Rawalpindi - Local businessmen are receiving extortion calls from Afghanistan, it has been learnt.

A trader Ajmal Khan who runs his shop at Ahata Mithu Khan – a big wholesale market of auto spare parts – received threatening calls from Afghanistan-based extortionists and was asked to pay Rs 30 million to save his life.

The victim trader brought the matter in the notice of police but, according to him, police are least interested in taking any action.

Ajmal Khan, who owns a radiator shop and has been elected president of local traders of his area, told The Nation yesterday that he had received several calls by Ameer Hamza, the commander of outlawed TTP in Afghanistan, who demanded Rs 30 million extortion from him. He said Ameer called him from mobile number 0093704535876 and threatened him that he and his family members would be kidnapped and killed if he failed to pay Rs 30 million.

He said earlier another TTP commander Umar Khalid Khorasani made him threatening calls and demanded extortion. He said he approached Cantonment police station which had also registered case number 603 under sections 386 PPC/25D telegraph act on 13/11/2015 but no arrest was made.

Ajmal said similar extortion calls were also made to many other businessmen who got registered cases with police in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

“The police avoid pressure from their high-ups by mentioning every new complaint against extortionists in investigation report of already registered cases,” he said. He said he visited officers of several police officers including SSP (Operations) Irfan Tariq but all in vain. “I and my family members are living under great danger while the extortionists had already killed two traders in area of Waris Khan police on denying the extortion demands,” said Ajmal Khan, who is also head of Pakhtoon Welfare Foundation. He demanded Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to provide him and other businessmen protection and take punitive action against the extortionists.

Station House Officer Javed Khan, when contacted, said some fake gangs have been operating in twin cities which often make calls to traders by impersonating TTP members and using Afghan SIMs. He said the caller who had threatened Ajmal Khan was picked up by intelligence agencies and is being grilled to lead to the other gang members.

SSP (Operations) Irfan Tariq, while talking to The Nation, said neither any new case of extortion surfaced in the city nor anybody approached him in his office for action against extortionists. “I am available for crime victims in my office. Action will be taken against criminals if victims lodge complaint,” Irfan said.