(MAMOSA Report) — Barely two days after the Taliban-claimed suicide bomb killed 13 people in Lahore, more suicide attacks took place on Wednesday, this time in Peshawar – Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s main city, unnerving and shaking people.
The speed with which terrorists struck targets in the capitals of Punjab (Pakistan’s largest province) on Monday and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a day later apparently caught the country’s counterterrorism officials by surprise — including the Prime Minister, his party PML-N which rules Punjab for the last eight years with his younger brother as its Chief Minister.
A civil-military leadership huddle followed the multiple terrorist attacks — a faction of proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamaatul Ahrar has claimed responsibility for these attacks.
The attacks came three days after Ahrar announced it will carry out a series of attacks on government installations around the country. A spokesperson for the group warned in a statement, according to The Express Tribune, that Monday’s bomb was “just the start”.
Chaired by PM Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad, the civil-military meet was attended by Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, National Security Adviser Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, and DG (counterterrorism) ISI and IB. Review of the the internal security situation was top agenda.
“In a pithy communiqué issued after the huddle, the media wing of the PM Office said, “The meeting reiterated the national resolve of complete physical and ideological annihilation of terrorism and extremism.” The renowned Pakistani daily English newspaper Dawn commented.
“The gains of operations executed by the military, civil armed forces and the police will not be lost and the state would ensure that terrorists do not resurge, at any cost,” it was agreed during the meeting,” the media reported.
Pakistani officials on Wednesday also shared with Afghanistan evidence of terrorist sanctuaries being used by Jamaatul Ahrar to carry out attacks inside the country.
Afghan Deputy Head of Mission Syed Abdul Nasir Yousafi was called-in to the Foreign Office and handed over the dossier.
“An aide-memoire containing details of the terrorist attacks and supporting information was shared with the Afghan deputy head of mission,” the foreign office said.
“Important to highlight that the groups claiming this recent rash of attacks in #Pakistan are believed to be based in #Afghanistan,” tweeted Michael Kugelman, Deputy director Asia Program and South Asia senior associate The Wilson Center – a Washington-based Think Tank with main emphasis on Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Bangladesh.
“Attention of the senior diplomat was also drawn to the earlier actionable intelligence shared by our authorities with the Afghan side,” it added.
Afghanistan, it said, was urged to take urgent measures to eliminate terrorists and their sanctuaries, financiers and handlers operating from its territory.
Musharraf suggests operation in Punjab
Dawn adds: Talking about the current scenario in Pakistan, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said “Punjab has become the stronghold of militancy”. The former military ruler suggested that an operation should be carried out in the province, while giving an interview with Nadeem Malik on local Pakistani TV channel Samaa TV,
“The problem is that there is a political over tone in Punjab, politicians are involved with them [terrorists]. People associated with the main party are involved (with terrorists) here, so they do not allow an operation there. They are not thinking for Pakistan but for their party and their individual benefits.”
He alleged that an important personality in the ruling PML-N has “linkages with terrorists” and everyone knows this, the former military ruler said.