KARACHI – A senior-ranking army officer Saturday reiterated none of Pakistan’s security institutions have demanded student records from Karachi University, while urging the parents and academia to check on their pupils to protect them from radical ideas.
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Major General Mohammad Saeed, Director General of Sindh Rangers, said students affiliated with Asarul Shariah, a terrorist group recently emerged in Sindh capital, did not come from any one specific varsity.
“They (the outfit members) were well-educated students from different institutes,” the DG said, adding as many as three members of Ansarul Shariah have Masters degree in Applied Physics.
Maj Gen Saeed told the media that the outfit was focused on targeting police personnel and the authorities have identified the target-killers of the group.
The paramilitary chief informed as many as seven members of the group have been arrested, and according to the initial investigation the militant group was limited only to Karachi.
Although he confirmed an intensive operation was underway against Ansarul Shariah, which was formed by an al-Qaeda member, the paramilitary force chief didn’t share further information about the militant group.
However, he urged the parents to monitor the activities of their children, sharing that “parents of the two group members had no idea of what activities their sons were involved in.”
He also stressed the teachers must take into account why students were being attracted towards radical ideas.
Ansarul Shariah, reported to be a splinter group of so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS), or Daesh (in Arabic), is believed to be influenced by al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The group has been involved in multiple terrorism incidents in Karachi and Mastung, according to security sources. Its members include militants from Al Qaeda (Subcontinent), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Daesh, according to official sources.
It first targeted a retired army colonel in April this year.
Police officials believe the group is also behind several attacks on police officials in Pakistan’s most populated city in the past few months and an IED blast targeting security forces in Mastung, an area of Balochistan.