Two bomb blasts have targeted people at the congested Moon Market in Lahore’s Allama Iqbal Town area this evening. So far more than 30 people including women and children have lost their lives with 100+ injured. A lot of shops and other buildings caught fire when the two explosions occurred in car parks of two banks with an interval of 30 seconds.
Moon Market is usually a very busy place, especially, in the evenings; the time when this unfortunate incident took place. The market is popular for ladies clothes, jewelery and was being frequented by thousands of women, children and families during the current wedding season. Police officials as well as the Lahore Commissioner had declared these as suicide attacks while forensic experts are busy carrying out further investigation. Officials now have claimed that remote controlled bombs, instead of suicide bombers, were used to create havoc.
According to witnesses and media reports, citizens have flocked to the nearby Sheikh Zayed and Jinnah Hospitals to donate blood and inquire about their loved ones.
Today was another sad day when the common man suffered consequences of a war that is not going anywhere. Our leadership seems to have no clue about how to take everyone into confidence when their own ministers travel in bomb proof vehicles while citizens become victims of terrorism right on the streets of our cities.
I remember how the PML (N) politicians including the Sharifs condemned and blamed Salman Taseer for poor security when the Sri Lankan team was attacked. Now, they are in power themselves, and have no one else to blame things on. Should we expect mass resignations at least now? Or do they have a better explanation?
BBC News Coverage: BBC News
Dawn: Dawn News
In Lahore this morning, three different police facilities were attacked by well-trained and well-equipped terrorists. The incidents at FIA building, Manawan Police Academy and Bedian Elite Force Training Facility left at least 30 people dead including all the attackers, policemen and some civilians. Two of the targets, the FIA building and Manawan Police Training Academy have been hit by terrorists earlier as well. Although the new wave of attacks was serious, however, the response of security agencies and the police has shown an upgraded level of strike-back action.
Yes, we are living in insecure times and when a full-fledged war is being raged against these mug-heads, they are sure to strike back. What makes all Pakistanis proud is the sacrifice of life that our soldiers and policemen are making to fight terrorism and to protect common citizens like you and me.
We should pray for these brave sons of the soil and help them by providing any information that we are able to gather against terrorists or suspicious activities around our cities and neighborhoods.
To all the policemen who lost their life today in Lahore and Kohat; every Lahori and Pakistani salutes you!
Yesterday, the Namaz-e-Janazah (funeral prayers) of Dr. Sarfraz Naeemi, who was martyred in a suicide attack this Friday, was offered and attended by thousands at the same Jamia Naeemia Madrassah which he used to head. Markets and commercial centres were closed in all major cities and towns in the renowned cleric’s memory as the whole nation mourned his loss.
Image source & more pictures at: BBC News
Through this incident, the militants have given this war a major turn towards the moderates. Dr. Sarfraz was a progressive cleric who had issued fatwas against suicide bombings and killing of innocent men, women and children by the terrorist activities of the Taliban.
Dr. Naeemi’s loss has now enraged a significant section of society, the moderate religious lot, who are now going to follow the respected cleric’s footsteps by denouncing terrorism and extremism in all its forms. This would add more weight to the support gained by the government’s army offensive against miscreants in the troubled tribal areas plus Swat. The result might be hugely encouraging if the army is really succeeding in operation ‘Rah-e-Raast’. If it is not the case, we might see millions more becoming homeless, displaced and turning into possible recruits for furthering the terrorists’ agenda.
And we also need to stay vigilant against forces who may take this as an opportunity of igniting sectarian violence and hatred among our own people; a possibility that was seen for real at its ugliest in the Iraq war.
How can this
Happen in a city of this
(The attack on the police training school at Manawan in Lahore took place on the last and final day of the Mela Chiraghan)
Lahore stood firm as it saw its patience and resolve against terrorism being challenged again by a hand full of armed lunatics who attacked the unarmed Police Trainees at the Manawan Police Training School near the city.
Image Source: BBC News
The eight-hour operation against heavily armed militants ended in success but with several casualties and injuries, some of them critical. Today, we still survived an attack on our resolve and Lahore stands proud of its still alive spirit.
I guess it is too obvious for many to realize who really is behind all this. The fact is there is no singular element. We have had foreign sponsorships of extremist forces inside Pakistan from many countries, neighboring and non-neighboring both. And yes we have domestic problems of our own too.
The need of the hour is, however, to think how best can we respond and fight these forces. Identification of sponsors or hidden hands is important but more crucial is the need to find a remedy for this cancer.
United, we should mentally and morally prepare ourselves for a war with whoever stands, talks or acts against our country, our people and our society. We should not and will not tolerate ideologies of extremism, terrorism, inhumanity, and hatred. We are humans, and yes, proud Pakistanis; Muslims or otherwise – but sorry, we are not and will never become or aligned ourselves with terrorists.
An ambush targeting the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore earlier this morning has literally sent waves of disbelief and shock across Pakistan. Citizens of Lahore are specifically terrified at the extent of sophisticated weaponry used by terrorists in an incident that caused unprecedented damage to the country’s image and its cricketing future.
On its way to Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium for the second test match in series, the convoy carrying Sri Lankan players in a bus was brutally attacked by almost twelve gunmen as it passed through the Liberty Roundabout. The bus was miraculously shielded from about two rocket attacks and serious damage was avoided as Police Security escorts forcefully retaliated twenty-five minutes of heavy gunfire. This, however, did not prevent seven precious lives, including those of five policemen, from being lost while four policemen, five Sri Lankan cricketers, their assistant coach, and a Pakistani umpire sustained injuries. During this mayhem, the team was immediately driven to safety at the Stadium put under heavy guard while two of the injured players were shifted to Services Hospital.
According to the police authorities, about twelve terrorists armed with very sophisticated weapons including rocket launchers, hand grenades, Kalashnikovs, mousers and suicide jackets arrived at the scene in rickshaws and attacked the convoy, exactly when it was turning from Main Boulevard to Gadaffi Stadium, from seven directions according to a highly planned strategy.
Television footage showed all attackers making an astonishing escape after committing this heinous activity, totally unscathed, from one of city’s most important commercial centers in broad daylight. Many analysts are calling it an unparallel security lapse on behalf of the intelligence agencies and local authorities.
The only good news is that all injured cricketers and their assistant coach are stable, out of danger and will be airlifted from Gadaffi Stadium by Pakistan Air Force helicopters to the airport from where they will be safely flown back to Colombo very soon. Sri Lankan foreign minister is on his way to Pakistan to analyze the situation on ground.
In 2008, due to the deteriorating security situation and political instability in the country, Australia was the first team to cancel its tour of Pakistan. Then security concerns with respect to safety of visiting players saw Pakistan’s hopes of hosting the second most prestigious cricketing event, Champions Trophy 2008, coming to an end followed by a consecutive cancellation of India’s highly awaited tour of Pakistan earlier this year. After today’s shocking events Pakistan may see its cricketing image plunging to extreme darkness as we might not have any visitors for quite a long time now.
Forces behind a crime of this magnitude cannot be taken easily as evidence from the sophistication of weaponry and planning used by the attackers suggests that these terrorists were no ordinary ones. There has to be a comprehensive investigation of a possible internal or external involvement and it has to be conducted as early as possible to prevent future recurrences.
We are waiting and watching how the unconcerned politicians are waging a war against the will of common man who does not want anything but security, justice, and only the bare necessities of life at affordable rates. They seem to have little concern with the damage and anarchy their confrontational politics can bring to the already suffering fabric of Pakistani society.
I still remember the day when, about a year ago, I met a guy in the university who was from North Waziristan. Hearing that he is form tribal areas; I just couldn’t stop myself asking him to sit with me for a while. Probably, it was the first time I was meeting anyone from the tribal areas.
I just wanted to ask many questions that I never planned to ask from him or from anyone. But considering the meeting an opportunity, I just uttered the questions to him.
I don’t remember exactly from where did I start but one important thing was definitely discussed. I asked him,”Who are Taliban?” He said,”We don’t know them and in fact we don’t even support them.” His answer was really astonishing to me and I uttered,”…but as the people are showed; you fight against the government and you fire at your own people.” He looked as if he wanted to explain me something. I tried my best to understand what he was trying to say and here is what he told me or what I got…
What happened in Mumbai is condemnable and no one today can understand or feel the pain better than us; the Pakistanis living in Lahore, Karachi, Balochistan, Swat, FATA or anywhere else. After all we are paying the biggest price for making Pakistan the front-line state in fighting the global war on terror. With the highest number of suicide attacks taking place in Pakistan since the dawn of 2007, we have lost hundreds of innocent civilians, a national leader, and the peace of our minds. Who can say we do not know or cannot realize the horrendous nature of such an incident.
Despite of all this it makes one feel sad when the Indian authorities and media so casually shatter all confidence built during the last few years and blame it all on Pakistan. It was not even a few hours when the Indian media outspokenly started naming Pakistan as being the culprit. It later came up with amusing stories of how someone could have transported ammunition from Karachi to Mumbai through sea not realizing the stringent watch both countries keep over Run of Kucch; so extensive that every year hundreds of fishermen are arrested by either country’s sea-patrol just for roaming into other’s sea-territory.
It is so easy for them to blame it on foreign hands but they do not even qualify for this job. No one is vary of the dozens of separatist movements in full swing all across India and the militant nature of extremist factions, some political as well as religious groups, in the Indian society. Who has forgotten the Gujarat massacre and if anyone has, just turn on an authentic news outlet and see what happened to Muslim students there just yesterday.
We were so ‘Peace Loving’ to ignore the incidence of an ex-Army Indian general’s involvement in burning of Samjhota Express in the Indian territory. And we were indifferent enough to not blame India for sponsoring military uprising against the Pakistani state in NWFP and Balochistan when Indian weapons were discovered in terrorist hideouts and the fact that India has five diplomatic missions in a country like Afghanistan.
We have extremism, sectarianism, fundamentalism, suicide bombings, militant resistance movements and a crashing economy as troubles more than we can take at home, inside or on the borders. Hence, Pakistan is in no position to be so insensitive to its own security by carrying out or sponsoring such a horrific act of terrorism in any neighbouring country.
Alas, those who should have understood it long before actually have never done so. That is where terrorists have been successful…
After looking at fiasco that happened at Marriott Hotel of Islamabad, I am seriously concerned to know the current state of Emergency Response Services in Lahore. Are we ready? I am trying my best not to sound cynical but it is the reality of modern civic life that there will be natural of man made disasters.
These days, terrorism is a reality. Unfortunately, we will have to live with it for a considerable period of time. But as citizens of Lahore, we have to keep an eye on the civic services that are being made available to us by our govt. After all we pay all those taxes and its our right to demand a better civic life from them.
It was a pity to see the Marriott Guard trying to extinguish an explosive chemical fire with a CO2 fire Extinguisher. It was even more disturbing to see firefighters trying to throw water from ground to 4th Floor. What is this? 1920’s…. Millions of taxpayer Rupees have been spent on services like 1122 and CDA’s Disaster Management Cell & all we got was broken pumps and dead batteries. (more…)