Below, we are posting two relevant stories about the massacre at Ahmadi mosques in Lahore. This massacre will be a especially ugly chapter in the sordid history that Pakistan has created when it comes to its treatment and protection of minorities from the religious zealots that are found aplenty in the majority sect that inhabits Pakistan.
But more importantly, many Islamist guests on the PTH, as well as countless on outside media and blogs have conveniently accused RAW, MOSSAD, CIA (pick your favourite intelligence organization) behind the massacre.
Self delusion seems to run rampant in Pakistani right wing. They are most welcome to indulge in their mass manufacture of hidden hands and twisted conspiracy theories. As one of the Ahmadi leader recently pointed out while answering who may be responsible for the immense loss of life in Lahore: “When the state allies call for killing Ahmadis a required religious duty, when Khatam-e-Nabuwwat Conferences call for Ahmadis to die or leave Pakistan, and when TTP threatens the community consistently, then it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to realize that massacre on this magnitude was always on the cards”.
We have pointed out repeatedly that the biggest casualty of this self delusional behaviour is Pakistan itself. The enemy is our home-grown badly out of control Frankenstein, as well as the religious-nationalist mindset primarily responsible for its creation and nurture. A religious frenzied state policy that was meant to create proxy militias to fight both east and west, turned out to be one of the most idiotic policies ever implemented by any state in recent memory, with no regard to the flawed marriage of religion with state policies, as well as disastrous consequences that this marriage would entail. If these events are not a wakeup call, then I don’t know what would be. The religious genie unleashed by Pakistan cannot be contained if Pakistan is not honest with itself. Religion has no place in the affairs of the state. The religious bigotry against others is consuming Pakistan first and foremost.
Below are two important stories; one about the results of the initial investigation into the massacres. Two suicide bombers were captured alive and lots of information about their plans and their handlers is coming to fore. How this group slipped in from Miram Shah and used religious seminaries in Raiwind and in Lahore will need further investigation. This information probably points towards the loose cooperation between various religious organizations, whether they are extremists or not.
The second report from the Times London mentions an extremely brave Ahmadi man who overpowered the Jihadi, removed his suicide vest and kept him pinned down for 35 minutes until police came. In these dark times, stories like these give us hope and verve that we are still a nation of courageous individuals, who are willing to face the terror head on. The photos of Punjab policemen carrying injured men on their shoulders while facing gunfire tell us the immense sacrifices of the law forces personnel. A word of gratitude for their selfless bravery is definitely not enough, but very much in order here. (AZW)
Lahore Carnage: Police claim busting TTP Punjab network
By Arshad Dogar
LAHORE: Police on Saturday claimed to have busted the network of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Punjab by identifying six assailants who carried out two simultaneous attacks on Ahmedis’ worship places in Lahore on Friday.
Two out of six terrorists were killed during the Garhi Shahu attack. They were identified as Mansoor and Darvesh. However, the police are yet to unearth their whereabouts. Their body parts had been sent to a forensic laboratory for the DNA tests.
Another two assailants, who attacked Ahmedis’ worship place in the Model Town area of Lahore, have been arrested alive. One of them has been identified as Abdullah alias Muhammad, son of Attaullah Chachar. He is a resident of Sajay village in Khanpur Katora, district Rahim Yar Khan. Lately, he has been living in Quetta Town, Karachi, for studies. The other one has been identified as Muaz, who was arrested in a critically injured condition. He is under treatment at a local hospital in Lahore. The police are yet to ascertain his whereabouts as well, according to police sources. Two more alleged terrorists, who facilitated the attackers, are still at large.
Abdullah alias Muhammad was shifted to an undisclosed place for interrogation. Sources said he divulged to the police all details about their network and modus operandi used for the attacks. The four terrorists reportedly stayed in Lahore for seven days before carrying out attacks on May 28.
Addressing a press conference at the Central Police Office, the newly appointed spokesman for the Punjab Police, DIG Akram Naeem Bharoka, updated journalist on the latest developments. He said Abdullah told the police that he, along with Muaz, Mansoor and Darvesh, reached Lahore from Miramshah via Bannu on May 21, 2010 and gathered at Green Shed Brelvi mosque, situated near Hamid Terminal close to the Bhatti Chowk.
Abdullah and Muaz visited the Model Town worship place of Ahmedis, along with a local facilitator-cum-terrorist on May 21, while Mansoor and Darvesh went to Garhi Shahu for the purpose, along with another local facilitator on the same day. Then four of them went to Raiwind Tableeghi Centre and stayed there. Later, they went to Ibrahim mosque on Walton Road on May 26 and then, as per plan, went to the Bhatti Chowk on May 27 around 10am to meet their facilitators.
On Thursday (May 27), Abdullah and Muaz, along with their facilitator, again visited Model Town, and Mansoor and Darvesh, along with their facilitator, went to Garhi Shahu worship place. They spent night at Ibrahim mosque and on Friday, the four terrorists once again gathered at the Bhatti Chowk. From there, the facilitator of Abdullah alias Muhammad and Muaz took them to 87/C Model Town on a motorcycle. The other facilitator took Mansoor and Darvesh to Garhi Shahu for carrying out the attacks. The facilitators provided Kalashnikovs, explosive packed jackets, hand grenades and food items to the terrorists. The four attackers carried out simultaneous attacks around 1:35 pm, killing over 82 people and injuring over 150 others.
The death toll, according to a spokesperson for the Ahmedi community, had swollen to 95. However, the spokesman for the Punjab Police claimed that only 79 people were killed and over 120 others injured in the attacks. He claimed the four attackers and the two facilitators all belonged to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
The police spokesman said a younger brother of Abdullah works for a TTP terrorist, Badar, adding that another terrorist, Muneeb, had trained Abdullah for the terrorist activity. Answering a question, Akram Naeem Bharoka said the four terrorists had been assigned only the task of carrying out attacks on Ahmedis and they had no other plan in Lahore. A crackdown on the Raiwind Tableeghi Centre would also be launched, he added. The official, however, failed to give a satisfactory answer to a questioner as to why the state did not act as a complainant for the registration of the FIRs.
During the Model Town attack, the police also seized 18 hand grenades, one Kalashnikov, 55 live cartridges, 7 magazines, 177 empty cartridges and some other items. In Garhi Shahu, the police recovered two Kalashnikovs and four live hand grenades.
According to sources, three suspects were arrested from Rahim Yar Khan after the arrest of Abdullah on Saturday. A case no 233 has been registered against six terrorists at the Garhi Shahu police station under various sections of the PPC and the Anti-Terrorism Act on the complaint of a relative of an attack victim.
The Model Town police have also registered a case against two identified and their unknown accomplices on the complaint of a victim’s relative. The Lahore police also launched a massive search operation late on Friday night and on Saturday in suburban areas of Lahore and arrested dozens of suspects.
Moreover, security was beefed up at the worship places of Ahmedis in the provincial metropolis, especially in Garhi Shahu and Model Town, by deploying extra force. Police investigators also visited the crime scenes on Saturday to collect further evidence.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the arrested terrorist, Abdullah, went to Suffa Madrassa in Karachi for study and spent five years there. Then he planned to get training for Jihad, Sana said and added Abdullah got training in North Waziristan for two years after which he was dispatched, along with his accomplices, to carry out the attacks.
Answering a question, he said the terrorists had gathered the weapons and other explosive material in parts, adding that it was too difficult to check every individual entering Punjab. Agencies add: Meanwhile, the victims of Friday’s deadly attacks were buried in Chanab Nagar near Chiniot on Saturday. The police also raided the Raiwind area and arrested two suspects. Another suspect was taken into custody from Mozang, Lahore.
Massacre hero tells of tearing off bomber’s suicide vest
A SURVIVOR of the attack on two mosques in Lahore, Pakistan, that left 98 people dead, gave a dramatic account yesterday of how he had ushered hundreds of worshippers to safety and then tackled a terrorist wearing an explosive-packed suicide vest.
Nabeel, a 25-year-old Ahmadi Muslim — identified by only a single name — had entered the Model Town mosque at 1.30pm before Friday’s sermon started. As the number of worshippers began to swell, the first gunshots were heard at about 1.45pm.
The assault quickly overwhelmed the Model Town mosque at the same time that Ghari Shahu, another Ahmadi mosque a few miles away, was being attacked.
The Ahmadis — a sect considered heretical for believing its founder was the messiah foretold by the prophet Muhammad — had been receiving anonymous threats for the past few weeks.
After the first shots, Nabeel said: “I rushed to close the gates at the entrance. To buy us some time, I asked everyone inside the building to rush towards the basement. Most of the people who were killed were older men because they were not too quick on their feet.
“One terrorist who appeared to be in his mid-twenties entered the main hall and started firing indiscriminately . . . Then he hurled hand grenades and the resulting explosion injured almost everyone who had not made it to the basement.
“Immediately after the grenade explosion, the terrorist started shooting the injured people who were crying and screaming for help,” he said.
“I could see that the terrorist was injured and bleeding from the head. He shot at least a dozen people before he fell to the ground. I used the opportunity to seize the man, still wearing his suicide vest. Two other men helped me remove his jacket and disarm him. I held him in that position for nearly 35 minutes waiting for police so I could hand him over,” said Nabeel.
“I had placed a foot over the man’s neck to make sure he could not move. He kept telling me that he was in a lot of pain and wanted me to remove my foot. I removed some pressure and asked him why he had killed so many innocent people. He replied that it was his mission to eradicate all infidels from Pakistan.”
Two attackers have been arrested, one seriously injured. The authorities believe the atrocity may have been perpetrated by the Punjab branch of the Pakistani Taliban.