Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) on Friday said it has arrested 12 alleged terrorists, belonging to the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and Al-Qaeda.
Punjab CTD police in a statement said the alleged terrorists were attested during special search operations from three cities of the province including Lahore.
The spokesperson of CTD said that “terrorists were planning to launch possible attacks in the province”. As a result of the search operations, explosive materials used in making suicide jackets were recovered from the alleged terrorists, the statement said.
Over the past week, CTD has conducted 797 search operations in different cities of Pakistan, during which 159 suspects have been arrested, according to the statement.
Following the deteriorating security situation, terror networks including banned TTP, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), and other militant groups have intensified their attacks, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Balochistan, the two provinces sharing a border with Afghanistan.
After TTP called off its unilateral ceasefire with the Pakistani government last November, the group has increased its violent attacks in KP and Balochistan mostly targeting police personnel.
The attack on Karachi Police Headquarters in February was the most high-profile one which claimed the lives of scores of police officers. Prior to this, the Peshawar mosque explosion resulted in the death of at least 84 people and the injury of a hundred more.
It is believed that militant groups have sanctuaries in tribal areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they easily plan their brutal attacks before executing. To address security concerns, a senior Pakistan delegation headed by Defense Minister Khawaja Asif traveled to Kabul on February 22 and met with high-ranking Afghan Taliban officials.
During the visit, the two sides reiterated taking serious actions to tackle terror groups creating terror and chaos among the people in both counties. Afghan authorities ensured their Pakistani counterparts that they will not allow militants to pose threats to the security of other countries including neighbors using Afghanistan’s soil.