Friday Nov 23, 2018
KARACHI: Security forces on Friday morning foiled an attack on the Chinese Consulate in the Clifton Block-4 area of the city.
Two policemen, Assistant Sub Inspector Ashraf Dawood and Constable Amir, were martyred and a security guard injured as three gunmen tried to enter the consulate around 9:00am. Two visa applicants from Quetta, a father and son identified as Niaz Muhammad and Muhammad Zahir Shah, also lost their lives in the attack.
The terrorists were trying to enter the consulate from the visa issuance section but were intercepted by security personnel at a checkpoint. According to reports, the terrorists detonated a hand grenade before opening gunfire.
Sindh Police and Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed that all three terrorists had been killed in the operation.
“They [terrorists] had hand grenades and SMGs. They wanted to make their way inside [the consulate]. One was neutralised outside, the other two were neutralised in the ensuing operation by police and Rangers which lasted for 30-35 minutes,” Inspector General Sindh Police Kaleem Imam told reporters.
SHO Clifton, SP Suhai Aziz was the first to lead the operation against the terrorists.
Suicide jackets, hand grenades, Kalashnikov bullets, magazines and explosives were recovered from the terrorists, police said. "Food supplies and medicines were also recovered from their possession," officials added.
Sources informed Geo News that the terrorists had been identified as Razzaq, a resident of Kharan, Azal Khan Mari alias Sangat Dada, and Raees Baloch.
Heavy contingents of police and Rangers were deployed at the site of incident and roads leading to the consulate were cordoned off.
Speaking to media, DG Rangers Sindh said the attack was foiled owing to the timely action by police, Rangers, law enforcement agencies and FC personnel deployed outside the consulate. “The search operation has been completed and all diplomatic staff are safe,” he added.
On the floor of the National Assembly, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the terrorists wanted to create a hostage situation but their plan was foiled. “There were about 21 Chinese staff members at the consulate and they are all safe and shifted to a safe location,” Qureshi told the National Assembly.
Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an immediate inquiry of the attack. In a tweet, the prime minister said, “The failed attack against the Chinese consulate was clearly a reaction to the unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from our trip to China.”
He added that the aim of the attack was to scare Chinese investors and undermine CPEC. “These terrorists will not succeed,” the prime minister tweeted.
Chinese foreign ministry on Friday said they strongly condemn the attack on their consulate in Pakistan.
All staff working in China’s consulate in Karachi are safe, China’s foreign ministry said.
The attackers did not enter the consulate compound, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry condemned the attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi and labeled it a “conspiracy” targetting Pakistan-China socioeconomic and strategic ties.
He said such incidents cannot hinder the friendship between the two neighbours.
Chaudhry lauded the security forces for their prompt action to foil the terrorist attack, saying that an exemplary resilience was exhibited by the police and rangers.
“Pakistan will continue its journey towards peace and progress under PM Imran’s leadership,” the minister vowed.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah met the Chinese consul general after the foiled attack on the consulate in Karachi was foiled.
Inspector General (IG) Sindh, additional IG Karachi and director general Rangers were present during.
IG Sindh briefed the attendees regarding the attack. “We have evidence regarding Balochistan Liberation Army's (BLA) involvement in the attack,” the IG Sindh said.
PTI MNA and Federal Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda visited the consulate after the attack. "Police and Rangers successfully foiled the attack and did not let the suspects enter," he said.
"I have reached here on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan," he said.
Later, the minister was criticised on social media for carrying a gun when he arrived outside the consulate.
Karachi, Pakistan's largest city and financial hub, was for years rife with political, sectarian and ethnic militancy. A crackdown in the city by security forces in recent years has brought a lull in violence, but scattered attacks still take place.
China, one of Pakistan's closest allies, has poured billions into the South Asian country in recent years as part of a massive infrastructure project, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), that seeks to connect its western province Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea.