At a press conference on Friday after the suicide attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “All of our Chinese friends and officials who work at the consulate, 21 in total, are safe and they have been shifted to a secure location.
The area is now clear.” He vowed that Islamabad and Beijing will defeat forces that wish to halt development in Pakistan.
China condemned the attack and promised to protect Chinese citizens in Pakistan, but Beijing made no comment on whether Qureshi’s reference to Pakistan and China fighting the Baloch separatists together could result in its security forces playing a bigger role in CPEC.
PM Imran Khan ordered an inquiry into the incident “The attack is part of a conspiracy against Pak-China economic and strategic cooperation.
Such incidents will never be able to undermine the Pak-China relationship that is mightier than Himalaya,” Khan said
“The attack was intended to scare Chinese investors and undermine CPEC. These terrorists will not succeed,” he posted on Twitter.
Police said some gunshots were heard at 9.30am outside the Chinese consulate in Karachi’s upscale Clifton area.
An exchange of fire and multiple explosions followed soon after, leaving two policemen and two civilians dead. After the policemen and civilians were killed, the attackers proceeded towards the gate of the consulate.However, the guards were quick to usher civilians with consular business into the building and shut the gates behind them. “All three attackers were also killed in the ensuing gunfight with the security forces.
Police recovered a suicide jacket, arms and ammunition from the attackers,” Javed Alam Odho, a police officer, said. “The terrorists first attacked the checkpost then detonated a hand grenade in the area,” Karachi police chief Amir Shaikh said.
Earlier, BLA spokesperson Jihand Baloch had said, “We have been seeing the Chinese as an oppressor (sic), along with Pakistani forces.
Three of our fighters have raided the consulate.” The fighters, he said, were members of the Fidayeen Majeed Brigade, a new force raised by the group to carry out suicide attacks on Pakistani security forces and Chinese targets. “The objective of this attack is clear: we will not tolerate any Chinese military expansionist endeavours on Baloch soil,” BLA said.
The group also released images of three young men — Azal Khan, Raziq Baloch and Raees Baloch — claiming that they were the attackers assigned with the task of targeting the consulate.