At least 18 people, including two senior Police Officers have been martyred leaving more than 70 injured as well when a suicide bomber exploded himself in front of Punjab Assembly at Mall Road, Lahore. The saddest incident of suicide explosion took place when members of Punjab Pharmacists Association in hundreds were gathered to demonstrate the sit-in protest in front of Punjab Assembly.
According to the details, DIG Traffic Captain Ahmad Mubeen and SSP Zahid Gondal along with other security personnel have also been martyred in the incident, who were at the spot to negotiate with the protesters and to provide them security as well. Captain Ahmad Mubeen was holding talks with Punjab Pharmacists Association to end the association’s sit-in protest at the Mall Road when the blast occurred.
Soon after the blast, Police and Law Enforcement Agencies immediately reached the spot, cordoned off the area and started the rescue operation. The wounded persons were being shifted to Mayo & Ganga Ram Hospitals for medical treatment in which 9 are said yet to be in critical condition.
The incident occurred as hundreds of owners of Medical Stores and Chemists were protesting near the Punjab Assembly. Earlier, Owners of Medical Stores & Chemists in Punjab had announced a protest-demonstration near the Punjab Assembly against the imposition of the Drug Rules by the Provincial Government.
Upto 400 people were gathered for protest demonstration, suddenly when there was a bang and a huge blast. Media representatives were also present at the site of protest when the explosion took place which was so powerful that it shattered the windows of DSNG Vans and Police Mobiles that were parked nearby.
IG Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera talks to Media
IG Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera, while talking to media, said that the protest by Punjab Pharmacists Association was provided with full security and the area was completely cordoned off. He said that the suicide bomber wanted to target the Police Officials in which he unfortunately got successful. He maintained that the sacrifice given by Police Officials will always be kept on high note.
Condolences & Condemnations Pour In
Condemning the incident in strong words, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in an official statement from Prime Minister Office that such incidents cannot demoralize their courage to fight terrorism. He also paid tribute to Police Officers Captain Ahmad Mubeen and Zahid Gondal and said that they died serving the nation.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Bajwa also expressed deep grief over the loss of precious lives in Lahore Blast, ISPR said in a statement. General Qamar Javed Bajwa instructed the local Army Commander and Intelligence Agencies as well to ensure all necessary assistance to the civil administration in evacuation of injured to hospitals. The COAS also directed the officials to apprehend those who are responsible for this inhumane act of terror.
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan also condemned the Lahore Blast in strong words and expressed his deep grief and sorrow over the loss of lives. He prayed for the families of the departed souls and for the quick recovery of injured ones.
Shocked & saddened by the blast in Lahore. My prayers go to the families of the victims and for speedy recovery of the injured.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 13, 2017
Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif has also strongly condemned the incident of blast and directed the administration to provide best medical facilities to the injured ones. CM also sought report from IGP and issued directives to arrest the culprits who are involved in this cowardly incident.
Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Zardari, Co-Chairman PPP Asif Ali Zardari, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani, Jamat-e-Islami Chief Siraj-ul-Haq and others also strongly condemned the terrorist attack.
Issuance of Letter of Threat Alert
It is to be noted here that the National Counter Terrorism Authority had issued a letter on 7th Feb 2017 alerting the police about a possible terrorist attack in Lahore. The letter stated that the terrorists can target all important places, installation, including important government and private buildings, hospitals and schools which need to be kept under strict vigilance. Yet occurrence of such terrorist-attacks raises the question marks on the governance and credibility of Punjab Government.
Red Alert in Federal Capital
In the meanwhile, security has been put on Red Alert in the Federal Capital following the terrorist attack in Lahore. The Inspector-General (IG) of Islamabad Police has issued the directives for the red alert, according to which all routes going in and coming out of the federal capital will be strictly monitored.