RAW, NDS behind Dasu bus tragedy: Qureshi



Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday said that the Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security (NDS) were behind the Dasu bus tragedy.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Qureshi said that Afghan soil was used during the attack and the vehicle used was smuggled into Pakistan. 

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 travelling in plunged into a deep ravine after an explosion on board.

The bus was ferrying the Chinese and Pakistani workers to an under-construction tunnel site of the Dasu Hydropower Project in the remote Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Also read: China asks Pakistan to conduct thorough probe into Dasu incident

Lauding the efforts of the investigation team, he said that it was a blind case but Pakistani institutions managed to trace it. "We examined footage of 36 CCTV cameras and the area under the investigation was almost 1,400 kilometres."

Qureshi noted that the Pakistani authorities have traced the handlers of the incident, saying that we now know who they were connected with. "The vehicle used was smuggled into Pakistan."

The foreign minister went on to say that the first target of perpetrators was the Diamer-Bhasha dam site, and not the Dasu hydropower project. "When they could not succeed [to target Diamer-Bhasha dam site], they targeted Dasu project.”

He said that a nexus of the RAW and the NDS were behind the incident and Afghan soil was used for it.

Lauding the Chinese leadership for showing patience and understanding the situation, he said that the Chinese are satisfied with the investigation and have kept in the loop.

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Speaking on the occasion, DG Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Javed Iqbal said that a thumb and a limb were found at the crime scene which belonged to the suicide bomber.

He said that 14 different characters were involved in the attack and was headed by a person named Tariq who is a member of proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). "We have arrested three suspects [out of the total 14 characters involved]."

He said that Tariq and another suspect Muawiya were trained in Afghanistan by RAW and NDS to carry out the attack, adding that the suicide bomber Khalid aka Sheikh was an Afghan national.

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)