Diplomatic Security Sit-Rep 11/28/2019
In a daylight shoot-out in Karachi on Friday, Pakistani security forces thwarted an attack apparently aimed at the Chinese Consul General in the southern coastal city. Sind police official Amir Sheikh told The Media Line that three gunmen, two police officers and two civilians were killed during an hour-long gunfight, the police contingent led by a female officer.
According to Sheikh, the attackers first opened fire at a check point, then detonated hand grenades and set three vehicles on fire. The Chinese diplomats and other consular staff were safely evacuated to a safe house.
Deputy Inspector General Javeed Alam Odho of the Karachi police told The Media Line that one of the three dead attackers who wore a suicide vest was gunned down by a police sniper and the others died in the gun battle.
Peer Muhammed, Senior Superintendent of the Karachi police revealed to The Media Line that the responding police contingent was headed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Suhai Aziz Talput, a female officer who was the first official on the scene and “successfully managed to engage the terrorists” who, armed with automatic weapons, hand grenades and suicide vests, arrived in a vehicle and opened fire in the heavily-guarded area that has schools and upscale restaurants.
The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army tweeted responsibility for the deadly attack after which Twitter suspended its account.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned the attack and ordered a complete inquiry into the incident and has ordered that elements behind the incident must be exposed.
In his tweet, Imran Khan said that the failed attack against the Chinese Consulate was clearly the reaction to unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from his recent trip to China. He said the attack was intended to scare Chinese investors and undermine.
Sind Province Police officials reported recovering a significant amount of explosives, weapons, ammunition, dried fruits and medicines, which is being interpreted as indications that the attackers had planned to take hostages but apparently were unable to do so because of the speed of the police response which denied the gunmen access to the compound and continued to engage until elite army rangers arrived at the scene.
Assistant superintendent Aziz has been recommended to become the first woman police officer to receive the “Father of the Nation Police Medal.”
Speaking to The Media Line, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman and son of former prime minister Mrs. Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, praised Suhai Aziz in his tweet and said that “The reprehensible terrorist attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi was thwarted by the courageous fight put up by our Sindh police led by the courageous Suhai Aziz.
In an exclusive interview with The Media Line, Aziz said she rushed to the scene as soon as she heard about the attack. “I managed the manpower, I called for the armed personnel carrier, the fire brigade, ambulances; and I informed my senior officers. I then made the environment favorable to the assault teams.”
Aziz, who told TML she was drawn to the job in part “because of the adrenalin, and the satisfaction,” has been in this position before. In 2017, she defused a bomb discovered at Mehriman University in the city of Jamshoro.
She related that her family wanted her to become a chartered accountant but she felt the job to be very dull as it had no social value and decided to appear for the Central Superior Services examination and passed on her first try.
At the age of 25, Suhai Aziz Talpur became the first woman from the lower Sinds to join the police.