Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati, a Pakistani police officer, played a crucial role in law enforcement from 2005 to 2014. During this period, Aslam demonstrated exceptional dedication and bravery by apprehending and neutralizing terrorists, gangwar-criminals, and target killers associated with various notorious groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), TMP, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP).
Tragically, on 9 January 2014, Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati fell victim to a bomb blast orchestrated by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). His unwavering commitment to combating terrorism and organized crime left an indelible mark on Pakistan’s law enforcement history, making him a symbol of courage and sacrifice.
Early Life and Family Background
Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati, born in 1963 to Advocate Akram Khan Swati, hailed from the Village Council Arghushal in Union Council Dhodial, Mansehra District, Hazara Division. After completing his primary education, Aslam and his father relocated to Karachi. As part of the Swati tribe, he specifically belonged to the Arghushal clan, reflecting his roots in the rich cultural tapestry of his tribal heritage. This early chapter in Aslam’s life laid the foundation for his eventual journey into law enforcement and his dedicated service to the nation.
Law Enforcement Career Highlights
Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati embarked on his law enforcement journey in 1984 when he joined the Sindh Police force as an Assistant Sub-Inspector. Over the years, he served in various police stations across Karachi and in Balochistan, owing to provincial allocations.
Encounter Specialist Periods
From 1992 to 1994 and again from 1996 to 1997, Aslam showcased his expertise as an encounter specialist, handling critical situations within the police force.
Suspension and Resilient Return
Despite facing suspension, Aslam returned to service in 2004, assigned the task of eliminating target killers. Subsequently, he was entrusted with leading the Lyari Task Force (LTF) to quell the gang war in Lyari Town.
In 2010, Aslam’s capabilities led to his appointment as the head of the Investigation Wing in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), further highlighting his growing influence in law enforcement.
Lyari Grand Operation (2012)
Aslam solidified his reputation in the 2012 ‘Lyari Grand Operation,’ a significant endeavor aimed at cleansing the area of criminal elements. His leadership during this operation showcased his commitment to maintaining law and order in challenging environments.
Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati’s career trajectory underscores his resilience, leadership, and dedication to maintaining peace and order, particularly in areas grappling with criminal activities and gang wars.
Unharmed Amidst Terror: 2012 Attack
In 2012, Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati emerged unscathed from a Taliban attack on his residence in Karachi’s Defence Phase VIII area. The suicide bomber detonated a truck bomb at his front gate, claiming eight lives. The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attributed the attack to their ongoing conflict with Aslam, including the arrest and elimination of many of their members. Undeterred, Aslam, despite his home being partially destroyed, defiantly acknowledged being the target, vowing to persist in his fight against extremists and bury them in the same ground.
Tragic Demise and Controversial Claims
On 9 January 2014, Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati met an untimely end, along with two other officers, his guard, and driver, when a bomb targeted his convoy on the Lyari Expressway in Karachi. The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) from Mohmand Agency claimed responsibility for the attack. Sajjad Mohmand, a spokesman for the banned militant group, asserted that Aslam was targeted due to his operations against the TTP, accusing him of being involved in the killing of Taliban prisoners in CID cells in Karachi.
Allegations in 2017
In 2017, Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national arrested in Balochistan on charges of spying and terrorism, confessed in a video released by the Director General of the ISPR. Jadhav implicated an Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), and specifically named Anil Dhasmana, alleging that the assassination of Aslam was sponsored by them. However, the video’s validity has been contested by the Indian side, claiming it to be doctored and a result of coercion on Jadhav. This controversy adds a layer of complexity to the circumstances surrounding Aslam’s tragic demise.
Tributes and Condemnations
Following the tragic incident, various political figures and institutions expressed their sentiments on the loss of Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati and his fellow officers.
Prime Minister's Tribute
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif lauded Chaudhry Aslam and the other slain officers as martyrs. He emphasized that such attacks would not deter law enforcement agencies in their relentless fight against terrorism.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released a statement by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, recognizing the significant contributions of the police and other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in the battle against terror. General Raheel Sharif paid tribute to Chaudhry Aslam for sacrificing his life in the line of duty.
Condolences from MQM Chief
Altaf Hussain, the then-chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM), condemned the killing of Chaudhry Aslam and his colleagues. Hussain acknowledged Aslam’s brave operations against terrorists and criminal elements, highlighting his commitment to countering subversive activities in Pakistan.
2017 Death Investigation Revelations
In a subsequent investigation into Chaudhry Aslam’s death, Karachi investigators disclosed a shocking revelation. They found that Aslam’s own driver/bodyguard was involved in the murder. The investigation team concluded that the driver/bodyguard had informed the terrorists about the movement of Aslam’s motorcade, adding a complex dimension to the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident.
Cinematic Tribute to Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati
In 2019, an announcement was made about the production of an action movie based on the life of Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati, titled “Chaudhry – The Martyr.” Directed by Azeem Sajjad, the film aimed to depict the remarkable journey and sacrifices of this revered law enforcement figure. The movie eventually saw its release in 2022.
Lead Role Portrayed by Chaudhry Tariq Islam
Chaudhry Tariq Islam, a cousin of Chaudhary Aslam, took on the challenging role of portraying the distinguished police officer. Hailing from the same village, Chaudhry Tariq Islam holds the position of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and had collaborated with Aslam for over thirty years. The director, Azeem Sajjad, justified the casting choice by highlighting Chaudhry Tariq Islam’s intimate familiarity with Aslam’s body language, gestures, attitude, and reflexes.
The movie “Chaudhry – The Martyr” stands as a cinematic homage to the life and legacy of Chaudhary Aslam Khan Swati, providing audiences with a visual narrative of his courageous endeavors in the face of terrorism and adversity.