Arrested suspects reveal that the attack on foreign tourists was carried out on Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan directives to avenge the killing of the group’s top commander, Waliur Rehman, who died in a drone attack, said a top officer of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) on Monday.
Chief Secretary of G-B, Mohammad Younus Dhaga, was briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Relations over the killing of ten foreign tourists and their Pakistani cook at the foot of Nanga Parbat in June 23.
“One of the arrested suspects, Hazrat Umar, disclosed that he was aware of the planned crime carried out on instructions from the TTP top leadership,” said Dhaga.
Porters who were taken hostage to guide terrorists said following the massacre of foreign tourists, assailants raised slogans that they had taken revenge of Wali’s murder, the chief secretary informed the panel.
Dhaga’s briefing dispelled the impression that terrorists succeeded in the attack owing to negligence on part of law enforcement agencies. On the other hand, Dhaga also stated that it was unexpected that foreign tourists would be targeted in the area, since no tourist was killed there since 1854.
However, the Senate committee members differed with the G-B official, “It is strange that a certain area of the worse terrorist-hit country is ignored with the justification that nothing will happen there,” said Committee Chairman Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel.
No attack is carried out by making the plan public; it is the intelligence agencies’ task to assess areas, while being cognisant of the overall security atmosphere, he added.
Meanwhile, former IG of G-B, Captain Usman Zikria, who was suspended after the June 23 incident, told the committee that the local police neither had the potential nor resources to deal with such incidents. He also pointed out that the terrain of the murder site was difficult to traverse, and it took the local police up to 14 hours to reach it.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.