- Pakistani security forces claimed to have arrested mastermind behind the Karachi university blast
- The suspect is a commander of separatist organisations Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA)
- The court remanded the suspect in police custody till July 16
Pakistani security agencies on Tuesday claimed to have arrested the mastermind of the Karachi University suicide attack in which a burqa-clad Baloch woman bomber killed three Chinese nationals and their local driver in April. The suspect, who was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) with technical assistance from other law enforcement agencies on Monday, was produced before an anti-terrorism court on Tuesday, Geo TV reported.
The CTD informed the court that the suspect is a commander of separatist organisations Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Balochistan Liberation Federation-Karachi (BLF) and the mastermind of the attack on Chinese teachers outside KU's Confucius Institute on April 26, according to the channel. The suspect was also involved in facilitating attacks on other Chinese citizens in Karachi, it said. Later, the court remanded the suspect in police custody till July 16.
Sharing details, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that suspect Dad Bakhsh alias Shoaib was arrested from Mauripur Road, Hawkesbay, the Dawn newspaper reported. The Karachi University (KU) suicide bombing was a joint plan by the banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF), in which a "neighbouring country" had played a role, the minister claimed, without naming the country.
Memon said that the suspect, who he termed a terrorist, had revealed that the KU attack was the joint work of the BLF and the BLA. The banned BLA-linked Majeed Brigade had claimed responsibility for the attack on the Chinese teachers that took place near China-built Confucius Institute - a non-profit institute teaching the Chinese language to local pupils - in the KU. A spokesperson of the BLA, the separatist outfit which is banned in Pakistan, the UK and the US, said that the attack was carried out by Shari Baloch alias Bramsh - the "first female suicide bomber of the brigade". The attack marks "a new chapter in the history of Baloch resistance," he had said.
After that, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) collected CCTV footage, and conducted geo-fencing and DNA sampling which led to the arrest of the BLF commander in Karachi, the minister said. "During the investigation process, the suspect made important revelations," he said, adding that the suspect also said that he had been conducting recce of different BLA targets on the orders of his organisation's commander, Khalil Baloch alias Musa.
He went on to say that the suspect met with the husband of the female suicide bomber, Dr Haibastan Bashir, and another "important terrorist" named "Zeb" in Karachi, and helped to carry out the KU attack.
Memon claimed that the suspect had revealed that Zeb was the KU attack mastermind, who entered Pakistan from a "neighbouring country" and had been staying in Karachi with Baloch and her husband. He said that while being interrogated, the suspect confessed to conducting reconnaissance in Gulbai along with his accomplice as well as firing at the vehicle of two Chinese engineers in July 2021 which left one injured. Responding to a question, Memon said that the terrorists involved in the attack had foreign assistance but it would not be apt to name at country involved at this stage as the investigation was still ongoing.
"But whichever country is involved, our work is to trace and give strict punishment to those involved and give the message that nobody can cast a dirty eye on Pakistan," he said. Memon said that the country in question would be conveyed a message on a government level - in line with diplomatic norms - that their land was being used for terrorist activities. "I don't think it is appropriate to name any country," he said.