GILGIT: Security forces on Sunday temporarily called off the targeted operation in Chilas town after it failed to achieve the ‘desired results’.
An operation was launched on Friday and Saturday in Shaheen Koat and Takia in Chilas town after intelligence reports suggested the presence of at least two suspected to be behind the murder of 10 foreign tourists and one local guide at the foot of Nanga Parbat.
On June 23, 2013, gunmen donning Gilgit Scout uniforms shot dead 10 foreigners and their Pakistani guide near the base camp of Nanga Parbat, the country’s second highest peak.
The recent operation was launched after the police intercepted phone calls which revealed the location of the two suspected terrorists as well as a potential terror plot targeting the area. Intelligence revealed suspects had entered Chilas town via Kohistan.
“Although 16 people were taken into custody, none of them were behind the attack,” a police official said regarding the results of the operation.
SP Jahangir Khan speculated the calls, which were intercepted by agencies, might have been made from cell phones belonging to the wanted men but by their relatives or accomplices.
“The operation was a partial success,” said Khan, but denied arresting any of the men behind the Nanga Parbat attack. Eight of the 16 men arrested were also released after investigation.
“The operation has temporarily been halted,” the SP told The Express Tribune. He confirmed the latest action had been targeting the killers of the foreign tourists.
Regarding arrests of those involved in the murder of three officials investigating the Nanga Parbat incident, SP Khan maintained with the exception of one suspect Abdul Hameed, six accused have been in custody since a month.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2013.