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Pakistan probes terrorists’ funds

world Updated: Feb 01, 2008 03:11 IST
Kamal Siddiqi
Kamal Siddiqi
Hindustan Times

The arrest of Qasim Toori, a member of the banned Jundullah outfit in Karachi earlier this week, has led to some important disclosures on sources of funding for terrorist outfits in Pakistan.

Toori was arrested after a shootout in a Karachi suburb on Tuesday night and, by Thursday, the city police was trying to piece together a link between the terror group and a spate of bank robberies in the city in the past year.

City police chief Niaz Siddiqui told the media that a huge cache of arms had been recovered from the terror group’s hideout. “It seems that they were preparing for a war,” said Siddiqui, while talking to journalists in Karachi.

But police officials have said that more important has been the discovery that the gang was involved in a number of bank robberies that took place in Karachi over the past couple of months.

According to independent estimates, over Rs. 200 million had been looted from city banks in the past three months. In addition, money-changer companies as well as post offices have been looted.

In many instances, the security guards deployed to protect the premises have been involved in the heists. On January 6, the biggest robbery in the history of Pakistan took place when Rs. 150 million was looted from a money-changer in Karachi by guards of the company.

These guards originated from the tribal areas and police now suspect that the money they looted was funneled to terror operations. None of those involved in the robberies have been arrested.