A new Sindhi-separatist organization has claimed responsibility for the attack on a dental clinic in Karachi’s Saddar area that killed one Chinese-origin Pakistani and wounded two others.
Sindhudesh People’s Army (SPA) – a new Sindhi-separatist outfit – spokesperson Soreh Sindhi has released a statement and claimed that the attack on Chinese-origin Pakistanis was carried out by the militants associated with the group.
A Chinese-origin Pakistani, Ronald Raymond Chou, was gunned down while the proprietor of Hu Dental Clinic, Richard, and his wife, Phen Tayang, sustained bullet wounds when a lone attacker opened fire at them.
In a telephonic conversation with SAMAA Digital, Counter-Terrorism Department’s (CTD) Transnational Terrorists Intelligence Group (TTIG) Chief Raja Umar Khattab said that he believes there is a possibility that this new Sindhi separatist organization is behind the attack.
Explaining why he thinks that there’s a truth to the SPA’s claim, Khattab said the attackers choose a soft target.
“If you have reviewed the attacks carried out by the Sindhi separatists group, then you would know that they always choose soft targets,” TTIG In-charge explained.
For example, Khattab said, last year Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) carried out a series of attacks in which they choose soft targets.
“For instance, they targeted paramilitary troops on patrol or they hurled hand grenades at police stations,” he said.
CTD In-charge observed that Sindhi separatist groups lack the capability to carry out massive terror attacks and they usually strike soft targets to make their presence felt.
Old wine in a new bottle
Khattab, who has worked extensively on terrorist groups operating in Pakistan, said that the names of the organizations often changed. “There are multiple reasons behind changing the name of terror outfits, but one of the most important reasons is that the terrorists find it difficult to operate and penetrate when the government bans their outfit,” he explained.
CTD In-charge believes that the Sindhi separatists have carried out the attack by renaming the previous group. “Ideology, cause, members, and the modus operandi will remain the same,” he added.
Khattab said Chinese-origin Pakistanis were soft targets. “Security of the Chinese nationals has been increased following a suicide attack on Chinese faculty members in the University of Karachi in April this year and this is the reason that they targeted Chinese-origin Pakistanis because of their physical appearance.
He said that CTD has retrieved CCTV footage of the clinic in which the attacker can be seen waiting till all three Chinese-origin Pakistanis gathered at the same place.
Khattab said that the attackers probably carried out a recce of the clinic. “The attacker only targeted three out of fourteen staffers, who look like Chinese from their physical appearance and escaped without touching any other,” he argued.
Asif, the owner of the dental clinic situated next to Hu Dental Clinic, told SAMAA Digital that Richard, proprietor of the shop, had employed the services of a private security company. He said the family went to the US for a tour nearly two months ago but they did not hire a private guard on their return.