Breakthrough as ‘SRA militant’ held in Saddar dental clinic attack case – Pakistan

KARACHI: The Counter-Terrorism Department and an intelligence agency jointly carried out an action in the city and arrested the main suspect affiliated with a banned separatist outfit allegedly involved in the targeted killing of a person holding dual nationality and injuries to a Chinese-origin Pakistani doctor and his wife in a gun attack on his dental clinic in Saddar on Sept 28.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon told a press conference at the CTD office that the suspect was identified as Waqar Khushk, who belonged to the outlawed Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA).

He said he was arrested with the help of over 100 closed-circuit television camera footages and recovery of the motorbike used in the crime.

The minister said innocent foreigners were doing their business in Pakistan, but terrorists wanted to scare them away. “The terrorists wanted to frighten off foreign investors through terrorism,” he added.

Sharjeel says separatist group carried out attack to destabilise country

The minister said terrorists might achieve their ‘temporary’ targets, but they would be taken to task.

Speaking on the occasion, CTD DIG Asif Aijaz Shaikh said that the CTD acting on a tip-off provided by a sensitive institution conducted a targeted action and arrested the suspect.

The officer said a shadowy terrorist group, Sindh People’s Army, which had claimed responsibility through social media was a sub-organisation of the SRA.

In the clinic attack, doctor’s assistant Ronald Raymand, who had dual nationality of Pakistan and China, had been killed but the real target was Dr Richard and his wife, who were injured in the attack.

The CTD with help of secret institutions assistance assessed the footprints of the attackers and with help of CCTV footages arrested the suspect.

The suspect, Waqar, had been in contact with SRA militants Asghar Ali Shah, alias Sain, and Zulfiqar Khaskheli. The suspect had been given the task of attack on the clinic by Zulfiqar Khaskheli, the officer added.

‘Nexus of BLA, SRA’

The CTD DIG said that the held suspect had also taken part in protest for ‘missing persons’ in the city. And later on, he came in contact with SRA militant Asghar Shah.

The police officer believed that the BLA, SRA and other militant organisations were involved in terrorism in the country.

The information minister said that a few days ago two militants linked with banned Islamic State group were killed in an encounter with the CTD on the outskirts of the city.

The minister appreciated the efforts of CTD which had achieved several breakthroughs like arrests of the suspects involved in bomb blasts in Saddar and Kharadar and targeted killing of renowned Qawwal Amjad Sabri.

The minister said terrorists only target was Pakistan and certain anti-state elements were brainwashing and using innocent persons.

Mr Sharjeel said that the BLA, SRA or other outfits did not know their target.

“Important thing to note is that their motive is to spread terror and chaos in Pakistan,” said the minister.

Street crimes in city

Responding to a question, the minister said that Sindh police had controlled terrorism and expressed the hope that they would eliminate street crimes in the city as well.

For this purpose, he added that the provincial government was implementing a witness protection plan.

Mr Memon urged citizens to come forward and give evidence and promised that the Sindh government would provide protection to witnesses.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2022

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