GILGIT: Police on Wednesday claimed to have foiled a plan sponsored by the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to sabotage projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and generate anti-Pakistan feelings in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Police arrested 12 workers of the Balawaristan National Front (BNF) from Yasin Valley of Ghizer district and seized a large quantity of weapons during a raid.

GB Inspector General Zafar Iqbal Awan told a press conference that the arrested suspects had received funds from RAW and prepared a plan to sabotage the CPEC and stir unrest in Gilgit-Baltistan.

He said that the suspects had planned to attack Ismaili Jamaatkhanas in Ghizer and other parts of GB.

The IG said that BNF chief Abdul Hamid, who lived in Belgium, received funds from the RAW and directed workers of his organisation in Pakistan to sabotage CPEC-related projects.

“The RAW gave Rs300 million to Abdul Hamid who sent the amount to his supporters in the region through some banks. Part of the amount has been used for purchasing weapons,” he said.

Police had identified 60 people involved in the conspiracy and arrested 12 of them, besides seizing weapons, he said and identified those arrested as Majeedullah, Sanaullah, Daulat Jan, Qayoom Khan, Niyat Wali, Sajjad Karim, Inayat Karim, Marook Shah, Bulbul Aman, Mohammad Alam, Hafeez Ali and Imandar Shah.

The weapons seized included eight Kalashnikovs, 12 shotguns and an unspecified number of 7mm guns and pistols.

Police also recovered anti-Pakistan literature from the possession of the arrested suspects and registered an FIR against them at the Yasin police station.

IG Awan said the people associated with the BNF network also lived in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and other cities of the country.

He said that the BNF was formed in 1995 by Abdul Hamid, a resident of Yasin Valley, who left the country in 1999.

“The organisation is working against the integrity and constitution of the country,” he alleged.

He claimed that the BNF chief’s activities had been reported from some Asian countries as well. “In 2013 he went to Nepal, Thailand and Bangladesh and met people from GB there to organise his organisation because it was difficult for him to do so in Pakistan. He invited Abdul Qayoom, Shakoor Khan, Wazir Shafi and Burhan Raziq to the countries and bore expenses of their travel on fake passports.”

During interrogation, IG Awan said, the BNF workers revealed that a huge amount had been disbursed in Pakistan through the four people to purchase arms, organise the outfit, gain sympathy from political, religious and social organisations, publish subversive literature, spread hatred against the country on social media and impede work on CPEC-related projects and the Diamer-Bhasha dam.

The GB home department recently issued a security alert, warning that about eight militants of Jundullah had entered Ghizer district and were planning to attack Ismaili Jamaatkhanas and schools to disturb peace in the area.

It asked the local administration and law enforcement agencies to remain alert and beef up security at entry and exit points of the district.

Speaking on the issue, the IG said that police had launched a crackdown on criminals, suspected terrorists and people included in Forth Schedule to maintain law and order in the region and ensure smooth work on the CPEC-related projects.

Two wanted terrorists, identified as Shakeel and Azmat, had recently been arrested in Gilgit, he said.

During interrogation, they revealed that they were planning to attack a religious gathering in the Danyor area to foment sectarian unrest.

According to the IG, Faizan Ahmed, a proclaimed offender, wanted for the murder of Asad Zaidi, former deputy speaker of the GB Legislative Assembly, made a plan to attack an Ismaili Jamaatkhana in Ghizer. A search operation has been launched to arrest him and his accomplices.

Source: Dawn


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