Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Relations has called a special meeting on Monday (today) to get an update from the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) authorities over the killing of 10 foreign tourists and their Pakistani cook on June23 at the base camp of Nanga Parbat in G-B.
Despite a lapse of over three weeks since the incident happened, there is limited success as far as the arrest of the culprits is concerned. As police had earlier identified 16 alleged suspects involved in the gruesome murder of foreign trekkers, only four have so far been nabbed and the rest still remain at large.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Haji Mohammad Adeel while talking to The Express Tribune said that he was concerned that there was no tangible progress in bringing the culprits to justice. He added “it seems that the authorities did not make any headway, as according to our information, two out of four arrested persons have handed themselves over to the police to prove their innocence.”
He said that the committee had now summoned the top administrative officers from G-B to get the latest update. “It is a matter between Pakistan and the countries from where the deceased belonged to and we want to exercise serious effort to arrest them,” said Adeel. He said that as a parliamentary watchdog, “we will see the progress and pass recommendations accordingly.”
On the other hand, a top police officer of G-B Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Ali Sher, who is also heading the investigation alongside arresting four persons involved in the Nanga Parbat incident claimed that “significant progress” had been made by the police by arresting eight absconders from Diamer.
Ali Sher further claimed that the law enforcement agencies also recovered a huge cache of sophisticated weapons and ammunitions from the suspects.
Sher said as many as seven teams of law enforcement agencies are taking part in the search operations in various valleys where the suspects are believed to have taken refuge. He said “we have acquired leads and hopefully the remaining suspects will be arrested soon.”
Home Secretary G-B Dr Atta-ur-Rehman while talking to The Express Tribune said that except for the four culprits, no other person has been arrested but efforts are underway to nab them. He said that Chief Secretary G-B will be briefing the senate committee.
The victims included three Ukrainians, two Slovakians, two Chinese, one Lithuanian, one Nepali and one Chinese-American.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2013.