India’s Research and Analysis Wing and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security have been identified as the perpetrators behind last month’s Dasu attack, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said.
On July 14, 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals, died when a passenger van carrying them to the Dasu hydropower plant fell into a ditch after a blast.Twenty-eight Chinese men were injured. The people killed includedChinese engineers, surveyors, and mechanical staff. To conclude that the RAW and NDS were involved in the planning and execution of the attack, Qureshi said, the backtracking of the explosive-ladencar used in the attack gave a breakthrough to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Counter-terrorism Department, the body investigating the incident.
It lead to some significant arrests and questioning which eventually confirmed that the vehicle was smuggled into Pakistan through Afghanistan’s Chaman border and personnel designated to facilitate and execute the attack were being provided assistance by the RAW and the NDS, KPK CTD chief Javed Iqbal said. Qureshi said the investigations also revealed that the perpetrators’ primary intention was to attack the Diamer Bhasha Dam site and failure toexecute the plan lead them to target the Chinese nationals.
“The attack was planned in Afghanistan and a nexus of RAW and NDS was clearly involved in strategising and executing the act.”Before this breakthrough, the case looked like a ‘blind’ one, said FM Qureshi.
He said footage from each of the 36 CCTV cameras, which were installed on the 1400km-long route taken by the car to reach its target, was analysed.
“The body parts, including a finger and a thumb of the car’s driver, which were gathered from the site of the explosion, were also been examined as part of the investigation,” said the minister. “The analysis of data related to other things gathered from the site,including mobile phones of the victims, lead us to the conclusion that this wasa blind case. And it was very hard to find a lead through the available material.”Qureshi said around 1000 workers involved in the Dasu dam project were also questioned.
‘Pak-China relations further strengthened’
The foreign minister said the intention behind the attack was to affect the economic cooperation between Pakistan and China under the CPEC, saying the “elements found it hard to digest.”
“They failed to achieve what they wanted to through this attack and Pakistan and China are now determined to respond fittingly to this menace,” said Qureshi. “They are set for failure in the future as well.”
The minister said in his recent visit to China for a “strategic dialogue” this issue was discussed.
He said it was evident that China is satisfied with Pakistan’s efforts
and believes that it has kept them onboard with full transparency.
“Such incidents will not affect both the countries resolve. Thesetesting times will only strengthen our relations,” said Qureshi.
He said it was decided during the talks that the perpetrators behind the attack won’t only be unveiled but their punishment will be ensured as well.Qureshi said security arrangements at construction sites of high-importance projects will be beefed up. “We have also reviewed our SoPs and have revised it for the better,” he said. “Work at all CPEC projects won’t only continue but they will complete on time as well. Pakistan and China’s partnership will never fall prey to any kind of conspiracy.”