ISLAMABAD: Islamabad, Beijing, Pakistan Army and the national political leadership Friday closed their ranks after a terrorist attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi and termed it part of a well-thought-out international conspiracy to damage the Pak-China economic and strategic cooperation and throw CPEC off track.
Reacting to the terrorist attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi and Orakzai Agency market bombing, Prime Minister Imran Khan said these were part of a conspiracy to create unrest in Pakistan and vowed to crush such elements. "Let there be no doubt in anyone's mind that we will crush terrorists, whatever it takes," he said.
He said the attacks were being carried out by those who did not want Pakistan to prosper.
"My prayers go to the victims and their families," the prime minister said in a message on twitter.
"Salute the brave security/police personnel who gave their lives & denied [access] to terrorists in the mission at Chinese Consulate,” he tweeted.
Imran Khan said the failed attack on the Chinese Consulate was clearly a reaction to the unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from his trip to China.
"The attack was intended to scare Chinese investors and undermine the CPEC. These terrorists will not succeed.”
The prime minister ordered a thorough inquiry into the incident and directed that the elements behind the incidents must be unearthed.
A statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) described the incident as part of a conspiracy against Pakistan and China economic and strategic cooperation.
He reiterated that such incidents could never undermine the relationship between the two countries.
He said the Karachi police and Rangers had shown exceptional courage and the nation saluted the martyrs and their colleagues for acting so valiantly.
"We are proud of their gallantry," the statement said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the attack on their consulate.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said all consular staff and their families were safe.
"China strongly condemns any violent attacks against diplomatic agencies and requests that Pakistan takes practical measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in the country," Geng said at a regular press briefing.
Geng said the gunmen did not enter the consulate and the exchange of fire took place outside the facility.
"We highly appreciate the efforts of Pakistani side," he said when asked about Pakistan's response to the attack.
Geng said the attack would not affect Beijing's commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
"China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners," the spokesman said.
"With the broad support of the two peoples, it (CPEC) is proceeding in an orderly manner. China will continue to work with Pakistan to firmly move forward with the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor," he said.
Talking to the PTV, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he had spoken to the Chinese consul general and ambassador and they were satisfied with the prompt response from the Pakistani security forces.
He said all staff members of the Chinese consulate remained safe in Friday's attack.
He condemned the attack as "cowardly" and lauded the timely action by police and rangers who foiled the attack.
"21 people were present inside the Chinese consulate in Karachi. All remained safe. [All] three terrorists were killed," the foreign minister told the state television. "It was a cowardly attempt by terrorists," he added.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said some elements were wittingly or unwittingly trying to pull the country back into confrontation.
“The state shall not let them do it whether in the name of religion, ethnicity or on any other pretext,” he said while interacting with the officers of Multan Garrison during his visit, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
He also witnessed training demonstration on combat readiness by an armour formation of the strike corps.
He also shared his thoughts on the country’s security situation, challenges and the response. He said peace, stability and progress of our country was contingent upon rule of law by all.
Gen Bajwa said the war against terrorism and militancy was not over yet.
He underlined that an army deters war through professional competence and readiness.
“After kinetic operations we are now in the phase of stability operations. War against terrorism and militancy is not over yet,” Gen Bajwa said.
“Besides kinetic efforts we have to take on measures to address the root causes while staying cognizant of inimical forces and foreign hostile agendas. Within the folds of National Action Plan (NAP) we shall support national focus on socio-economic development so that people of Pakistan reap dividends of improving security,” he added.
DG Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor Friday paid tribute to the police and its martyrs.
“The Pakistan Police Service has evolved through testing times. Their displayed professionalism in recent times as first responders is commendable. From preempting the terrorism attempts to foiling these at first checking point is the testimony.
Salute to our police and its martyrs,” the ISPR DG said on his official twitter handle.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Hussain said the terrorist attack on Chinese Consulate was part of a big conspiracy to sabotage Pakistan’s friendly relations with China, but the enemies would not succeed in their nefarious designs.
Talking to the media outside the Parliament House, he said no one could harm the close strategic relations between Pakistan and China through such conspiracies.
The minister said it was not an isolated incident, but part of a big conspiracy as some countries were wary of close ties between Beijing and Islamabad.
Paying tribute to the martyred police personnel, he said the martyred laid down their lives in the line of duty.
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif condemned the attack and praised the swift response of the Sindh Police and Rangers.
He said the attack showed how the country’s opponents could not bear the Pak-China friendship.
Sharif emphasised that China was among the few countries who had supported Pakistan through difficult times.
“From Peshawar to Karachi no one has any doubts that China is the most trusted and time-tested friend of Pakistan along with Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” Sharif said.
Shehbaz Sharif added that no one had any doubt that CPEC would be beneficial not only for Pakistan but also for the entire region.
Former president of Pakistan and Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the terror attack on Chinese Consulate and said the planners and facilitators of attack must not and will not be spared.
In a statement, he hailed the timely operation by the Sindh police which included a brave daughter of Pakistan SSP Suhai Aziz Talpur who fearlessly headed the operation.
He instructed the Sindh government to pay compensation to the martyred police personnel and look after their families.
He also expressed his condolences to the families of martyred police officials.
PPPP Vice President and Chairperson of the CPEC Committee in Senate Senator Sherry Rehman said the PPP strongly condemns the attack on the Chinese Consulate.
“The terrorists’ heinous goals were thwarted thanks to the timely and brave intervention of the Sindh police and Rangers. Our prayers are with the families and loved ones of the martyred policemen who lost their lives protecting the peace in Karachi today,” she said.
She said we are all on one page about protecting our friendship with the Chinese people, and terrorists are not going to be allowed to disrupt any such relationship.
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