India Monday has slammed Pakistan for claiming links between New Delhi and Monday’s terrorist attack on the Karachi stock exchange.
The gunmen attacked the PSX building with grenades and guns, media reported. The building is in a high-security zone and also houses the head offices of many private banks.
“India rejects the absurd comments of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan on the terrorist attack in Karachi,” said India’s Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.
India-backed BLA claims responsibility for attack
“Pakistan cannot shift the blame on India for its domestic problems. Unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Karachi,” said Anurag Srivastava, a ministry spokesperson.
At least eight people were killed — including four attackers — when an attack by gunmen on the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in the southern port city of Karachi was foiled on Monday.
In a statement, outlawed Baloch militant group the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest in a series targeting security forces and government installations.
Read more: Karachi stock exchange attacked, BLA accepts responsibility
The Baloch Liberation Army armed group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement released while the security operation to clear the building was ongoing.
“Majeed brigade of Baloch Liberation Army today has carried out a self-sacrificing attack on Karachi stock exchange,” read the statement, emailed to Al Jazeera.
The southwest province of Balochistan – Pakistan’s largest – has seen a decades-long rebellion by the Baloch ethnic minority for independence.
The attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) building on Monday has been claimed by India-linked Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).
Attack on the Chinese consulate in 2018 was also claimed by BLA. #PSX #Karachi#Karachistockexchangehttps://t.co/dfPbs9iDQF
— Business Recorder (@brecordernews) June 29, 2020
The Balochistan Liberation Army had claimed responsibility for a similar attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi in November 2018 which killed seven people.
India has been blamed for Pakistan Stock Exchange attack
Pakistan accused India of involvement in the terror attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange compound.
A statement issued by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said “the externally-supported cowardly attack is another manifestation of the state-sponsored terrorism being perpetrated against Pakistan, which is highly condemnable. ”
“The international community must take immediate cognizance of India’s use of state-terrorism to destabilize neighbouring countries,” said Aisha-Farooqui, a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry.
Farooqui said that her country already shared with the international community incriminating evidence about the Indian Intelligence Agency RAW’s involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Read more: Indian quadcopter downed by Pakistan army
She rejected the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ comments on Karachi attack and said: “These comments represent nothing but obfuscation and denial. India’s sophistry, however, cannot hide India’s complicity in acts of terrorism against Pakistan.”
Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi alleged that the attack has links with sleeper cells activated by India.
Strongly condemn attempted terrorist attack on #PakistanStockExchange, thwarted by valiant security personnel, 4 of whom sacrificed their lives protecting Pakistan. We have repeatedly warned about externally supported terrorism. PSX is safe & open for business. 🇵🇰 Zindabad pic.twitter.com/162tKqJC2h
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) June 29, 2020
“Pakistan is opening the Kartarpur Corridor [with India] while India does not seem to stomach peace in Pakistan,” said Qureshi in a statement.
He added, referring to recent border tensions with China: “India is being exposed before the world, like it was exposed on the issue of Ladakh with China.”
Earlier Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said in a series of tweets that the attack was sponsored by a state that has enmity with Islamabad.
Details of the Pakistan Stock Exchange attack
Abid Habib, a director at the PSX, told Al Jazeera by telephone that he and 20 other employees took shelter in their offices while security forces swept through the building to locate any additional threats.
“We are all terrified,” Habib said. “There was gunfire, and suddenly everyone was rushing to the windows to see what was happening. Because the firing was close by, everyone was very worried, and we closed our outside doors.”
The PSX normally houses more than 2,000 employees of both the exchange and associated trading companies, but was operating with reduced staff due to the coronavirus pandemic, PSX official Sulaiman Mehdi told reporters outside the building.
Images from the building showed trails of blood splattered across a staircase and an adjacent corridor inside the building.
Senior police official Sharjeel Kharal told reporters the attackers were killed before entering the building.
“We have cleared the building and handed it over to the local police,” he said. “Nothing happened in the main hall.”
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk
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