By Mahak Paliwal
On Wednesday, a suicide bombing attack at a police checkpoint situated on the outskirts of Lahore, eastern Pakistan—prominently known as a relatively safe haven for the terrorist attack—killed 9 people including five police officials and four bystanders and wounded 27 others. Although the investigation by police and explosive expertise is still in progress, as per the statement released by Haider Ashraf the Lahore police chief, the evidence collected from the location suggests an immense possibility of a suicide attack. He believes it was not the civilians, but the police authorities who were targeted.
Lahore has become the target for terrorists
The checkpoint where the incident took place is the main congregation near Lahore. Quite a few followers of the Islamic preaching group Tablighi Jamaat suffered injuries in the attack. In recent past, Lahore and the areas in its nearby vicinity have witnessed an immense number of attacks by varied terrorist organizations. Approximately 26 people were killed and 50 wounded in another suicide attack that took place in July 2017 at the Software Technology Park in Lahore. Three months prior to the July incident, yet another suicide bombing attack targeted the Pakistani government census team. It led to the death of six people. In February 2017 the militants targeted a busy street in Lahore where a protest was going on killing 18 people and injuring 80.
By the means of releasing a statement to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the renowned militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has confessed to the bombing and has further warned the authorities and threatened of more attacks on police in retaliation for killing their “associates” in Punjab. The Tehrik-e-Taliban confirmed it to be a suicide attack. Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab said,“The martyred policemen are our heroes. Their sacrifices will not go in vain.”
The take of Pakistan and the US on terrorism
The recent decision of Trump pertaining to suspension of military aid to Pakistan is quite noteworthy. Since 2001, this is the most significant punitive step that the United States has taken against the prevalent terror in Pakistan. The US has been insisting Pakistan upon taking some steps against the Afghan Taliban and it’s vicious Haqqani branch which is benefiting out of inappropriate governance in Afghanistan since many years. Pakistan has not only repeatedly ignored the request made by the US but has also aided both the terrorist groups. Witnessing the perpetual ignorance and increased aid by Pakistan the United States has declared a reward of $5 million for any individual or agency which aids the government in locating Maulana Fazlullah, the leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which is linked deeply to not only the repeated terror attacks in Pakistan but also, had played a fundamental part in the 2010 attempted Times Square car bombing in New York. The US state department along with posting the reward also mentioned that the group “demonstrated a close alliance with Al Qaida”.
The recent visit of Tehmina Janjua to Washington
A senior official from the foreign ministry of the government of Pakistan reportedly stated that the visit of Tehmina Janjua, the foreign secretary of Pakistan to Washington from March 6 to March 8, 2018, would aim at defusing the tension and finding “common ground”. An official said, “She will be meeting senior officials in Washington aiming at improving the Pak-US ties.” Similarly, an American official plainly stated that the two countries intended to take further efforts to improve the bilateral ties with Tehmina Janjua’s visit.
Foreign Secretary Janjua had a prolonged session with the experts of South Asia in United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and American media. During her stay in Washington, Januja preached Pakistan’s ideology of continuing to establish a favourable relationship with the United States. She insisted that mutual respect amidst both the nations would actively lead them to work in a manner which would serve the common interest and turn out feasible for both the countries. Further, Janjua put forth Pakistan’s approach to working together with the United States for fighting the terrorism and bringing regional peace and stability. She expressed Pakistan’s desire of enhancing the economic engagement between the nations to improve their economic potential.
Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary, the ambassador who participated in both the meetings said,“There was also a great deal of focus on peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. And both sides welcomed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s recent peace offer to the Taliban.” Lastly, Janjua said, “The meetings went very well. There’s a sense of positivity that they want to strengthen their relationship with Pakistan.”
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