Pakistan PM Imran Khan blames India for stock exchange attack in Karachi


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has told the country’s Parliament he is certain that India was behind an attack on the stock exchange building in the southern city of Karachi.

Four gunmen armed with grenades and automatic rifles attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Monday, killing two guards and a police officer before security forces killed the attackers.

There were no reports of any wounded among the brokers and employees inside the exchange

“There is no doubt that India is behind the attack,” Khan said on Tuesday in his address to parliament — a charge that India had denied a day earlier.

Mr Khan offered no evidence for his allegation, but he said there had been intelligence reports warning of attacks in Pakistan and he had informed his cabinet about the threat.

Men with guns in uniforms stand in front of a stick exchange board.
Separatists have claimed responsibility for an attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi, Pakistan.(AP: Fareed Khan)

Attack the latest from insurgency group

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a separatist insurgent group from the south-western province of Balochistan, claimed responsibility for the attack in a message on Twitter.

The group has been waging an insurgency for years, demanding independence for Pakistan’s gas-rich south-western Baluchistan province.

The group also circulated to the media a photograph of four men in full body armour and camouflage outfits, saying they were the militants who attacked the stock exchange.

Men carrying automatic rifles and wearing bulletproof vests and helmets stand outside a walled complex.
Security forces stand guard outside the complex after the operation ended.(AP: Fareed Khan)

Mr Khan said Pakistan’s intelligence agencies had successfully pre-empted at least four major attacks in the country, two of which targeted Islamabad — but he said it was not possible to stop all such attacks.

The gunmen carried a heavy supply of arms and equipment and security officials believe they planned to storm the stock exchange building and take hostages.

Food supplies were also found on the bodies of the gunmen, indicating they may have planned a long siege.

Mr Khan termed their failure and the rapid response by security forces, as a “big victory”.

Separatists have been fighting for years in Balochistan, complaining its mineral wealth is unfairly exploited by Pakistan’s richer, more powerful provinces.

Pakistan has regularly blamed India for supporting Baloch separatists — a charge Delhi denies.

The BLA also took responsibility for an attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi in 2018.

Several projects linked to China’s Belt and Road initiative are in Balochistan.


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