Islamabad, July 24 (IANS) Pakistan’s stability, growth and progressive development, coupled with its ongoing efforts to fight terrorism, with an aim to end all footprints seem to have become a never-ending struggle.
Many believe that Pakistan’s actions taken against the spread of terrorism and vowing to now allow its soil being used by any terror group for terror activities, may have come a little too late as the spread, magnitude and outreach of terror operations has spread across the country through sleeper cells, which are activated every now and then, bringing the country witness a terror attack that claims innocent lives or a grim threat that keeps security forces on their toes.
The most recent attack in the heart of the country’s economic hub Karachi targeted the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), in which four heavily armed terrorists tried to storm the building and were neutralized by the security forces, ending the attack with the loss of at least four security officials, raised serious questions over the presence of “sleeper cells” of terror groups, which are still actively operating in major cities with big plans of targeting major important and sensitive installations countrywide.
As the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed the attack, threats of more attacks are looming, prompting security forces to stay on red alert 24/7.
On Thursday, law enforcement personnel scaled up security measures and sealed different areas of Karachi, particularly those surrounding foreign diplomatic missions due to serious threats of a terror attack.
Police sources said that a security high alert has been issued for the city’s “Red Zone”, particularly where foreign consulates and residences of their staff are located.
“We have been witnessing more security specifically in Clifton Block-4 near Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s mausoleum where some consulates including that of China, upscale restaurants frequented by foreigners and a number of art galleries are located,” said a resident of the area.
“However, on Thursday, the situation appeared to be quite serious as a major part of Clifton Block 4 was sealed by erecting temporary barriers that prevented the movement of vehicles,” he added.
Witnesses said that the police were also searching vehicles and stopping people in the area for checks.
The security forces maintain that the drill was part of a routine security measures, opting to not spread unrest among the locals of a terror threat.
“Some routes have been blocked as part of some extra security measures. Nothing to worry,” said Deputy Inspector General South Javed Akbar Riaz.
“It is a routine alert against any imminent threat by LEAs,” Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shallwani said.
Karachi holds the key to the economic activities of Pakistan as it makes over 65 per cent of the country’s total earnings, making it the most sensitive centre of attraction for terror threats and attacks.
In November 2018, security forces foiled a terror attack, targeting the Chinese consulate in Karachi, leaving at least seven people dead.
Pakistan has been accusing India for trying to use terror groups like the BLA to destabilize economic growth of the country and targeting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Gwadar Port and Chinese missions in the country.