Deputy Chairman Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri among 40 injured; Daesh claims responsibility; JUI-F announces protest day tomorrow; Fazl says such attacks can’t deter them from struggling for peaceful Pakistan; political leaders condemn incident
MASTUNG: The Islamic State (IS), known as Daesh, claimed responsibility for a brazen suicide attack on the JUI-F leader and Deputy Chairman Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri here on Friday, killing 26 people and injuring over 40 others. Haideri was wounded in the attack that occurred as his convoy left a girls' only seminary, where he had attended a graduation ceremony.
"There was a big bang and we couldn't understand what had happened," said Haji Abdul Hadi, a witness who was hit by the flying debris.
The IS took responsibility for the attack on its official Amaq News Agency.
Talking to a private news channel, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said he had not received any threat earlier. He said it was an intense blast and the people sitting in the car received severe injuries. He said the front windscreen of his car broke into pieces due to the blast causing him injuries. He also expressed immense grief and sorrow over the loss of innocent lives and injuries to others.
Haideri said he could not say anything at the moment, as the investigation was going on into the matter.
Commissioner Quetta Division Amjad Ali Khan said on Friday emergency had been imposed in the city and all the hospitals were on high alert.
Talking to a private news channel, the commissioner said security had been tightened in all the sensitive areas to avoid any further untoward situation in the city. He said doctors had been called in and measures were taken to have sufficient quantity of blood in storage to treat the injured. He said all the hospitals' administrations had been given orders to accommodate the injured and provide them the best health facilities.
Talking to newsmen in Islamabad along with the Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced a protest on Sunday (tomorrow) against the attack. He said the cowardly attack had killed over 26 workers of his party but such incidents could not deter them from struggling for a peaceful Pakistan.
“We are standing with Pakistan for the supremacy of the Constitution and upholding law in the country,” he said, adding that raising arms against the state was against the Shariah and Islam does not allow such acts.
He recalled that the political leaders had been falling victims to acts of terrorism saying that he was also attacked twice in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “The whole nation will have to demonstrate unity to fight terrorism,” he said.
Raza Rabbani said it was an attack on the whole parliament. He said such incidents were the fallout of a war that was imposed on the nation and the country during the Pervez Musharraf's era. He said Pakistan had been facing both internal and external aggression and the war against terrorism would take time to complete.
“The war against terror will take a longer time and the whole nation will have to be bold enough,” he said.
He told newsmen that the whole body of Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri was injured while his Director Staff Iftikhar Mughal was martyred.
Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb strongly condemned the terrorist attack and said she was extremely saddened by the loss of innocent human lives and injuries sustained by scores of people.
In a statement, she said such heinous enactments could not dent the resolve and determination of the people of Pakistan who had exhibited an exemplary spirit of sacrifice to eliminate terrorism. The minister said the armed forces and the law-enforcement agencies would not relent until all terrorists were eliminated and the perpetrators of such cruel acts were made to face their consequences.
Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa condemned the attack and expressed grief over the loss of innocent lives. He directed the best possible medical treatment to the injured evacuated by an army helicopter to the CMH Quetta. “Such acts of terrorism cannot lower our national resolve to continue with our positive trajectory of peace, stability and economic progress,” he said.
Former president Asif Ali Zardari visited the residence of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and strongly condemned the attack on the convoy of Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri. He said it had become necessary to eliminate the mindset of terror. He prayed for early recovery of Maulana Haideri and other injured. He also sympathized with the bereaved families of the victims of the attack.
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan strongly condemned the Mastung suicide bombing and expressed deep sorrow over the loss of precious human lives. In a statement, he said it was the worst terrorist incident adding that the enemies wanted to create unrest in the country.
Imran Khan said the Mastung incident should be investigated and elements involved in such activities be brought to justice. He prayed for early recovery of Maulana Haideri and others injured in the blast.
ANP President Asfandyar Wali Khan condemned the terrorist attack and said the mounting tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan would directly benefit the terrorists. In a statement, Asfandyar urged the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to resolve disputes and foil the nefarious designs of terrorists.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, chief minister and speaker provincial assembly also condemned the suicide bombing on the convoy of Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the attack. They termed the attack a cowardly act by the anti-state elements who did not even deserve to be called human beings. They said the nation and the armed forces were determined not to rest till total elimination of terrorism from the country.
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Judge Zeba Chaudhry was, however, not present in the court as she was on leave.