The deadly attack, carried out on July 15, on a coach carrying Chinese engineers to an under-construction tunnel site at the 4300 MW Dasu Hydro-power project site in Upper Kohistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has left 9 Chinese and 4 Pakistanis dead of which two belong to the security forces. It has left everyone is bamboozled.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. This is surprising. Considering the high profile nature of the attack had it been the work of the TTP or Baloch saramchars from the neighbouring province of Baluchistan, the credit for such a ‘victory’ would have been claimed much sooner.
Whenever an attack on a foreign mission or US marines took place on Pakistani soil in the past it was mostly considered a job of the deep state. Surprised? Do not be. It is part and parcel of Pakistan military’s double game. In order to make hefty demands for financial assistance from its western ‘allies’ to combat terrorism the Pakistan army has allegedly been engineering attacks on US marines, NATO goods transport vehicles, and even its own civilians.
But since the rocky relations during recent weeks between Pakistan and America, precipitated after the refusal of Pakistan to allow US to use her airspace against Taliban in Afghanistan, the natural donor of the anti-terrorism funds seems to have shut their vaults. Hence, need for a new donor could have conveniently made the Chinese engineers a valuable target. If so, then it seems to have back fired.
Immediately after the attack the Chinese company responsible for the construction of the Dasu hydro-power project sacked all of its Pakistani staff. Not only that but China also threatened to stop all work on CPEC pending the investigation. Their demand was simple and straight forward. Allow Chinese investigation team to visit the blast site and conduct its own investigation. Pakistan refused. Why? Well, no credible explanation was provided.
Later, as Pakistan promised to include Chinese investigators, the sacked Pakistani staff at Dasu was reinstated. But by then the military could have very easily have removed any trace of evidence that would point the investigation in the right direction.
After refusing to acknowledge that it was a bomb blast and calling it an accident caused by a gas leakage on the coach caused after it had plunged into the ravine, the Pakistan government has accepted the fact that the explosion was the cause for the coach to fall over the cliff.
Then they started pointing finger towards Baloch freedom Movement which is led by Hyrbiyar Marri in Sweden. Well, only a month ago Prime Minister Imran Khan had paid a visit to Dasu Dam. How could have Hyrbiyar missed such a candid opportunity to execute an attack on Imran Khan? Obviously, his organisation does not seem to have the cadre to undertake such an upfront operation.
Pakistan is suffering from critical shortage of cash. It has sunk neck deep in debt and the value of its increased foreign remittances is cancelled by double digit inflation. The war in Afghanistan has exposed Pakistan as the main sponsor and supporter of the Taliban which in itself is a disastrous policy of nurturing proxies.
Therefore, in all probability is seems that the 9 Chinese engineers who died in the terrorist attack in Kohistan was master minded by none other than the Pakistani military establishment. This is a money extortionist army. They loot their own public by raising taxes each month. The army plunders the natural resources of every part of the country. They control and own billions of dollars’ worth of businesses and banks and thrive on foreign loans.
It will be no surprise if after some time the Pakistan army’s involvement in this attack is revealed. Until then no one seems to be safe in terroristan.
Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK.