At least 50 people, including a senior police official, were killed when a suspected suicide bomber blew himself up near a procession commemorating Eid Miladun Nabi (PBUH) in Balochistan’s Mastung district on Friday, confirmed police.
Police officials confirmed that DSP Mastung Nawaz Gishkori was among those killed. Secretary Health Balochistan Asfandyar Khan Kakar said at least 100 people were injured in the attack.
Officials expressed fear that the number of casualties may increase.
According to Mastung’s assistant commissioner, the blast took place near Al-Falah Mosque, where people were gathering to participate in the procession.
The area was cordoned off by law enforcers and rescue personnel shifted the casualties to nearby medical facilities. Emergency has also been declared in hospitals and staff has been instructed to report to work immediately.
Balochistan’s interim Information Minister Jan Achakzai said rescue teams have been dispatched to Mastung and those seriously injured in the attack are being shifted to Quetta. The minister also condemned the blast.
Security forces on alert
Following the bomb attack in Mastung, Karachi Police stated that police will remain “completely on high alert” on the directions of Additional Inspector General Khadim Husain Rind.
The senior police official ordered the force to tighten security measures to safeguard Eid Miladun Nabi events and processions across the city.
ایڈیشنل آئی جی کراچی خادم حسین رند نےمستونگ میں دھماکے کے تناظر میں کراچی پولیس کو مکمل طور پر ہائی الرٹ رہنے کے احکامات جاری کیے ہیں۔
کراچی پولیس کو شہر میں عید میلادالنبی اور نماز جمعہ کے حوالے سے سیکیورٹی اقدامات مزید سخت بنانے اور انتہائی متحرک رہنے اور غیر معمولی سرگرمیوں…
— Karachi Police (@KarachiPolice_) September 29, 2023
The Punjab Police also said the force was diligently protecting all religious events and Friday prayers to safeguard the citizens.
Shortly after the blast, condolences poured in. “The morale of the nation cannot be weakened by cowardly acts of terror,” said Interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi.
“All of Pakistan is united against the scourge of terrorism. Terrorist elements do not deserve any concession,” he said, adding that with the cooperation of security forces, the “monster of terrorism” will be eliminated completely.
Solangi also offered condolences to the aggrieved families and prayed for the departed souls while strongly condemning the attack.
In a similar statement made on X, formerly Twitter, Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that attacking innocent people during an Eid Miladun Nabi is a “terrible act”.
He condemned the “heinous attack” and said that all resources would be used for the rescue and relief operation.
Strongly condemn the heinous attack in Mastung. Attacking innocent people during the Eid Milad-un-Nabi procession is a terrible act. We’ll use all resources for rescue and relief operations, ensuring best medical care for the injured. We’re committed to a zero-tolerance policy…
— Senator Sarfraz Bugti (@PakSarfrazbugti) September 29, 2023
The minister vowed “best medical care” for the injured, adding that the government is committed to “a zero-tolerance policy against terrorists”.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and former premier Shehbaz Sharif said that carrying out such a despicable act on an occasion marking the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBHU) is detestable now and in the Hereafter.
He condemned the attack and offered condolences to the families of the deceased and injured. The latter should be given the best facilities for treatment, he added.
Earlier this month, senior Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) leader Hafiz Hamdullah on Thursday survived a bomb attack with non-lethal injuries, while travelling in the Mastung district of Balochistan.
The bomb blast targeted Hamdullah’s vehicle in the Choto area, while he was going to Mangochar via Mastung Road.
Police said that at least 11 people, including Hamdullah, were injured in the explosion. The injured were taken to Mastung hospital but Hamdullah was later shifted to Quetta.
The bomb attack came a day after the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) killed a key IS commander in Mastung district.
MQM-P urges devolution via constitutional amendments
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Senior Deputy Convener Mustafa Kamal has said that his party has proposed three constitutional amendments for the devolution of powers from the Chief Minister’s House to the people in the streets in order to save the country.
Addressing the ‘Meet the Editors’ programme of the Council of Newspaper Editors (CPNE) on the theme of ‘General Elections and Future Strategy’, Kamal said that the amendments proposed by the MQM-P were vital to save the country. He said that the party was sending these proposals to the leaders of all political parties.
“Those who are angry with the slogan of province should support our constitutional amendments,” he said. “Despite the 18th Amendment, powers and financial resources have not been transferred to the grassroots level.” He criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), saying that the former ruling party in the provinces was banking on the boycott from London.
However, he asserted that the MQM-P would win all 22 National Assembly seats from Karachi in the upcoming general elections.
“The MQM is fully active for the preparation of the elections,” Kamal said. The MQM-P leader added that currently, there were three major political parties in the country – the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the PPP.
On the occasion, MQM-P Coordination Committee member and former federal minister Aminul Haq said that elections would be held on Feb 8. He assured that the MQM-P fully believed in the freedom of expression and the rights of journalists. Whenever any attempt was made to usurp the rights of journalists or restrict the freedom of expression, Haq added, the MQM-P, along with the CPNE and other journalist organisations, resisted and thwarted such moves at every forum, including parliament.
Ahad Cheema acquitted in NAB reference
An accountability court on Friday acquitted Ahad Cheema, the special assistant to the caretaker prime minister, in assets beyond means reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Accountability Judge Ali Zulqarnain had reserved the ruling on the acquittal plea after hearing arguments of the NAB prosecutor and the defence counsel earlier in the day. Cheema also appeared before the court during the proceedings.
On Nov 27, in a supplementary report, NAB informed the court that Cheema’s assets were consistent with his known income, asserting that properties held by alleged benamidars/relatives were not his. Based on evidence, the case under NAO, 1999, was not substantiated, it added.
Cheema had served as the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general during the PML-N government in Punjab. The bureau had arrested Cheema in 2018 when he appeared before a joint investigation team in connection with the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme case.
Later, NAB initiated assets beyond means and other inquiries against him. However, Cheema obtained bail in three cases, including assets beyond means case in 2021.
Bilawal consults legal minds on ZAB reference
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday consulted legal minds of his party on the presidential reference case of his late grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
The development came during a meeting of central and provincial officials as well as legal experts of the Peoples Lawyers Forum (PLF) at Zardari House here. Bilawal chaired the meeting.
During the meeting, the PLF officials briefed Bilawal on the presidential reference case of ZAB. Farooq H Naik and Shahadat Awan participated in the meeting through video link while Qazi Bashir, Bahram Khan Tareen, Raheel Kamran Cheema, Sajid Tanoli, Gohar Rehman Khattak, Ghiyasul Haque and Asrar Abbasi were present.
Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Faisal Karim Kundi, Raza Rabbani and Amna Paracha were also present in the meeting.
Meanwhile, a civil society delegation also met with Bilawal and discussed the challenges faced by the masses and their solutions.
Bilawal appreciated the delegation for their services and performance in their respective fields.
Ahmed Faraz Khan Advocate, Barrister Saifullah Ghori, Bilal Tariq Khan, Dr Abdul Mohiman, Dr Maria Hamid, Dr Salma Malik, Faheem Sardar, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir, Huma Fawad, Jahanzeb Durrani and Kanwal Malik were among those who met the PPP chairman.
Lubna Bhayat, SM Tariq, Javed Akhtar, Pir Mohammad Anwar, Junaid, Raja Mohammad Khan, Sania Kamran, Shehbaz Zaheer, Shamamata Al Ambararbab, Buland Sohail, Kashaf Ahmed, Talha Rahmani, Osama Malik, Usman Iqbal Bandal and Yusuf Masih were part of the delegation. PPP Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi was also present on this occasion.
MQM-P urges devolution via constitutional amendments
Sukuk oversubscribed by 16 times
US vetoes UN ceasefire bid as Israel continues Gaza assault
Pakistan team finally issued visas for World Cup in India
Regional players to meet in Russia on Afghanistan
Attack plots the norm since Danish cartoon crisis: experts
Business2 weeks ago
Using technology to hit the right notes
Technology3 weeks ago
a futuristic tech unable to replace smartphones
World4 weeks ago
Saudi Arabia to host extraordinary joint Islamic-Arab summit
World4 weeks ago
Israel warning to Lebanon sharpens amidst cross-border enmity
Sports3 weeks ago
Mohammad Hafeez replaces Mickey Arthur as Pakistan team’s director
Pakistan3 weeks ago
Use of force by any militia, entity or group ‘unacceptable’: COAS
Pakistan3 weeks ago
Hajj applications open from November 27
Pakistan4 weeks ago
TAPI vital despite India’s disinterest: Kakar