Pakistan’s banned Taliban militant outfit is planning to target senior political leaders like Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and PML-N party vice president Maryam Nawaz along with top military and intelligence officials under a new hit list, according to a media report.
The new list prepared by the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliate Jamaat-ul-Ahraar (JuA) also includes several other senior government officials, and has emerged a day after rightwing religious-political party Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq survived a suicide bombing in a remote area of Balochistan province on May 19, the News International reported on Friday.
"The names of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and PML-N senior vice president Maryam Nawaz are on a 'hit list' of terrorist outfits TTP and JuA, which are planning to launch attacks on leaders of the armed forces, intelligence agencies and politicians," said the report.
Apart from making senior politicians their target, the TTP is also planning a series of attacks on the country's armed forces and check-posts of law enforcement agencies.
As per media reports, a terror group — which includes two suicide bombers — has entered Punjab under the supervision of JuA leader Rafiullah.
TTP commander, Sarbakaf Mohmand, praised those who participated in the countrywide riots on May 9 after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party chief Imran Khan was arrested and announced his support for the miscreants, the report said.
Terrorism incidents have risen in Pakistan in recent months, with security forces ramping up operations to defeat terrorists.
According to a report by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, more than 850 people were killed or injured in militant attacks and counterterrorism operations in the first quarter of 2023 — a figure that was half the total number of killed or wounded people in 2022.
The report stated that January 2023 was the most fatal one for security forces in more than a decade.
"The fatalities of security and government officials almost doubled, from 88 in the first quarter of last year to 167 in the first quarter this year," the report said, adding that the TTP carried out at least 22 attacks during January-March, causing at least 107 deaths.