Banned militant outfits regroup in Karachi
* Groups distributing pamphlets, CDs and leaving graffiti messages across city
By Faraz Khan, Daily Times, June 29, 2008
KARACHI: Banned militant outfits are resurfacing in Karachi and reopening their offices, Daily Times learnt on Saturday.
Some of them have taken on new names. Rival sectarian outfits, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Sipah-e-Mohammad Pakistan (SMP), have reopened their sealed offices and have temporarily changed their names to Ahl-e-Sunnat-Wal Jamat and Shia Ulma Council, respectively. The Tehreek-e-Jafferia Pakistan (TJP) has also changed its name to the Jafferia Student Organisation.
According to reliable sources, the government has, informally, lifted the ban on the organisations and assured them there will be no interference in their activities. Over the past two months, the SSP and its sister organisation, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ), are the only ones to have held major gatherings, in Nagan Chowrangi, Orangi Town, Shah Faisal Colony, Sohrab Goth, Landhi and Qayyumabad. The TJP and SMP have also reopened their offices in Soldier Bazaar, Jaffer Tayyar, Drigh Road and Orangi Town.
The groups are distributing handbills and chalkings on walls across the city. Graffiti has appeared for groups such as Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami.
The groups have reportedly restarted their activities from mosques in areas where they dominate. They are distributing CDs as well. According to sources, the CD being distributed amongst the Shia community shows the capture and public execution of a Shia Pakistan Army officer by teenage boys in the tribal areas. Rival Shia and Sunni groups have also started distributing CDs of their clashes in Parachinar, revealing the killings, while jihadi and militant groups are circulating videos of the destruction caused by the operation in tribal areas by coalition and Pakistani forces.