- Foreign minister's statement comes a day after Lahore bomb blast
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Friday that the recent wave of terrorism needs to be eliminated from the country, a statement that comes a day after a bomb blast ripped through one of Lahore's busiest markets, killing at least three people and injuring dozens.
At least three persons, including a minor boy, were killed while 26 others were injured as an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in a motorbike exploded outside a private bank in crowded Pan Mandi area of New Anarkali on Thursday afternoon, police and rescuers said.
Condemning the blast, Qureshi termed it an attempt of ‘anti-peace forces’ to disrupt Pakistan’s economic stability.
“We don’t have to worry about it," Qureshi was quoted as saying by state-run APP.
"We have to eliminate them. In the past too, our nation and forces have fought against and defeated them. In the future too, they will meet the same fate."
He said Pakistan has always desired peace and economic development in the whole region.
The foreign minister said that the entire nation was united in the war against terrorism, adding that many terrorist attacks had been thwarted preemptively and criminals were taken to the task.
Pakistan has seen an upsurge in terrorist attacks in recent months with Lahore's bomb blast being the latest to grip the nation. Several attacks have been reported in Balochistan in the recent past as well.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid had earlier this week warned that the country needed to be on high alert. His remarks came a day after a policeman was shot dead and two others were injured at a checkpoint in Islamabad.
"We have received a kind of signal that terrorist incidents have started happening in Islamabad. This is the first incident of the year and we need to be very alert," he had said.
On Monday, two gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on a police checkpoint in the vicinity of the Karachi Company police station.
Meanwhile, Qureshi said that a probe was underway to identify the forces that were backing the group that had claimed the responsibility of the Lahore blast and who trained and supplied ammunition.
Commenting on the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the foreign minister said Indian war crimes and genocide attempts were also being highlighted in the United Kingdom (UK).