Pakistan: In a statement released on Wednesday, anti-Pakistan terrorist group Hizbul Ahrar has announced a new operation in Pakistan, dubbed as Operation Shamzai.
In a statement released by Dr Aziz Yousafzai, spokesperson of Hizbul Ahrar, spread by Hizbul Ahrar’s official Ahrar Media, announced the beginning of Operation Shamzai in Pakistan with its recent two attacks in Pakistan: A gun attack on Tuesday targeting police vehicle in Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan) that killed multiple police personnel, and a failed suicide bombing in Mastung, Balochistan in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, which targeted a vehicle of Pakistani FC forces. Hizbul Ahrar identified its suicide bomber who carried out the failed Mastung suicide bombing as Asif Zarqawi.
Now in a statement released on Wednesday, Hizbul Ahrar says the two attacks mark the beginning of Operation Shamzai. The new Hizb operation has been named after Islamic scholar Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, who was assassinated in Karachi in 2004, according to the statement released by Ahrar Media. The statement also pays tribute to Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai for calling for jihad against Pakistani military in a fatwa, declaring him to be the founder of jihad in Pakistan. The statement further vows revenge for arrests and killings of jihadi scholars in Pakistan.
In the statement, Hizb also calls on other jihadi groups to increase their activities in Pakistan and also invites other jihadi groups to collaborate with Hizb to carry out operations in Pakistan. The statement goes on to call on Islamic scholars, the general public and especially those who have lost someone in war on terror and those who have their relatives or friends ‘gone missing’, to join the jihad against Pakistani military and cooperate with Hizb. The statement also calls on the general public to stay away from military and government personnel to avoid getting in the line of fire.
In the end, the statement mentions Pakistan Super League (PSL), saying that Hizbul Ahrar will soon release an official statement regarding its policy on PSL cricket matches that are scheduled to be held in Pakistan.
While talking to ITCT Newsdesk, Faran Jeffery, ITCT Deputy Director and Head South Asia desk, said:
It is rather interesting that Hizbul Ahrar has decided to announce a new operation in the second month of 2019. Previously, in April 2018, Hizbul Ahrar had launched Operation Ibne Qasim or Bin Qasim, which apparently concluded by the end of 2018. And so now Hizbul Ahrar has announced a new operation, and this is coming at a time when we are seeing increased jihadi activity in Balochistan and Waziristan while Pakistani security forces are under increased pressure from the NGO sector following incidents like the one in Sahiwal. There is need to be extra vigilant on part of Pakistani security forces not only against terrorist groups but also against unfortunate incidents that result in depreciation of public trust. It is also very worrying that Hizb has mentioned PSL in its statement, and while we are still waiting for Hizb’s official policy statement re PSL, I won’t be surprised if Hizb announced PSL as one of its targets. Pakistani government will need to employ extra counter measures to deal with any potential threat during the events.”
The full Hizbul Ahrar statement on Pakistan Super League was released on 10th March 2019.
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