On July 31, an initial probe has suggested that the terrorist organisation Daesh (ISIS) is behind the suicide attack on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) workers’ convention in Bajaur, Geo News reported citing the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police.
At least 46 people were killed and over 100 were left injured after a suicide bomber set off explosives at the rally on July 30, in the former tribal area, which borders Afghanistan. District Police Officer (DPO) Nazir Khan said that an emergency was declared in the hospitals of Bajaur and adjoining areas where most of the injured were taken, and the critically injured were transported from Bajaur to hospitals in Peshawar by military helicopters.
“We are still investigating and gathering information on the Bajaur blast. The Initial probe shows that banned outfit Daesh (ISIS) was involved,” Geo News quoted the police officials as saying.
The police added they were gathering details about the suicide bomber, while the bomb disposal squad team was collecting evidence from the site.
“CTD personnel are busy collecting other evidence,” the police said.
The District Police Officer added that three suspected people had been taken into custody.
Pakistan has seen a resurgence of attacks by extremists since last year when a ceasefire between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamabad broke down. A mosque bombing in Peshawar killed over 100 people earlier this year.
It added citing a report submitted to the UN Security Council, that the TTP might be seeking a merger with Al Qaeda to create an umbrella organisation that shelters all militant groups operating in South Asia.
Pakistan has long blamed Afghanistan for not living up to its commitment to ensuring that its soil is not used for terrorism in Islamabad, but cross-border militancy continues.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman demanded that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and KP Caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan investigate the incident.
Meanwhile, the targeted party is a major ally of the coalition government of PM Shehbaz, Sharif which is preparing for national elections to be held in November. PM Shehbaz condemned the blast, calling it an attack on the democratic process of Pakistan. He vowed that those responsible would be punished.
The top brass of the Pakistan Army has recently said that sanctuaries and liberty of action available to terrorists of proscribed TTP and other groups of that ilk in Afghanistan is one of the major reasons impacting the security of Pakistan.
Terror activities in the country have soared by 79 per cent during the first half of 2023, Geo News reported citing a statistical report released by the independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS).
(with inputs from ANI)