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Who was behind Lahore bomb blast?

Three people were killed and 21 injured on Wednesday after a bomb blast at Lahore's Johar Town. Pakistani security agencies and analysts are discussing possible factors behind blast in the provincial capital. Can India be behind the attack?

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At least three people were killed and 21 injured on Wednesday after a bomb blast at Lahore’s Johar Town. The explosion took place around 11am in a residential area near the town’s Allah Hu boulevard, police said. Television footage showed visible damage to nearby houses whose walls had collapsed and window panes shattered.

Some sources claim that the attack was a warning for Pakistan in the light of ongoing regional situation.

In 2020, Pakistan handed over a dossier on India’s terror campaign to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, urging him to prevail on New Delhi to desist from its illegal and aggressive activities.

Notably, since 2014, Pakistan has lost 83,000 civilians and soldiers in the fight against terrorism, which also caused a massive setback to the country’s economic and social development — to the tune of $126 billion.

Read More: Why India Should Investigate Terrorism Challenges levelled by Pakistan

While Pakistan has successfully eradicated terrorist outfits from its soil, but in 2020 cross-border terrorist attacks from ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan got escalated.

Lahore Police Chief’s statement

A statement from Lahore police chief Ghulam Mehmood Dogar said that three people had been killed. It added that 13 injured were being treated at Jinnah Hospital while eight others had been discharged.

Jinnah Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Yahya Sultan, while talking to reporters in the afternoon, said seven of those admitted to the hospital were in critical condition with “ball bearing and blast injuries”. He added that the injured included two women, one of whom was pregnant and had to be put on a ventilator.

Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani, who visited the area a couple of hours after the incident, told reporters that the explosion took place near the residence of proscribed Jamatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed. He said police were guarding Saeed’s house at the time of the attack, resulting in serious injuries to some officials.

FIR registered 

A first information report (FIR) was also registered under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, Anti-Terrorism Act and Explosive Substance Act against unknown persons at the CTD police station in Lahore.

The FIR stated that some officers of the CTD were present near Jinnah Hospital during a search for members of a proscribed organisation when they heard a loud explosion from the Johar Town area.

“The blast was so strong that a deep hole had formed at the site of the explosion and the doors and windows of nearby houses had been broken and the cars parked nearby had been damaged,” the FIR said.

Read More: UN must call out India on its state-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan

“It was found (through initial investigation) that a big amount of explosive material was detonated in a vehicle,” it added.

According to the FIR, 24 people were injured in the explosion.

India sponsors terrorism in Pakistan

“We knew of India’s hand in such attacks,” Ambassador Munir Akram said in November 2020. “We now have gathered irrefutable evidence that India is engaged in a systematic campaign to destabilise Pakistan through terrorist attacks, promotion of secession and subversion in what is called Hybrid/5th generation war.”

Quoting from the dossier, the ambassador explained that the Indian campaign against Pakistan includes:

  • Promotion/ sponsorship of listed terrorist organisations — Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), which were uprooted from Pakistan, to conduct cross-border attacks
  • Sponsorship of Baloch insurgents inter alia to disrupt the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
  • Merging TTP splinter groups and creating a coalition between the TTP and the Baloch secessionists
  • Providing weapons, ammunition and IEDs to these groups
  • Raising a special force of 700 to sabotage CPEC; training anti-Pakistan terrorists in camps in Afghanistan and India — 66 such training camps have been identified in Afghanistan and 21 in India
  • Tasking terrorists with conducting targeted killings of important Pakistani personalities
  • Organising of a new militia, based in Nangarhar (Afghanistan), called “Daesh-Pakistan” by India’s spy agency (RAW)
  • Setting up a dedicated cell to subvert CPEC projects with Rs500 million to subvert Pakistan’s progress and economic strength

Ambassador Akram said the dossier also contains evidence of Indian subversive actions in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and in Karachi.

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