Mohammd Aslam Khan 52, popularly known as Taliban-hunter SP, head of Extremist Cell of CID, Karachi was killed by the Taliban on Thursday. He and three other policemen accompanying him were killed instantly when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded on the route his special bullet-proof SUV was traveling on. The Taliban hailed his death a victory for their cause. The PM, president, governor of Sindh and the chief of Pakistan army, in their separate messages to the nation said that they had lost one of their best men in this war against terror.
Aslam was the man responsible in returning normalcy to the commercial hub of Pakistan. He was a major obstacle in the Talibanization of the city. He was able to put an end to the bloody gang war in Lyari, the oldest and the most populous borough of Karachi.
Aslam’s family originally hails from Mansehra district in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP) province. Aslam took birth in Mansehra but was raised in Karachi. He was familiar with every nook and cranny of the city. This was the main reason of his success in his fight against the extremists.
He was a ranker police officer but with very high credentials. He joined the police department as an ASI, but because of his exemplary performance was made an SHO, then DSP and finally SP in a short time. His promotions were no mean feat for a person who did not possess the requisite educational qualifications. He commanded respect among his fellow police officers for his bravery. Aslam was also a great favorite with the common man of Karachi, because he routed the criminal mafias in the city.
Aslam, was so clinical in his work that he had restricted the otherwise feared Taliban to their hide-outs in Karachi. The extremists were so afraid of him that they had even stopped communicating on the cell phones, because the moment they did, Aslam raided the premises. Aslam, the Davidoff smoking Taliban-hunter was on the route to weed them out of Karachi. He was also the proud recipient of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award conferred by the government of Pakistan.
It goes without saying that Aslam had become a menace for the Taliban and they desperately wanted to eliminate him. He was on the hit list of each and every extremist outfit of the city. He was known all over Pakistan as Karachi’s iron man as he was the last bulwark, in the way of the Taliban’s cherished dream to over run the city and to establish a state within the state.
Aslam, is estimated to have killed over 50 high-profile gangsters and extremists in Karachi. Dissatisfied with the judicial system, the Taliban-hunter was a confirmed believer in extra-judicial killings. One of his alias was “encounter-specialist.” In one such incident, he killed a laborer mistakenly and was imprisoned for 1 year.
Eight attempts were made on his life and miraculously he survived all of them. In 2011, a lorry laden with explosives rammed into his house, killing eight people but Aslam and his family survived.
The Taliban-hunter, a favorite with the media was interviewed frequently. He is on record that either he would finish this militant menace from the city once and for all or the militants would kill him. Till yesterday the brave man had the upper hand but today the Taliban have triumphed.
The martyr leaves behind a wife, three sons and a daughter. His death came as a shock to the whole nation, as he was one of a very limited number of people in Pakistan, who openly defied the feared Taliban. Today, is one of the saddest and the darkest day in the history of Pakistan because Aslam, the Taliban-hunter has been finally killed.
Latest update: An FIR has been registered against Mullah Fazalullah (Mullah Radio), the chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and his second-in-command, for the killing of Mohammad Aslam Khan.
By Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada
The Washington Post