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Outpourings of condemnation, grief in Punjab

Outpourings of condemnation, grief in Punjab

LAHORE: The Punjab governor, chief minister, political colleagues and rivals condemned the suicide hit that claimed the life of retired Col Shuja Khanzada and 14 others in Attock on Sunday and condoled with the bereaved families.

Governor Rafiq Rajwana and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif strongly condemned the blast at the outhouse of the home minister and expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief.

Upon hearing the news about the tragic incident, the CM directed provincial minister Chaudhry Sher Ali Khan to reach the site for supervising relief activities. Seeking a report from the IG police, Shahbaz described the incident as a tragedy and said the country has lost a patriotic Pakistani. He said Shuja Khanzada was his close companion and his sacrifice in the war against terrorism would not go waste. He also announced a three-day mourning in the province.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal and deputy speaker Sher Ali Gurchani, ministers Rana Sanaullah, Malik Nadeem Kamran, Syed Zaeem Qadri and others said the vacuum created by the death of Khanzada could not be filled. However, his death would boost the morale of the nation against the terrorists.

PTI: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Punjab leadership hit out at the terrorist attacks in the country and condoled the death of Shuja Khanzada as well as others including policemen. They said the terrorists were the enemies of country and it’s high time the nation united to wipe out the scourge.

PTI Punjab organiser Chaudhry Sarwar, Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Mahmoodur Rasheed, Imran Khan’s political advisers Ejaz Chaudhry and Abdul Aleem Khan and other leaders condoled the blast and said the nation had been robbed of an honest, brave and true Pakistani.

They said the nation’s morale was high and such cowardly attacks could not pressure them to retreat. The PTI leaders also demanded that the Punjab government take practical steps instead of making tall claims to strengthen law and order.

PML-Q: Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, the former deputy prime minister, expressed his deep sense of shock and grief over the Attock incident. He said the most tragic aspect of this incident was the minister remained buried under the debris for several hours. Even his nephew Sohrab Khanzada kept appealing to the army chief that the Punjab government was doing nothing in rescuing Shuja Khanzada, he added.

PPP: Joining the condemnation was the Pakistan Peoples Party whose central Punjab president Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo said such abhorrent acts of terrorists would not weaken the resolve of the nation rather strengthen it to defeat terrorism and extremism. He said the nation and the military leadership were on the same page to defeat the scourge under the National Action Plan.

JI: Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Sirajul Haq and secretary Liaquat Baloch said Shuja Khanzada was a brave and courageous man, and in his death the country had lost a highly patriotic politician. They prayed for those killed in the blast and expressed condolences with their families.

PAT: Pakistan Awami Tehreek chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri said they had lost a bold and courageous companion who performed his duties efficiently. He said though the Operation Zarb-e-Azb had broken the backbone of the terrorists and their organisations, they had not been totally eliminated and that could be done only if the NAP was fully implemented.

“This proves beyond doubt that the terrorists are roaming free in the cities and the question arises how the security forces deputed for the security of the home minister could let such a lapse occur and why they did not search all those who entered the darbaar,” he said.

JUP: Pir Ijaz Hashmi of the JUP termed it a national loss and demanded a probe into poor security cover for the slain minister despite threats.

Tehrik-i-Istiqlal President Rehmat Khan Wardag, Jamaat Ahle Hadith’s Hafiz Abdul Ghaffar Ropri, Shia Ulema Council’s Allama Sibtain Sabzwari, Pakistan Ulema Council’s Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi and others also condoled the deaths in the Attock blast.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2015

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