Undoubted linkages of Johar Town Blast terrorism leads to Indian state involvement: Dr Moeed

ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf Sunday said the investigation carried out by security agencies in the aftermath of June 23 Johar Town car blast revealed undoubted linkages of the terrorist racket to India.

In a joint presser flanked by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain and Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani here, the National Security Adviser briefed that through electronic forensic we have identified the main handlers of this incident and we know the mastermind who belongs to Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Dr Moeed said as the Punjab IGP briefed the media about the entire scenario and linkages behind the Johar Town blast where he presented a flowchart depicting certain characters with their identities involved in the terrorism. “We are not at the stage to take names of the individuals left unidentified in the flowchart as the investigation process is underway.

However, a detailed forensic of the entire equipment including cellular phones and others has been conducted that has clearly indicated connection with Indian state sponsored terrorism against Pakistan, ” he added.

The National Security Adviser told that we know the main handlers and mastermind was an Indian, adding, “We have identified their fake and real identities and addresses.”

He added that this was not the first time and India kept on doing state sponsored terrorism against Pakistan.

He underlined that there have been thousands of coordinated cyber attacks on our investigation infrastructure after the Johar Town blast which was the example of global cyber warfare highlighted at the various occasions.

“Due to prolonged conflict during War on Terror, our security institutions have developed a strong cyber warfare infrastructure that helped thwart these attacks successfully, ” Dr Moeed said.

“No doubt that Johar town and cyber attacks are interlinked and state supported by India, ” he said, adding, we had presented a detailed dossier in November last year with very minute details highlighting terror financing, phone calls indicating network linkages and terrorism racket run by India.

He informed that the terror financing, made to execute the Lahore Blast, links were directly originating from India where the money was transferred through third country to Pakistan.

He queried that if the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was apolitical forum then it should hold the real culprit (India) accountable for terror financing.

While commenting on the main suspect Eid Gul who parked the car in Johar Town, he said the man was of Afghan origin and had been raised in Pakistan possessing a local national identity card being issued to Afghan refugees.

“Eid Gul’s incident gives a bad name to millions of Afghan refugees living here who are all law abiding people and we will continue to remind the international community for playing its role in dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees, ” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to use all political and legal channels to expose all involved that were in abroad and bring them all to account.

Dr Moeed mentioned that Afghan brethren needed to have a dignified return to Afghanistan where Pakistan was unable to bear the burden of around 3 million refugees further due to limited resources.

“I want to make it sure that our message was clearly heard. It needs to be taken into consideration that EU Disinfo lab report after our dossier highlighted how numerous information channels and propaganda tools were used to malign Pakistan under its clandestine designs against the country, ” he added.

He added that the magnitude and intensity of cyber attacks left no doubt of state linkages leading to India.

There has been mysterious propaganda of alleged drone movements in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) that has now exposed and we traced that it was made to create deflection for diverting attention so that the culprits were not apprehended.

Responding media queries, he said the international community’s silence was the double standards allowing regional actors to perpetrate against Pakistan.

“Pakistan will not remain silent on its people’s death and if the international community remains silent then they don’t have interest in peace, ” Dr Moeed said.

It’s not only FATF’s role there were numerous watchdogs that have the responsibility to follow this matter as we gave the minutest details in our dossier, he underscored.

Pakistan, he said generously hosted Afghans and we can’t gauge all at the yardstick applied for of a terrorists. After war on terror our counter terrorism departments have improved a lot and nothing to worry at the moment, he added.

Giving details of the investigation, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani said Counter Terrorism Department (CTD-Punjab) and others has efficiently tracked and traced the blast within 16 hours and identified all suspects involved in the blast.

Ghani said the people living abroad with Indian connections planned and financed the blast.

Giving details of the main suspect, he said a suspect named Peter Pal from Karachi aged 55-56 mostly lived outside Pakistan was the linchpin who connected the entire network and he had managed the tempered vehicle stolen in 2010.

He added that the police tried to go beyond identifying the car used in the blast and within a few hours, the police had reached the people who owned the car and gained information about how they had gotten it.

“Within hours we had unearthed this whole network and went to arrest [the suspects]. The lynchpin who arranged all this has been arrested, those who arranged the car and those who repaired the car and those who filled the car with explosive material as well — we have all of them, ” he told.

Ghani said the police had also identified the masterminds behind the explosion who belonged to hostile intelligence agencies. “We have shared [the information] with the federal government and intelligence agencies.

The IGP said the police would investigate what previous cases the suspects were involved in and the hostile intelligence agencies they were linked to, expressing the hope that the police would prosecute the case in a “good way” so those involved would be convicted.

Ghani said the car used in the blast was snatched in 2010. However, the car had been recovered within months and it was later being used on “superdari” (custody) for which the owner had the proper documents, he added.

The car had “original number plates”, the official said.

About the suspect Eid Gul, the IGP said he was originally from Afghanistan but he was born and raised in Punjab and spoke fluent Punjabi.

“The target was the same two police pickets and our people were injured. No one gave any report that any car was there and they had alerted police. When the car entered Punjab, it had original number plates and there was nothing in the car. If we start checking the trunk of every car, the [number of cars travelling on the] motorway will be halved.”

“We were successful in not only unearthing [the suspects] but also connections with hostile intelligence agencies are clear.

To a query, he said 69 threat alerts were received during the past month and all were thwarted by police and intelligence agencies. “The Punjab Police minimised the attack by taking the pressure on it, ” he added.

On June 23, a powerful blast in Lahore’s Johar Town had killed three people and injured 22 others, including two police officials.

It caused severe damage 12 vehicles, seven nearby houses.