A Rangers soldier and another person were injured on Monday when a bomb exploded outside the Chinese consulate, located in Clifton near the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi.
Police said the bomb was planted on a motorcycle parked in front of a hotel management institute located opposite the consulate.“The police were informed about the blast at about 11:15am,” SP Farrukh Ali of the Clifton Division told The News.
Two people, Rangers 72 Wing Sepoy Mohammed Irfan and a watchman of a bungalow situated near the consulate, were injured in the blast.The two men were taken to a nearby hospital.
In his statement to the police, the injured soldier of the paramilitary force said he was deployed at the consulate and having a conversation with a watchman of a nearby bungalow when the explosion occurred.
The SP said the bomb disposal squad and forensic experts reached the scene of the blast and after examining the site and collecting samples, they determined that the blast was carried out using a remote-controlled improvised explosive device (IED), weighing around 600 grammes, planted on a motorcycle.
The police official said with the help of the Anti-Car Lifting Cell, it was discovered that the motorcycle belonged to a man named Ali, a resident of District Central.
The police located Ali and during questioning, he informed them that he had sold the motorcycle to a shopkeeper in Akbar Road area two months ago. The police went to the shop, but it was shut due to Iftar time.
The SP said the police had no footage of the blast as there were no CCTV cameras installed outside the consulate.
Talking to the media, the city’s police chief Iqbal Mehmood said anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the people responsible for the blast would be rewarded with one million rupees.He further said a car and three other motorcycles were also damaged in the attack.
LJ behind the attack?
The motives behind the blast were being investiged. A Sindhi nationalist party had earlier this month tried to march on the consulate in protest against the involvement of the Chinese in the controversial Zulfikarabad city project. However, a spokesman for the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz denied any involvement in the blast.
Meanwhile, investigators said they knew about a terrorist threat to the city, but had no information about an attack on the consulate.
A senior police officer told The News on the condition of anonymity that banned outfits had threatened to attack important installations in the city including government buildings during the month of Ramazan.
“The attack on the Chinese consulate appears to be a message or a warning by terrorists and the modus operandi of the attack was similar to that of the banned Lashker-e-Jhangvi’s (LJ) Naeem Bukhari group,” he said. “But we are also investigating other angles.”
Sharfuddin Memon, the adviser to the Sindh home department, told The News that intelligence reports had warned about a terrorist attack in the city during the month of Ramazan.
MQM condemns blast
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has condemned the bomb blast near the Chinese consulate in Karachi.
“China is a long-standing and time-honoured friend of Pakistan and Chinese engineers are engaged in various development projects in Pakistan,” he said in a statement issued on Monday.
He regretted that despite the role played by China in the development of Pakistan, Chinese engineers were being kidnapped and some even killed in a ruthless manner.
Hussain extended sympathies to the Chinese government and its consul general in Karachi.
He demanded that the perpetrators of the blast should be arrested and meted out exemplary punishment.
Religious parties condemn blast
Following a bomb explosion near the Chinese consulate in a posh locality of Karachi on Monday, religious parties have expressed deep concern over the incident, saying it was an eye opening failure of the administration of the Sindh government.
Jamat-e-Islami (JI) spokesman Sarfaraz Ahmed while talking to The News on Monday said there was an involvement of Raw in the incident. Foreign elements would expand their roots all over the country, causing colossal loss to the city, he stressed.
When the law enforcement agencies were unsafe, he deplored, then how could common citizens be secure.
He urged the authorities to tighten security around the consulates as such tragedies could tarnish the image of Pakistan at international level.
The Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (JUI) has also condemned the bomb explosion, saying it was tragic that despite the deployment of heavy contingent of police in the area the disaster could not be averted.
Sunni Tehrik (ST) spokesman Fahim Sheikh commenting over the bomb explosion, said a critical stage had arrived when the law enforcement agencies had failed to save their own lives. He said this is a war-like situation when the citizens felt complete insecurity as police and Rangers were being attacked by terrorists.
A Jaffria Alliance spokesman said this was a situation when the Sindh government should convene an all parties conference to chalk out a strategy for the restoration of peace in Karachi.
Another bomb found
By our correspondent
Late at night, another bomb was found planted on a motorcycle parked a few steps away from the blast site.The police found the remote-controlled IED when someone called the police to inform them about the suspicious motorcycle. The police said that the explosive device weighed about three kilogrammes Investigations revealed that it belonged to a man named Hammad. Police sleuths said that both motorcycles were purchased from a shop on Akbar Road on July 19.
Forensics officials gather at the scene following a bomb blast outside the Chinese Consulate here on Monday