Masterminds of Karachi attack to be traced soon: minister

Updated June 30, 2020

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“The law enforcement and intelligence agencies will destroy the bases of these terrorists as they have done it in the past,” said Interior Minister retired Brig Ejaz Shah. — DawnNewsTV/File
“The law enforcement and intelligence agencies will destroy the bases of these terrorists as they have done it in the past,” said Interior Minister retired Brig Ejaz Shah. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister retired Brig Ejaz Shah on Monday said that the masterminds of the terrorist attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) would be traced soon.

He said in a statement that the terrorists could not enter the PSX building as Sindh Rangers, Sindh police and PSX’s security guards conducted a successful operation against them.

“The law enforcement and intelligence agencies will destroy the bases of these terrorists as they have done it in the past,” Mr Shah added.

The minister said an inquiry had been launched on the incident.

SECP asks PSX management to abide by advisories of intelligence agencies

Meanwhile, PSX chairman Suleman Mehdi told Dawn that the terrorist attack had been foiled only due to the tips received in the past from the intelligence agencies.

There was a meeting with the security officials in November last year, he added.

“The style and modus operandi of the terrorists were very similar to the attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi in November 2018 and we have been informed by the intelligence personnel that the same group was involved in the attack on the stock exchange,” Mr Mehdi said.

Incidentally, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) had written to the PSX management on May 5 that there were reports that the terrorists could strike economically sensitive installations, mainly in Karachi.

Then the PSX management held several meetings with the quarters concerned and it was asserted that the outlawed groups, along with proscribed sectarian organisations, could target the stock exchange.

The SECP has directed the management of the stock exchange and other entities to abide by the advisories of intelligence agencies.

The PSX had ensured extraordinary security arrangements which included deployment of Sindh police personnel, Pakistan Rangers armored personnel carriers and snipers of elite force.

In addition, full-dress rehearsals were conducted by Pakistan Rangers in collaboration with the anti-terrorist team of Sindh Rangers.

The PSX also raised the height of the stock exchange’s boundary wall with installation of concertina razor security wires, constructed firing posts, installed modern technology X-ray scanning machines, electronic walkthrough gates and additional CCTV cameras.

“The PSX has a good quality SOPs in terms of security developed with the help of Rangers and police,” Mr Mehdi said.

The PSX management held online meetings in the afternoon with the senior stock brokers, the SECP and security officials.

The SECP said that while the horrific incident was going on, the stock market remained operational and trading continued uninterruptedly, which demonstrated the confidence of investors on the foolproof security system of the PSX.

SECP chairman Amir Khan talked to the chairman and managing director of the PSX and agreed to ensure continuity of trading that was essential to retain the confidence of investors.

Mr Khan said: “PSX plays a pivotal role in the national economy as it not only provides investment opportunities but also much-needed capital for businesses. The SECP remains committed to providing a reliable, orderly, liquid and efficient marketplace to local and foreign investors.”

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020