According to sources, investigators told Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif that the attackers targeted the Ismaili community which belongs to Gilgit-Baltistan–the main artery of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), while media reports claimed that Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had played a key role in allocation of over one billion dollars to RAW to sabotage Chinese investment in Pakistan.
A well-placed source privy to the details of the briefings given to COAS at Corps Headquarters Karachi told Pakistan Today that the initial leads suggested a “strong possibility” of RAW involvement in the attack as “ISIS has no footprints in Karachi”.
Moreover, the investigators have found that all those killed and injured in the attack had bullet wounds in their heads which hinted that the attackers wanted to kill all their targets to spread terror amongst the people of Karachi.
“This is the only hint which is linked to ISIS. However, this might be a bid to mislead the investigators. So it is being investigated whether this was a bid to shift the focus of intelligence agencies from MQM to ISIS or if terrorists of ethnic and religious outfits have joined hands against LEAs. Moreover, another question for the investigators was that the pamphlets dropped by the killers at the crime scene raised serious questions about the motive of attack,” the source said.
“The COAS was briefed that the pamphlets raised questions whether the attackers belonged to ISIS and if it was a bid to mislead the investigators. One of the major questions has been why ISIS had to mention a threat to SSP Malir Rao Anwaar, who should not have any significance for a major terror group,” the source said.
“The investigators are also probing whether or not there was any link between target killers of MQM and banned outfits,” the source added.
Asked about the rationale behind attacking Ismailis, who have been peaceful and never found involved in sectarian trends, the source said, ”We believe that the Ismailis have been attacked on two counts: to prove to the world that Pakistan was a fragile state which was still under attack from terrorists. So the attack aims at sending a negative message to Ismailis who live in Gilgit, Hunza and other parts of GB from where Karakorum Highway passes. Since, Gilgit would be major link in the CPEC, the terrorists wanted to enrage Ismailis. Indians in this regard have gained strategic objectives by this attack,” the official said.
“Moreover, the attack is aimed at telling our Chinese friends that their huge investment in Pakistan is not secure. The timing of this attack is important as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting China. This also suggests that Modi would be advocating the Chinese leadership to review their future plans vis-a-vis Pakistan, as China has made Pakistan a pivot for its future endeavours,” the source added.
The security official added that another motive of the attack would be to influence the world view against Pakistan as the leader of Ismailis Prince Karim Agha Khan enjoys immense international influence. PT