Defence

Pakistan stock exchange in Karachi attacked–ISI’s role suspected

On Monday afternoon the TV screens in Pakistan were abuzz with live telecast of a terrorist attack on Karachi stock exchange, which lasted just 8 minutes. It ended with Pakistani rangers taking credit for killing 4 separatists belonging to Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). But this attack has once again pointed the needle of suspicion on Pakistan’s spy agency, ISI’s chicanery, as the organization has been accused of indulging in similar operations within the country for myriads of reasons in the past.

From the ill-prepared terrorists who carried out the attack on Karachi stock exchange, to the unusually swift operation– there are many reasons which raise eyebrows, and reinforce it was a false flag attack. As Pakistan’s financial year comes to an end on 30th June, the economy and government are in urgent need of a reinvigoration factor– Karachi attack could just be that.

In the pic: One of the rangers taking aim after killing a separatist
In the pic: Four BLA separatists who carried out the attack

A false flag operation?

  1. 2 attacks 2 years apart, but very similar:

According to reports, Baloch Liberation Army’s suicide squad, Majeed brigade, which claimed to have attacked the stock exchange was, very well prepared. But for trained eyes, the attack sounded very similar to suicide attack which took place at Chinese consulate in November 2018. As more and more reports began to tumble, it was as clear as the blue sky that the script for both the operations had many uncanny similarities. The following is Reuter’s report from 2018:

Points to be noted:

  • Attackers were killed before entering the building in both the cases.
  • Separatists despite being heavily armed could cause no damage; neither could they take any hostage, nor could they achieve their targets. Both the missions failed spectacularly.
  • Within minutes after the attack India and Afghanistan were blamed, with Chinese and Pakistani authorities giving media bites in tandem. This comes from the same country which has struggled to find a shred of proof against well-known terrorists who carried out 26/11 attacks in India.
  • In 2018, the attack took place just a few days prior to the conclusion of one of the largest defence exhibitions—IDEAS 2018. On the occasion Pakistani President indulged in slandering India. While in 2020, the attack took place a few days after India-China border clash. Clearly India’s reputation was a target in both the cases.

2. The ill-planned attack

A building which was vulnerable from all sides, was attacked from it’s front gate, this is the worst planning blunder any one could have made. One look at the map of the stock exchange building would make one wonder– if BLA men wanted to alert the security men before entering the building. Logically, if the attack was to be carried out surreptitiously, then front entrance would have been the last option.

An even more intriguing fact is— that while the separatists had prepared well for a long stay at the stock exchange building with ample amount of food supply, they had not trained for the attack. Compare the 8 minute long attack in Karachi with the 18 hours long operations which Indian Army has to endure in Kashmir, against commando-trained terrorists. Clearly, separatists of Pakistan had no intention of either taking a hostage in the building or putting up a decent fight against forces before being taken down.

Ironically, the terrorists were found wearing masks but no bullet proof jackets to save themselves from violent deaths, and while they were carrying ammunition which could have helped them survive, they decided to not use it.

Possible intentions behind the attack

A terrorist organization under normal circumstances, carries out an attack with the intention to arm twist the state, hurt it economically, and dent the government’s reputation. This is the reason why they are called terrorists.

Going by the trend of stock exchange in Pakistan on 29th June, it has clearly recovered from the steady slump that has now lasted a few weeks.  

Pakistan’s economy has not been performing well is no secret anymore. Recently, Pakistan’s economist Dr Kasier during a webinar organised by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) had said—

“ All economic targets for the budget 2020-21 are fixed ambitiously as the government had miserably failed to achieve any major targets fixed during the current fiscal year [2019-20]. Pakistan’s overall debt burden is highly unsustainable. Its public debt to GDP ratio stands at 86.1%.”

Under such circumstances, the stock exchange being resurrected to life due to the attack, can be without a doubt considered a blessing.
The following report from May, merely reinforces the above argument.

Pic credit: Economic times

But stock exchange and it’s performance can not be the only motivation for such a high risk false flag operation, FATF’s recent nudge to Pakistan could also be factor. Since some time now FATF (Financial action task force) has grey listed Pakistan for supporting terrorist activities from it’s soil. Last Wednesday, FATF decided to let Pakistan continue in the list as it had only been able to meet 15 out of 27 from FATF’s action plan. A terrorist attack on Pakistan’s soil now, would work in favour of the government to gain sympathy of the international community and circumvent a stricter action against it for the misdeeds of past vis-a-vis terrorism.  Also, this would help it drag India into the quagmire and to hyphenate itself with India, as has been Pakistan’s habit.

Is Karachi attack the only false flag operation by ISI so far?

One of the most brutal carnages carried out by terrorists in recent past was the attack on APS Peshawar in 2014, when 132 school children and 10 staff were killed. In the worst form of treacherous act against it’s own populace, Pakistani agencies were accused of allowing the terrorist, Ehsanullah, who had carried out the attack, to first escape from the jail, and then misleading the populace  about his possible location. Ostensibly, the man still resides in Pakistan.  The following is a report from Gulfnews, which is one of the plethora of reports published on this issue.

Pakistan since it’s inception, has always struggled to maintain peace within the country. In last 7 decades so far only 1 democratically elected government has been allowed to complete it’s term by Pakistan Army. Coup d’état has been a norm here! So concluding that Pak Army’s spy agency has been involved in many nefarious activities within the country, will not be off-the-mark. Be it Karachi attack or APS Peshawar, avarice has been a motive for Pakistan’s state agencies to support an attack on it’s own soil.

In the pic: Prayer meet from Peshawar

An article by Levina

Copying the article or an excerpt without giving due credit to the website and author will be considered an infringement of copyright.

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