“We are posting this story as Naimat Khan has penned a fuller picture of Ch Aslam who was killed in an attack by TTP. It is a tragic story where violent, extra-judicial means put state officials into a vortex of further violence and retributive justice carried out by private militias. PTH“
By: Naimat Khan
Inspired from Singham’s Majhi Satakli, SP Muhammad Aslam Khan – popularly known as Chaudhry Aslam – hit his forehead when I hurled a direct question to provoke him. “Bring the TTP man we had arrested two days ago”, he asked his men when I said ‘the whole Taliban story is a drama to fool people’.
Within minutes one of the TTP militant, hailing from Khyber Agency – one of the seven federally administered tribally areas – who was arrested for his involvement in attack on a TV van, was in front of me in Chaudhry’s office in Garden, headquarters of the police in Karachi.
“Should talk to him in Pashto”, Chaudhry gave a go ahead call by just moving his head and got busy working on some papers when asked. I talked to the guy for some ten minutes, which I included in my story on Taliban’s presence in Karachi. The valor of Chaudhry helped me put a halt to my frustration of finding some Taliban commanders in Karachi. For two consecutive days they [Taliban militants] would call me to Sultanabad area of Mangopir or Janjal Goth in Sohrab Goth neighborhood and ask to wait till they would pick me as the guys didn’t have trust in me. I got a call on the third day but I didn’t go, rather turned my bike towards Garden office of Crime Investigation Department (CID), now called Counter terrorism Department (CTD).
Chaudhry had turned against Taliban militants but his real fight with them began when the guys attacked his house in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) of Karachi in September 2011.
“They are the TTP guys, they through their cowards acts want to frighten me so that I may be barred [from acting against them but] they have put their hands in the loin’s mouth, I will destroy their generations”, he uttered these words in his first media appearance after the blast.
He continued his action against TTP till his assassination on 9 January 2014 when a bomb targeted his convoy on the Lyari expressway in Karachi, killing him and his trusted lieutenants accompanying him.
That’s the story which is often discussed after his death and even during his life. But very few knew him closely. On July 12, 2006, Chaudhry Aslam claimed that he had killed notorious gangster Mashooq Brohi in a shootout in the limits of Gadap police station. Later, the notorious man turned out to be a poor laborer Rasool Bux.
On August 01, 2008 Chaudhry and other members of his Lyari Task Force (LTF) walked free in Rasool Bux killing case. Later in private gathering with journalists he would, off-the-record, accept his ‘mistake’. Brohi was not just the one ‘mistakenly’ killed by the notorious encounter specialists. He had his own justice system.
A lower middle class man from Mansehra district in Khyeber Pakhtunkhwa, the Chaudhry Aslam left behind millions for his family, the amount of which many DIGs would not even imagine to possess. Most of the money he got was from the controversial rewards often as result of staged encounters.
Once a senior crime reporter, in his own words, lost his job and when reached Chaudhry office, he offered him RS 150,000 for “Kharcha” and when he refused, Chaudhry said most of the reporters would take monthly from him.
One unit of Karachi CID during Chaudhry Sb era would work exclusive on picking the guys for selling illegal weapons and then pick up the whole ring involving different people and then set free after they would pay hefty amount, some timing making the CID officials one million a case. I personally witnessed one such case.
His role is now being taken by another encounter specialist, Rao Anwar, whose story can be heard from hundreds of victims in Karachi. I wonder that how can a person killing innocent people be called a Hero? Just because he had also killed some of the Taliban militants?
The writer is a freelance journalist