DI Khan Jailbreak Failure of Intelligence Agencies – KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak


Statement

While speaking to a private TV channel Geo News, Chief Minister of KPK Pervaiz Khattak gave a statement that the DI Khan Jailbreak incident was the failure of Intelligence Agencies.  The jailbreak incident took place despite the security level at prisons having already been raised, he said he had been informed.

Background

DI Khan central jail is considered as one of Khyber Pakhtun Khwa’s largest and oldest prisons, housing approximately 5,000 prisoners. At midnight on 29 July 2013, almost 100 militants, heavily armed and disguised as police officers, along with a few suicide bombers, attacked the prison and set free 243 inmates. This operation lasted for almost three hours. Eventually, military troops were called in for assistance, and the troops regained full control of the prison after a six-hour-long operation. The Pakistani Taliban, through a spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Check

To confirm the statement, Truth Tracker talked to KP Government’s Adviser on Prisons, Qasim Khattak, via phone and asked about his source of information. Qasim Khattak confirmed the Chief Minister’s account.  “This incident is absolutely an outcome of the lack of coordination between Intelligence agencies and provincial government,” Khattak emphasized.

Khattak further said, “The intelligence agencies did not provide us with any prior information about probability of the incident and how, on this scale, the terrorists could cross the check posts and undertake such a massive operation. It is undoubtedly a serious negligence of intelligence agencies.”

Yousaf Ayub, another PTI leader, told Truth Tracker by telephone that Khattak’s statement was made immediately after the jailbreak and that it represented a partial misunderstanding. “Information [from the intelligence agencies] was passed on to the concerned authorities [home department], but not to its chief minister, which was the home department’s responsibility,” Ayub said.

When asked, if the provincial government of KPK had taken any concrete measures to curb such horrifying incidents in future, Ayub said, the “Party is considering and has taken some strict measures to get rid of, or at least overcome, such incidents. Fool proof arrangements, training of police officials and weapons’ overhauling and purchasing are the measures likely to be taken to counter such attacks.”

Speaking to Truth Tracker, Mahmood Ahmad Khan, a provincial assembly member from JUI-F, refuted the statement given by Pervaiz Khattak and blamed the incident on the failure of the KP government.

“It is the negligence of the provincial government as the agencies had informed and cautioned the KPK government of the attack,” Ahmad Khan said. “They should have planned some strong security arrangements to counter any such incident.”

One senior army officer, on condition of anonymity, told Truth Tracker that the jailbreak intelligence information was communicated to KPK, as well as to the federal government, in a timely way. However, he said, poor coordination between the KPK and the federal government due to political differences has adversely affected performance of police and intelligence agencies.

He said, that “jail is like a fort, and breaking into the D.I. Khan jail means a tip-off from the jail authorities.”  The unnamed army officer said the jailbreak was due to the failure of many, including army intelligence, ISI, Police, FIA, IB, FC and police special branch.  However, he said, the protection of jails is never the responsibility of the ISI or army, and that intelligence should be shared with the provincial government – which he said was done in this case. “There is a proper minister in government for jail affairs who has probably never seen the prisons,” he said.

“All terrorists who made an escape were awaiting punishment and were apprehended after a great many sacrifices by the army and ISI, but no judge showed courage to award them exemplary punishment,” the senior army officer said. The “judiciary is also largely responsible for no terrorist being taken to task,” he added.

Independent Viewpoint

Shahzad Chaudhary, a defense analyst and journalist based in Pakistan, told Truth Tracker by phone that the incident was surely a failure on the part of the provincial government because there was no substantial policy regarding counter-terrorism.  “Police are puzzled whether they should attack the terrorists or spare them,” he said. “The previous government had a clear policy towards militants.”  But, he said, nobody takes responsibility for mistakes in Pakistan. “There is no admit and resign culture,” he added.

Details

The statement of the KPK chief minister can be accessed at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/30-Jul-2013/di-khan-jailbreak-failure-of-intelligence-agencies-cm-kp

The statement of the KPK chief minister can also be accessed on PTI’s Official page:

http://www.insaf.pk/News/tabid/60/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/16896/CM-KP-orders-probe-into-DIKhan-Jailbreak.aspx

Our Ruling

After considering the statements of the KPK officials, the opposition, and the army, and taking independent viewpoints about incident into account, Truth Tracker rules that the Chief Minister’s statement is not true.

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