A UNSC statement condemning the recent terror attack in Karachi was twice stalled by the US and Germany, delaying its issuance to give a 'message' to Pakistan over it blaming India for the incident and Prime Minister Imran Khan calling Osama bin Laden a 'martyr', according to sources.
The 15-nation UN Security Council issued a press statement on Wednesday to condemn the "heinous and cowardly terrorist attack that took place in Karachi, Pakistan, on 29 June 2020, which resulted in several people killed."
Pakistan's 'all-weather ally' China drafted the statement, which was put under a silence procedure, under which if no member state raises any objections to the draft within a specified time period, it is considered adopted.
Germany was the first to break the silence procedure, delaying the issuance of the press statement. The deadline was extended till 10 AM July 1 (local time) and it was then that the US broke the silence for the second time, further delaying the statement from being issued.
Sources said that the delay was to "send a message" to Pakistan that it cannot on the one hand call former al-Qaeda chief Laden, who masterminded one of the biggest terror attacks in the world and was killed by the US Navy Seals in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad, a 'martyr' and link India to the Karachi attack, and on the other hand expect unequivocal condemnation of the attack against it.
India had hit out at Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi for his "absurd comments" linking India to the terror attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in Karachi.
In a strongly-worded response, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that Pakistan cannot shift the blame on India for its domestic problems, and unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning terrorism anywhere in the world including in Karachi.
Further, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had called Laden a 'shaheed' during a statement in Pakistan Parliament. Sources said that the sentiment was shared among Council members that one cannot call a global terrorist a martyr and on the other hand expect unequivocal condemnation of the terror attack.
Sources added that the delay in issuing the press statement was to "send a message that you cannot have it both ways." They added that the "message has gone to them" that they cannot be irresponsible about these things. The sources said one cannot say anything one wants and get away with it and expect the international community to come to its assistance when one wants it. "That is the message."
Using a standard template for condemning all terrorist attacks, the UNSC said that its members underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and urged all states, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Pakistan and all other relevant authorities in this regard.
The members of the Security Council also reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
Four heavily armed militants, believed to be from a banned Baloch terror group, on Monday made a brazen attempt to take over the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in Karachi, killing four security guards and a police officer before being shot dead by security forces.