KARACHI: Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday paid rich tribute to security agencies especially Airport Security Force (ASF) and Pakistan Army for successfully combating terrorists targeting Karachi Airport.
Addressing a press conference here at the Airport, the Minister said these security agencies’ jawans and officers quickly responded to the terrorists. It were ASF personnel who
engaged with the ten terrorists entering old airport terminal premises from two different points. The rangers reached the scene within next seven minutes and Pakistan armed forces in next 20 minutes.
They launched joint action and stopped the terrorists from moving towards new airport terminal where they intended to destroy stationed aircraft. Two aircraft were loaded with
passengers and were ready to fly. The passengers were safely taken back to lounges and one passenger plane which had just taken off was also called back as a safety measure. Two or three aircraft received minor damages which are easily reparable.
All the ten terrorist were killed — three of them blew themselves up when they were rounded up by security forces. The entire area was cleared before 1.30 A.M. However, the security forces continued combing the old and new terminals areas till 4 A.M, he said.
Nineteen people including eleven ASF personnel were martyred and 29 others were injured in this terrorist attack. The security forces personnel saved the national assets and the people present there at the cost of their lives, he complimented.
” Terrorists might hijack people as human shield or as a bargaining chip,” he said.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the terrorists intended to stage a long scene as they were equipped even with rocket launchers and other modern gadgets besides carrying with them a good stock of food and medicine.
He said a detailed post-mortem and biometrics would be carried out of all ten terrorists to prove their identity. We would also seek help from NADRA in this regard, he said.
To a question, the interior minister said that he has ordered a detailed enquiry into the incident to fix responsibility of the security breach.
He told media that the elements behind this attack will get response in kind.
About the origin of the arms used in the attack, he said it is to be still verified. The intelligence agencies are gathering information in this regard, he said.
He said the county is confronted to inside and outside enemies and this demands national unity and commitment.
” Instead of any political scoring, this is time to unite as our enemy is unseen and hidden. It has targeted the entire country,” he remarked.
Earlier, the Interior Minister chaired a meeting at Karachi airport where he was given briefing by Director General Rangers and the officials of law enforcing agencies on the terrorist attack at the airport.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan paid tribute to the ‘shuhada’ who lost their lives for the national cause and offered Fateha. Sindh Governor Dr. Ishratul Ebad Khan , officials of intelligence agencies , Civil Aviation Authority, PIA and ASF attended the meeting.