The Counter-Terrorism Department has claimed that it has arrested one of the culprits of the Karachi University blat that killed three Chinese nationals. The family members of the detainee claim that he was “forcefully abducted” by the CTD and now he is being framed. CTD claims that the man had allegedly provided technical support for the suicide bomb attack in April.
A suicide attack targeting the Chinese teachers employed in the Confucius Institute at the Karachi University killed four, including three Chinese nationals. The attack was carried out by the Majeed Brigade, an elite unit of the Baloch Liberation Army specializing in self-sacrificing attacks. Sindh province information minister Sharjeel Memon told a news conference that the attack was the result of the combined efforts of the Balochistan Liberation Front and the Baloch Liberation Army. Since the attack, the security forces have been incessantly searching for the people related to Shari Baloch, the suicide attacker. The police have been tracking her husband for months but to no avail. The Sindh government also asked Chinese authorities to assist in the investigations.
On Tuesday, the CTD claimed of arresting one of the culprits in the KU blast. The CTD claims that the detainee, identified as Dad Baksh alias Shoaib, was arrested in west Karachi and confessed to being the commander of a sleeper cell of the BLF.
“He confessed to carrying out surveillance of Chinese nationals at Karachi University and important installations on the task given by Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and met and provided assistance to the female suicide bomber and her husband”, they said.
The family members of the detainee have denied these allegations and claimed that the security forces are framing Shoaib Baloch. They said that he was “forcefully abducted” from the Gulshan-i-Iqbal area of Karachi on April 29. However, the security forces claim that he was arrested from Hawke’s Bay area.
In a press conference, the Sindh province information minister said that the detainee was one of the four culprits involved in the Karachi University attack. He said that the other culprits of the attack have been identified and they too will be apprehended soon. The information minister said that the detainee has confessed to his alleged role in the attack. He had travelled from a neighbouring country to Pakistan, he said.
The Sister of detained Shoaib Baloch, Mahrang Azam, denied these allegations. Taking to Twitter, Mahrang said that the lives of Shoaib and his family members are in danger. She said that an official Twitter account of the Pakistani authorities had shared the picture of her brother before taking it down immediately. She said that her brother is being falsely accused and framed for the KU attack.
The Baloch National Movement also denied these allegations in a media statement and said that the Pakistani state has repeatedly tried to malign the characters of peaceful political workers and associated them with the violent struggle. The group said that the arrest and framing of Shoaib Baloch is an example of this practice.
It is pertinent to mention that Shoaib Baloch was allegedly picked up by the security forces from Karachi in April. He was identified as a missing person before the CTD claimed that he is among the culprits of the KU attack.
There were also reports that the Chinese authorities had pressured Pakistan to investigate the attack and fix responsibility on the culprits. Analysts argue that the Pakistani authorities hastily framed Shoaib Baloch as one of the culprits in order to placate Beijing.