Chaudhry Aslam, considered by many to be Pakistan’s top anti-terror cop, was killed Thursday when a car packed with explosives slammed into his convoy, destroying three vehicles and damaging nearby buildings. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
As the Superintendent of Police of the Central Investigation Department in Karachi, Aslam—who we met while filming The VICE Guide to Karachi—had dedicated himself to arresting and killing extremists, particularly the Taliban. This made him a target. According to the BBC, a Taliban spokesman claimed Aslam was targeted because he “killed, tortured, and wounded” their members. A representative for the Taliban also threatened the lives of those who worked with Aslam.
This was not the first assassination attempt against Aslam, a well-known figure who was fond of media coverage and not afraid to issue challenges to his enemies. “I walk these streets day and night. If they want to kill me, they should come and attack me directly,” he told the media after a car blew up outside of his home in 2011. “I will give my life, but I wont bow to terrorists.”
Aslam had also faced accusations that he tolerated extrajudicial killings, and that he staged gunfights in order to kill, rather than arrest, militants. In April 2012, VICE accompanied him and his men on one of their raids.
"[The Taliban] are the biggest threat,” he told us. "And we have captured a lot of them.”
Hours before he died on Thursday, Aslam had reportedly conducted a raid in which three militants were shot and killed.