Last Updated: February 01, 2023, 08:54 IST
Pakistan’s defence minister Khawaja Asif urged all political forces of the country to unite against terrorists.
The defence minister urged all political forces of the country to unite against terrorists who are targeting not a sect but the entire nation
Reacting to the deadly suicide bombing inside a Peshawar mosque, Pakistan Defence Minister Khwaja Asif said worshippers were not killed during prayers even in India.
The suicide blast inside a mosque in Pakistan police headquarters was a targeted revenge attack, police chief said, adding that 100 people were killed.
“Worshippers weren’t killed during prayers even in India or Israel but it happened in Pakistan,” Khwaja Asif while responding on the attack at the National Assembly, according to Dawn.
Between 300 and 400 policemen had gathered for afternoon prayers at the compound’s mosque on Monday in the provincial capital Peshawar when an entire wall and most of the roof were blown out, showering rubble on officers.
Calling for unity in the fight against terrorism, the minister said it was time for Pakistan to set its “house in order,”
The defence minister urged all political forces of the country to unite against terrorists who are targeting not a sect or particular segment of society but the entire nation.
“There is a need to create a consensus like (at the time of) the Zarb-e-Azb operation against this kind of terrorism. It is being hoped that the prime minister would take a step in this direction,” the defence minister said.
Zarb-e-Azb was launched after the school bombing and it killed and expelled militants Asif said that the latest bombing in Peshawar was no less a tragedy than the 2014 Army Public School massacre and a similar consensus was needed by politicians from all parties.
He also said that Pakistan had suffered over USD 126 billion in economic losses and 83,000 deaths including, armed forces personnel, police officials and others but the world had not acknowledged it.
He accused the previous government of Imran Khan of holding talks with the Taliban.
Recalling terrorism incidents from 2010- 2017, he said, “This war started from Swat during the PPP’s tenure and it was concluded during the PML-N’s previous tenure, and peace was established in the country from Karachi to Swat.”
“But if you remember, a year-and-a-half or two years ago […] we were given a briefing two, three times in this same hall in which it was clearly stated that talks could be carried out against these people and they can be brought toward peace,” he added.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan.
Dozens of slain police officers have already been buried in several mass prayer ceremonies, with coffins lined up in rows and draped in the Pakistani flag while a guard of honour was performed.
Meanwhile, India condoled the loss of lives in the deadly mosque attack.
“India extends its deep condolences to the families of the victims of the terror attack in Peshawar yesterday. We strongly condemn this attack, which has taken the lives of so many people,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
(With inputs from agencies)
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