Yesterday morning, four armed terrorists, made a bold attempt to take control over the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in Karachi, the attack led to the killing of three security guards and one police officer before all terrorist were shot down by security forces. The terrorists reached PSX in a car at around 10 am. They were heavily armed, they opened fire indiscriminately and used grenades at the main gate of the Karachi stock exchange building, which is situated in the city’s high-security commercial hub.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (South) of Karachi Jamil Ahmed said “All four men were armed with automatic rifles, grenades and explosives. They made an attempt to enter the compound leading to the PSX building via the parking lot, but security forces countered the attack within the compound,” “The militants lobbed hand grenades and opened fire initially at the compound entrance to force themselves into the compound, but one of them was killed immediately and that pushed them back,” he further added.
“The intention of the terrorists was not only attacking the building but they wanted to held hostages,” Major General Bokhari said, who is the director-general of rangers in Sindh. Besides ammunition terrorists were also carrying food supplies along with them. Mr Bokhari said, “The PSX is an important symbol of economic activity, hence the objective of these militants was to increase casualties here and hold hostages.” He further said that this was an attempt to taint the image of Pakistan in the world and convey a message that Pakistan is not safe.
However, after a fierce exchange of fires of around 8 minutes, the police and Rangers shot down all the four terrorists near the entrance gates. But this exchange of fires resulted in the death of one sub-inspector and three security guards.
As per the local media reports, the assailants were in attire that is usually worn by police officers while they are off duty. PSX Managing Director said, “the number of people in the compound was lower than normal today as many people are still staying home due to COVID-19.” However, the trading continued after, he added.
Some traders told news channels that as soon as the firing started, they gathered together in their offices and cabins as they were directed to remain indoors. A trader who was present inside said: “We were scared about what would happen if these terrorists managed to enter the building.”
The responsibility of the attack was claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army linked Majeed Brigade. This terror outfit is banned in Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
This was not the first time when BLA carried out an attack, in 2018 BLA made a suicide attack targeting the Chinese engineers in Balochistan. In November 2018 BLA attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi, and in May 2019 the outfit carried an attack at the Pearl Continental hotel in Gwadar, Balochistan.
After the attack, Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi alleged the involvement of India in the attack. He said, “India cannot tolerate peace in Pakistan.”
Soon after the comments made by Pakistani minister India reacted and described it as ‘absurd comments’. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning terrorism anywhere in the world including in Karachi.”