Asmatullah Muawiya has been tasked with securing the region post the attack on a bus carrying Chinese engineers in the region.


New Delhi: Generals at GHQ, Rawalpindi, have asked the Pakistan spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to depute one of its primary assets, a leader of a terror group in the Gilgit-Baltistan region to control the different terror groups active in the area. This was done following the terror attack on a bus on 14 July carrying Chinese engineers and other workers employed at the Dasu dam project in Upper Kohistan.

The terrorist leader, who has been given the task of securing the region and controlling the other terror groups that are not ready to listen to the directives of the GHQ, is Asmatullah Muawiya, who until a few years ago headed the “Punjabi Taliban”. Rawalpindi-based sources told The Sunday Guardian that Muawiya, who is staying in a Pakistan government-organised accommodation in Islamabad, is gathering his cadre at Gilgit to ensure the safety of Pakistani-Chinese assets in the region, apart from identifying and eliminating anti-ISI groups in the area, on the direction of the ISI.

At present, Muawiya is also constructing a place for religious activities in Islamabad on a piece of land provided by the ISI. Muawiya, who until 2007 handled the media department of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, stands accused of killing 10 foreign tourists at Nanga Parbat peak in June 2013. Those who were killed in the attack included five Ukrainians, three Chinese, one Russian and a US citizen. At the time, China had asked the Pakistan government to “severally punish” the perpetrators behind the attack.

Muawiya started his own group—Junud-al-Hafsa—after parting ways with Maulana Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Mohammed, as he was upset with Azhar for not carrying out attacks on the Pakistan army for their action at Lal Masjid in 2007. As per his own admission, until the time he was with the Jaish, he came to Kashmir twice to carry out terror attacks.

In September 2014, he announced that he would not be carrying out any operations on Pakistani soil and “surrendered” to the ISI at Fort Attock. During his surrender, he had announced  that he would continue carrying out operations in Afghanistan even after “surrendering” while also focusing on North Waziristan. Sources in Rawalpindi told The Sunday Guardian that Muawiya, following his surrender, carried out multiple operations in the Af-Pak region on the directions of GHQ.

In 2018, he got married for the second time with a girl based in Chitral. After his surrender, he stayed at a home in Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Peshawar, before being shifted to Islamabad. He gets a substantial monthly “salary” from the ISI for his usefulness.