A powerful suicide bombing on Thursday evening on the Lyari Expressway killed Superintendent of Police-CID, Karachi, Chaudhry Aslam Khan who was among those leading the counter terrorism operations in the troubled city and two other policemen, one of them his gunman and the other, his driver. The blast which shook the nearby buildings and was heard for miles injured eleven persons including policemen.
Khan survived a suicide attack on his house in 2011 which claimed eight lives. He had told the media then that he was not going to be scared by such tactics and the terrorists had in fact “put their hand in a lion’s mouth”. That was one of several attempts on his life but his luck seemed to have run out this evening. The deafening explosion at Hassan Square on Lyari Expressway reportedly caused by suicide bombers who were waiting for the convoy, blew up the vehicle in which the police men were travelling back to their office. The vehicle was reduced to a tangled mass of metal. News reports said that Khan was not using his bomb proof vehicle today but police clarified that it was bullet proof.
Initial reports said that the police vehicle was rammed into by another car which had explosives, but this was not confirmed. Police are still investigating the blast which is suspected to be caused either by the car laden with powerful explosives or by suicide bombers.
A man who once vowed to wipe out the Taliban was shot at several times but escaped each time. “As long as I am alive every drop of my blood will be used to fight terrorists,” he said in a TV interview.
Hours before his death he had launched an operation which killed three Taliban militants in the Manghopir area which he spoke about in a press conference. The government had launched a targeted operation to flush out criminals and target killers in the city which reported 2700 deaths in the worst wave of violence in 2013 and over 40,000 cases of crime. Over nine thousand raids were conducted last year by the police and security agencies with over 13,000 arrests.
Karachi is caught in a vortex of crime, sectarian violence and terrorism which the government decided to tackle by giving carte blanche to the police. However, nearly 200 police and security personnel have lost their lives fighting the spiraling crime and terrorism.
News reports said the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan had claimed responsibility for the blast. News of the blast received widespread condemnation and political leaders and activists called for a rethink on the government’s proposal to have a dialogue with the Pakistan Taliban. It is also seen as a major setback to the fight against terrorists in the commercial capital. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned the blast which resulted in the death of Chaudhry Aslam, SP CID Karachi and other officials. He said that such attacks will not deter the morale of law enforcing agencies in the fight against terrorism