Targeting Economic Capital of Pakistan
BY Zaheerul Hassan
On November 11, 2010 a group of four to five heavily armed terrorists detonated an explosives- laden truck at the office of the CID spearheading the drive against terrorists in the southern port city of Karachi, killing at least 18 people and injuring 115 others. According to the locals and eye witness the attackers initially exchanged fire with guards outside the office of the Crime Investigation Department, located in a high security zone at a short distance from the Chief Minister’s official residence and several five-star hotels and consulates. Apart from the targeting killing, 14 suicidal blasts have been carried out in which more than 700 individuals killed and thousands injured since 2002. The intensity of the blast was so severe that it was heard in a 15 kilometers radius, destroying many of the high rises and shanty settlements in its path. The blast left a 10 to 15 feet wide crater at the spot. According to bomb disposal experts around 1,000kg explosive was used in the blast filling the entire area with smoke. In this attack the building collapsed trapping people under the rubble. The CID office is located in the sensitive declared area of the Karachi. The red zone also includes the CM House, Governor House, Qaiser Naz, three luxury hotels, the US Consulate and government offices.
Regarding the latest Karachi blast, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh Sultan Salahuddin Babar Khattak said that a truck bearing a Peshawar registration number reached the main gate of the CID building, where some suspects came out from the truck and started firing for at least 10 minutes. Later, they threw crackers inside the CID building, killing the security guards deployed at the main gate. The blast was carried out near the residential area of CID. It would be worth mentioning here that in 2009 similar nature of attacks on investigation agencies’ (FIA and ISI) buildings were carried out in Lahore, Multan and Peshawar too. The objectives and pattern of the quoted terrorists’ attacks were the same. According to experts the terrorists have used RDX explosive, potassium and mortar bombs. Moreover, in first week of the November and last week of October 2010 more than 100 people were killed in two bomb blasts in the mosques of Waali Masjid, Derra Adam Khel and Pushta Khurra area of Peshawar Pakistan.
Earlier, on October 7, 2010 at least 8 individuals have been killed and more than 85 injured in two successive blasts near a prominent shrine in Karachi. More than 32 people killed and over 200 injured on September 1, 2010 when three suicide bombers blew themselves up in Shia Procession. We all knew that Karachi is Pakistan’s economic capital, home to the country’s stock exchange and the Arabian Sea port where NATO supplies dock to be trucked overland to support more than 150,000 US-led troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Reportedly, NATO is planning to avoid using Pakistani territory and will likely to go for alternate route of supply soon. In October 2010 Pakistani authorities stopped NATO and ISAF to use its territory for provision of supplies to their troops, at this occasion NATO’s and Pentagon discussed the alternate option in length. The heavy damage has also been done to the containers by the Taliban when 300 containers have been hit which were parked after the NATO’s attack on Pakistani troops.
It is notable here too that since couple of months terrorists activities like blasts, target killing, robberies and kidnapping are on peek in Karachi, Peshawar and other areas of the country. Thus security situation has become pathetic just because of poor law and order problems as a result of militants activities. Evidences are there that unrest and terrorists’ activities are being supported from the across. In this connection RAW and MOSSAD are fully activated in Balochistan, Karachi and Peshawar. The terrorists are operating covertly under the cover of religious and political individuals. More than 430 persons have been killed in Karachi this year alone. One more indicator is there that the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan almost claimed responsibility of every attack whether is in the mosque or on the Shia procession or on the security agencies’ buildings. Actual facts are very much clear because no Muslim can think of attacking mosques and other religious places. These are those terrorists which are being supported by the foreign agencies. The second indicator is that these terrorists are being highly trained and always came fully equipped and in most of the cases were in possession of Indian manufactured guns and explosive.
The blast on security agency in Karachi has been carried out once President Zardari is on his visit to China just after the completion of Obama’s tour to India. Pakistani President also carried out negotiation with his Chinese counter part. China also handed over the first of four Chinese ZDK-03 Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS) aircrafts for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in a roll out ceremony held at Hanzhong in China. PAF chief Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman was the chief guest at the ceremony, which was attended by the Commander of the PLA Air Force and other military and civil officials of China. PAF chief also said that AWACS will strengthen the Pakistani Defence against our adversary. Beijing also promised to give fifth nuclear reactor to Islamabad. Chinese’s president also promised to visit Pakistan in March 2011. Thus blast in Karachi could also be a try to eclipse Pak-China growing relations.
The prevailing wave of terrorism would likely to be continued till Muharram and militants would try to carry out the blasts on Ashura day. Therefore there is a need to deal with the terrorists with the iron hands. Government, public, politicians, religious leaders, law enforcing and security agencies and honorable judges of the courts should get themselves united to crush the militants and do not pay any mercy to the enemies of humanity. At the same time UNO, should pressurize India to resolve the burning regional issue like Kashmir, water issues and border disputes with Pakistan and other regional countries. Political leadership should also stand up to defeat Indian design of targeting Pakistan and its economic capital.
The writer is defence and security analyst and can be contacted on email@example.com