COAS visits Karachi police attack victims, says ‘trust, will of people, synergy’ needed to defeat terrorism

Published February 18, 2023
COAS Gen Asim Munir, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah and Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar visit JPMC to meet soldiers injured in Karachi Police Office attack. — ISPR
COAS Gen Asim Munir, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah and Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar visit JPMC to meet soldiers injured in Karachi Police Office attack. — ISPR

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Asim Munir on Saturday paid a visit to the victims of the terrorist attack on Karachi police chief’s office a day earlier, and said that “mutual trust, will of the people and synergy between all stakeholders” are necessary to overcome the challenge imposed by terrorism.

The hours-long combat between terrorists and law-enforcement agencies — comprising Pak Army Special Service Group (SSG), Pakistan Rangers Sindh & Sindh Police — on Friday at the Karachi Police Office located at Sharea Faisal left four people martyred and 19 injured. In contrast, all three terrorists belonging to the banned militant group Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan were killed.

According to a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief was in Karachi today, where he and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah were briefed about the attack at the Corps Headquarters. They also visited the site of the attack as well as the injured at the hospital.

“Terrorists have no religious or ideological moorings, rather only misguided conception forced through coercion or inducement,” the army chief was quoted as saying by the military’s media wing.

“Contrary to political and other distractions being faced by the public, the security forces remain singularly focused on counter-terrorism and intelligence based operations (IBOs) which are being conducted all over the country with pronounced success.”

“No nation can overcome such challenges with kinetic actions only. Pakistanis have always rejected and defeated terrorism and extremism in all its manifestations. Together we shall prevail upon this menace for a shared prosperous future” the COAS added.

Upon their visit to the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre, the COAs and the chief minister “praised the bravery, morale and sacrifices of army, police and rangers in the line of duty,” the ISPR said.

“The honourable CM stated that state acknowledges and salutes innumerable sacrifices rendered by LEAs and nation’s unbreakable resolve against terrorism.”

5-member committee formed to probe attack

Meanwhile, the Sindh police constituted a five-member committee to investigate the attack on the Karachi police chief’s office and supervise the case’s progress.

An order issued from the office of Sindh Inspector General of Police Ghulam Nabi Memon, available with Dawn.com, was issued today regarding the investigation committee’s composition.

 A picture of the notification of the committee’s constitution. — Photo provided by Imtiaz Ali.
A picture of the notification of the committee’s constitution. — Photo provided by Imtiaz Ali.

The committee included Sindh Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Zulfiqar Ali Larik as its chairman while the other members included Karachi South Zone DIGP Irfan Ali Baloch, Crime Investigation Agency DIGP Muhammad Karim Khan, Karachi CTD Operations Senior Superintendent of Police Tariq Nawaz and Karachi CTD Investigation Incharge Raja Umer Khitab.

The order said that the chairman could co-opt any other member required for conducting the investigation.

Funeral prayers offered

Funeral prayers for the policemen martyred in the attack were offered at Karachi’s Central Police Office (CPO).

Apart from policemen Ghulam Abbas and Saeed, the funeral prayers of Amjad Masih were also performed at the CPO.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Karachi Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant General Babar Iftikhar, IGP Memon, provincial minister Saeed Ghani, Karachi Additional IGP Javed Alam Odho, other senior police officers, employees posted at CPO and relatives of martyrs attended the funerals.

IGP Memon expressed his sympathy and condolence to the heirs of the martyrs and paid tribute to the martyrs and their departmental services.

He gave instructions to the senior police officers present on the spot that all the legal and documentary matters regarding the prevailing benefits for the legal heirs of the martyrs should be completed as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Sindh chief minister lauded the police officials involved in thwarting the attack.

He said policemen, Rangers and the Pakistan Army fought bravely with the terrorists and killed them. “Their sacrifice will be remembered in history,” CM Shah said.

He added that Masih also laid his life and proved that there was “no need for any designation or responsibility to fight against the enemy but every citizen and official needs to fight in his personal capacity against the enemies of the state and our people.”

Separately, President Dr Arif Alvi paid a visit to the injured security personnel at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre to enquire about their health.

On the occasion, the president lauded the valour and bravery of the officers and personnel

He also paid tribute to the sacrifices of the forces and commended them for fighting with bravery. The president prayed for the early recovery of the injured.

Security under question

Officials said that just half an hour after sunset, three militants had parked an Indus Corolla car at the KPO entrance before hurling a hand grenade at the gate.

Wearing shalwar kameez, the militants brought with them “three bags of food”, indicating their preparation for a prolonged siege, DIG East-Zone Muquddas Haider, who was among the senior officers leading the operation, had told Dawn on late Friday night.

While officials had initially said the exact number of militants could not be ascertained who attacked the metropolis police chief office at around 7:10pm, Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister Barrister Murtaza Wahab after midnight had shared details of 23 casualties — four martyred and 19 injured — on Twitter.

Multiple explosions were heard during the joint operation, which was completed at 10:48pm, by Pakistan Rangers, army and police personnel.

DIG Haider had said there were three attackers, all clad in shalwar kameez. One of them blew himself up on the fourth floor of the building during the operation, while two others were shot dead on the rooftop, he had said.

Taking great exception to the current state of security arrangements at government buildings and installations following the attack, the security administration and provincial government decided to carry out a ‘security audit’ of these facilities while seeing the assault on the law enforcement agency’s headquarters as a serious security lapse.

Officials agreed that the attack on the KPO had raised several questions and for their answers, a ‘proper exercise’ would be needed that included the ‘security audit’ and the plan of action the law enforcement agency was having after the terrorist attacks, mainly on police across Pakistan, had put the security establishment on toes in other parts of the country.

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