Thursday May 30, 2024

Another key police building in Karachi attacked after 12 years

By Sabir Shah
February 18, 2023
A police officer stands next to a bullet-riddled wall as he inspects a police compound after taking control of the building, following an attack by Pakistani Taliban fighters, in Karachi on February 17, 2023. — AFP
A police officer stands next to a bullet-riddled wall as he inspects a police compound after taking control of the building, following an attack by Pakistani Taliban fighters, in Karachi on February 17, 2023. — AFP 

LAHORE: The attack on the Karachi Police Chief’s compound at the humming and buzzing Sharea Faisal by a group of armed men Friday evening is the second such major bid of its kind in just over 12 years.

The incident has raised many eyebrows as the matches of the Pakistan Super League are underway in Karachi too.

On November 11, 2010, the Karachi CID building was the target of a grenade and gun attack, leaving at least 20 dead and more than 100 injured.

The “BBC News” had reported: “Police say they exchanged fire with militants trying to storm the Criminal Investigation Department building. Then a truck laden with explosives slammed into its boundary wall, detonated its load and almost completely destroyed the structure. The blast could be heard across several miles of the city of 14 million people. Eyewitnesses said the blast left a crater 12 metres wide in front of the gutted building in Pakistan’s financial and commercial capital. TV footage showed bloodied victims being taken away on stretchers and dozens of security officers combing through the wreckage.”

Here follows a list of renowned academicians, widely-acclaimed religious leaders, key officials of national law-enforcement agencies, eminent bureaucrats heading top public and private institutions, foreign diplomats, important judicial personalities, philanthropists, human rights activists, businessmen, journalists, political and social personalities who fell prey to the unrest in Karachi during the the last quarter of a century or somehow survived miraculously:

MQM Founder Altaf Hussain survived an assassination bid in December 1991.

On May 1, 1993, the then MQM Chairman, Azeem Ahmed Tariq, was murdered by unidentified gunmen at a safe house.

On December 4, 1994, Muhammad Salahuddin (Editor of Urdu weekly Takbeer) was shot dead outside his office.

On March 8, 1995, American diplomats, Durell and Jacqueline Van Landingham, were killed in Karachi when three armed men had ambushed a U.S. Consulate van.

In December 1995, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain’s 66-year old elder brother Nasir Hussain and his 28-year old nephew, Arif Hussain, had also met painful unnatural deaths in Karachi.

As newspaper archives reveal, Nasir Hussain and Arif were arrested by the law-enforcement agents on December 5, 1995. MQM officials had then stated that the two gentlemen killed were kept in a safe house, where they were brutally tortured for four days. The father and son were reportedly killed on December 9, 1995 and their corpses were discovered from Gadap Town.

On June 10, 1996, a retired Sindh High Court judge, Justice Nizam Ahmed, and his son Advocate Nadeem Ahmed were shot dead. The killings were attributed to a dispute over a prized plot near Awami Markaz as Justice Nizam had opposed its commercialization and illegal allotment.

On September 20, 1996, late premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s son and the then incumbent Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s younger brother, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, was allegedly killed in an encounter with police near his Clifton residence.

On July 5, 1997, Malik Shahid Hamid, a former managing director of the KESC, his guard and driver were killed by target killer Saulat Mirza, who was later hanged.

Former Sindh governor Hakim Said was killed in Karachi in 1998.

Ehteshamuddin Haider, brother of former Sindh governor Moinuddin Haider, was assassinated on December 21, 2001.

On October 10, 2001, the Sindh Karachi Sindh Board of Technical Education Chairman, Syed Hassan Zaidi, was shot dead.

On July 30, 2001, Syed Zafar Hussain, director research and development in the Ministry of Defence, was also killed.

On July 26, 2001, Managing Director Pakistan State Oil, Shaukat Raza Mirza, was killed.

On February 22, 2002, a renowned American journalist Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered in Karachi by al-Qaeda activists.

On May 8, 2002, a man driving a car bomb stopped next to a bus in Karachi outside the Sheraton Hotel. He detonated the car, ripping the bus apart, and killing himself, 11 Frenchmen, and two Pakistanis. The Frenchmen were engineers working with Pakistan to design an Agosta 90B-class submarine for the Pakistani Navy.

In May 2004, a senior religious scholar, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, was gunned down.

On June 10, 2004, the then Karachi Corps Commander and later Vice Chief of the Army Staff, General Ahsan Saleem Hayat, had survived an assassination attempt when his convoy was attacked.

At least 11 men in his escort were martyred, but he survived.

In July 2006, Allama Hassan Turabi (chief of Tehrik-e-Jafaria Pakistan) and his 12-year-old nephew were killed in a suicide attack.

On June 15, 2006, unidentified gunmen had killed a senior prison official, Amanullah Khan Niazi and four others.

On April 11, 2006, over 50 people, including prominent Sunni (Barelvi) scholars, were killed in a bomb explosion at a religious gathering celebrating the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in Karachi’s Nishtar Park.

On March 2, 2006, a powerful suicide car bomb attack in the high security zone near the US Consulate in Karachi killed four people, including a US diplomat David Foy. This was just a day before the then American President George Bush was due to land in Pakistan.

In 2011, a Saudi diplomat, identified as Hassan M Al Kahtani, was shot by at least four gunmen riding two motorcycles.

On January 13, 2011, Geo Karachi reporter Wali Khan Babar was killed.

On August 1, 2010, an MQM MPA Raza Haider was shot dead.

On January 1, 2012, Askari Raza, leader of a Shia political organisation “Pasban-e-Jaferia,” breathed his last in a sectarian-motivated target killing by two armed men.

In May 2013, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s Karachi President, Zahra Shahid Hussain, was murdered outside her home.

In June 2013, Justice Maqbool Baqir of Sindh High Court had survived a remote-controlled bomb, though eight people had lost lives in this incident.

On June 21, 2013, a MQM lawmaker Sajid Qureshi and his young son were assassinated at a juncture when both Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and MQM were striving hard to bury their differences.

On March 13, 2013, Parveen Rehman, a leading social worker in Pakistan and head of the Orangi Pilot Project was shot dead.

It was also in March 2013 that renowned industrialist Ali Asghar Rajani was killed.

On January 16, 2013, another MQM legislator in Sindh Assembly, Syed Manzar Imam, was killed by six unidentified gunmen.

On January 9, 2013, a famous private school owner Engineer Syed Ali Hyder Jafri was killed.

On September 18, 2014, Dr Shakil Auj, Dean of the Islamic Studies Faculty of the University of Karachi, was killed.

On September 10 2014, a known local religious cleric, Maulana Masood Baig, was gunned down.

On September 8, 2014, Ali Akbar Kumaili, elder son of former Senator Allama Abbas Kumaili, was apparently killed outside his ice factory.

On February 27, 2014, noted religious scholar, Allama Taqi Hadi Naqvi, was murdered.

On January 9, 2014, a high-ranking Pakistani Police official SSP Karachi Crime Investigation Department, Chaudhry Aslam Khan, had embraced martyrdom, after having escaped unhurt in an attack in which his residence was reduced to ashes and debris in 2012.

In 2015, Dr Syed Wahidur Rehman, an assistant professor of the University of Karachi was murdered by merciless target killers and terrorists in Karachi. Professor Wahidur Rehman’s murder occurred just a few days after a renowned female activist Sabeen Mahmud had perished in cold blood.

In June 2016, persistent lawlessness in Karachi had claimed the life of renowned Qawwal and singer, Amjad Hussain Sabri.

In December 2018, former MNA Ali Raza Abidi was assassinated.

Research shows that while a good number of top Karachi policemen had embraced martyrdom in the line of duty, some managed to defeat death.

In May 2012, a famous Karachi SP, Shah Mohammad, was killed.

The late Shah Mohammad had taken an active part in the Karachi operation during the 1990s against the MQM.

Four gunmen targeted SP Shah Mohammad when he had reached his friend’s clinic in Korangi locality for a regular medical check-up.

Shah Muhammad’s friend, Dr. Dilshad Ghauri, and a gunman were among those critically injured in this attack.

Both the injured had succumbed to injuries.

SP Shah Muhammad was the SHO at Karachi Gulberg police station where brother and nephew of the MQM chief, Altaf Hussain, were gunned down in 1995.

In May 2015, the-then SSP, Rao Anwar, had luckily managed to escape a frightening bid on his life. He was travelling in an armoured convoy through Karachi’s Malir Link Road when the assailants riding motorbikes had attacked him.

In September 2014, SSP Special Investigation Unit Karachi, Farooq Awan, was unsuccessfully targeted by terrorists in Karachi. SSP Farooq was first attacked in 2010, when he was just hit in the leg.