Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Parachinar on Friday to meet with the families of the victims of the twin blasts that wreaked havoc on the city last week, a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
Shortly after he arrived in the city, Gen. Bajwa was given a briefing regarding the security situation in Parachinar where at least 72 were killed and 200 others were injured.
The COAS is scheduled to meet with tribal elders later in the day, stated the ISPR statement.
Parachinar is the capital of Kurram agency and has a major population of Shi’ites. Members of the community have protested against government inaction following the bombings and demanded a visit from the Gen Bajwa and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar.
In the aftermath of the attack, the Pakistan Army called for a unification of the country in its response to what was termed as a “malicious” campaign
The army chief attempted to fly to the region earlier this week but the aircraft was forced to turn back due to the challenging weather conditions.
In the aftermath of the attack, the Pakistan Army called for a unification of the country in its response to what was termed as a “malicious” campaign by hostile intelligence agencies and anti-state elements to give a sectarian and ethnic color to the recent violence.
According to an earlier ISPR statement, the army chief had met with religious clergy of all sects over the last few days to seek their support in defeating the “campaign” to create sectarian tension.
The twin explosions that suffered by the city last Friday were the third terrorist attack that Parachinar has witnessed in 2017.
Previously, at least 24 people were killed in January in a bomb attack claimed by the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami and a splinter group of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) led by Sheheryar Mehsud.
However, protesting tribal elders have rejected the offered compensation, saying that they need to be recognized as human beings first.
In March, a second attack in a different market killed 22 people. The attack was claimed by the Jamaatul Ahrar.
Friday’s assault ─ also claimed by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami ─ brought the town’s body count due to terror attacks up to 115, more than any one city in Pakistan has suffered so far this year.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced compensation of Rs1 million and Rs0.5 million for each family of the victims of the twin bombings and for each person injured in the blasts, respectively.
However, protesting tribal elders have rejected the offered compensation, saying that they need to be recognized as human beings first. The compensation was announced six days after the bombing.
The PM cut short his visit to London due to the situation at home. He recently visited Bahawalpur to meet with the families of the victims of the deadly oil tanker explosion. However, he has failed to visit Parachinar and has, as of yet, shown no intention to do so.