ISLAMABAD: One of the top security agencies on Wednesday picked up Raja Ehsan Aziz, a member of Tehrik-e-Islami (TI), for his alleged connections with terrorists who had attacked the Parade Lane Mosque in Rawalpindi and Moon Market in Lahore. Tehrik-e-Islami is a splinter group of the JI.
Two female members of the Tehrik have already been taken into custody. Sarwat Wahid, another female member whose son’s car was used in the Parade Lane Mosque attack, is missing. Also her son, Jawad, who was studying in Faisalabad after doing A Level from Beacon House School System, is missing.
Aziz, a graduate of Columbia University who also served on senior positions at the Foreign Office, is a retired professor of International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University. His elder son is an Army doctor.
Aziz was taken away from his house in G/10-3 on Wednesday evening by sleuths of the Counter-Terrorism Cell, his wife Amira Aziz told The News. Amira, an ex-MNA of Jamaat-e-Islami and now a Shura member of the Tehrik, is a religious scholar and writes columns in an Urdu daily.
Aziz’s driver, Phool Zeb from Nowshera, has already been arrested as investigators found a mobile SIM allegedly used for conversation during the attacks on the Parade Lane Mosque and Moon Market, was issued in his name. Likewise, the car used in the mosque attack belonged to Jawad, the son of a Tehrik-e-Islami woman, Sarwat Wahid, a resident of I-8 Sector, Islamabad. Both of them are missing since then. Likewise, Aziz’ son, Omer, a student of Islamic International University, has not returned home for the last five days.
Aziz has been picked up for the second time, his wife said, denying any links of the family with terrorism incidents. “I’m a sworn enemy of America and can pay any price for it but I strongly oppose terrorism within Pakistan,” Amira Aziz told The News. She said the intelligence operatives had been following the women activists of Tehrik-e-Islami for the last six months and harassed them. She alleged that her husband was beaten black and blue when picked up last time and kept in illegal custody for a night.
Amira said her son, Omer, a heart patient, was very upset when intelligence guys kept his father in their custody for a night. A female member of Tehrik, Najma Sana, who lives in G-9/1, is already in the agency’s custody for the last 10 days. Sarwat Wahid, after being chased by the intelligence agency, left Islamabad for Karachi where she was again pursued by the police. Her sister and children in Karachi have been arrested to press for recovery of Sarwat who has gone underground there. Sarwat’s son, Jawad, is also missing.
Tahira Mumtaz, another female member of the Tehrik, was twice called for investigation over her alleged assistance to Sarwat to flee the capital. Altaf Aziz Khattack, SHO, said he was not aware of any such incident. He asked this correspondent to take up the matter with the R A Bazaar police in whose jurisdiction the mosque was attacked.
When contacted, officials of the concerned police station said that they had not arrested Ehsan Aziz, adding the Army was investigating the attack and the matter may be taken up with them. The DG ISPR could not be contacted.