Saudi diplomat gunned down in Karachi

Published: May 17, 2011
Policemen inspect a damaged car, currently parked in a police station, in which a Saudi diplomat was travelling in when under attack by gunmen, in Karachi May 16, 2011. REUTERS

Policemen inspect a damaged car, currently parked in a police station, in which a Saudi diplomat was travelling in when under attack by gunmen, in Karachi May 16, 2011. REUTERS


The country’s tenuous security situation continued to unravel on Monday with the daylight assassination of a Saudi diplomat in Karachi, the second attack on the mission since the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

The Saudi diplomat, also a security officer of the Saudi consulate in Karachi, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting within the limits of the Darakshan police station in Defence Phase VI. The diplomat, identified as Hassan M al Kahtani, was shot by at least four gunmen riding two motorcycles, who intercepted his vehicle after he left his residence near Khayaban-e-Shahbaz around 9 am, according to the police.

“They intercepted the victim’s car and sprayed it with the bullets,” SP Tariq Dharejo told The Express Tribune. “We have found at least six empty shells from the crime scene and the bullets also hit the victim’s car.”

The diplomat was driving the vehicle, bearing registration number CC-2264, himself at the time of the attack.

“We condemn this attack. No one who carries  out this kind of attack can be a Muslim,” Saudi Ambassador Abdul Aziz al-Ghadeer, told Reuters. Four bullets were fired and one struck the diplomat in the head, said senior Karachi police official Iqbal Mehmood.

The Saudi state news agency described his killing as a “criminal attack”. It said Saudi officials would investigate the shooting alongside the Pakistani authorities.

Saudi Arabia will also increase security for its diplomats in countries considered as danger zones, starting in Pakistan after the attack in Karachi, a foreign ministry official said.

“We will start with Pakistan, but if security is needed in other countries, we won’t hesitate,” said the official, who chose to remain anonymous. He declined to specify which countries might see heightened security measures.

The shooting, which a Saudi embassy official said occurred about 60 metres from the consulate, came days after unidentified attackers threw two hand grenades at the consulate in Pakistan’s commercial hub. No one was hurt in that attack.

The New York Times quoted a Pakistani security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, saying that the Saudi diplomat was an intelligence official. “He was looking into Saudi dissidents who have found refuge in the city and this is most probably why he was targeted,” the official said.

Police officials claim that the victim had been dead long before the police and rescuers reached the crime site. The victim’s body was taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and later shifted to the Edhi morgue, Sohrab Goth after completing medico-legal formalities. Later in the evening, it was handed over to the Saudi Consulate officials under the supervision of Abdul Sattar Edhi.

Police Surgeon Sindh Dr Hamid Padhiar told The Express Tribune that the victim was shot three times, adding that the cause of death was shock and hemorrhage due to the firearm injuries.  JPMC medico-legal officer (MLO) Tayyab Umrani also confirmed to The Express Tribune that the victim had been shot three times, adding that he was shot from a close range and all bullets crossed the head.

Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Karachi Saud Mirza told The Express Tribune that the investigation was in its initial stage and the identity of the group or its members could not be confirmed as yet.

He said that a 9mm pistol had been used by the assailants but the investigators were not sure how many of the armed men actually fired at the diplomat, adding that the investigators were also being assisted by a forensic team.

Meanwhile, the police have registered FIR No 162/11 under section 302/34 against four unidentified persons. SHO Mohammad Tasawwur told The Express Tribune that the police have registered the case on the complaint of Faisal Mohammad, an employee of the Saudi Consulate.

Faisal told The Express Tribune that the police was obtaining CCTV footages from nearby banks, restaurants and buildings to help identify and find the culprits.

Additional input from agencies

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (66)

  • Hasan
    May 16, 2011 - 9:54AM

    Conflict in Gulf comes here too. Is there a limit to our bad luck?Recommend

  • Punjabi Pakistani (PP)
    May 16, 2011 - 10:06AM

    Cowards are killing poor and helpless people and call themselves Mujahids.
    Why do not they go and fight with Americans and sauids If they have problems with them ??
    Why are they killing innocent pakistani?Recommend

  • abudl moiz
    May 16, 2011 - 10:12AM

    More mayhem & death & destruction because of religion.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    May 16, 2011 - 10:55AM

    Mad dogs do not know whom they are biting, they have become the dogs. The terrorists actually want to give this country on rent to their fathers.Recommend

  • arsalan rauf
    May 16, 2011 - 10:59AM

    will iran & saudia start another round of their sectarian war on our land again??

    why can’t our people open their eyes & see what damage blind adherence to religious dogma can do?? we’ve already lost over 35,000 lives of our countrypeople becaue of religion,now must we lose more to prove my god is better than your god??Recommend

  • Erfan
    May 16, 2011 - 11:15AM

    Why cant we see the factors behind whats happening . Religion has nothing to do with it. Its all Political . The Greedy Governments are continuously trying to gain more power like America and India. They are try to curb the potential rival. Such events are part of this struggle.Recommend

  • Chilli
    May 16, 2011 - 11:19AM

    All militant outfits should be banned immediately. Sippah Sahaba, Sunni Tehrik and other Shia militant organizations with even a hint of violence should be barred from any activity. Serious measures needed by our authorities urgently as they always let the problem become dinosaur.Recommend

  • May 16, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Warning to Saudi for making Pakistan Russia China nexus.Recommend

  • Pakistani Punjabi (PP)
    May 16, 2011 - 11:39AM

    @Khanjar: who told you that driver was not pakistani?
    If killing saudis are allowed in islam then please ASK your TTP Brothers go to Saudi Arabia and kill Saudis there… NOT in Pakistan…. Recommend

  • Adnan S. Khan
    May 16, 2011 - 11:47AM

    The Saudis need to realize they are not royalty everywhereRecommend

  • Dumbo
    May 16, 2011 - 12:09PM

    So sadRecommend

  • ahs
    May 16, 2011 - 12:27PM
  • shahrukh amjad
    May 16, 2011 - 12:28PM

    is the media going to talk about the iranian terrorists operating in our country or continue to cover it up?? Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    May 16, 2011 - 12:50PM

    **Tough! —— What’s that old adage about ‘you reap what you sow’ —– I guess it’s harvest time!

    It’s time that we start identifying the zealots among us, you know, the kind who has been brain washed and drugged by religion and vulnerable to manipulation. Look around yourself carefully, you’ll find them right there among you, identify them, report their obvious devotion and commitments to cleaning Pakistan of all moderate thoughts and tolerance. They are potential threat to us all and Pakistan as we know it and wish. Either be vigilant and report or be prepared to be victim of some such act of violence.** Recommend

  • Ba Ha
    May 16, 2011 - 12:51PM

    Misuse of wealth can get one killedRecommend

  • Nation Prevails
    May 16, 2011 - 12:57PM

    It looks like people are using Islamic names and blaming Religion ah what a fools attempt. Because no religion promotes violence.

    This is a political issue created by elite rulers of the world to create a gap between Pakistan and other Islamic countries.Recommend

  • Chilli
    May 16, 2011 - 1:19PM

    Incompetent security arrangements and guidelines. Our whole force is engaged in protecting Americans only. There is a lobby in Pakistan trying to damage relationships between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to further isolate our country. PPP government is not doing anything positive for the good of the nation. Their barrage of incompetent ministers failed to save the image of Pakistan.Recommend

  • dude
    May 16, 2011 - 1:21PM

    Conspiracy Theory: He was killed by an Indian terrorist to worsen the relations between Pakistan and Saudi.Recommend

  • Asiya Khan
    May 16, 2011 - 1:30PM

    It is deplorable. Cowards are using our soil for heinous acts. Recommend

  • Lobster
    May 16, 2011 - 1:37PM

    Must not forget the Iranian factor, whose funding for certain terrorists group is no secret. Recommend

  • Faraz
    May 16, 2011 - 1:39PM

    This might be linked to Osama’s death, or……it might be linked to “The New Cold War”.

    A brilliant article, don’t miss it:

  • parvez
    May 16, 2011 - 1:58PM

    As you sow, so shall you reap.Recommend

  • Think Rationally
    May 16, 2011 - 2:13PM

    Goras are behind this cowardly act. They are paying dollars to the criminals here to do such act. They do not want good relationships between Saudi Arabia & Pakistan.Recommend

  • May 16, 2011 - 2:15PM

    It was all staged across the middle-east to reshape it. Its just carried out by the CIA country assets more popularly known as MQM on their part to make it look like it is a reaction to whats happening in middle eastRecommend

  • Mian Ali
    May 16, 2011 - 2:28PM

    it may be US funded to establish that terrorism exisits in Pakistan and sabotaze our relationships with KSA.Recommend

  • Saad Durrani
    May 16, 2011 - 2:36PM

    @Adnan S. Khan:
    Tsk, tsk. Where are your manners? When someone dies, you do not rub it in.Recommend

  • M Bilal
    May 16, 2011 - 2:37PM
  • May 16, 2011 - 2:45PM

    A clear case of pushing Pakistan to the wall. The very few who support us are being targetted…………..and dont place any confidence in the authorities because its nothing new in Karachi. Recommend

  • f
    May 16, 2011 - 2:47PM

    Sad that another event like this has resulted in the death of another human being but i am sorry to say the Saudi’s are as responsible for our state of affairs today as are the Americans. Lets not forget that the Saudis are the ones who have showered our madrassah’s with the funds to create a generation of intolerant extremist who are causing most of the havoc we are seeing today!! You play with fire your bound to get burnt. We should shun all international so called aid and start living within our means! Look at Malaysia a fine example of an Independent, economically strong, modern, tolerant Islamic state. That is the model we should be looking up to, not the wahabi fire brand form of Islam that has been instilled in a lot of our young since the Soviet invasion.Recommend

  • saher
    May 16, 2011 - 2:49PM

    ufff.. ridiculous!!!! killing a diplomat :S what are these people!! not human at least… !Recommend

  • peshawar
    May 16, 2011 - 2:53PM

    Big Game started. Plz pakistani leaders keep sleeping and make enough money atleast you will fly to europe or some where Recommend

  • Someone
    May 16, 2011 - 3:24PM

    It’s not without reason that some people like to call us the most dangerous and lawless country in the world. Sometimes, I wish I just had an Ak-47 in my hand so that I could shoot all the terrorists and target killers right in the HEAD myself if the authorities cant do itRecommend

  • I_love_Pakistan
    May 16, 2011 - 3:29PM

    Not so surprising for Pakistanies as they get to know the numbers target killed in karachi everyday. However the diplomat killed in Pakistan is condemned. Paksitanis would like to see an end to 1) Saudi funding of religious groups in Pakistan 2) political interference in our internal affairs 3) disrepect and humiliation when Pakistanies visit Saudi 4) harrassment and equal application of law along with local Saudis for Pakistanies working in Saudi.Recommend

  • Aamir Hashmi
    May 16, 2011 - 3:39PM

    Its really a sad incident.Recommend

  • Maria
    May 16, 2011 - 3:50PM

    @peshawar: Big game has been on for a while. Don’t be surprised if it winds up being some Indian criminal sent from Afghanistan to cause trouble in Pakistan. This is how Pakistan’s enemies are causing more trouble.Recommend

  • May 16, 2011 - 4:27PM

    Iranians or Bahraini protester related or AQ I imagine.

    Terrorism any way you cut it.Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    May 16, 2011 - 4:27PM

    CIA work. CIA wants to break Pak-Saudi relationship.Recommend

  • militree
    May 16, 2011 - 5:12PM

    Being a saudi am deeply distrssed at this news we provide pakistan with lots of freebies and in the end they cannot even provide proper security to our people. Its about time pakistan gets its act together or else we’ll have to stop freebies to your impoverished nation.Recommend

  • Confused
    May 16, 2011 - 5:20PM
  • Hafeez.Indian
    May 16, 2011 - 5:24PM

    @Nation Prevails:
    It is not necessary that no Muslim shall comment on Religion. If any thing goes wrong any where in the world, due to wrong interpretations, it is necessary to comment about it. This is also a religious duty of a true Muslim. Commenting is not a criticism.Recommend

  • saudicamel
    May 16, 2011 - 5:26PM

    @militree u guys r even worse than americans pakistani wrkers r treated among the worst in saudi.U’ll wrongly charge pakistanis for all crimes. the discrimination starts at the airport itself. Pakistanis who have been to Saudi for job like me will never ever like u’ll or ur country. Its a shame u’ll call urself an islamic state when u guys r having the worst human right records.Recommend

  • adeel qadri
    May 16, 2011 - 5:29PM

    CIA is working hard to corner Pak. A good try to sabotage PAK-Saudi relations. but inshALlah it wont work. “They plan and ALlah plans… and he is the best of planner”. InshAlIah Pak will survive all conspiracies against it by its enemies. we needed to be united more than ever before.Recommend

  • SCR
    May 16, 2011 - 6:50PM

    So sadRecommend

  • May 16, 2011 - 7:03PM

    “We take responsibility,” a Taliban spokesman said by telephone from an undisclosed location, referring to the killing of the diplomat earlier in the day.

    Always news from undisclosed location,

  • Unimpressed
    May 16, 2011 - 7:11PM

    Just GREAT. Blame the world but yourselves.Recommend

  • May 16, 2011 - 7:12PM

    what Paki – Saudi relationship? have you even seen how pakis are treated by the Saudi?Recommend

  • shah
    May 16, 2011 - 7:21PM

    My condolences to the Government of Saudi Arabia and the family of Hasan al-Khatani
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Always spotting Pakistan. in the difficult Times
    the Hidden enemies Including Taliban Al Qaeda are trying to make Pakistan isolate from there Friends like Saudi Arabia. China,&IranRecommend

  • Canadian
    May 16, 2011 - 7:32PM

    Saudi’s own 1000’s acres of agricultural land in pakistan sold by pakistani army, average pakistanis works hard on these lands and produce rice, wheat and other grains, everything is taken back by saudi’s and these workers are paid peanuts and farmers and their children go to sleep hungry everyday. May be poor hardworking farmers got angry and took revenge. Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed
    May 16, 2011 - 8:38PM

    @Nation Prevails:
    There you err dear Sir ! Pakistan is imperceptibly turned into a colony of GCC countries.
    Hence , it is considered a legitimate ground to stage and receive blows aimed at GCC . Pakistani government regularly receives something from GCC that helps it meet its forex obligations and is figuratively a farm hand and a serf to sheikhs. Pakistan opted for slavery at despicable terms. Pakistani laborers who toil in Gulf loll in the love , arabs pour out to them in ample measures day in and day out. And those wretched creatures know the world better than the pot bellied pious Pakistanis who wax lyrical about umma and make hay by the forex remittances.Recommend

  • Naz Ebr
    May 16, 2011 - 8:39PM

    Before the first attack on the Saudi Consulate in Karachi, the walls of the city had been flushed with hatred chantings and threats by Sipah-e-Mohammad, a sectarian group of the Shiite creed. And now this obnoxious event clearly makes it’s way to whom the people involved.
    Our Law Enforcement organizations have obvious clues to follow and bring the culprits to justice.
    And for Uza, Yes it’s the payback time for what our beloved ISI has been up to for all these past years. Recommend

  • Peace On Earth
    May 16, 2011 - 8:48PM

    LOL at all the people blaming America for this incident. No wonder our country is the butt of jokes, we don’t take responsibility for things that our own people do and instead put the blame on others.Recommend

  • I_love_Pakistan_too
    May 16, 2011 - 9:04PM

    @militree: In fact it is the great Pakistani hardworking labour who has developed the entire Arab world including the religious places in Hejaz. Pakistanies have done it since early 70s without Occupational Safeties in extremely hot weather and above all treated like slaves (as they were poor) without any rights. If you (Saudies) were good enough, you would have not hired musles and brains from Pakistan and elsewhere. Can you name any renowned scholar your land has produced in the last one century? Buying PhD and Master degrees from Europe and USA does not help. Be thankful to us and let’s not foreget the number of Pakistanies your sham courts hang every year – I bet they are more than the locals as the laws are not applied equally.Recommend

  • Shahid Bilal
    May 16, 2011 - 9:30PM

    We will never introspect. Will keep on blaming India, US, Saudi Arabia.

    We have to change otherwise we are doomed. Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    May 16, 2011 - 10:27PM

    In latest news, Taliban have accepted the responsibilty. The enemies of Islam and Pakistan are behind these cowardly attacks. I feel very sad. Recommend

  • May 16, 2011 - 10:38PM

    What the hell is going on in my country!!! Pakistan is in such a mess !!!May Allah (S.W.T) have mercy on us.(Ameen)!!!!!!Recommend

  • Abhinav
    May 16, 2011 - 11:13PM

    I think getting an AK 47 in Pakistan is not very difficult.Recommend

  • May 16, 2011 - 11:31PM

    I am shocked and amazed at this news….Recommend

  • truth
    May 17, 2011 - 1:26AM


    Indians are busy in building their nation. Look at your mirror. It says who and what you are.Recommend

  • M. Tariq
    May 17, 2011 - 5:33AM

    Why was the police not available in the vicinity of Saudi Consulate, given the fact that just two days back there was an attack on it. Just walk down to near Khada Market in Phase 5 and you will see several scores of policemen guarding the VIPs while such sensitive places like the Consulates were left unguarded. It seems that while the Sind govt has only one task which is to pass resolutions against the judiciary, or organize protests to appease their party head, they have failed in performing their basic task, which is governance and maintaining law and order.Recommend

  • May 17, 2011 - 5:33AM

    Looking at most of the comment it is unbelievable how much news we read yet our comprehension of events doesnt graduate out of petty sectarian nonsense or drama of terrorism.

    Pakistan and Saudi Arab are ditching US and aligning their interest with China and Russia like rest of the world is doing now. US issuing a warning shot to them in desperation. US economy is in gutters and its power failing cant event take out Gaddhafi (leader of the most developed nation in Africa). Recommend

  • Krishna
    May 17, 2011 - 6:35AM

    @militree: If Pakistan wants to, it can walk over your country any day, any time. Keep quiet.Recommend

  • Pragmatist
    May 17, 2011 - 7:10AM

    Are you sure it is “bad luck” and not something of your own creation?Recommend

  • May 17, 2011 - 7:36AM

    very well said!!Recommend

  • Umar
    May 17, 2011 - 8:49AM

    So sda. The kindom of Saudia always support Pakistan, another attempt was made to sabotage PAK-Saudi relations by CIA or iranian terrorists.Recommend

  • imran
    May 17, 2011 - 10:17AM

    Muslim world knows that Saudi Arabia playing role of American broker in muslim world.
    Every task which America feels difficult to perform get done by saudi America due Saudi’s powerful Influence in Arab countries and muslim countries as well. For instances

    1. The recent up rising in the Arab countries some are backed by American’s with the help of Saudi’s support. Where there is no American interests in some of Arab countries’ up rising America is against and in some counties where American interests is exist…America is supporting topple the regimes. Like Libya and Syria…America is supporting separatists and protesters against the regimes. World knows it better what interest America has in Syria and Libya. Unlike in Bahrain America is against of protesters who take streets against the kind’s regime..but America is supporting King’s government and to help Bahrain govt and crushed the inocent protesters…Saudi’s forces entered Bahrain to protect the king’s regime…

    This American dirty game playing in Arab and and other muslim counteries.
    But Arab’s king are silent and supporting side by side with American’s role.
    We need to realize that Saudi’s king rulers are more harmful then the American’s.Recommend

  • May 18, 2011 - 2:56PM

    No, bankers are flooding your country with money supply to fleece off your savings in coming years. Acquiring debt doesnt mean economic development.Recommend

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