Nanga Parbat Attack

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The TTP’s agenda once again exposed

Naga Parbat

Let it be very clear. All who call themselves ‘Taliban’ are not so. There are two overarching umbrellas of armed groups calling themselves Taliban. One is an amalgamation of different groups under the direction and leadership of Mullah Omar, called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEoA). This umbrella is the only and the real Talib (student) movement, which has always aimed to create a just and fair Islamic state in Afghanistan, and is currently fighting the NATO forces in occupied Afghanistan. The IEoA has never attacked Pakistani interests, and does not wish Pakistan harm. Its only concerns are within Afghanistan.

The other overarching umbrella group is a cohort of Waziri drug lords, Tajik mercenaries and local criminals and rejects; called the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The leadership of this group is now under the direction of Hakimullah Mehsud, but was created by Baitullah Mehsud in 2007, upon being released from Guantanamo Bay – specifically for this purpose. The group’s leadership receives funding and direction from foreign sources, which include the CIA, Mossad and RAW, whilst its foot soldiers are brainwashed into believing that they are partaking in Jihad. Their objective is to demoralise the Pakistani society, sabotage Pakistan’s relationships abroad, and to destroy crucial Pakistani infrastructure. Though they call themselves ‘Taliban’, they have little in common with the real Taliban movement in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Taliban do not operate in Afghanistan and have never been involved in operations against the NATO forces. The majority of the people killed in TTP’s attacks have been Pakistani Muslims, as the TTP wantonly labels many Muslims as non-Muslims – something which the Islamic Shariah does not empower men to do (Takfeer). The group espouses loyalty to Mullah Omar, but Omar has never once supported them or their cause. In fact, as I write this, more than 400 Talibs of the IEoA are involved in a coordinated attack on TTP assets in North Waziristan. Thus, the TTP is the disguised snake, which is working at the behest of Pakistan’s enemies to bring harm to Pakistani assets, its interests, and its people. Let there be no doubt – the TTP and its takfeeri ideology is the enemy of not only Pakistan, but of the Muslims as a whole. And the attack on Nanga Parbat is only one illustration of this.

There is some doubt in the media as to what actually occurred at Nanga Parbat a week ago, but this much is clear. On the 23rd of June, 2013, at 12 am PST, around 16-18 militants, reportedly dressed in Gilgit Scouts uniforms, stormed one of the high altitude mountaineering base camps and killed 10 foreign climbers as well as a local Pakistani guide. Three of the climbers were from Ukraine, three were from China (including one Chinese-American), two others from Slovakia, one from Lithuania, and one from Nepal. The only Pakistani murdered at the base camp was Ali Hussain, a cook and a high altitude porter from Hushe village. The sole bread earner of his family, Hussain left behind his five-year-old son and two daughters. One Chinese climber reportedly survived by escaping. The attack happened at the main base camp for Nanga Parbat – the ninth highest mountain in the world. The mountain is popular with trekkers and mountaineers at this time of the year. The incident occurred in a remote area in the Diamer district, approachable only by foot or on horseback.

Zhang Jingchuan, the only survivor of the attack, related, “We were asleep when they came for us. They dragged us all out and tied up our hands. We were then made to get down on the ground on our knees. After they searched everyone, the massacre began. The shot was aimed at my head but it missed. And I began to run towards the valley.” He then contacted his agency, the Seven Summit Treks in Nepal, which then got in touch with the famous Pakistani mountaineer Nazir Sabir, the owner of Nazir Sabir Expeditions, which was managing one of the four expeditions on the Nanga Parbat. Mr. Sabir approached the military, and helicopters reached the base camp, 4,800 metres high, at around 6 am to 7 am PST.

Three climbers from the Polish Alpine Club — Adam Stadnik, Boguslaw Magrel and Wlodek Kierus – who were climbing Nanga Parbat at the time of the attack, confirmed these events. “The camp was surrounded, all climbers were dragged out of their tents, bound, robbed and then shot,” Boguslaw Magrel wrote in a blog. There were about 50 or so climbers from Pakistan, and international teams consisting of climbers from Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan and China.

Within hours, the remaining climbers were flown to Gilgit in helicopters and brought to Islamabad in an Army C-130 aircraft.

Spokesperson for the TTP, Ehsanullah Ehsan, immediately claimed responsibility for the heinous attack. He further iterated that the TTP had created a new wing, called Junud-Al-Hazfa, specifically to target foreigners in Pakistan. Security analysts believe this group to be composed of members of another sectarian militant group, Jundallah, responsible for recent attacks against Shia travellers (not to be confused with Jundallah in Iran). Gilgit Baltistan Police Chief, Usman Zakaria, claimed on the 26th, that 16 terrorists involved in the murder at the Nanga Parbat base camp have been identified.

“They are all locals… 10 of them are residents of Diamer Valley, three belong to Mansehra and another three are from Kohistan,” IGP Zakaria told reporters at a hurriedly-called news conference at the GB Chief Minister’s office. The ten Diamer Valley residents have been identified as Hidayat Ullah, Shafiqullah, Qari Rafaqat, Sana Ullah, Malik Nijad, Azizullah, Mahfoozul Haq, Mujeed, Shafi and Hazrat Oman.

An evaluation and post-incident assessment of the attack and the motives behind it lead to some startling conclusions. The attack was well planned, carried out by at least 15 gunmen dressed in the uniform of local security forces. And even though it took place at the base camp, this was at a height of 4,200 m (13,779 ft), and the attackers would have had to travel for at least 18 hours by foot or by mule.

The TTP’s reasoning for the attack, according to their spokesperson, is that it was an operation carried out in retaliation for the death of a TTP commander, Wali-ur-Rehman, in a drone strike at the end of last month. This holds little logic. Rehman was considered ‘pro peace’ and had broken away from Hakimullah Mehsud. Months prior to his death, he had condemned the targeting of Pakistani civilians along with the military, and was ready to come to the negotiating table with the federal government. After his murder, the White House relayed that the drone strike occurred due to a tip off from a TTP member allied to Mehsud’s faction of the group (for which they will pay known terrorists a reward of $5 million). So, Mehsud had Rehman killed because he was moving away from Mehsud’s murderous agenda and towards a pro-Pakistan policy. Then why would Mehsud take revenge for a murder he helped commit?

The answer is multi-fold. Firstly, this act of ‘revenge taking’ attempts to show TTP supporters and sympathisers that Mehsud had nothing to do with Rehman’s death. It also seeks to prove that the TTP is still united in the face of mounting pressure from Pakistan and its allied groups. But this reasoning only holds for the Nanga Parbat attack, and does not explain the hundreds of other attacks directed at foreigners in Pakistan throughout the past six years. So why does the TTP target foreigners in Pakistan?

The answer is simple. If the TTP is working on a foreign agenda, then it would be logical that they would try to disrupt Pakistan’s foreign relations and thus development in Pakistan. The majority of TTP attacks against foreigners in Pakistan are directed towards Chinese interests and residents. From Gwadar to Karachi to the latest attack on Nanga Parbat, there is a pattern apparent. Let us take the recent attack for example. The area where the attack occurred is called Diamer. Since 2011, a joint Pak-China project, called the Diamer-Bhasha Dam, is under construction in the vicinity. Once completed, this roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam on the River Indus would be the highest RCC dam in the world. The Diamer Bhasha Dam project is a  lifeline for Pakistan’s national economy, which would help meet the country’s future agricultural and power requirements. But, more interestingly, once completed, this dam would stop Indian attempts upriver in Kashmir to hold Pakistan’s water. And India has been attempting to halt the construction of this dam through various legal battles and diplomatic pressure. In 2012, it persuaded the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank not to extend financing for the project. But late last year, China stepped in with finance and expertise, infuriating India. So, like other attacks directed at Chinese residents in Pakistan, this attack by India’s proxy, the TTP, is also meant to scare Chinese workers away from a vital national project.

The fact that this attack would also lessen adventure tourism in Pakistan, depriving the federal coffers of millions of dollars, is just an added bonus for the TTP and its Indian masters.

In conclusion, if the TTP’s claims of fighting a legitimate Jihad were true, then their actions tell us another story. In six years, they have not targeted U.S. or allied assets once (apart from the odd American killed in collateral damage). This proves that they are a proxy of Pakistan’s foreign enemies, hell-bent on attacking Pakistan and its Muslims – their fight is not Jihad, it is an anti-Jihad.

On this note, I’ll leave you with the words of Fazul-ur-Rehman, a man swatting flies on his fruit in the empty marketplace. “If they care that much about Jihad, then go to Afghanistan and fight the Americans there. Don’t go up a mountain and kill innocent people. Why do that? That’s not bravery. That’s cowardice.”

is a geostrategist and commentator on Pakistani Defence, Development and Foreign Affairs. He is currently studying governance related issues at the University of Oxford. He can be reached at hasanqureshi.pkkh@gmail.com and tweets at @Hasan_QureshiPK

Discussion10 Comments

  1. Once again this authors invented fiction is presented as news…the blatant lie of the TTP being supported by CIA,raw Mossad, is repeated with no proof offered or even any evidence found of this…this is nothing more than typical Pakistani conspiracy theory fantasies reported as fact…is there any wonder that Pakistan does not know who their enemy is because of all these lies repeated again and again?…did it ever occur to the author that since the USA is sending drones to kill TTP terrorists then why would the west support the murderers they are trying to kill?…it makes no sense and neither does this article because it is only based on conjecture not on facts…shame on the author for just taking the easy route by repeating a lie rather than actually investigating the facts to find the truth…it is writers like this that are the enemy of Pakistans effort to fight these child terrorists at home…

    • Wow I haven’t commented in a while but it seems i have returned at a good time. Eddied no one is going to listen to your nonsense. Not when they know that I have given you countless sources that prove otherwise. Just b/c you have decided to ignore the proof doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    • C’mon… don’t you know that Pakis are peace loving. They would NEVER hurt anyone. All foreigners, shias, christians, ahmedis who are killed are not killed by Pakistanis. All Blackwater, CIA, RAW, Mossad agents.

      Delusion is such a brilliant mind game that Pakis play on themselves !!

      • Bomb man…I could not have said it better…denial is a river that flows through Pakistan…and mr. 321 has never proven anything on this site he just keeps repeating lies with no evidence except the words of other conspiracy theorist who blame the west for the evils within Islam…

        • Eddied I see ure still a compulsive liar. It seems that some things never change. U hae provided many sources to u in the past. Put that peanut sized brain of urs to use for once and remember all the times when I sai that ttp commanders, an afghan mp, even the Baluch separatists, etc, etc have all said that india , US and israel are supporting terrorism in pakistan. I had also given the sources for this. Once again YOU are the one that has ecided to ignore the evidence. But what else can I expect from a paid shill. bombman if ure interested in whether or not eddied is actually telling the truth when he says i have provided no evidence just go to the pkkh archives. U’ll see that I have provided many sources whereas eddied has not provided any whatsoever.

  2. “The group’s leadership receives funding and direction from foreign sources, which include the CIA, Mossad and RAW”

    Yeah right. Even Imran Khan says that is not true. Repeating a lie a thousand times won’t make it the truth. It will just ensure that Pakistanis are unable to distinguish reality from fiction.

    • it seems we have a new troll on the site…and i’m assuming u also believe imran khan is a n all-knowing god? surely if IK says it, it must be true right? for the record i have nothing against IK. in fact i wanted him to become prime minister but he is extremely naive and doesn’t have a good grasp of geopolitics.
      btw since you’re new u probably haven’t seen the countless times i have proven the other trolls wrong. I have provided numerous NON-pakistani sources to prove that the ttp are foreign agents. of course being trolls, u ppl just ignore the evidence.

      • “since you’re new u probably haven’t seen the countless times i have proven the other trolls wrong. ”

        A Paki that boasts about having brains. Awesome. I’ll tell you what kiddo – go tell Imran Khan the truth. It will be more helpful than trying to convince me of your little green men theory

        • I have no desire to convince u of anything. I learnt that lesson after countless comments that provided unbiased and credible sources when I was trying to convince the other trolls such as gotya, anonymous and eddied. u trolls just ignore the links and then say that I have provided no evidence. Eddied is the ultimate example of that. besides ur name tells me all i need to know about the type of person I will be trying to talk sense into.

  3. ED-DIED,you’re nothing less than a brainwashed hypocrite, buying into the lies of your white master race – the USA et al. They deceive fools like you, who are only too eager to buy into the lies & deception. Wake up & don’t be a whinging good-for-nothing loser!

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