All 4 terrorists killed in attempt to storm Pakistan Stock Exchange compound in Karachi: Rangers

KARACHI: A police sub inspector and three security guards were killed as law enforcement and security agencies successfully thwarted a brazen attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday by at least four heavily armed militants.

According to Geo News, the four militants had arrived in a sedan and attempted to storm the PSX compound from its parking side while  indiscriminately firing and lobbing grenades.

An Additional IG of Police confirmed that the four were killed and the attack had been “successfully thwarted”, while a spokesperson for the Sindh Rangers added that a clearance operation was launched after the active threat was neutralised.

Meanwhile, DIG South Sharjeel Kharal informed that the attackers had come heavily equipped with modern weaponry and had entered the building from the parking area of the PSX, a fact which was corroborated by an eyewitness.

DIG Kharal said a bomb disposal squad has been called to search and clear the area. He added that the police have taken the car in which the accused arrived at the stock exchange in their custody.

SP City Muqadas said seven people wounded in the attack had been shifted to Civil Hospital Karachi. He added, apart from those martyred, a policeman injured in the incident was being treated at the hospital.

Director Pakistan Stock Exchange and an eyewitness to the attack, Abid Ali Habib, said that the militants had stormed the Railway Ground parking area and fired outside the ground of the PSX. Habib said that the firing by militants had caused panic among the people in the building.

‘Terrorists had planned a long fight’

In charge of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Raja Umar Khatab said that the terrorists had planned for a long fight as a part of their mission.

According to Khatab, they did not find any suicide jackets on the terrorists and their mission was not to return alive during the attack. He added that the items seized from terrorist’s had water and edibles on them.

PSX to issue detailed report

The Pakistan Stock exchange has also confirmed that the firing has stopped and the reinforcementare in place.

“There was an attack on the PSX compound earlier today. The situation is still unfolding and management, with the help of security forces, is managing the security and controlling the situation,” said the PSX in a tweet.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=Web%20%20Desk&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1277482830088544256&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenews.com.pk%2Flatest%2F679530-policeman-injured-in-grenade-attack-outside-pakistan-stock-exchange&siteScreenName=thenews_intl&theme=light&widgetsVersion=b930ccc%3A1593122803960&width=550px

The PSX shared that they will issue a more detailed statement once the “details are known”.

“For now firing has stopped and reinforcement are in place,” said the PSX.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of PSX Farrukh Khan told Geo News that the incident was “very unfortunate” but thankfully the PSX’s security arrangements and planning done by them was “effective” in thwarting the attack.

Khan said that the PSX’s guards were successful in stopping the attackers from entering the building till police and rangers responded to the incident.

The MD PSX also shared that the staff at the building was less than normal due to the coronavirus pandemic as many people were working remotely.

“I cannot give an exact figure [on how many people were in the building] but the Stock exchange compound has two main areas. One is the PSX building and has its staff due to COVID-19 were working remotely as far as possible. Staff was there but it was less than normal,” said the MD. He added that on normal days 6,000 to 8,000 people entered the compound but it was very less these days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Khan repeated that even despite the pandemic there were a lot of people inside the compound, adding that if the terrorists were not held back at the gate then the situation could have turned worse.

The MD also shared that one of the attackers came inside the compound for some steps but he was neutralised before he could come further by the PSX’s security team and security personnel.

Khan also shared that trading was not affected by the attack and continued even during the attack and was still underway. He also clarified that the PSX had not received any kind of threat about an imminent attack.

PM Imran condemns incident, CM Shah seeks detailed report

Prime Minister Imran Khan has also condemned the attack at the Pakistan Stock Exchange and lauded the security agencies for bravely fighting the attackers and successfully thwarting their attack.

The PM also shared his condolences with the deceased and prayed for the successful recovery for the injured.

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah has condemned the incident and asked for a detailed report of the incident.

Shah said that enemies of the country want to take advantage of the situation created by the pandemic and directed all law enforcement agencies to be more vigilant. The CM also lauded the police and rangers for the quick action.

On the other hand, Governer Sindh Imran Ismail, while the attack was ongoing, had tweeted that he had instructed the Inspector General of police and security agencies to catch the militants alive.

“We shall protect Sindh at all costs,” the governor had tweeted while condemning the attack.

Front desks at Rawalpindi Police posts will resolve public complains.

First time in Punjab, Rawalpindi Police pioneers by providing front desk facilities in 25 police posts, a fully integrated and online system that will resolve the issues of delay in legal action, unfair or bad behavior and illegal detention, arrested accused would only be detained in the lockups at Police stations, says CPO Muhammad Ahsan Younas. According to the details, Inspector General of Police Punjab, Shoaib Dastgir recently inaugurated newly established front desks at 25 police posts in Rawalpindi, IG Punjab said that front desks at Police posts will resolve public complaints and will provide better service to the citizens. Police posts where front desks have been established, include police posts Hameeda, Shah Faisal, Gulraiz, Gulzar e Quaid, Scheme III, City Taxila, Taxila Cantt, Police posts No. 03 & 04, Girja, Adyala, Ranial, Chakbeli Khan, Chakri, Industrial Area Rawat, Dhoke Amb, Daultala, Sukho, Chowk Pindori, Krore, Lehtrar, Sunny Bank, Tarait and police post No. 04 Ratta Amral. All these police posts have been equipped with latest computers, printer, scanner and facility of UPS to ensure prompt service delivery to the citizens. CCTV cameras have also been installed at the police posts for 24/7 monitoring. These posts will be able to issue Etag on all the complaints received which will not only curtail the complaint of delay in legal process but will also enable senior officers to monitor any complaint and to take follow up.

Installation of CCTV cameras will check the complaints of bad or unfair behavior and illegal detention at Police posts. These CCTV cameras will also be monitored 24/7. City Police Officer Deputy Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Ahsan Younas said that establishment of front desks at Police posts equipped with latest equipment will bring change in the culture of police working at Police posts, it will make the system transparent and will also curtail complaints regarding delay in service, behavior of police officials as well as illegal detention. He said that directions have already been conveyed to the police stations that arrested persons would only be detained in the lockups of police stations. CPO added that the motive behind the initiative of providing front desk facilities at Police posts is an endeavor to address public complaints promptly, ensure better service delivery and to check the issues of delayed legal action, bad behavior and illegal detention.

Cabinet’s proposed restructuring of CDA needs legal cover, interior ministry tells IHC

The Islamabad High Court heard a petition against the decision of the Cabinet to reorganize the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in which a written reply from the parties could not be submitted to the court.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani of the Islamabad High Court heard the case.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani in his remarks said that a brief decision on the reconstitution of CDA would be issued today.

Additional Secretary Home, Additional Secretary Cabinet, Member Admin CDA appeared in the court.

Kashif Ali Malik Advocate appeared in the court on behalf of CDA Labor Union.

The federal government, CDA and MCI could not submit a written reply to the court during today’s hearing, on which the apex court gave the parties more time to file their reply.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani asked what the federal government wants to do with the proposed plan.

The Additional Home Secretary informed him that the proposed plan is still only an advisory, the plan will be formulated and sent to the federal cabinet and then the cabinet will decide.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani inquired whether any department was going to a ministry or whether it was a plan now.

The Additional Secretary Home Affairs said that no such decision has been taken so far with regard to CDA.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani said that without amending the law, CDA departments could not be run under any ministry.

Ge said, it seems that the cabinet is not satisfied with the recent performance of CDA.

The CDA member admin told the court that no work has been done on this letter so far and we have not received it yet.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani said that this is just a dream, while the petition was filed very quickly.

Islamabad High Court adjourned the case till July 17.

Former JI emir Syed Munawar Hasan passes away in Karachi

Former Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) emir Syed Munawar Hasan passed away on Friday at a hospital in Karachi where he was under treatment for the past few days.

Hasan was born in Delhi in August 1941, a fortnight before Abul A’ala Maududi launched the JI. In the late 1950s, after aligning himself with the National Students Federation, he crossed over to Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba.

Elected emir in 2009 with around 70pc votes for the first term, Munawar Hasan started losing his popularity within the party after JI’s poor showing in the 2013 general elections. He served as the fourth JI chief from 2009 to 2014.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif offered his condolences to the deceased’s family and to party workers.

“His services to Pakistan and commitment to Islam were unwavering. May Allah rest his soul in peace!”

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari prayed for the deceased’s family and offered his condolences.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also offered his condolences. “I spent a lot of time with Syed Munawar Hasan. He was a man with a happy disposition. He made valuable contributions to politics,” he said.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that Hasan was a strong voice for Muslims all across the world

Afghan envoy meets army chief, PPP chairman

ISLAMABAD: With progress on the much-anticipated intra-Afghan talks again being impeded by familiar challenges, Afghanistan’s envoy to Pakistan Atif Mashal on Thursday reached out to Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa for a discussion on the peace process.

“Today I met with Pakistan COAS Gen Qamar Bajwa and discussed follow up of matters arising from his recent Kabul visit, Afghan peace process, upcoming APAPPS meeting, strengthening bilateral relations and the current situation in the region,” Mr Mashal tweeted after the meeting.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1276096858008551424&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dawn.com%2Fnews%2F1565226&siteScreenName=dawn_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=3f79a62%3A1592980045844&width=550px

Gen Bajwa had on June 9 visited Kabul for assuring the Afghan leadership about Pakistan’s support for the Afghan peace process. His visit had taken place in the midst of progress towards the initiation of the intra-Afghan dialogue, which had raised hopes about the prospects of ending the 19-year-long conflict in Afghanistan.

However, lately the exchange of prisoners between Afghan government and the Taliban has once again slowed down. Kabul is still to release another about 1,250 of the agreed 5,000 insurgent fighters, while Taliban is to set free about 400 of the 1,000 captured Afghan security personnel.

Prisoner swap between the two sides has been taking place under the Doha agreement that was signed by the US and the insurgent group in February and is a prerequisite for the start of intra-Afghan talks.

Prisoner exchange between Afghan government and the Taliban has slowed down again

The release of prisoners is a major issue that has been delaying the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, which were originally scheduled for March 10. Pakistan had facilitated the signing of the agreement.

Meanwhile, there has also been a sharp spike in violence in Afghanistan.

Chief of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah has warned that increased violence would damage the peace process.

“Where does it get us? If the current level of violence continues… and then the people leave Kabul [for Doha] in order to start talks [with the Taliban], but with the news of hundreds of people being killed recently, including civilians, that will not be a good environment for the start of negotiations,” Abdullah was quoted by VOA as having said.

The Afghan envoy later met Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at his residence in Islamabad, according to a statement by the political party.

The two, the PPP said, “discussed matters of mutual interests and exchanged thoughts on strengthening bilateral relationship between both countries”.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that the PPP always believed that a democratic, stable and peaceful Afghanistan was vital for peace and harmony in the region.

He called for greater cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan for peace, development and stability.