Progress in Investigation and Repatriation Following Shangla Suicide Attack Targeting Chinese Engineers

Following the tragic suicide attack in Shangla that claimed the lives of five Chinese engineers and one Pakistani, significant developments have unfolded, marking progress in both the investigation and the repatriation of the victims.

Federal Minister Chaudhry Salik Hussain has departed for China with the bodies of the deceased Chinese engineers, a poignant gesture underscoring Pakistan’s commitment to facilitating the dignified return of the victims to their homeland.

Simultaneously, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has made substantial strides in apprehending the perpetrators and accomplices responsible for orchestrating the heinous attack. More than ten terrorists and facilitators linked to the attack have been arrested, shedding light on the intricate network behind the operation.

According to CTD sources, the mastermind and operatives behind the attack are affiliated with the banned organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), with the suicide bomber hailing from Afghanistan. Notably, the commander responsible for transporting the suicide bomber from Afghanistan has been apprehended, along with four additional facilitators.

Further details provided by CTD sources reveal the cross-border nature of the attack’s planning and execution. The vehicle laden with explosives was prepared in Afghanistan and transported to Pakistan through the Chaman border. Subsequently, it was ferried to its destination in Dara Zinda via DI Khan. The driver tasked with transporting the vehicle from Dara Zinda to Chakdara was incentivized with a substantial sum, indicative of the calculated nature of the operation.

Crucially, breakthroughs in the investigation were facilitated by the tracking of the suicide bomber’s mobile SIM card. By tracing the SIM card’s ownership chain, authorities were able to identify key individuals involved in the attack. Additionally, forensic analysis of the vehicle used in the attack yielded valuable insights, including its prolonged parking duration at a petrol pump near Shangla prior to the incident.

The attack, which occurred as the Chinese engineers were en route from Islamabad to Dasu camp in Kohistan, elicited condemnation from President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who expressed profound sorrow over the loss of innocent lives and reiterated Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to combating terrorism and safeguarding the security of foreign nationals within its borders.

As investigations continue and those responsible are brought to justice, Pakistan remains steadfast in its resolve to prevent such tragic incidents and uphold its obligations to international partners. The repatriation of the victims to China serves as a solemn reminder of the shared commitment to peace and security in the region.