Samyam Shreshta,

Correspondent (Asia — South)


KARACHI — Senior police official Chaudhry Aslam Khan, along with two other officers, was killed in a bomb blast in Karachi on Thursday. The blast took place at around 4:40 pm at Lyari Expressway near the Essa Nagri area of the city. A suicide bomber had overrun his vehicle into Aslam’s convoy to make the blast happen. The powerful explosion threw Aslam’s vehicle at least 20 meters away, also destroying vehicles and damaging buildings nearby. Karachi’s Aga Khan University Hospital had received seven other bodies about half an hour after the incident, among which two were pronounced dead and others were in critically injured conditions.

The responsibility for the attack has been claimed by the militant group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Sajjad Mohmand, the group’s spokesperson said Aslam had been on the top of their hit-list for carrying out operations against the TTP that allegedly included killing Taliban prisoners in CID cells in Karachi. Earlier on the day of the blast, Aslam had claimed the deaths of three suspected members of the Pakistani Taliban in an encounter in the city.

Khan, who had been a target of several attacks in past, had been receiving continuous threats from the Pakistani Taliban. In September 2011, a bomb was targeted at his house that tore off its front. Following the event, he had boldly expressed, “They are cowards. They call themselves Muslims but are unbelievers. This will make me even more determined to carry on operations against them. I walk these streets day and night. If they want to kill me, they should come and attack me directly.”

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid tribute to the officer, “Chaudhry Aslam was a brave officer. We will not let the will of the nation be crushed by these cowardly acts by terrorists.”

Often seen as being too powerful and seemingly operating above the law, the police officer, one of Karachi’s highest-profile police officials with 29 years of experience, had been involved with his unit since 2008. The unit took part in the arrests of dozens of militants planning attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan over the years.

Image Courtesy: Sgt. Eric Harris, Licensed under the public domain.| Wiki Commons