Foreign intel agencies behind terrorism in Pakistan, says COAS Bajwa during Lahore visit

  • 'Army stands with police', says Gen Bajwa as he visits Lahore bombing victims
  • Suspecting RAW's hand, the army chief says hostile intelligence agencies fully involved to use terror as policy tool
  • Pakistan ready to help Afghanistan to eliminate terrorist safe havens in their border areas

LAHORE – Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday received a briefing on the situation after Monday’s suicide attack in Lahore and the progress on Operation Raddul Fasaad.

Chairing a security meeting at Corps Headquarters Lahore, the army chief expressed his grief for victims and their families. “Such incidents cannot lower our resolve to eliminate terrorism from its roots,” Gen Bajwa said.

“We are breaking connectivity between terrorist masterminds and their facilitators,” he added.

The attack in Lahore occurred just hours after a suicide car explosion killed more than 30 people in Kabul, Afghanistan. Two different versions of Taliban claimed responsibility for Monday’s attacks in both the countries – the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Lahore and Afghan Taliban in Kabul.

The blast, which took place near the Arfa Karim IT Tower on Ferozepur Road on Monday afternoon, had taken the lives of 26, nine of them policemen. Another 54 were reported injured in the attack.

Lahore: At least 26 killed, 53 injured in Ferozepur Road bomb blast

The infamous Pakistani brand of Taliban, TTP, stated that a “suicide attacker” had used a motorcycle bomb to target the police officials.

Lahore’s DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf had said that the blast was a “suicide attack” and that “police were the target”.

After the meeting, Gen Bajwa also paid a visit to Lahore’s General Hospital to inquire after those injured in the suicide bomb attack on July 24.

While appreciating the police’s role in maintaining peace in Lahore, the COAS said: “The army fully supports and stands with police and other law enforcement agencies in their role as first responders.”

“We have fought against terrorism as a nation and the key to [successful elimination of terrorist elements] is national participation by reporting every suspicious activity to security forces.”

While discussing recent exchanges between Pakistan and Afghanistan regarding the presence of terrorist elements on each side, the COAS said: “Concurrent blasts at Kabul and Lahore are a testimony of our stance that both Pakistan and Afghanistan are victims of terrorism and will continue to suffer if these actors are able to use Afghanistan’s territory with impunity.”

He reiterated that Pakistan is ready to help Afghanistan to eliminate terrorist safe heavens in their border areas.