- Incident occurred near Confucius Institute inside University of Karachi.
- In Charge of CTD Raja Umar Khattab confirms it was a suicide attack.
- Four people, including a Chinese national, sustained injuries.
KARACHI: Four people, including three Chinese nationals, were killed while four others sustained injuries in a car explosion on the premises of the University of Karachi.
According to the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), it was a suicide blast and was carried out by a burqa-clad woman.
The explosion occurred at 1:52pm in a van near the Confucius Institute — a Chinese language teaching centre at Karachi University. Following the blast, rescue and security agencies rushed to the location and cordoned off the areas, initiating rescue operations.
The deceased Chinese nationals have been identified as the director of the Confucius Institute Huang Guiping, Ding Mupeng, Chen Sai, and their Pakistani driver, Khalid.
Police sources said the van entered the premises through the Maskan gate of the university, they said.
Of the four people who sustained injuries, two have been identified as Chinese national Wang Yuqing and a security guard named Hamid. All of them are currently hospitalised and are receiving treatment.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the deceased have been shifted to Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital for an autopsy.
The explosion was initially reported to have been caused by a gas cylinder. However, the police later said that the blast could have been a suicide attack. Sources further added that the victims were returning to the Confucius Institute from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA).
‘It was a suicide attack’
In Charge of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Raja Umar Khattab confirmed that it was a suicide attack and a burqa-clad woman seen in the CCTV footage was responsible for it.
“A separatist group has also claimed responsibility for the attack,” Khattab said, adding that the terrorists, after surveillance, targeted the vehicle carrying the foreigners.
He added that Rangers personnel were escorting the vehicle on their motorbikes when the explosion occurred.
“The explosive material used in the blast does not seem to be local-made,” Khattab said, adding that the explosive material consisted of steel ball-bearings and was contained in a schoolbag.
Meanwhile, a police report said that about three to four kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast.
Earlier, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) East Muqaddas Haider, while speaking to Geo News, had said that it is the bomb disposal squad’s responsibility to determine the nature of the blast, adding that the process of identification was underway.
‘Adequate security arrangments’
Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon said the bomb disposal unit was determining the nature of the blast and would soon release the report.
“…four people who have been injured are being treated at different hospitals, while the bodies of the deceased have been shifted to Chippa mortuary,” Memon told journalists.
The police official lamented that the people who were killed in the blast were teachers — three foreigners and one Pakistani. He added that it was too early to say who was behind the blast.
The metropolis police chief said “security arrangements were adequate” in the varsity, and in case of a lapse, it will be reviewed and worked upon.
CM Sindh takes notice; meets Chinese consul general
Taking notice of the incident, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah directed the deputy commissioner (DC) East and Superintendent of Police (SP) east to reach the spot of the blast immediately.
The Sindh CM issued directives to shift the injured to the Dow University Hospital, situated near the University of Karachi. He directed officials to ensure the provision of all facilities to prevent any casualties.
The chief minister has also asked the Karachi commissioner for a detailed report of the blast.
CM Shah also reached the Chinese Consulate and briefed the consul general on the explosion at the University of Karachi.
He expressed deep sorrow and grief over the demise of three Chinese nationals in the explosion and assured the consul general of a thorough probe into the blast.
Shah vowed that the suspects involved in the blast will be brought to justice. “Some conspirative elements do not like the Pakistan-China partnership,” he said, adding that the elements will be dealt with an iron hand.
The chief minister said that the government assigns great value to the services of Chinese expatriates in the country and the province.
The Chinese Li Bijian thanked the chief minister for his visit and said he was in contact with the families of three Chinese nationals killed in the blast. “Whatever decision is taken in respect of shifting the dead bodies back to China would be informed to the Sindh government,” Li Bijian said.
Condemnations pour in
Strongly condemning the explosion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives.
“I am deeply grieved on the loss of precious lives including of our Chinese friends in the heinous attack in Karachi today. My heartfelt condolences go to the bereaved families. I strongly condemn this cowardly act of terrorism. The perpetrators will surely be brought to justice,” he tweeted.
PM Shehbaz also made a telephone call to Sindh CM and assured him of full cooperation in the blast-related investigations. The prime minister directed the chief minister to ensure the best medical facilities for the injured.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf and Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram have also condemned the blast.
Condemning the blast, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed his sorrow over the incident and sent heartfelt condolences to the people of China on behalf of Pakistan.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan also condemned the blast and said demanded a thorough investigation into the matter. He also sent his condolences to the bereaved family members of the deceased. The former premier demanded the Sindh government provide adequate facilities to the injured.
Foreign Office spokesperson also expressed strong disapproval of the attack and said that the government and people of Pakistan extend their deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of victims who lost their lives in the incident.
“The law enforcement agencies are investigating the incident to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice. Local authorities are also providing all possible assistance to the injured,” the FO said in a statement.
“The cowardly incident is a direct attack on the Pakistan-China friendship and ongoing cooperation. Pakistan and China are close friends and iron brothers. Pakistan attaches great importance to the safety and security of Chinese nationals, projects, and institutions in Pakistan.”
“Extremely sorry for the loss of precious lives in today’s attack on Chinese Nationals in Karachi. Testing times as Enemies of #Pakistan are targeting our Forces & Friends from Borders to Khi, We must continue to work for a peaceful & prosperous Pakistan in order to defeat them,” wrote Maritime Minister Faisal Subzwari.
Karachi University had expressed security concerns beforehand
According to sources, the University of Karachi had sent a letter to the Confucius Institute and had expressed concerns related to the security of the foreign teachers.
In the letter, which was sent to the institute 26 days ago, the university had written that the foreign teachers were often seen travelling outside of the university premises without accompanying security personnel.
“In case of any mishaps, the university security will not be responsible,” the letter said.
University suspends classes
Following the incident, the University of Karachi, in a notification, announced the suspension of classes on Wednesday, April 27.
Three education board chairmen, several officers sacked in Sindh
KARACHI: Sindh caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqir Thursday approved the removal of three chairmen of education boards and ordered the sacking of several officers, Geo News reported, citing notifications from the CM House.
The interim chief executive removed the chairpersons of the Board of Intermediate Karachi, Sindh Technical Board, and Larkana boards. He also ordered the sacking of secretaries and controller examinations of BIEK, Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, and Larkana boards.
Moreover, Larkana, Sukkur, Nawabshah, and Board of Secondary Education Karachi’s audit officers were also removed from their posts.
The Sindh government has also sought permission from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint new personnel to the now-vacant positions — as interim rulers need the body’s approval for hiring people.
In the letter addressed to the commission, the government has also said that in several education boards across the province, top posts are being operated on “stop-gap” arrangements and in order for these departments to function better, permanent appointments need to be made.
According to the notifications available with Geo News, Justice (retd) Baqir has removed BIEK Chairman Dr Prof Naseem Memon and appointed him as the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education Larkana’s (BISEL) chairman — where he will serve till June 30, 2024.
Zaheeruddin Bhutto, interim controller of examination of BIEK, was removed from his post effective immediately, while BIEK Secretary Kashif Siddiqui was also sacked — and he will return to his previous position.
Zahid Lakho, the audit officer of BIEK, was also stripped of his additional charge of the board’s secretary.
BISEL Chairman Sikandar Ali Miraj has also been removed with immediate effect, and he will be returning to his original post of Inspector of Instruction.
BISEL Controller Examination Nadeem Soomro has been removed from his position and directed to report to the Human Settlement and Social Housing Department.
On the instructions of the caretaker CM, Syed Aqash Shah was relieved of the charge of BISEL’s acting secretary.
Hyderabad board’s secretary Shaukat Khanzada was also removed from his post and directed to report to the college education department. Zahiruddin Sheikh, the audit officer of the Hyderabad board, has been sacked and asked to report to the board’s head office.
Ghulam Mustafa was removed from the post of BISEL’s audit officer and directed to report to the post of deputy controller.
Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Sukkur (BISES) Secretary Mohammad Salman has been removed and asked to report to the deputy secretary’s office. BISES Controller Examination Dr Abdul Fateh Mehr has been removed and asked to report to the secretary’s office.
The caretaker chief minister has also removed Ghulam Qadir Dharijo, the audit officer of BISES, and directed him to report to the chairman’s office.
Punjab to shut down school, colleges in Punjab’s smog-hit areas on Friday, Saturday
- Lahore, Gujranwala among cities hit by smog.
- Markets and restaurants to open for work at 3pm on Fri and Sat.
- Govt offices to remain open on Fri; will start work at 3pm on Sat.
LAHORE: All schools, colleges and universities will remain closed on Friday and Saturday, as Punjab on Thursday notified measures to curb smog across the province as it impacts the daily life of citizens.
Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi, who chaired a high-level meeting of the Punjab Cabinet Anti-Smog Committee today, announced the provincial government’s decision during a presser in Lahore.
The smog-hit cities include Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Kasur, Sheikupura, Hafizabad, Narowal, Nankana Sahib and Sialkot.
Markets and restaurants, he added, will open for work at 3pm on Friday and Saturday, while all kinds of businesses will have to be closed on Sunday.
“Markets can remain open till night. We don’t want anyone to suffer loss, but they will have to adjust according to the situation.”
CM Punjab said offices will remain operational on Friday but will open for work at 3pm on Saturday. These measures, the chief minister added, are being taken as Air Quality Index (AQI) levels are higher in the morning and decrease with time.
The government will also install towers to clear smog in Lahore for which, CM Punjab said, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed.
He added that the government will also provide electric bikes to 10,000 students on subsidy to curb the use of regular motorcycles which cause air pollution for which a committee has been formed to finalise suggestions. Meanwhile, government employees will also be provided e-bikes on lease.
CM Punjab said the government is considering measures for artificial rain if clouds approach Lahore on November 29.
However, that will only happen if a “specific kind of cloud” moves towards the city. The government has also decided to double the amount of water being sprinkled on the streets.
The chief minister said the main Mall Road on Sunday will only be open for bicycle users from morning till 5pm. Some of the measures, CM Naqvi said, have been taken symbolically, some are long-term, while others have been taken to break the peak of pollution in the city and province.
He also urged people to wear masks to protect their health.
Govt set to remove Islamabad IG, DC on ECP orders
- Govt says there’ll be no delay in expediting matter.
- ECP directed govt to remove IG, DC from posts.
- Khan was appointed as IG Islamabad by PDM govt.
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to remove Islamabad Inspector General Police (IGP) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan and Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon from their posts following orders from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), The News reported on Wednesday.
The government also maintained that there would be no further delay in the matter. Dr Khan is a grade 20 officer, while Memon is serving at grade 19 in the Pakistan Administrative Service.
The government had earlier not promptly implemented the orders, despite the ECP’s directive on October 26, conveyed to the Secretary Establishment Division, urging the removal of both officials.
In a letter sent by the Election Commission to the Establishment Division, it was directed to remove the IG and the deputy commissioner from their posts, but the instructions were not implemented by the federal government.
But now there has been progress in this regard and the Ministry of Interior has written a letter to the Establishment Division to change them.
Dr Akbar Nasir Khan was appointed as the police chief of the capital city by the Shehbaz Sharif government on May 21, 2022. He was serving in the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) then.
In October last year, the IG Islamabad was embroiled in a graft issue after the Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab registered a case against him.
ACE Punjab summoned him multiple times, seeking a reply on corruption charges, accusing him of tampering with documents to award contracts and causing Rs30.5 million loss to the government. However, the IG Islamabad did not respond to the notices.
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