Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressed a press conference on Thursday saying that the Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) were behind the Dasu bus tragedy.
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The Foreign Minister said that the attack was done to undermine the ongoing successful CPEC projects.
It is worth mentioning that on July 14, at least 13 people – nine Chinese nationals and four Pakistanis – were killed and more than two dozen others wounded when a shuttle bus they were traveling in plunged into a deep ravine after an explosion on board.
He said that the investigation was very difficult, saying that the initial investigation called it to be a “blind case”, but the relevant departments worked hard to trace evidence.
However, the investigation revealed various things, including the fact that the vehicle was smuggled into the country.
Qureshi said that the initial attack was targetted at Diamer Bhasha dam, but when they could not be successful there, they targetted Dasu Dam project.
He said that it is very clear that Afghan soil was used to plan this event, and NDS-RAW nexus was behind the incident.
This was because the “elements” can’t digest the success of Pak-China bilateral relationships.
However, they failed, he said, adding that the event brought both countries together and it was decided that both countries will have to fight this “cowardly act”, and will continue doing this.
FM Qureshi said that the event was brought under discussion in his recent visit to China and these were the results of the discussion:
- China is satisfied with how Pakistan dealt with the event, and how Pakistan has kept China updated on the progress,
- We reiterated the commitment to not let such events undermine our morale, but will emerge stronger out of these hardships, as done before,
- We committed to taking the investigations forward as to not only expose the responsible but enact appropriate punishment on them,
- We also decided to “beef up” security on such projects, and for that, we have reviewed our security protocols (SOPs) and improved them where needed,
- We have decided that CPEC projects will not only continue but will be completed in their due time.
In conclusion, FM Qureshi, the bilateral strategic partnership between Pakistan and China will not be deterred by any of such problems, but we will improve our cooperation and understanding.
DG CTD comments
Following his talk, DIG Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Javed Iqbal explained the investigations in detail.
He said that despite a finger and thumb of the suicide member being found, the investigation didn’t lead to identification as no record of the person was found in the NADRA database.
He said that more than 1000 KM radius of CCTV was watched, and led to the identification of the vehicle used, but the Honda Accord could not be identified even after consultation with Atlas Honda Pakistan.
Mobile phones recovered belonged to the victims of the attack. Similarly, Geo-fencing could not lead to any possible lead.
He said that failure of any leads as mentioned made this a “blind case”.
However, the car had “applied for” sticker from “Chaman 2 Motors”, Mr. Iqbal said while showing a slide show with the car in sight.
Chaman 2 motors of Swat identified the car, which came to him in Pakistan in November 2020, and backtracking it led to Afghanistan.
Someone named Hussain bought this from Showroom on 18th November 2020 and kept it for six months.
The Suspect Hussain’s sons confirmed that the car was dumped in a nearby cave by their father.
A second suspect named Iyaz was arrested up from Karachi, and this led to the conclusion that two weeks prior to the attack on 7th July, these people, “man-handlers” handed over the car to the execution party.
The fourth man involved is Tariq, who belongs to TTP, and came from Afghanistan for the event alone, and drove the car to the place, and Tariq has left the country.
Javed Iqbal told that the entire group in Pakistan has been arrested.
The event was planned by a person named Muavia in Afghanistan, he said and was being overseen by RAW and NDS.
DIG CTD said that Plan A was to attack Diamer Bhasha dam, and failing to implement that, they attacked Dasu as Plan B.
The investigation he said points to an Afghan citizen named Khalid Elias Urfe Sheikh and said that at least he was not a Pakistani citizen.
He said that the Afghan government is being contacted to request arrest of the facilitators in their own country as well.