Islamabad: Killers of bus passengers identified, warrants issued
ISLAMABAD: Culprits behind the gory killing in Kohistan of 18 bus passengers in February have been identified and arrest warrants have been issued, a special committee on the law and order situation in Gilgit–Baltistan was informed. Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo presided over the meeting. According to sources, a joint investigation team comprising senior officers of police from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit–Baltistan and other departments has been constituted to arrest the attackers and produce them before the courts of law within a month. The bus was on its way to Gilgit when terrorists gunned down 18 passengers near Dassu, the headquarters of Kohistan district, on Karakoram Highway.
The minister ordered notification of a high-powered crisis management committee to maintain law and order in Gilgit–Baltistan, comprising representatives from the federal, KP and GB governments and relevant agencies.
The committee will meet once a month to review the law and order situation in the region and take measures to cope with any untoward development.
The minister was informed that the army chief, during a visit to the region, had provided weapons to the Gilgit–Baltistan police as a goodwill gesture. Mr Wattoo said more weapons and security equipment would be provided to the police.
The special committee recommended that a helicopter be provided to the Gilgit–Baltistan government for quick response in case of a crisis. It was agreed that the fourth wing of Gilgit–Baltistan Scouts would be raised immediately for security of Diamer–Bhasha Dam.
The meeting was informed that along with Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue and Shaheen Air would also start operation from Gilgit and Skardu.
The minister assured Gilgit–Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah of the federal government’s full cooperation to maintain law and order in the area and advised the authorities to take special care in the month of Muharram.