Pakistan has largely succeeded in reducing the number of terrorist attacks in the country. But there is still some way to go for the country to live in safety. The unexpectedly brazen attack using...
Pakistan has largely succeeded in reducing the number of terrorist attacks in the country. But there is still some way to go for the country to live in safety. The unexpectedly brazen attack using guns and grenades on the Pakistan Stock Exchange compound in Karachi on Monday morning is an example. The attack took at least four lives and the four attackers were also killed, while seven people are said to have been injured. The PSX is located inside a high security zone and contains the offices of a variety of high-profile firms as well as staff numbering around 1,000. Thanks to a prompt response from security guards and law enforcement all four assailants were gunned down and the attack was thwarted as they could not enter the main compound of the PSX building. The gunmen had come to the Railway Ground parking area to storm the building and after detonating a hand grenade, opened fire outside the PSX ground. According to the police, items of food were found with the gunmen who also carried a range of weaponry and it is suspected they may have planned a prolonged siege at the PSX.
As per a tweet by an hitherto unknown Twitter handle, the Balochistan Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the attack. The DG Rangers told the press that the style of the attack resembled the one in the Chinese consulate in Karachi in 2018, in which four persons were killed. The BLA and other Baloch nationalist groups have also been accused of other acts of terrorism including one on the Pearl Continental hotel at Gwadar last year and others on security personnel or bus passengers based on their ethnicity. The DG Rangers also said that RAW was behind the attack, while also rejecting the question of whether this was an intelligence failure on the part of Pakistan’s security. The police team involved in the operation have also been praised by senior Sindh government officials and promised a cash reward.
Officials and politicians from all sides have all condemned the attack and said it is an assault on Pakistan’s struggling economy. This may be true. But we need to get to the bottom of all acts of terrorism, including those claimed by or attributed to separatist tendencies, by understanding the nature of these organisations better, improving intelligence-gathering etc. This is the only way to defeat these forces, end violence and keep our country safe now and in the future.