Islamabad standoff comes to a heroic end; culprit held alive
16 August, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The armed standoff, which continued in Islamabad for hours, finally came to a heroic end after an unarmed Pakistan Peoples Party leader, Zamarud Khan risking his life attacked the armed man leading to his arrest, media reported.
Khan engaged the armed man in negotiation and then tried to overpower him but the latter slipped out of his hands. As the gunman backed off to a safe distance, police commandoes shot and injured him. Wounded, the offender fell down to the ground losing grip on his weapons, which gave the lawmen enough time to pinion him.
Both the culprits namely Malik Sikander and Kanwal, who were injured in the action, were arrested, nonetheless, the children were unhurt. According to reports police shot them in the legs to incapacitate them.
The police also suffered non-fatal casualties as two policemen including DSP Arif Hussian sustained bullet-wounds.
Zamarud Khan miraculously emerged unscathed despite indiscriminate shooting at the scene. The children were in Khan's custody at the moment.
The injured couple were under treatment in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIIMS), the sources said.
"Sikander, who suffered two gunshots in the incident, was unconscious after losing a lot of blood. He was undergoing a surgery in the PIMS emergency room", said a hospital official.
He further said that the gunman was yet critical.
Moreover, his wife Kanwal was also in need of an operation after a bullet fractured her leg, he added.
Earlier, using a woman and two children as human shield, an armed man, demanding the imposition of Shariah system in Pakistan and the ouster of the incumbent government, held the whole city hostage for several hours ago.
It all started after the man, later identified as Malik Sikander, armed with at least two assault rifles, an AK-47 and a latest sub machine gun (SMG), started shooting at Jinnah Avenue.
"The man fired several shots after which police and media arrived at the scene", an eyewitness said.
His wife and two children, a boy and a girl, were also with him, who were calm despite a heavy police contingent with guns aimed at them positioned nearby. One of the kids was injured evident from a bandage on his forehead, the TV footage showed.
The car he was driving was a black Toyota Corolla, which according to sources, Sikander snatched from a resident of Islamabad at gunpoint. The car's front fender was hanging loose, which eyewitnesses said came off after Siikander rammed the car into a police mobile to launch his insane mission.
TV footage showed the man stood there surrounded by Islamabad police and elite force sharpshooters, but he appeared calm, smoking cigarettes and downing energy drinks.
He had plenty of water and food with him to last him even through the night, however, police had offered to provide food for his children, which he declined.
Hundreds people including mediamen, law enforcers, and thrill-seeking onlookers were at the scene as the drama unfolded not far from the Parliament House, Presidency, and Prime Minister House.
His wife, who had been shuttling between the police and her armed husband as a messenger, told the police that her husband would only negotiate with a high-ranking police official.
Upon this SSP operations, Dr Rizwan walked over to him and tried to talk him into dropping his weapons but to no avail.
The armed man several times successfully had the police commandoes, who were stealthily trying to close in, pushed back by threatening to open fire.
According to reports along with a safe passage and protection to his family an over-the-board imposition of Islamic Shariah system across Pakistan as well as ouster of the current government were among his demands.
The police blocked out the spot by setting up tent-cloth-screens around the car of the armed man.
Meanwhile, police also raided his house in his hometown for clues to as to what could be on his mind with regard to his further line of action. The police interrogated his relatives to gather more information about him. However, they did not disclose anything.
According to certain callers claiming to be his relatives or neighbors, Sikander belongs to Hafizabad and is a bigamist.
However no one could confirm the woman, who was by his side as his wife.
There were also conflicting reports that he is a former Pakistan Air Force serviceman.
Now unemployed, Sikander just recently returned from Dubai, where he was reportedly employed as a migrant worker.
It was also reported that the man was psychotic.
Another report said that Sikander was deported from Dubai in 1990. He had also married a 45-year-old Arab woman, however there was no word on the status of that relation, the report said.