By Sajjad Shaukat, for Veterans Today Lahore, Pakistan
Pakistan’s security forces successfully foiled an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi on November 23, this year.
In the exchange of firing, two policemen were martyred, including two civilians, as three gunmen tried to enter the consulate around 9:30am but were intercepted by security guards at a checkpoint. Karachi Police Chief Dr Amir Shaikh said,
“Three suspected suicide bombers were killed before they were able to enter the facility as forces successfully foiled the attack…They could not even get in the compound. They tried to get into the visa section…The men came to the consulate in a car which was loaded with explosives.”
The clearance operation was initially led by a female Police Officer Assistant Superintendent of Police Suhai Talpur. Her courage has been greatly appreciated by the top officials of Pakistan.
On the same day, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “All staff members of the Chinese consulate remained safe in the attack…It was a cowardly attempt by terrorists.”
The Director General of the Inter Services Publication Directorate (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor also confirmed by saying, “Terrorists attempted to enter Chinese consulate. Rangers and police have got control. Three terrorists killed. All Chinese are safe”.
He also stated, “Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed grief at the martyrdom of two policemen in the attempted attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi’s Clifton area, hailing their sacrifice for the greater cause of protecting the citizens.”
While ordering an immediate inquiry regarding the assault on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack, terming it as a conspiracy against Pak-China economic and strategic relations. He stated, “The elements and motives behind this attack should be uncovered…the nation is proud of the prompt action of the Rangers and police…who were martyred foiling the attack.”
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry condemned the assault on the Chinese consulate in Karachi and labeled it a “conspiracy”, targeting Pakistan-China socioeconomic and strategic ties.” He added, “Such incidents cannot hinder the friendship between the two neighbours.”
Almost all the leaders of the mainstream political and religious parties condemned the foiled assault on the Chinese consulate in Karachi and hailed the role of the security forces in this respect.
Besides, the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang stated on the same day of the incident, “China strongly condemned the attack on its consulate in Karachi all consular staff and their families were safe following the shooting…We highly appreciate the efforts of the Pakistani side…The Chinese embassy in Pakistan has extended condolences over the martyrdom of two Pakistani policemen and said any attempt to undermine China-Pakistan friendship is doomed to fail…the attack would not affect Beijing’s commitment to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which seeks to connect its western province Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, in Balochistan….China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners.”
It is notable that a separatist group of the Balochistan province, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility of the failed terror attempt on the Chinese consulate in Karachi through a tweet. However, such claims of responsibility have no material value because all such anti-state elements always try to score numbers when an incident like this occurs.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s media and reliable sources disclosed that mastermind of terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi—Aslam alias Achu is a commander of BLA and is currently receiving medical treatment at Max Hospital in the Indian capital New Delhi.
Undoubtedly, it shows the connections of the Indian secret agency RAW in relation to the foiled attempt at the Chinese consulate of Karachi.
In other terror-related incident, on the same day, at least 35 people were killed and 50 wounded in a blast in Kalaya area of lower Orakzai district in Hangu.
It is of particular attention that armed forces of Pakistan have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad which have also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan.
And Pakistan’s primarily intelligence agency, ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts.
But, in the recent past and during the election-campaign of 2019, blasts in Balochistan and other regions of the country, including the latest ones in Hangu and especially at the Chinese consulate in Karachi show that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel have again started acts of sabotage especially to destabilize Pakistan and to damage the CPEC which is their main target— particularly of India and America.
Notably, the assassination of religious clear Maulana Samiul Haq, known as the “Father of the Taliban” on November 2, this year in Islamabad was part of the same scheme to weaken Pakistan, also due to the fact that Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World.
It is mentionable that during the successful four-day visit of Premier Khan to China, Beijing on November 2, 2018, reportedly agreed to provide USD 6 billion in aid to cash-strapped Pakistan to minimise its dependence on an IMF bailout package.
A loan of USD 1.5 billion is also expected to be offered, along with an additional package of USD three billion for CPEC. The loan and the investments were reportedly part of the USD six billion package. According to the joint statement, released on November 4, 2018, the two sides also signed fifteen Agreements/MoUs on a range of bilateral issues.
Pakistan and China also agreed to trade in their local currencies in an effort to reduce dependence on the US dollar. Particularly, Pakistan will save more than 12 billion dollars annually by importing goods in its local currency.
It is noteworthy that it is first time in the history of Pakistan that on November 20, 2018, the government led by P.M Imran Khan refused to accept tough conditions laid down by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a financial bailout package.
Besides, other tough conditions such as further increase in power tariffs, imposition of more taxes etc., especially, the condition of sharing details related to Chinese financial assistance was also rejected. In fact, IMF is controlled by America, which has always imposed tough conditions to release loans in order to further destabilize Pakistan by targeting the general masses.
It is also of particular attention that India was openly opposing the CPEC and China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) or BRI; the US also joined New Delhi. In this context, on October 3, 2017, US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Lawmakers, “The United States has reiterated its support for India’s opposition to China’s One Belt, One Road initiative…the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a part of which traverses Pakistan-Kashmir.”
Islamabad strongly dismissed the statement from the American defence chief that the multibillion-dollar road and rail network “CPEC which is part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, passes through a disputed territory of Kashmir”, urging “the international community to focus on blatant human rights violations and heinous crimes committed by Indian occupation forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir” (IOK), and reminded the US that Washington had also participated in an OBOR summit.
Earlier, a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry also dismissed Mattis’ statement, saying that the OBOR plan was backed by the United Nations and that CPEC was an economic cooperation initiative.
In this regard, repeated threats of the US President Donald Trump and top American officials to Islamabad and other moves like suspension of latter’s aid were part of the same scheme to thwart the CPEC.
The fact is that Indian lobbies which are well-penetrated in the US administration and Europe, research centers, think tanks and so-called human rights groups utilize the media tools in defaming Pakistan internationally. Especially, Indian RAW is availing the opportunity of the US-led organized propaganda campaign against Pakistan. Now, CPEC is special target of these hostile entities.
The reality is that when Gwadar seaport becomes fully operational, it would connect the landlocked Central Asian states with rest of the world. Being the commercial hub, the port is likely to increase volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan like the Suez Canal which changed the destiny of Egypt when Israel returned it to the former.
It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans. Gwadar project which is backbone of the CPEC will uplift the impoverished people of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, including developments in other provinces by providing thousands of employment opportunities, particularly to the less developed areas by redressing their grievances.
The resulting prosperity in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan would damp the separatist sentiments of the people, which the hostile elements, supported by the US, India and Israeli do not want. Therefore, these entities and their media describe the CPEC in negative terms.
As a matter of fact, since the occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO forces, the country has become center of CIA, RAW and Israeli Mossad which are in connivance to obtain the covert designs of the their countries and some Western countries against Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran.
Under the cover of fighting terrorism, these foreign agencies which are also in collaboration with the Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS), support the militants of ISIS and Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including their linked outfits which have been conducting terror-assaults in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the secret strategy of the US-led countries.
Besides, these terrorist outfits are weakening Tibetan regions of China and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan through subversive activities.
Notably, on March 24, 2016, Pakistan’s security forces disclosed that they arrested the serving agent of RAW in Balochistan. During investigation and in a video, shown on Pakistan’s TV channels, RAW agent Kulbushan Yadav confessed that “he was the agent of RAW” and “during his stay, he contacted various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, to execute the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” project. Yadav admitted that he spied for India and was “assigned with the task to create unrest in Karachi and Balolchitan.”
Nevertheless, one has to evoke as to who could be the prime beneficiary of such an action against the Chinese in Pakistan. These are those elements who do not want to see Pakistan– China cooperation which has put the country on the road to progress.
In this connection, P.M. Imran Khan’s very successful visit to China and the advancements in the CPEC are of great distress and discomfort for those who do not want to see such initiatives, taking place between the two countries. In simple words this attack at the Chinese consulate was an attack on the CPEC and Pak-China friendship.
It is worth-mentioning that Karachi, the financial capital of Pakistan, reportedly has number of sleeping cells being operated by RAW, NDS and other hostile intelligence agencies. It is evident that the terrorist were part of these sleeping cells. Pakistan’s investigation units and intelligence agencies have already pointed out that such cells are being operated by RAW, NDS and other hostile agencies in Karachi.
In the recent years, these anti-Pakistan secret agencies have been conducting frequent attacks on the Pakistani forces and Chinese manpower working in Pakistan as well as on projects being completed under CPEC is going to change the fate of the people of this region especially Pakistan.
China and the US are pitched against each other on trade war. Asia and especially this region, being the economic future of the world, have gained attention of the world powers. This is the reason, why America has been spending billions of dollars just to stay in Afghanistan, despite the tremendous reverses being faced by the Americans. This interest goes till the extent where the US is now ready to even negotiate with their biggest adversary, the Talibans, just to maintain their presence in Afghanistan under the nose of China and Pakistan.
India being the collation partner of the US has opened 22 consulates in Afghanistan to counter the economic prosperity of Pakistan and CPEC and for working hands in glove with the NDS to generate unrest in Pakistan through sabotage and terrorism.
It means that being the future economic hub, this region; particularly Pakistan could face more terrorism-related events in the coming days. So, it is in their collective interests that both Islamabad and Beijing should remain focused on their economic goals and remain steadfast to meet similar future challenges.
Again, it is pointed out that initial operation at the Chinese consulate was led by a female Police Officer ASP Suhai Talpur, which proves that Pakistani girls and women folks are on the forefront to defeat evil designs of CIA-RAW-NDS nexus.
We can conclude that the CPEC is the main target of the foiled attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations
Email: [email protected]