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5 Facilitators of BKU attack held : DG ISPR

Bacha Khan

Sunday, January 24, 2016 – Peshawar—Without mincing words the military administration Saturday declared that the deadly attack on the Bacha Khan University, Charsadda, was planned and controlled from Afghanistan pledging that those responsible for the brutal act would be eliminated.

Briefing the media on the latest developments with regard to the attack on the University, Director General Inter Services Public Relations, Lt-Gen. Asim Bajwa shared details with the media about the terrorists who carried out the attack, their facilitators and details regarding communication between the attackers and their handlers in Afghanistan.

Director General Inter Services Public Relations Asim Bajwa said the terrorists received 10 telephone calls from their handlers in Afghanistan.

He presented before the local media five facilitators of the terrorists, apprehended a couple of days back adding they were the dangerous terrorists who facilitated the attack that resulted in the martyrdom of precious lives in the BKU.

The heartless terrorists repeating the APS like tragedy on last Wednesday launched attack on the Bacha Khan University brutally slaughtering 22 people including a professor and students of the hub of educational activities and seriously wounding dozens others, an act that had again sent a wave of fear, uncertainty and harassment among the masses specially the students and their parents.

The DG ISPR during an open interaction with the media also played a recording of a phone call between a reporter and the terrorist’s handlers in Afghanistan in which the attackers were identified as Umar, Usman, Ali Mohammed and Abid.

The head of the Publicity wing of the Army also confirmed that the terrorists received 10 phone calls from Afghanistan and were in constant contact with their handlers saying there were four attackers and five facilitators.

He said one of the calls was made to a local newsman in Pakistan who kept the terrorists updated about all the developments, but he did not disclose his identity or share more details with the journalists at this stage.

General Bajwa informed media men that facilitators Asim and Riaz provided shelter to the attackers at a house on Mardan-Charsadda road, while another facilitator identified as Noorullah shuttled the attackers to the university in a rickshaw. “The terrorists entered Pakistan through the Torkham border check-post using public transport and made their way to Mardan. A facilitator named Noor Ullah dropped the terrorists in a field near Bacha Khan University in a rickshaw”, he said.

Another facilitator Abid, he said, helped the attackers conduct reconnaissance of the university campus adding facilitators Adil and Riaz helped procure weapons for the attackers from Darra Adam Khel. He claimed that wife and niece of one of the facilitator’s were also involved in procurement of weapons used in the attack. The DG ISPR said operations were being conducted to arrest the absconding facilitator, his wife and the niece.

Asim Bajwa said the terrorists were trained in Afghanistan and added that all four terrorists were killed during the operation. The facilitators of the attack Mistri Adil, Riaz and Noor Ullah have been arrested, said DG ISPR, adding though almost all of the terrorists have been identified, yet 3 more terrorists still need to be identified.

He claimed that most of the targets set for the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb in the Waziristan agencies have been achieved. He said nearly14,000 operations have been conducted, 21,000 people have been arrested and warned that if any sleeper cell tries to raise its head, it will be denied space to do so. He said that if terrorists were operating in Afghanistan, those at the helm of affairs have to tackle the issue as Pakistan can only act inside its own territory adding Pak-Afghan border is 2,600 kilometres long and is vulnerable despite strict surveillance.

General Bajwa opined that terrorism was a global challenge that many countries are confronted with this challenge stressing the world will have to combat this challenge together.

To a query about Army chief General Raheel contacting Afghan Authorities about the Charsadda attack, he replied in affirmative but said Pakistan did not say the attack was facilitated by the Afghan government.

In the meanwhile Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif Saturday chaired a special security meeting at Corps Headquarters in Peshawar to review progress on investigation in Charsadda attack.

According to Lt-Gen. Asim Bajwa, the meeting also reviewed ongoing intelligence-based operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan-Afghanistan border management. The Corps Commander, Peshawar, Operational Commanders, DG Inter Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence and Military Operations attended the meeting.

Agencies add: The press conference began with a recorded telephone conversation between the ‘terrorists and a reporter’ with the militants claiming responsibility for the attack. The reporter was receiving the call from a Pakistani phone while the call came from an Afghan phone and an Afghan sim, according to the DG ISPR who added that, “This attack involved four terrorists, all of whom were killed, and four accomplices.”

Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa said that the terrorists completed their preparations near Torkham checkpost area in Afghanistan and they crossed the border using public transport and then travelled to Mardan, looking like “common people”.

He also presented a map of Mardan and Charsadda showing the movement of the attackers.

“After entering Mardan, these terrorists were received by Adil and Riaz,” the DG ISPR said while showing the location of the ‘two men’s houses/hideouts on the Mardan-Charsadda road, where they the terrorists were kept’.

“Adil is a labourer. A few days ago he was doing some masonry work in the university, and made a map of the university so he could explain to the rest for the attack. And Adil is the one who helped the attackers figure out their way into the university.”

Responding to a question the DG ISPR said that at no point had the Afghan government been blamed for the attack. “We only said that the attack was planned and handled from Afghan soil.”

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