CTD claims IS-K
network dismantled in KP,
Imran discusses with CM

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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) claims to have dismantled the network of the self-styled Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) terrorist group in the province with the help of intelligence agencies.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, DIG CTD Javed Iqbal said IS-K had started becoming active in the province after May this year.

He said the group wanted to sow fear and disrupt investments in the province by attacking police personnel and the polio security staff.

However, he said the CTD successfully thwarted the IS-K’s plans to carry out major terrorist attacks in the province. He said CTD had carried out major operations against the group across the province during the current year, arresting a total of 599 terrorists and killing 110 others.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday discussing KPK issues and PTI position with Chief Minister of the province Mahmood Khan at his office at PM house on Wednesday.

Mr Iqbal said in a joint operation, the Peshawar police and CTD personnel killed three top IS-K terrorists, and arrested several others. “Three IS-K groups were bust in Peshawar and one in Bannu,” he claimed.

DIG Javed Iqbal said the CTD with the help of intelligence agencies had also managed to arrest the terrorists involved in the Dasu suicide attack on Chinese engineers.

He said in the first year of its operations in the merged areas, the CTD had killed nine terrorists in three encounters in Khyber, South and North Waziristan districts.

He said 82 terrorists with head money were also arrested, adding a terrorist, namely Shanullah, who was involved in 24 incidents of targeted killing, was eliminated in an encounter in Lakki Marwat.

Following the unexpected defeat of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the recently held first phase of local government elections in its stronghold of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and differences among the party candidates, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed the province’s chief minister to ensure unity among party ranks for winning the second phase of polls next month.

Moreover, owing to the severe shortage of natural gas in the country, the prime minister directed the authorities concerned to ensure expeditious issuance of licences for domestic exploration of gas to meet the increasing demand, especially in winter.

He vowed to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the country in a befitting manner.

KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan called on the prime minister to discuss the upcoming second phase of the local government elections and the PTI’s organisational structure in the province.

According to the Prime Minis­ter Office, Imran Khan directed the chief minister to take all steps to ensure unity and discipline within the party ranks for the next phase of the LG elections.

The KP chief minister apprised PM Khan of the progress on various development projects in the province at which the PM directed to complete all the projects on time so that people could get immediate relief and facilities.

Following the defeat in the first phase of the LG polls, the prime minister had wrapped up the PTI’s organisational structure and grilled the KP CM over the loss. He had called “wrong selection” of candidates as the main cause of the defeat and observed that in some constituencies three PTI candidates were contesting for one seat.

Differences among the PTI candidates were confirmed after some of them moved courts against each other. “It is because of their [party candidates’] differences that the prime minister directed the KP CM to ensure unity among party ranks before the second phase of the LG polls, which is scheduled for Jan 16, 2022,” sources told Dawn.

The sources said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared the provisional results of 45 out of 63 tehsils in 17 districts of KP where local body elections were held on Dec 19.

According to the provisional results as well as unofficial and unverified results from 53 tehsils, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) was leading with 20 seats. At the second spot was the PTI with 13 seats, independent candidates have won in 10 tehsils, while the Awami National Party (ANP) has so far won in six tehsils. The PML-N has claimed three seats, Jamaat-i-Islami two and the PPP and Tehreek-i-Islahat Pakistan one seat each.

The JUI-F also clinched the mayor’s seats in the provincial capital of Peshawar, Kohat and Bannu. In Mardan, the ANP’s nominees for mayor swept the polls.

Gas exploration: At a separate meeting on the demand and supply of natural gas, PM Khan instructed the relevant departments to remove hurdles in the process of installation of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and virtual pipeline projects by investors.

The meeting with federal ministers was briefed about the demand and supply from domestic reserves, and shortfall and import of LNG.