Islamabad: Nasiruddin Haqqani, senior leader of the dreaded Haqqani terror network who was shot dead here, had been living in areas near the Pakistani capital for years,media reports today said.
Quoting a senior member of the Haqqani network, The News daily reported that “Nasiruddin was living in Rawalpindi for the past many years along with other members of the family.”
Nasiruddin, who was in his early 30s, was the group’s financier and the son of its founder Jalaluddin Haqqani. He was killed by two gunmen riding a motorcycle while returning home from a mosque in a car in Barakahu late on Sunday night.
The report said, Naseeruddin’s bullet-riddled body was initially shifted to his Rawalpindi home and then transported for burial to Danday Darpakhel, a village located three kilometres northwest of North Waziristan’s headquarters in Miranshah, where some family members of Jalaluddin Haqqani have been living since 1980.
However, the Express Tribune said he lived in Shahpur.
The Haqqani group is one of the most feared militant factions of the Taliban fighting US-led forces in Afghanistan.
The Haqqanis have been blamed for high-profile attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy that killed 54 people.
The network is also believed to be behind an attack on the Indian mission in Jalalabad.
“His murder in capital Islamabad is sure to embarrass the Pakistani authorities which have long been rejecting US claims that the Haqqani Network was operating from North Waziristan.”
“Also, the high profile killing comes just a day after a show of strength on the city streets by Islamabad Police, which claimed it was fully capable of keeping the militants off the capital limits,” The Nation said in a report.
Quoting “insiders”, the daily reported that Nasiruddin received seven bullets in the head, neck and lungs that resulted in his death on the spot.
“But, he was not taken to hospital for autopsy because his companions took the body to some unknown location before arrival of the police,” the report said.
According to the Express Tribune, after the shooting, his driver, who was standing at a distance, shifted the body to the vehicle and drove it “to his residence in Shahpur, a rural area on the outskirts of the city.”
“Residents of Shahpur said they had seen Nasiruddin and some other men moving in and out of a house every few weeks,” it reported.
Born in Paktika province of Afghanistan, Nasiruddin was put on the UN Security Council’s sanctions list for individuals subjected to assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo after the 9/11 attacks.
According to the sanctions list, Nasiruddin had travelled to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to raise funds for the Taliban and operated from Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region.
Nasiruddin was the elder brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani the current head of the 2,000-strong group.
Nasiruddin had been mainly involved in “dialogue-related” affairs of the group. Three other sons of Jalaluddin Haqqani were also killed previously.