In November last year, three heavily armed militants attempted to enter the Chinese consulate in the ‘high security zone’ of Clifton’s Block-4 but were shot dead in an encounter with law enforcers. The gun-and-grenade assault also claimed the lives of two police officials and two visa applicants, and injured a private guard of the foreign mission. The banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had claimed credit for the attack.
The additional inspector general of police disclosed that at least five facilitators have been arrested so far from Karachi, Hub and Quetta during the probe.
He said that based on the police’s investigation, the attack was aimed at sabotaging the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and meant to create trouble between Pakistan and China. “They wanted China to believe that Karachi is not [a] safe [city].”
Sharing the details of the attack, he said that the trained terrorists had been observing the consulate and particularly its visa section for almost four months. “They used to sit in the visa section of the consulate to observe when the gates open and other details.”
“They transported weapons in a boat engine from Quetta to Karachi through train service,” he said, adding that the weapons and other material were dumped at a house in Baldia Town area of Karachi.
“The terrorists used fake computerised national identity cards,” he said. “We are writing to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Railways to upgrade their security mechanism so that the facilities of the railways and the National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra) are not abused by terrorists.”
He shared several photographs “recovered from the cell phones of the terrorists”. One of the facilitators was a cousin of Aslam alias Acho — the alleged mastermind of the attack — while another was the brother-in-law of another high-profile terrorist, who is considered to be the second to Acho, said Shaikh.
Shaikh added that there were reports that Acho and some other high-profile terrorists had been killed in an attack in Afghanistan but he refused to believe the news until and unless he “sees the bodies or any solid proof”.
It is an old tactic of terrorists to get themselves declared ‘killed’ to divert the attention of law enforcement agencies, he added.
Earlier, sources familiar with the proceedings of the investigation had told Dawn that one of the killed militants, Abdul Raziq, resident of Kharan, with his accomplice Abdul Latif, hailing from Khuzdar in Balochistan, had visited Karachi on Aug 6 also. They had both stayed at hotels in Lyari and Saddar and conducted reconnaissance of the consulate.
With the help of technology, it was also discovered that the killed militants had also stayed in Sindh’s two cities, Shahdadpur and Sukkur, before going back to Quetta. They returned to Karachi via Hub, Balochistan, on the night of Nov 23 and stayed for a while in the Shershah area of Karachi before launching the gun-and-grenade attack.
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