Raid terrifies residents near Khokhar HouseArchive
RAWALPINDI: “All roads leading towards Taji Khokhar’s fortress house were blocked by heavily armed Rangers and police as none of the people residing in the neighbourhood was allowed to come out or go inside their homes during the six-hour-long search operation,” said Malik Mohammad Afzal, a resident of Shaheen Town.
“I tried to inquire about the crackdown from a heavily-armed security official standing outside my house but he impolitely told me to remain inside the house,” he said.
The search operation started at about 5:30am and continued till 12 noon. Even several hours after the search operation, people in the neighbourhood of the Khokhar House seemed terrified.
Taji Khokhar’s house with razor wire on the top of the compound walls and located off the Airport Road and under the flight path was surrounded by the Rangers and police. Some of the local residents tried to communicate with the security officials outside their houses to know what had happened. But they could not get any response.
Abdul Raheem, who owns a marble shop not far from Taji Khokhar’s house, told Dawn that he was inside his office/residence and getting ready for Fajr prayers when found the road blocked by Rangers and police.
“Though it was dawn, there was no traffic or people on the road. I was not allowed to come out by the security officials,” he said.
The entire area was cordoned off by the security officials as chances of fleeing of any person were slim. “There was high alert all around.”
Hussain Khan, who owns a marble factory along the service road of Dhoke Gangal, told Dawn that the road leading towards his workplace was blocked by security and police officials when he arrived there in the morning.
“I was not allowed to open my office. Whoever tried to reach their workplace in the area was turned away by the security personnel until the operation was completed,” he said.
During the search operation, the atmosphere in the whole locality remained tense with law enforcement personnel standing close to the house and patrolling in the nearby streets.
Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2015
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