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Suspect held for KU blast targeting Chinese teachers

Updated 05 Jul, 2022
<p>Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon addresses a press conference in Karachi. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News</p>

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon addresses a press conference in Karachi. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News

Karachi University dhamaky mein mulavis dehshat gard ko giraftar kar liya: Sharjeel Memon | Aaj News

One of the main suspects of the Karachi university van blast, in which three Chinese were killed, has been arrested by the law enforcement agencies, provincial information minister Sharjeel Memon said on Tuesday.

“We have received the main lede received. Further leads will be shared with you [media] in future,” he said while addressing a press conference in Karachi. “I want to say that no one is above the state.”

Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab accompanied him in the media talk.

At least three Chinese nationals were killed in an explosion outside a Chinese institute at the University of Karachi on April 26. CCTV footage showed a lone woman wrapped in a chaddor standing at the entrance of the Confucius Institute as the van carrying the Chinese nationals arrives after which the explosion occurs.

The responsibility for the attack was claimed by a banned organisation. The suicide attack in Sindh’s capital was the first confirmed instance of a planned attack executed by a female suicide bomber in Karachi.

The suspect was arrested in a joint intelligence operation conducted by the Counter-Terrorism Department, rangers, and police.

Pakistan had reiterated that it would give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of the heinous attack. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on May 22 said that any attack on China’s interest was an attack on Pakistan.

Elaborating on the details of the investigation, Memon said the investigating agencies had received many leads. CCTV footage, geo-fencing, DNA, and intelligence reports led to the latest development in the investigation into the van blast.

The provincial information minister claimed that the banned organisation was operating its sleeper cell in Karachi.

Key points

  • Suspect was held from Hawksbey-Mauripur Road on July 04, 2022
  • Suspect is the commander of BLF’s sleeper cell in Karachi
  • Racketeering attacks on KU attack and “sensitive installations”
  • Suicide bomber kept in Karachi’s Delhi Colony area
  • Terrorist is expert of making IED
  • Suicide bomber, named Sharri, was on psychiatric treatment
  • Group gave the bomber medicines and brainwashed her
  • Mastermind of the attack entered Pakistan from a “neighbouring country” and left Balochistan after attack
  • Terrorist network is spread to many countries
  • They remained in contact via telegram
  • Two banned outfits, BLF and BLA, together planned the blast
  • Use of women and students increased in terrorist attacks from last year

Memon was of the view that the attackers wanted to destabilise Pakistan through such activities and sabotage the country’s foreign investments like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

‘Not appropriate now to name country’

He refrained from taking the name of the foreign country, saying that “it was not appropriate now to name it”.

“The government cannot accept such activities,” he said, “on the federal government level a message will be conveyed to the country that your soil is being used against our country.”

All the diplomatic norms would be followed to warn and inform the “country” about such revelations, he added.

The terrorist attack was widely condemned. The US had described it as a “true affront to mankind”.

To a query, he said that no help was taken from any intelligence agency. “Chinese are here, if needed we will take their help,” he said, adding that so far all the investigation was done by local institutions.

‘Keep an eye on children’

Memon advised the parents to keep an eye on their children’s activities and check the kind of literature they were studying.

“We have seen in the past and in this incident also that how terrorist organisations brainwashed students,” he said, “society has to play a role in this.”

The minister claimed that a few people were distracting the children. There were teachers in educational institutions who brainwash children into believing something else, according to Memon.

Four characters of blast identified

Karachi Administrator Wahab said all the four terrorists involved in the attack were identified as Sharri (suicide bomber), her husband Dr Habistan Basheer, Commander Dad Baksh, and Zaib.

Dad Baksh was arrested on Monday and the team has got the remand to interrogate him. Wahab described the last terrorist’s identification as an “important lead”.

He claimed that the investigating team was successful in people operating the sleeper cell.

The administrator praised all the investigating teams and further information would be shared after remand.

Wahab advised the media to avoid speculation until the law enforcement agencies conclude their investigation.

“Our police and intelligence agencies are capable as they have investigated, arrested, and brought perpetrators to justice in many high profile cases,” Memon said.