Police admit failure in tracing perpetrators of Stock Exchange Attack

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Karachi Police informed the anti-terrorism court on Tuesday that they are still nowhere closer to tracing the perpetrators and facilitators of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) attack, despite a lapse of two months. The police said that they are still working on identifying and tracking down the orchestrators of the attack.

The Pakistan Stock Exchange Attack occurred on June 30, 2020. A group of four armed fighters of Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a pro-independence armed group struggling for independence from Pakistan, stormed the PSX. The security guards tried to stop them and an armed encounter broke out. Police sub-inspector and three security guards died and seven others were wounded. All four of the attackers were killed.

BLA later released a statement, claiming responsibility for the attack. The statement said that the fighters belong to Majeed Brigade, a group of highly-trained self-sacrificing attackers. BLA said that the attacked aimed mutilating the Pak-China economic ties and delivering a serious blow to Pakistan’s already fragile economy. Pakistani currency fell by several points that day but rebounded hours later.

The Police recovered heavy ordnance and eatables from the attackers – guns, ammunition, grenades, water bottle and dates. The security officials said that the attackers aimed not only to kill but to lay siege to the building and hold hostages.

Despite BLA’s confession, the authorities kept investigating the attack. According to the details, they identified Salman, Tasleem Baloch and Siraj Ahmed through their fingerprints, but the fourth attacker is yet to be determined. The authorities initially accused Bashir Zeb Baloch of Baloch Liberation Army as the mastermind of the incident, but subsequent investigation failed to substantiate the claim.

Investigating Officer Inspector Chaudhry Arif Hussain of the Counter-Terrorism Department filed an ‘A-class’ report with the administrative judge of the Anti-Terrorism Court on Tuesday. A-class reports are filed for the cases where the perpetrators are unknown or untraceable. The IO said in the report that all efforts were made during the course of the investigation to track down the perpetrators of the PSX attack, but to no avail.

He said that the letters were sent to relevant departments for identification of the attackers. Blood samples were sent to the forensic department for DNA testing and their weapons were sent to the ballistic department for identification. Their phones were sent to the Federal Investigation Agency to check their social media and other accounts.

“But, most of the reports are still awaited”, he admitted in the report.

The IO said in the report that the offence had been proven against the attackers in the light of the circumstantial evidence. But because they were killed in the encounter with the security forces, the case could not proceed against them. The stipulated time of the investigation has lapsed. Therefore, the investigation report was being filed with the court under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

IO requested the judge to accept the report and added that legal action will be taken against the perpetrators and facilitators of the PSX attack if they are arrested in the future.


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