ISLAMABAD - The alleged death squad chief of banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) Masoom Billa has been arrested, Intelligence Bureau (IB) told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a briefing on Friday.

As per reports, the accused was arrested after prolonged reconnaissance.

The premier was told that the accused had provided significant information regarding attack on Sindh High Court judge Justice Maqbool Baqar in Karachi.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the Intelligence Bureau to keep a vigilant eye on terrorists, their cohorts and other criminals to realize the collective goal of peace and security in the country. He also gave directed the IB to make its country-wide intelligence network more effective by maintaining coordination with other security agencies as well as provincial law enforcement bodies. Such an approach, he said, would greatly help in maintaining law and order, the Prime Minister added.

He stated this during a meeting with Aftab Sultan, Director General and other senior officials of IB here on Friday who briefed him about the working of Intelligence Bureau, its strategy to thwart criminal activities with a special focus on nabbing terrorists and anti-state elements. The DG also apprised the prime minister of IB’s efforts to resolve various cases including recovery of the kidnapped minor girl in Karachi and arrest of criminals involved in bomb attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar.

Giving details about recovery of a minor girl, Mahi Suchdev, DG IB said the girl was kidnapped in Karachi. IB Karachi conducted an operation in coordination with AVCC Police and CPLC and was able to locate the hideout of the kidnappers in Neelam Colony, Clifton on 19th July. After encounter with the kidnappers, the minor girl was safely recovered.

Regarding attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar, the DG IB said that following an actionable lead from sources, an operation was carried out and one Masoom Billa, from Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi was apprehended. Masoom Billa’s arrest was the biggest breakthrough in the case of attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar. He was not only the head of the LeJ’s secret death squad but also the executor of the bomb attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar. Ultimately other criminals involved in this case were also apprehended.

The prime minister appreciated IB’s efforts in resolution of these cases and desired that such vigilance must always be maintained for keeping criminal and anti-state activities in check.

The prime minister on this occasion also referred to the briefing by the ministry of interior last week where he stressed that restoration of peace and elimination of terrorism should be top most priority. The security agencies including the IB have to come up with effective intelligence to prevent terror attacks, the prime minister said. He added that law enforcement agencies had already been provided adequate funds, so they must come up to the expectations of the people and the government.

CCI, Cabinet meetings on 25th

The federal cabinet and Council of Common Interests meetings have been summoned on July 25 to discuss the power crisis and law and order situation. 

Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif will take the provincial governments into confidence on the short-term measures adopted by the government to overcome energy crisis while the overall energy policy of the government would also came under discussion in the CCI meeting.

The PM is expected to announce the new energy policy after its approval by the CCI.

Sources say that the new policy will increase the electricity tariff for all sectors including industrial, commercial, bulk supply, and agricultural tube wells. However, household consumers will be exempted from the tariff hike, sources added.

They say that the federal cabinet will formally approve the new energy policy while a detailed briefing to the federal cabinet members would be given by the Ministry of Water and Power, Finance and Petroleum and Natural Resources over the measures taken to mitigate the energy crisis.