KARACHI: Security forces successfully foiled an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi’s Clifton Block-4 on Friday morning.
Two policemen were martyred and a security guard injured as three gunmen tried to enter the consulate around 9:30am but were intercepted by security guards at a checkpoint, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Karachi Javed Alam Odho said. Retaliatory firing resulted in martyrdom of ASI Ashraf Dawood and Constable Amir, he stated.
Three suspected suicide bombers were killed before they were able to enter the facility as forces successfully foiled the attack, Karachi Police Chief Dr Amir Shaikh said. “There were three attackers and all three have been killed… They could not even get in the compound. They tried to get into the visa section,” the Karachi police chief said while speaking to the media outside the consulate.
“The men came to the consulate in a car which was loaded with explosives,” he added.
Nine hand grenades, Kalashnikov bullets, magazines and explosives were recovered from the possession of the terrorists, police said. “Food supplies and medicines were also recovered from their possession,” officials added.
Two visa applicants from Quetta were also killed in the attack. “A man and his son who were visiting the embassy to apply for Chinese visas were killed in the attack,” police officials said.
All the staff inside the Chinese consulate is safe, security sources said.
Jinnah Hospital spokesperson Dr Seemi Jamali confirmed that two bodies were brought to the hospital and said the injured guard is in critical condition.
Heavy contingents of police and Rangers have been deployed at the site of the incident and roads leading to the consulate have been cordoned off.
Police teams are conducting a clearing operation inside and around the Chinese consulate.
The military’s media wing, Inter Services Public Relations, said: “Terrorists attempted to enter Chinese consulate. Rangers and police have got control. Three terrorists killed. All Chinese safe. Situation under control.”
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said all staff members of the Chinese consulate remained safe in the attack.
“Three attackers were killed,” the foreign minister said. “It was a cowardly attempt by terrorists,” he added.
“The matter is under control and the area has been cleared,” Qureshi said.
Later during the day, FM Qureshi while addressing the National Assembly said, “One of the attackers blew himself up which resulted in the martyrdom of the two policemen. Our security forces successfully foiled the attack and did not let the attackers enter the compound.”
Shortly after the attack, FO spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal tweeted, “We condemn the attack on Chinese Consulate in Karachi. Security forces took charge. Three terrorists killed. All Chinese safe.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi, terming it as a conspiracy against relations between the two countries.
In a statement, the prime minister ordered an immediate inquiry of the attack.
Prime Minister Khan said the elements and motives behind this attack should be uncovered.
The premier stressed that the nation was proud of the prompt action of the Rangers and police. He paid tribute to the policemen who were martyred foiling the attack.
The prime minister termed the attack a conspiracy against Pak-China economic and strategic relations. He added that such attacks would not derail relations between the two countries.
Chinese foreign ministry on Friday said they strongly condemn the attack on their consulate in Pakistan.
All staff working in China’s consulate in the Pakistani city of Karachi are safe, China’s foreign ministry added.
The attackers did not enter the consulate compound, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing.
DG Rangers while speaking to the media said that attack was foiled owing to timely action by police, Rangers, law enforcement agencies and FC personnel that were deployed outside the consulate.
“The search operation has been completed and all diplomatic staff is safe,” he added.
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.
CM Sindh takes notice
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has taken notice of the attack outside the Chinese consulate in Karachi and directed authorities to ensure security of the staff present inside.
The chief minister also telephoned Additional IG Sindh and issued instructions to send additional contingents of forces to the consulate.
CM Shah also telephoned the Chinese consul general and said all staff members were safe. The Sindh chief minister assured the Chinese consul general that security measures were being taken and that he had contacted DG Rangers and IG police.
PTI’s Faisal Vawda visits consulate
PTI leader 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.
Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and a 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 that seeks to connect its western province Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea.-Web Desk