LAHORE: A powerful blast left at least three people dead and 21 injured at Lahore’s Johar Town near the residence of banned outfit supremo Hafiz Saeed. The explosion took place around 11am in a residential area near the town’s Allah Hu boulevard, police said. The Lahore blast killed three people and rocked the whole B.O.R Society and even nearby Faisal Town.
Television footage showed visible damage to nearby houses whose walls had collapsed and windowpanes shattered.
Rescue 1122 teams spearheaded the rescue operations at the blast site where locals immediately reached and helped the victims own their own. According to CCTV footage, a teenager parked the car outside an abandoned house in the vicinity and a few moments later the blast occurred.
Many Indian television channels claimed that banned outfit Hafiz Saeed was no more in the wake of the blast but contrary to the facts, the banned organization leader Hafiz Saeed is in Kot Lakh Pat jail as per the media reports. He had a residence and mosque a few hundred yards ahead from the blast site.
Health and District authorities reached the site and declared emergency at Jinnah Hospital. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Commissioner Lahore Division, Lahore Deputy Commissioner and IG Punjab Inam Ghani visited the hospital to ensure and review medical treatment arrangements for the patients.
Who was the target?
IG Punjab Inam Ghani talking to media said that police personnel were the apparent target. The province’s top cop said, “CTD Punjab is investigating today’s unfortunate terrorist act. We will ensure professional investigation outside the clamour of the media. This way we will be able to stop exposing the progress to the terrorist and HIAs. I hope our media will understand and cooperate with us.”
In a latest tweet, IG Punjab Inam Ghani appealed to people to pray for brave brother Police Officer (PO) Tahir.
“Tahir was severely injured in the blast today and is in critical condition. This father of two young daughters and a son is on a ventilator and doctors are trying to save his life. Your prayers mean alot to us,” he added.
Punjab CM Usman Buzdar said that the Punjab government stood with the families of those killed and injured in the Johar Town blast.
He vowed that those responsible for the blast will not be able to escape the law and the incident is being investigated under the leadership of Additional IG CTD.
IG Punjab Police said the attack was conducted using a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED). A car parked close to a house had exploded, setting ablaze nearby cars and motorcycles, a witness, Fahim Ahmad, told reporters at the scene.
Law enforcement agencies placed a tight security and cordon off the established area.
Opposition Leader in the National Assembly and PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif said, “Blast in the heart of Lahore is ominous. Deeply concerned that law and order situation is not being given the kind of attention it deserves. Important to probe it for possible leads and establish context. My condolences to bereaved families and prayers for the injured.”
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also condemned the Lahore blast and demanded medical treatment facilities to the victims. All walk of life condemned the inhuman act of terror in Lahore known as the city of gardens.
The conspiracy and rumour mills came up with multiple linkages of Lahore blast including sabotaging Pakistan’s effort and at FATF session. Experts said that the blast was either a message or