ISLAMABAD: In a major breakthrough on Sunday, Gilgit police claim to have arrested two of the 16 identified accused believed to be involved in the assassination of 10 foreign tourists and their Pakistani cook on the night of June 21-22 near the Nanga Parbat base camp.
The arrested have been taken into custody for further investigations. The identity of the second person is still not known.
Deputy Inspector General Police (DIG) Ali Sher, who is leading the investigation of the gruesome murder of the tourists, told The Express Tribune via telephone that the police successfully raided a house in Chilas and arrested ‘Shafi Muhammad’ who had been earlier identified and nominated in the FIR.
“This evening we arrested one of the identified accused persons. It is a break through as far as the arrest of the other accused is concerned”, said the DIG.
According to Sher, the accused was arrested from a house in Chilas with the help of intelligence reports, where he had been hiding for some days.
The DIG said that the perpetrator belongs to Diamer district and had been involved in ‘other such activities’ as well.
“The police has its own investigation procedures to reach the other perpetrators who were involved in the killings of the mountaineers”, said the DIG.
Sher further said that the police, the intelligence agencies, members of the peace jirga and other agencies were working side by side to arrest all suspected persons and was optimistic that they would soon reach all the culprits.
The chief secretary and IGP Gilgit-Baltistan last week had disclosed the names and identities of 16 people who were allegedly involved in a crime that has not only shaken the country, but has also made the headlines in the international community.
According to the authorities, 10 of the alleged accused belong to the Diamer Valley, three are from Mansehra and the rest are from Kohistan.
On June 23, gunmen dressed as paramilitary forces killed nine foreign tourists in an unprecedented attack in the Himalayas of Gilgit-Baltistan.