Peshawar jail becomes a safe haven for militants


PESHAWAR – Whatsoever may be the claim or justification by the rulers, it is a fact that Peshawar Central Jail has become a “safe haven” for the militants.
The militants have established a state within the state and are forcing prisoners, particularly criminals, to join them. Some highly-placed sources told Pakistan Today that around 170 militants had formed a pressure group inside Peshawar Central Jail. Of them 90 are very active members of different wings of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. Nadeem Abbass and Tahir, both hailing from Attock, are commanding these militants who have not only paralysed the administration but also are holding what they call “Islamic courts” on the premises of highly guarded Central Jail in the heart of the Peshawar city.
No one from bureaucracy or the prisons department is willing to speak on the affairs of the Central Jail. At the cabinet level, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti is responsible for the affairs of the prisons department. The insiders said the militants had framed their own code for the inmates. They are forcing youngsters to grow beards and long hair on heads.
Contrary to the criterion and code of Anti-Terrorism Act, the militants are enjoying VIP status inside the prison. They force highly educated people to follow them and, on their refusal, they are beaten up and humiliated, even in the presence of the prison officials and policemen. They are also running “education classes” and preparing the prisoners to join TTP on their release.
Nadeem Abbas is considered second-in-command to Tariq Afridi, chief of TTP Dara Adam Khel. Nadeem and his deputy Tahir are reportedly involved in kidnapping and assassination of a Polish engineer.
The influence of these militants could be judged from the fact that they forced the deputy superintendent to grant remission to a terrorist, Meer Janan, sentenced on the charge of becoming a suicide bomber. On the completion of imprisonment, the secret agency made a plan for his re-arrest on his release. AS the militants came to know about the plan through the jail staffers, they forced the deputy superintendent not to release Janan at the set time. Later, the deputy superintendent was suspended and made OSD. On January 16, 2011, a notorious drug trafficker, Abdul Baseer, sentenced to 25 years, succeeded in escaping with the help of the militants.
The chief of banned Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e- Muhammadi (TNSM) Sufi Muhammad and his accomplices has become a serious issue inside the central jail. Taliban militants are treating Sufi Muhammad as “Amir-ul-Momineen” and following his dictation. Ironically, Sufi Muhammad denies links with the TTP headed by Hakim Ullah Mehsud but inside the jail he is commanding the militants.