[News] Task force named to probe Babusar massacre of GBian

 

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel on Thursday constituted a seven-member joint task force to probe the killing of 19 passengers near Babusar Pass a few months ago and expressed its dismay over the delay in the arrest of the assailants.

In August, over a dozen gunmen forced 19 Shia passengers off four buses and shot them at pointblank range, making it the third such incident in six months.

The decision was taken by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights, chaired by Riaz Fatyana.

The committee gave the task force three months to investigate the matter and submit its findings. Fatyana said that the joint task force will include officials from the Army, Hazara Police, Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Police, Frontier Constabulary (FC), Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and SPARCO with Additional Secretary Interior at the helm of the probe.

Briefing the committee regarding the Babusar Pass incident, Commissioner Hazara Khalid Khan Umerzai said “this is the same Shia-Sunni conflict, the roots of which can be traced back to the Ziaul Haq era.”

Umerzai disclosed that the assailants identified are Sunni.

He sought the committee’s help to bring them to justice

saying that the Hazara administration was unable to spot

the culprits because they lived in the jurisdiction of G-B.

He said these assailants belonged to Thor Valley

of G-B, and most victims also hailed from the same area.

The committee recommended that all those who have been involved in the act of violence, should be arrested immediately. Furthermore, Member of National Assembly (MNA) Munir Khan Orakzai pointed out that Rs1.70 billion allocated by the premier for victims of sectarian violence in this agency have not been disbursed. The committee directed Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s inspection team to probe irregularities in the payment of compensation.

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