Rashid Rauf may have crossed over to Afghanistan

December 19th, 2007 - 2:49 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Dec 19 (ANI): Intelligence agencies have reportedly expressed strong fears that terror suspect Rashid Rauf may have crossed into Afghanistan to seek protection from his former comrades in the Taliban in order to avoid his deportation to the UK.
A new dimension was being discussed in intelligence circles that Rauf might sneak into Afghanistan, using the long route via Quetta.
It might not be possible for the agencies to capture him before he enters Afghanistan because it was very difficult to man the 1, 400-km long border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Sources said that attention had already been focused on the possibility of his escape to Afghanistan.
Despite serious concerns expressed by the British Foreign Office, the Pakistan Government has not submitted any report to the concerned British authorities on Raufs escape, the sources said.
The British Government is now compiling its own reports within the High Commission on the developments taking place since the escape of their most wanted man, the sources said.
A confidential report has already been sent to President Pervez Musahrraf in which certain initial facts about the dramatic escape of Rashid Rauf have been stated, they added.
The report is believed to have criticised the inefficiency of certain top officers of the Islamabad police, for failing to understand the sensitivity of the whole matter.
Meanwhile, Rauf continues to dodge the intelligence and law- enforcement agencies, as several days have passed since he escaped. He remains untracked so far despite serious notice taken by Musharraf.
The pressure is already mounting on Pakistan to trace this most wanted fugitive, as he is supposed to know a lot about the terrorists attacks in London and might give useful clues to the investigators to trace the missing links in the London bomb attacks of July 7, 2005.
Sources have also expressed fears that Rauf could be found dead, because of the sensitivities involved in the case.
They argue that those who had managed his allow his escape might not allow him to land in the hands of the police alive.
Caretaker Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan, however, has vowed that Rauf will not be spared and he would be re-arrested soon.
Nawaz said Raufs “unfortunate” escape was a serious security lapse and that they were working on “one or two very good leads”.
Two police guards who were escorting Rauf have been remanded to police custody on Tuesday.
The News quoted a senior police officer as saying that the guards appeared before Rawalpindi Special Judge Shaukat Ali Sajid, who remanded them for six-days and charged them under sections 223, 244, 128, 161, 162, 109, and 5/2.247. (ANI)

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