In the wake of the suicide attack on Chinese nationals in Karachi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that he will hold a meeting to devise plan for security of people from China and other foreigners working in Pakistan. An explosion triggered by a burqa-clad Baloch woman suicide bomber ripped through a shuttle passenger van of the Confucius Institute at the prestigious University of Karachi on Tuesday, leaving three Chinese teachers dead and one injured and causing several Pakistani casualties, in the latest targeted attack against Chinese citizens in Pakistan’s financial capital.
During a conversation with senior journalists during an Iftar dinner at Prime Minister House on Tuesday, Sharif expressed his concerns over the suicide attack on the Chinese nationals in Karachi, the Dawn News reported on Wednesday. Sharif said soon after his visit to Saudi Arabia, he would preside over a meeting to devise a strategy to provide security to the Chinese as well as other foreign nationals in the country.
The prime minister is leaving for Saudi Arabia on his maiden official overseas trip to Saudi Arabia on Thursday where he is scheduled to hold talks with the Saudi leadership. On the sidelines of the visit, Shehbaz would also visit Mecca to perform Umrah pilgrimage. Sharif said he has directed interior minister Rana Sanaullah to visit Karachi on Wednesday.
The banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) linked Majeed Brigade has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack that took place near China-built Confucius Institute — a non-profit institute teaching Chinese language to local pupils — in Karachi University. CCTV footage of the attack showed a burqa-clad woman standing outside the entrance of the Confucius Institute. The woman detonated herself just as the van neared the institute’s entrance.
The bomber must have been carrying five to 10 kg of explosives, a Bomb Disposal Squad official, investigating on the spot, was quoted as saying in another Dawn report. Meanwhile, there were sad and depressing scenes at the Confucius Institute, named after the Chinese philosopher who taught virtue, kindness and peace.
The charred van stood where it was halted in its tracks at the entrance of the institute due to the blast. Its front grille mostly disintegrated with a portion of it lying behind the vehicle. The driver’s door was ajar and broken. Only the metal frames of the seats were left, the foam, the covers all gone. Pieces of window glass lay scattered all around though the front and back windscreens also lay on the road, one at the back of the van and another near the smouldering motorcycle of the Rangers officer, who was riding behind the van for security purposes, the report said.
The windscreen glass was not shattered, but burnt black and stuck to the road like a shiny layer of coal tar. The nearby K-Electric substation doors also flew open in the blast.
Meanwhile, China on Wednesday asked Pakistan to scale-up security for its nationals working in the country and demanded a thorough investigation and punishment to the perpetrators behind the suicide attack.