Attackers handled from Afghanistan: ISPR

Published: January 21, 2016
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Army chief General Raheel Sharif arrives at the Bacha Khan University. PHOTO. AFP

Army chief General Raheel Sharif arrives at the Bacha Khan University. PHOTO. AFP

PESHAWAR: 

The Bacha Khan University attackers were in touch with their handlers during the assault, the chief military spokesperson said on Wednesday, adding that operations were ongoing to arrest their facilitators.

“The attackers were in touch with a number from Afghanistan,” Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), told a news briefing in Peshawar.

Attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan underscore threat to region: White House

“The terrorists were continuously conversing on their mobile phones, two of which we have recovered and collected data from,” he added.

Lt Gen Bajwa said the SIMs used in the phones were of Afghan origin. He added that a mobile phone recovered from one of the attackers was receiving calls even after he had been killed.

The ISPR chief said that as many as 52 security personnel were present on the campus when the attack began. Some of these officials resisted the attackers which saved many lives.

Within 45 minutes, military troops from Peshawar had reached the campus in Charsadda and contained the terrorists in a building. “Some were killed on the stairs leading to the roof, others on top of the roof.”

While Lt Gen Bajwa expressed his reluctance to share details about the terrorists in public, he said information gathered from the terrorists had been shared with the National Database Regulatory Authority (NADRA) which had turned up important clues.

Breakthrough achieved in identifying Charsadda attackers: DG ISPR

“We have prepared an intelligence picture about the identity of terrorists while NADRA has also been provided maximum information such as fingerprints”

He added that based on intelligence gathered on the attackers, additional teams were carrying out intelligence-based operations in several places to apprehend the facilitators of Wednesday’s attack.

Providing details of the security conference at the Corps Headquarters chaired by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif in the presence of intelligence heads and the other top officials shortly after the attack, Lt Gen Bajwa said the leadership had expressed satisfaction on the operation carried by the troops especially given the time in which the forces managed to reach the university from Peshawar.

Asked whether there had been any specific threat against the university, the military spokesperson said he was not aware of such threats, but reminded that Operation Zarb-e-Azb was still under way and the entire country was still in a state of war.

TTP, Mullah Fazlullah not behind Bacha Khan University attack: Khorasani

Terming the attack as a sign of frustration of terrorists who had attacked a soft target, Lt Gen Bajwa said the national resolve had not been dented, rather the nation was united and that they “will be able to defeat terror”.

“We have to fight this war with unity, and every citizen and institution has to play their role in the eradication of radicalism.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2016.

Reader Comments (22)

  • Asian
    Jan 21, 2016 - 8:52AM

    Afghanistan will form a commission of inquiry and let Pakistan know about the progress in 10 years’ time.Recommend

  • Azi
    Jan 21, 2016 - 9:21AM

    Watch the difference, handled from Afghan not India. But I think everyone knows who and where exactly from Afghan. Recommend

  • Faruk
    Jan 21, 2016 - 9:28AM

    Well done Pak army, sir is it possible to tell the Nation who were the terrorists? What were their names, which families they belonged? Where did they come from? And who is Omer Mansoor? As a patriotic Pakistani I would suggest, can we have VISA requirement for Afghan citizens? For a set fee, It will help the treasury, and it won’t be easy for terrorist to enter Pakistan illegally. The Facilitators should be hanged in public, NADRA can help but I’m sure if you had issued the photos of the terrorists on news papers and TV, you will find where they come from? Recommend

  • Malatesh
    Jan 21, 2016 - 9:37AM

    This photo is eye catching.. Recommend

  • Rai
    Jan 21, 2016 - 10:09AM

    Hunt these evil men down. Send armed drones…F16s into afghanistan’s territory and attack the headquarters of the NDS…Deploy tactical nukes on the western border to warn off the americans and the international community. Bomb kandahar…kabul and send them a message that you attack our children we will find you and we will kill you..indiscriminately..your future generations and your friends and family. Bhut hogaya mazak. How can we breathe when innocent children…our future are attacked again and again….we have to play by their rules….it’s sickening…it makes your stomach churn.. but our army stands there and always reacts. Always arrives when evil has already happened…. Please Pakistan army go on the offensive unburdened by political parties and money…if its funds pakistani people would gladly give their all to fund a venture to kill these men..if its manpower you can recruit millions of patriotic pakistanis who would gladly risk their life to protect pakistan….in 65 we were faced with an external enemy and we did it….this time the enemy resides with us and we will have to do this again…. and wipe these scum out from earth. Please pakistan army do your job or sooner or later militias will be formed who will take matters into their own hands.Recommend

  • Blithe
    Jan 21, 2016 - 10:19AM

    @Faruk:
    Fencing the border will effect the smuggling racket happening under the patronage of the army Recommend

  • XoF
    Jan 21, 2016 - 10:22AM

    decades of Greedy, selfish, poor, illiterate and ignorant leadership is having its impacts over the country, proving that NOTHING has been done to make efficient processes and procedure for internal organizations of the country.

    Every thing must be done from the scratch now.Recommend

  • wb
    Jan 21, 2016 - 10:53AM

    @Azi:

    ” But I think everyone knows who and where exactly from Afghan. ”

    I’m too stupid to know that. Please explain where EXACTLY from Afghanistan and who handled them.

    EXACTLY, please.Recommend

  • Sartaj
    Jan 21, 2016 - 11:03AM

    Attackers in Afghanistan handled from Pakistan. Attackers in Pakistan handled from Afghanistan. So what’s the big fuss?Recommend

  • Hameed
    Jan 21, 2016 - 11:09AM

    Sure blame everyone, except the strategic assets.Recommend

  • Spy vs Spy
    Jan 21, 2016 - 11:44AM

    Looks like the game of “strategic assets” is now being played against Pak. Maybe feeling the pain might wean her away from this dangerous game.Recommend

  • yaz
    Jan 21, 2016 - 11:47AM

    For once, can we show some resolve & retaliate at least verbally if not a full fledged attack. Can we not remove their ambassador from our country & send the millions of refugees back. Are we so weak that even Afghanistan will flex their muscle & we will just wait for another attack?Recommend

  • Asif
    Jan 21, 2016 - 11:57AM

    The civilian and military leadership needs to wake up. There tone in all of these news is reactionary i.e after the carnage is done what they did. The State responsibility is to make sure this does not happen in the first place. Does the State and Military know how? Probably not and this is the degree of incompetency.
    NOTE TO TRIBUNE: Stop censuring comments that does not butter up the Civilian and Military leadership. You claim open media so let this comment be published.Recommend

  • illpopo
    Jan 21, 2016 - 12:13PM

    Not to blame the army, but our intelligence system is continued to fail and we are counting deaths of our beloved ones. I wish our intelligence services may have the cell phone covert surveillance technology being used largely in UK which helps monitoring, intercepting and tracking the cell phone users in large area. Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Jan 21, 2016 - 12:31PM

    So attack control and command from afghan territory so what next,anyone will ask afghan government a question or have no courage to talk to anyone.shameRecommend

  • Navin
    Jan 21, 2016 - 1:04PM

    It will b interesting to see what evidence pak gives to afgans which will be as concrete evidence in court.Recommend

  • Cultbuster
    Jan 21, 2016 - 1:20PM

    Are you sure the pic is of Gen Raheel Sharif? Looks like the former COAS Kayani to meRecommend

  • A Patriot
    Jan 21, 2016 - 1:24PM

    Let me tell you exactly from where they were in Afghanistan. A hideout located some 50 miles or probably more from Torkham near the river Kabul. An interesting point that our premier intelligence agency is obviously aware of the fact that people usually travel there to pay their part of extortion. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jan 21, 2016 - 1:27PM

    They could be handled from Afghanistan….and the money to buy them could have come from a third country……but the most important thing is to determine from which terrorist hatchery were they produced…..and in which country. Recommend

  • Jan 21, 2016 - 2:13PM

    @Cultbuster:
    Wash your eyes and see again!Recommend

  • Hammad Aslam
    Jan 21, 2016 - 3:52PM

    Before one week indian defence minister warned that Pakistan have to pay the price of pathan kot attack & now this incidence in Pakistan University…

    when our govt. takes an action agaist india, when we puts pressure on them like they puts on us after their attacks ( by their own militants)Recommend

  • Akbar
    Jan 22, 2016 - 5:59AM

    If Pakistan is the terror backyard of the world, Afghanistan has become terror backyard for Pakistan.Recommend

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