No-go areas in the garrison city of Rawalpindi

RAWALPINDI: With no decrease in the crime ongoing in the holy month of Ramazan, the residents who are going to other cities to celebrate Eid are worried about their belongings that they would leave home.While purse snatching, kidnapping, armed robberies, dacoities, and car thefts have become part of the daily routine, another very serious security dimension involving terrorism has been added to the episode. The police, as usual, cannot help but watch the entire situation as a silent spectator.Shocking incidents of crime are being reported every day. ‘For a change,’ this time, a recent eye-opening incident involving terrorism is narrated here. In the wake of terrorist attacks on the country’s major cities by the notorious militant group TTP, a report of a secret agency dropped a bombshell recently that the TTP has established a stronghold in the garrison city of Rawalpindi and may cause catastrophe by attacking the Benazir International Airport and GHQ any time, operating from their base in Rawalpindi. While the country’s top leadership has directed for strict action against the TTP, the secret agencies have informed the Interior Ministry that a notorious group of militants have managed to make a stronghold in the city and have the capability to strike the GHQ and the Benazir International Airport. The TTP has infiltrated into the garrison city and has established strongholds in various localities that have been declared no-go areas for the residents. The militants have gained the capability of striking anywhere in the twin cities, at any time, operating from its base from Rawalpindi, stated a report of a secret agency that was submitted to the Interior Ministry.According to the report, the TTP has established no-go areas in the city where no one is allowed to enter except people of a particular ethnic group. The criminal hub has become a ‘territorially locked’ area where a common man cannot move freely with his own free will, as per the order of a TTP commander. A secret report, which was recently submitted to the Ministry of Interior, identified illegal activities going on in Kuta Gali, a locality of Rehmatabad. Report claimed that it is impossible for a common man to enter in the said street. When a stranger visits the area, the people start investigating that where he had come from and where he wanted to go. The report said that the killing of innocent people on lame excuses is rampant and these people have been reportedly involved in the criminal activities and the local police do not take any action against the said group for reasons best known to them. The report also disclosed that chits are being issued for Bhatta from the same street and a large number of car lifters are also hiding there. The report also added that the same street is a source of sale of alcohol, heroin, and other drugs. Some police officers also confirmed that the no-go areas do exist in the Rehmatabad, while others claimed that the entire Rehmatabad had become a no-go area. On the other hand, the SDPO and SHO have no knowledge about the issue of the no-go area. Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan has strictly ordered the district and the police administration of the twin cities to keep the security of the sensitive locations extremely tight, and carry out surprise search operations in the adjoining areas of the Benazir Bhutto International Airport. 

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Aaj Kal