ANGER: A protest rally in Karachi against the murder of Sabeen Mahmud
Police in the Pakistani city of Karachi have arrested a suspected militant who was carrying a hitlist of celebrities, models and fashion designers, a senior official said on Thursday (8).
The list was discovered while the suspect was being interrogated by police earlier this week. It named several television hosts, designers, fashion models, singers, actors, and other show business figures as targets.
Police would not say which militant group the suspect is believed to belong to, with senior official Jamil Ahmed describing him only as a “rigid-minded radical”.
But the list is not typical for groups such as the Taliban, who more generally target political leaders and activists or members of religious minorities. Show business figures have not come under attack in the past.
Officials have previously said they believe a new breed of middle-class, educated militants is emerging in Pakistan seeking greater ties to Islamic State group, however.
The killing of Sabeen Mahmud, a prominent rights activist who was gunned down earlier this year, was officially blamed on Saad Aziz, a self-radicalised university graduate whom intelligence officials believe is an example of this emerging group.
Her murder sent shockwaves through progressive society in Pakistan as it was seen as an attempt to silence dissent in the country.