Are Pak Mercenaries Behind the Chilas Bus Attack?

Pakistani jihadist terrorist

The state of Pakistan has been desperately brainstorming for some kind of respite or solution to suppress the anti-Pak sentiment in its illegally captured territories of Pakistan-occupied Jammu-Kashmir (PoJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). It has tried everything from a concession in the distribution of essential
items such as foodgrains, clean water, and electricity, to the use of militant force of the Pak Army, radicalization, extra-judicial killings of innocents, activists, and students, and stripping citizens of their legal rights over their land.

Today’s news coverage in these regions is a tell-tale of the actual situation that international media has failed to represent for decades – Pakistan’s despicable apartheid of the occupied Kashmir. Captured under the banner of ‘Azadi’ (freedom) and Pak-architected terrorism, the country had excused the
occupied region from the international eye. But now it is grappling with fear as social media has overrun their influence in the region.

In Chilas (GB), a bus was attacked by “unknown” gunmen last week killing 9 passengers and injuring 26 others. It is hard to comprehend how this violent outbreak coincides with GB’s ongoing historically largest civil disobedience movement. The locals’ long-standing grievances have not been honored by
the government for seven decades, against which they have been conducting sit-in protests and complete wheel-jam strikes for over a year.

It is widely known and acknowledged that the Pak government has tried every trick in the book to dissipate this revolution, but has not been able to contain it because the citizens have preserved oppression for too long. This is what makes the bus “attack” peculiar. The rogue country has been battling internal security tensions since the Taliban takeover of neighboring Afghanistan in August 2021.

The situation has escalated since they started kicking out innocent Afghan-decent populations from their country back to medieval Afghanistan. Attacks against the Pak Army and institutions have been common in the last few months, but the agenda has not included minorities. Pakistan though is pinning the Chilas attack blame on “terrorism”.

The incident being covered up under the guise of terrorism cannot be singled out. In September a group of armed men captured Chilas’ New Bus Station and the recent diversion of the Indus River on November 30th for the construction of the Diamer Basha Dam, points to another story. This attack on
the Karakoram Highway may also have been a strategic move to divert attention from the ongoing wheat subsidy issue, which has been a focal poin of the protests these days. It isn’t hard to infer who would benefit from such disturbances when GB demands freedom from Pakistan. Local activists have shared the dismal attitude of the government concerning GB, versus their outrage on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Highlighting the contrast, the analogy has sparked social media debates. Underreporting of Pakistan’s colonization of GB blocks the urgent international attention the territory needs. The government, lawmakers, politicians, and Ulemas keep their flocks in check to keep them from divulging into anti-Pak polemics.

This is why an average Pakistani defends the decision of not integrating GB into their region and giving them equal constitutional rights. Like their leaders, Pakistanis continuously blame the Taliban (which it created, supported, and sheltered for decades), and neighboring India’s alleged interference. Afghan
authorities have outrightly rejected the Taliban hand that Pakistan has been pushing.

Pakistan’s audacity in shifting the blame does not end here. Speaking to a regional daily, GB’s opposition leader Kazim Mesam claimed that the government should quit pointing fingers at innocent people of Diamer and focus on arresting the real terrorists, of whom the Interior Minister is well
aware. The miscreants are the same people who had abducted Abaid Ullah Baig, a contestant in the 2020 GB assembly election, and murdered a local police station house officer (SHO). Mesam warne

Pakistani leaders against deceiving the public by arresting local herders, as they had before.
Adding to this claim, Wazir Hasnain, president of the Tehreek Pasdaran (PoJK & GB) asserted that the Chilas bus attack was a conspiracy to instigate riots on a big scale. He insisted that the scheme was for the people of all sects to come together in chaos, fear the violence, spoil their harmony, and compromise their fight for rights. Activists argue the alleged implication of external involvement on various such grounds. Regardless, the Chilas attack has had an opposite reaction – the revolution in GB has returned stronger.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor

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