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Lahore Anarkali blast an outcome of govt-TTP ceasefire: Raza Rabbani


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PPP Senator Raza Rabbani has, once again, questioned the government’s “ceasefire with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan”. Is the Lahore blast enough proof that the decision was wrong, he asked.

At a Senate session on Friday, giving examples of the recent attacks in Islamabad and Lahore, he said that a wave of terrorism has gripped the country again. On January 20, three people were killed and nearly 30 injured in an explosion in Lahore’s Anarkali.

A couple of hours after the blast, a Twitter handle purportedly from one Mureed Baloch said that Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA) has claimed responsibility for the blast.

On Friday, Rabbani demanded that the government provide an explanation of what security agencies are doing to prevent such attacks. “Are we just going to see Sheikh Rasheed on news channels? Will he ever come to the Senate?”

Meanwhile, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani remarked that even security officials are not safe anymore. “If the situation stays the same, these attacks will just increase. We want the government to take the public and Senate into confidence.”

A number of other opposition members, too, demanded that the interior minister answer their questions.

Consequently, after a while, Rasheed entered the meeting and took the rostrum. He said that investigation into the Lahore blast is underway. He said that Pakistan has seen immense growth despite hurdles by the foreign powers. “No country in the world has been able to defeat terrorism the way Pakistan has.”

The minister revealed that the first terrorism attack this year took place in Islamabad where constables of the Shaheen Squad were killed. TTP claimed responsibility for it.

“Negotiation with the TTP via Taliban for durable peace has been underway,” the minister pointed out.

Updating on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border fencing, he said only 20km is left. The remaining 2,680km has been completed. “We are trying to finish the project as soon as possible.”

At one point, JUI-F’s Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri interrupted Rasheed. He complained that after the Lahore blast when some of his party members went to the hospital to donate blood to the injured people, policemen stopped them and misbehaved. “Is donating blood a crime?”

The minister assured that he’s in touch with the Punjab government over the matter. “If it’s proven, I will ensure action is taken. But there’s a difference between something happening and creating news out of nothing,” he added.

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