Banned terror outfit leader confessed to working to sabotage Pakistan-China Economic Corridor projects, says minister

Nasrullah aka Maulvi Mansoor, who heads the defence shoora in the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), was arrested recently in Balochistan by security forces while he was planning terror attacks in the province, Mir Zia Langrove said.
Last Updated : 26 June 2024, 16:38 IST

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Karachi: A senior commander of the banned terror group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has claimed that his outfit is working with outlawed separatist groups in Balochistan to sabotage the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, the restive province’s Home Minister Mir Zia Langrove said on Wednesday.

“Nasrullah aka Maulvi Mansoor, who heads the defence shoora in the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), was arrested recently in Balochistan by security forces while he was planning terror attacks in the province. Maulvi Mansoor has revealed some very important information about the terror activities in Balochistan,” Langrove told a press conference in Quetta.

The arrests came a day after the federal cabinet approved Operation Azm-e-Istehkam — a reinvigorated and re-energised national counter-terrorism drive decided by the National Action Plan's Central Apex Committee, The News International reported.

A video confession of the Maulvi shown at the press conference showed him admitting that the TTP with the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) was engineering abduction cases and sending the abducted people to Afghanistan while they were shown as missing persons.

“I fled to Afghanistan during the Zarb Azab operation and since then I have been carrying out terror attacks on Pakistan army posts on the border,” Mansoor said.

“The TTP and BLA are working together in many areas. We kidnap people for ransom and take the victims to Afghanistan and then we show them as missing persons,” he said in the video confession.

He said top commanders of the BLA had also sought refuge in Afghanistan with the TTP.

Langrove said that two top commanders of the TTP were arrested after a difficult operation against terrorists but didn’t disclose the location of the arrest.

Maulvi Mansoor also confessed in the video that TTP and BLA were working to sabotage the CPEC projects in Balochistan.

The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI is seen as an attempt by China to further its influence abroad with infrastructure projects funded by Chinese investments across the world.

China has also invested billions in various power projects and road networks in Pakistan under the USD 60 billion CPEC plan. However, the implementation of various projects has slowed in recent months following terror attacks on Chinese personnel working on the ventures.

Langrove also claimed that India was providing funds to the TTP and the BLA.

The minister said that while the TTP vowed to “introduce an Islamic system”, the BLA on the other hand was their “ideological opposite”. “Their nexus only means that their investor is the same who is using them from two angles,” he asserted.

He urged the people of Balochistan that the militants were not interested in solving their issues and urged the people to shun violence as Pakistan was their country.

The News International also reported that Idris alias ‘Irshad’ was also arrested along with the Maulvi Mansoor.

The government's move is a response to a significant surge in terrorist attacks in recent months as reflected in the Q1 2024 Security Report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), which revealed that the country witnessed at least 432 violence-linked fatalities and 370 injuries among civilians, security personnel and outlaws resulting from as many as 245 incidents of terror attacks and counter-terror operations.

"The statistics only cater to the first four months of the ongoing year 2024 and include 281 civilian and security forces casualties,” it said, adding, “Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have faced the brunt of these attacks with 92 per cent of all fatalities and 86 per cent of attacks, including those related to terrorism and security forces operations, occurring in these two provinces."

Published 26 June 2024, 16:38 IST

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