The repeated attacks in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi has given officials in the district all the excuse they needed to launch a massive series of police actions across the area, including in the nearby capital of Islamabad.
Officials say that around 200 “suspicious persons” have been arrested in what is being portrayed as an anti-terror operation designed to root out members of the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who were able to operate in plain sight in Rawalpindi and attack a pair of high profile sites.
But as Pakistani police search homes and check IDs few if any of the “suspicious persons” arrested appear to have had any connection with terrorism, and several were arrested on such flimsy charges as being drunk (banned in the Muslim nation since 1977 though rarely enforced) or having “illegal mobile phone SIMs.”
Indeed, most of the people arrested were arrested simply for refusing to show their IDs to the police. The 200 captives are to be held in police stations around the capital region, pending interrogation.