By Zulqernain Tahir
LAHORE: The rocket-launchers and explosives used in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team are in the use of Indian forces, Dawn has learnt.
According to a forensic report, four rocket-launchers and nine explosives seized from the scene are factory-made and used by Indian forces.
Forty grenades, 10 sub-machine guns (SMGs), five pistols, 577 live rounds of SMGs and 160 bullets of pistols were also found there. The terrorists had fired 312 bullets, two rockets and detonated two bombs.
‘No suicide jacket was found at the scene, suggesting that they were not on a suicide mission. The SMGs used in the attack are of Russian, German and Chinese made,’ an investigator told Dawn on Monday.
Six policemen and a Pakistan Cricket Board van driver lost their lives when a group of a dozen terrorists ambushed Sri Lankan cricketers’ convoy near the Liberty roundabout in Lahore on March 3. Six of the Sri Lankan players suffered injuries.
Although none of the 12 terrorists involved in the gory act has been arrested so far, investigators have come up with a claim based on ‘positive leads’ that none of the militant organisations in the country had the capacity to carry out the attack without the help of a state agency.
‘The ammunition and communication network is the base of our claim that a state agency is also involved,’ said the investigator. He said that law-enforcement agencies had taken over 100 suspects into custody, but yet to arrest any of the terrorists.
‘Unfortunately all terrorists (involved in the attack) managed to flee to the tribal belt (probably Waziristan) owing to ‘belated’ response by police to go after them soon after the attack,’ he said.
Investigators are now convinced that the mastermind of the attack had four objectives: (1) To sour Pakistan’s relations with Sri Lanka, (2) to stop foreign teams from coming to Pakistan, (3) to destabilise Pakistan and (4) to tell it (Pakistan) that its state agency is more capable than its (ISI) in carrying out such attacks even in the midst of huge security presence.
Investigators however clarify that the attackers did not want to hijack the cricketers’ bus as they wanted to meet the above objectives ‘Hijacking often takes place when culprits want to secure the release of someone,’ they said.
A four-member police team, headed by Punjab’s Additional Inspector-General of Police (Investigation) Salahuddin Khan Niazi, and another joint investigation team comprising officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB), have been investigating the matter.