GILGIT: The deadly attack on tourists near Nanga Parbat’s base camp on Sunday drew strong condemnation from the public, with many urging the government to expose the “hidden hands” threatening the security of the region.
In a pre-dawn attack, gunmen dressed as paramilitary forces killed nine foreign tourists in an unprecedented attack in Gilgit-Baltistan.
At least three Chinese and five Ukrainian climbers were killed in the attack on the base camp, an unmanned area not previously associated with violence or militancy.
“We, the people of Diamer, condemn this heinous act against the innocent foreigners and demand a quick action against terrorists who might have entered the base camp either via Kashmir, Khyber - Pakhtunkhwa or Diamer,” said advocate Fidaullah, a former lawmaker in G-B legislative assembly.
“We want authorities to monitor the routes leading into Diamer from Kashmir and Kaghan-Naran of K-P to stop infiltration of terrorists into this region,” said Fidaullah who is a Pakistan Peoples Party leader.
Opposition leader in the G-B assembly Janbaz Khan termed the brazen attack a conspiracy against G-B as well as Pakistan.
“It’s a conspiracy and I have no doubt about it,” Khan told The Express Tribune on Sunday.
“Attack on tourists means attacking the livelihood of the people associated with it,” Khan said who himself belongs to Diamer valley.
Khan said the people of Diamer valley are hospitable and love to serve the tourists as it would provide them decent money in return.
“According to my information, the assailants just killed the tourists and fled without even touching their luggage.”
Prominent development specialist from the valley Gulam Ali Raikoti lamented the attack and said that the attack will badly harm the tourism industry which is already suffering because of past incidents.
“If the culprits of previous incidents had been punished, the situation wouldn’t have occurred this time around,” Raikoti told The Express Tribune from Islamabad.
He criticised media for wrongly linking Fairy Meadows to the incident. “Fairy Meadows is too far away from the place of shooting. Media should correct its facts.”
Meanwhile interior minister has suspended G-B chief secretary and inspector general police after the incident.
The bodies of the slain tourists were flown to Islamabad from Gilgit in an army plane at around 3.30pm.
“They have been dispatched to Islamabad for onward transportation to their respective countries,” said chief minister G-B Mehdi Shah.
Earlier, the bodies were brought to Gilgit from the base camp of Nanga Parbat.
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