Attack on Chinese engineers: Afghan Taliban, TTP hint at ‘cooperation’ of Pakistani agencies

at 8:31 pm
Site of blast in Khyber Pakhtukhwa in Pakistan in which 5 Chinese engineers were killed on March 26 (File Pic)

Peshawar: The Taliban regime of Afghanistan and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have hinted that the suicide bomb attack which killed 5 Chinese engineers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan on March 26 may have involved “cooperation” of Pakistani security agencies.

Reacting to the claim by the Pakistani military that the attack was “planned in and controlled from Afghanistan”, both the Taliban and TTP said the Pakistani military was trying to mislead and “divert attention from the truth”.

Rejecting Pakistani military’s claim that the suicide bomber who targeted the Chinese workers came from Afghanistan, the Taliban regime, in turn, said that it has “many evidences” about Pakistani territory being used by Daesh (Islamic State) for attacks in Afghanistan.

A suicide bomber had rammed a vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers working on a dam project in northwest Pakistan on March 26, killing 5 Chinese engineers and a local person.

“The entire attack was planned in Afghanistan, the car used in it was also prepared in Afghanistan, and the suicide bomber was also an Afghan national,” Pakistan military spokesman Major-General Ahmed Sharif told a news conference in Islamabad yesterday.

In a reaction, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarazmi said the “claims of the spokesperson of the Pakistan Army are irresponsible and far from reality.”

In a statement, Khwarazmi said, “The killing of Chinese citizens in an area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which is under tight security cover of the Pakistani army shows the weakness of the Pakistani security agencies or cooperation with the attackers, in both cases the responsibility rests with the Pakistani government.”

He said, “Blaming Afghanistan for such incidents is a failed attempt to divert attention from the truth, and we strongly reject it.”

The Taliban spokesman said the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) “has assured China on this matter and the country has also understood the fact that Afghans are not involved in such issues.”

Seeking to turn tables on the Islamabad, the Taliban ministry said, “We have many evidences of Daesh who came to Afghanistan from the territory of Pakistan and Pakistan’s territory being used against us for which Pakistan should answer.”

The spokesman added, “We call the stability and security of Pakistan in the interest of Afghanistan and the region and we believe in brotherhood and good relations between the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The TTP also issued a statement, saying the claim made by the Pakistani military spokesman that the Jihadi outfit is using Afghan land is “nothing more than a propaganda campaign” and “We completely reject” it.

“It has been the practice of the oppressive army of Pakistan that it has always been pursuing a wrong policy of spoiling relations with neighboring countries based on false information and statements against the facts, so that on the basis of tension with neighboring countries, it can continue to capture the resources of Pakistan,” TTP spokesman Muhammad Khurasani said.

He talked about the double standards of the Pakistani military establishment, saying “it turns a blind eye to the actions of the Mujahideen on a daily basis by providing hospitality and cooperation to the Mujahideen and blames neighbours to mislead the uninformed public.”

Khurasani said the motive behind the statements like the one issued by Pakistan’s ISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations) was to “put pressure on the Afghan government to achieve illegitimate demands. But now the saner sections of Pakistan have become aware of their deceit.”