ جات کے پی اور کمانڈنٹ فرنٹیئر کانسٹیبلری، کے پی پشاور کو بھیجا گیا۔
اس کے بعد خفیہ ایجنسی کی طرف سے تمام متعلقہ محکموں اور ان میں ذمے دار افراد کے نام ایس ایم ایس بھیجا گیا جس کے بعد سول اور فوجی افسران نے جیل کا دورہ کیا۔ ان لوگوں کو اس بات سے بھی آگاہ کیا گیا کہ یہ حملہ تین اطراف سے کیا جائے گا اس دوران علاقے کی بجلی بھی کاٹ دی جائے گی اور اندھیرے میں کارروائی کرنے کی غرض سے یہ لوگ رات میں دیکھنے والے گاگلز سے لیس ہوں گے۔ ان تمام معلومات سے آگاہ ہونے کے بعد کمشنر اور متعلقہ افسران نے ایک میٹنگ کی، ایک دوسرے کو یہ بتایا کہ انھوں نے جیل کا دورہ کیا ہے اور وہاں تعینات اہلکار اس قسم کے کسی بھی حملے سے نمٹنے کے لیے تیار ہیں۔ مشین گنوں سے لیس گاڑیاں اور ایلیٹ پولیس فورس کی گاڑیاں گشت پر ہیں اور جیل کی چھتوں پر گارڈ تعینات کر دیے گئے ہیں۔
تمام ذمے دار افسران مطمئن ہوکر گھروں کو گئے اور خفیہ ایجنسی کی طرف سے بھیجے گئے خطوط کے مطابق حملہ آور ساڑھے گیارہ بجے رات کو بجلی کا ٹاور اڑا کر ڈی آئی خان جیل کے دروازے پر پہنچے تو ہر طرف اندھیرا تھا۔ حملہ آوروں کی آنکھوں پر نائٹ گاگلز تھیں، ہاتھوں میں جدید ترین اسلحہ اور کچھ میگا فون لیے ہوئے تھے۔ درجنوں سے زیادہ موٹر سائیکلوں اور ایک درجن سے زیادہ بڑی گاڑیوں میں سوار عسکریت پسندوں کو زیادہ پریشانی نہیں ہوئی۔ ہلکی مشین گنوں سے آراستہ پولیس گاڑیوں اور ایلیٹ فورس کی موبائلوں کو جانے زمین نگل گئی تھی یا سامری جادو گر نے انھیں پھونک مار کر مکھی بنا دیا تھا۔ چند محافظوں نے اپنی خستہ حال بندوقوں سے اس سونامی کو روکنے کی کوشش کی تو وہ قتل ہوئے اور ان میں سے چند کے سر بھی تراش لیے گئے۔
جیل کا ہر دروازہ کھلتا چلا گیا۔ حملہ آور عسکریت پسند جیل میں گشت کرتے رہے۔ میگا فون پر اپنے ساتھیوں کے نام پکارتے رہے اور انھیں اپنی گاڑیوں میں بٹھاتے رہے۔ اور ہاں یہ بات بھی لکھنے کی ہے کہ قیدیوں میں یہ بات دو یا تین دن سے گشت کر رہی تھی کہ ان کے ساتھ قید عسکریت پسندوں کے ساتھی انھیں رہا کرانے کے لیے بس پہنچنے ہی والے ہیں۔ یہ خبریں بھی چھپی نہ رہ سکیں کہ آنے والوں کا استقبال شربت سے کیا گیا اور ان کے لیے جوش و خروش سے نعرے لگائے گئے۔ آنے والے تین گھنٹے تک جیل کے اندر موجود رہے، انھیں کسی طرف سے کوئی خطرہ محسوس نہیں ہو رہا تھا، اس لیے وہ سکون و اطمینان کے ساتھ اپنے ساتھیوں کو لے کر محفوظ ٹھکانوں کی طرف چلے گئے۔ اخباری اطلاعات کے مطابق ان کا مقابلہ کرنے والی فورس 4 گھنٹے بعد وہاں پہنچی۔
کیا خیبر پختوخوا کی شہری اور فوجی انتظامیہ میں دہشت گردوں کی اتنی حمایت موجود ہے کہ جیل کے دروازے آپ سے آپ کھلتے چلے جاتے ہیں، پولیس اور ایلیٹ فورس کی موبائلیں حملے کے آغاز کے ساتھ ہی سلیمانی ٹوپیاں اوڑھ لیتی ہیں اور وہ حملہ جس کی اطلاع تین دن پہلے دی جا چکی تھی اور جس پر اعلیٰ افسران کی آپس میں مشاورت بھی ہو چکی تھی، وہ ہو جاتا ہے اور اس صوبے کے وزیر اعلیٰ ساری ذمے داری وفاقی حکومت اور خفیہ ایجنسیوں کے سر ڈال کر اپنے پیر و مرشد کے حضور پیش ہو جاتے ہیں جو اپنی ناکامیوں کو اعلیٰ ظرفی سے تسلیم کرنے کی بجائے سارا ملبہ ملک کے ایک شریف ترین شخص جسٹس (ر) فخر الدین جی ابراہیم اور ملک کی اعلیٰ عدلیہ کے سر ڈالنے کی ریہرسل میں مصروف ہیں۔
ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان میں جو کچھ ہوا اس کے بارے میں جمعیت علمائے اسلام (ف) کے سربراہ مولانا فضل الرحمان نے ایک انٹرویو میں کیا غلط کہا کہ ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان کی طرف وزیر ستان کی طرف سے ایک ہی راستہ آتا ہے جہاں پر قانون نافذ کرنے والوں کی متعدد چوکیاں قائم ہیں۔ عام شہریوں کو وہاں تلاشی کے لیے گھنٹوں روکا جاتا ہے تو پھر نہ جانے یہ حملہ آورکہاں سے جیل تک پہنچ گئے۔ مولانا فضل الرحمان کا کہنا تھا کہ ڈیرہ اسماعیل خان کی جیل پر حملے کی پیشگی اطلاع دے دی گئی تھی۔ قانون نافذ کرنے والے اداروں نے جیل پر حملہ روکنے کی ریہرسل بھی کی پھر بھی حملہ آور کامیابی سے اپنی کارروائی کر کے چلے گئے۔
Pakistan Taliban commander uncovers DI Khan jail assault plan
By Tahir KhanPublished: August 4, 2013
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Some 47 senior Taliban commanders freed; 125 TTP men took part in operation. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE
A senior Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander on Saturday revealed the details of the brazen attack on Dera Ismail Khan jail earlier this week. Some 254 prisoners escaped from the prison on July 29 when it was attacked by heavily armed Taliban fighters.
“We managed to free 47 senior Taliban leaders,” said the TTP commander, who claimed he was part of attack’s planning phase. They included Abdul Hakeem, Waleed Akbar, Haji Riaz (the TTP president for Dera Ismail Khan), Mansoor and Ahmed Bajauri, and a senior TTP leader from Pishta Kharra area in Peshawar, he added.
“A total of 125 men took part in the operation,” the commander revealed on condition of anonymity.
“The fighters were divided into separate groups, one of whom was reserved for back up… a ten-man group was assigned the task of gathering intelligence, while a group of 25 men, including 18 equipped with night-vision, stormed the jail in the initial phase,” he revealed.
“Another 25 men were deployed outside the jail to guide the prisoners to vehicles and while 25 more were tasked with transporting them out of the city,” he added. A 25-man group was also deployed on the road to respond to any security forces movement and another 25 men were reserved for backup, the commander explained.
According to him, the operation was launched by three groups – the Punjabi Taliban, the Halqa-e-Mehsud and a group from the Mohmand tribal region. He said all three groups arranged the finances for the operation.
Meanwhile, the commander said all the freed TTP men were in safe locations and would resume their routine responsibilities.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.
Escape from jail: K-P govt wants ‘rogue’ spies smoked out
By Azam KhanPublished: August 4, 2013
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As many as 248 prisoners escaped from the DI Khan jail after the TTP mounted an attack on July 31. PHOTO: REUTERS
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has started consultations to investigate possible ‘rogue’ elements who may have facilitated the escape of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Adnan Rashid – the mastermind behind the recent attack on DI Khan prison – from Bannu jail last year.
Talking to The Express Tribune, a K-P minister said he found it astounding that Rashid was moved from Adiala jail to the comparatively vulnerable Bannu jail just days before the latter was attacked by over 200 TTP militants.
“We want to uncover why our intelligence and law enforcement agencies failed to respond when hundreds of gunmen attacked Bannu jail and freed several top militant commanders, such as Adnan Rashid,” he said.
“We cannot keep our eyes closed… we will have to screen out rogue elements within our intelligence network,” the minister asserted.
On the other hand, the director general of the Inter Services Public Relations, Asim Bajwa, said instead of shifting the blame of jail breaks on to other departments and agencies, the focus should be on improving the security of jails. However, he did not say why Rashid was moved to Bannu jail from Adiala jail.
According to the FIR of the Bannu jailbreak, 384 prisoners escaped from the prison after it was attacked. It stated some of them were ‘most wanted’ criminals. Police sources told The Express Tribune that 20 of the prisoners were on death row and were considered ‘very dangerous’.
K-P police believes the main objective of the attack on the prison was to release Adnan Rashid. Referring to the statements of police officials regarding the Bannu jail attack, the minister said the only question the militants asked upon entering the prison’s premises was “where is Adnan?”
In addition to his role as the TTP’s spokesman, Rashid is also the chief operation commander of its ‘Fidayeen’ unit, which is tasked with carrying out attacks on jails to free the banned outfit’s imprisoned members.
Rashid joined the Pakistan Air Force in 1997 and was subsequently arrested for attempting to assassinate then president Pervez Musharraf on December 14, 2003. Rashid was sentenced to death along with six other PAF officers. After being convicted, Adnan was confined at Adiala jail and briefly Haripur jail, before being transferred to the Bannu Central Jail. The reasons for this decision remains unknown.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.
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