- Buzdar terms arrest of terrorists involved in the attack a big success
- Punjab IGP says JIT formed to probe further
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said on Monday that the blast in Lahore’s Johar Town that killed three people and injured 24 last week was carried out by a "hostile intelligence agency".
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Buzdar said all terrorists involved in the attack were arrested in the last four days.
"The Punjab government established an investigation team. I am satisfied to tell you that the investigation was started by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and the suspects were identified within 16 hours. In four days, the terrorists were arrested in raids in the country."
Buzdar termed the arrest of terrorists involved in the attack a big success and thanked law enforcement agencies for their work.
Sharing details on the investigation, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani said the police’s investigation expanded beyond identifying the car used in the blast, which was helpful in nabbing the entire network.
"Within hours we unearthed this whole network and went to arrest [the suspects]. The lynchpin who arranged all this has been arrested, those who arranged the car and those who repaired the car and those who filled the car with explosive material as well — we have all of them,” he explained.
"We have close to 10 Pakistani citizens — men and women — who were involved in this and who executed it," he revealed.
He further disclosed that the police had also identified the masterminds of the attack, who were working for the hostile agency. “We have shared [the information] with the federal government and intelligence agencies. A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been formed and it will look into [the matter]."
Ghani further explained that the motive of the attack was to target Pakistan’s case at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). "The attack failed to achieve its objective," he added.
When asked about the name of the hostile intelligence agency and if it was operating in Pakistan, Ghani replied that it would "not be appropriate" to mention them.
"These hostile agencies cannot come inside Pakistan because of how our agencies and immigration [department] are working. They find agents in Middle East countries. So, no person of an external agency comes and carries out [attacks] himself."
Responding to a question asking if any family had approached the police before the blast, he said "this is all speculation. No family came to us. No police constable got all this information you are mentioning. This is all speculation."
"We were successful in not only unearthing [the suspects] but also connections with hostile intelligence agencies are clear. The hope is that our agencies and Foreign Office will reach them and get them punished," Ghani concluded.