According to the latest reports, the suicide bomber who exploded his bomb at the parking lot of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore on Sunday, killed not only himself but at least 72 others and caused injury to more than 300 people. The Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar that has claimed responsibility for the blast in a busy residential area of Lahore, has stated that the targets were Christians. Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for the faction, who made the statement added, “We want to send this message to Prime Minister waz Sharif that we have entered Lahore.” Most of the unfortute victims of the blast were Christians out on the Easter Sunday holiday. The blast produced a flame that reached higher than the treetops. Most of the injured and dead were women and children.
The latest Lahore carge has caused shock, horror and dismay all over the world but more particularly in South Asia. And it has taken something as horrifying as this suicide blast for the Army to decide on launching anti-terrorist operations across Punjab. Military spokesman Lt Gen. Asim Bajwa said that a number of suspects had been arrested across Pakistan after the Lahore blast of Sunday. According to the police, the Lahore suicide bomber had been identified as Yousuf, son of Ghulam Farid, a resident of Muzaffargarh. Prime Minister waz Sharif, who chaired a high-level security meeting in Lahore, called for more proactive coordition among law enforcement and intelligence agencies against terrorism. However, the fact remains that the Pakistan government has been inexplicably soft on terrorist groups, and has permitted the nexus of the Army, the ISI and the mullahs to have far greater control over the administration then is desirable even in a theocratic state. The Pakistan Prime Minister’s present stance on terrorists comes after Pakistan’s export of terrorism for years is beginning to recoil on Pakistan itself. Even so, perhaps the Army’s stated resolve to go after the terrorists must be taken with a generous pinch of salt, since old habits die hard.
On Monday, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirise called on South Asian tions to unite in order to elimite terrorism. In a Twitter message, strongly condemning the terror attack in Lahore on Sunday, Sirise said that his condolences were with the loved ones of the victims of the attack. United tions General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft said he was “appalled and dismayed by the horrific murder of so many children and women in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday.” “The targeting of so many innocent people, including many families, at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park shows an utter contempt for humanity,” Lykketoft said in a statement issued by his spokesman on Sunday. “Acts of terrorism are unjustifiable regardless of their motivation, and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to tiol and intertiol peace and security... Acts like this have no place in the modern world and only serve to strengthen the resolve of governments the world over to find and prosecute the individuals responsible,” the statement added. Pakistan is a member state of the United tions. One cannot help wondering whether the best that the President of the United tions can do is to issue statements every time a member state fails to prevent such carge unleashed by terrorists that it has been lenient with. There is every legitimate reason for people to expect the United tions to expel member states that have exported terrorism to other countries for many years and that find themselves incapable of controlling terrorist activities at home. The proper course of action for the United tions would be to expel Pakistan from the UN for a period of five years and to insist that the Pakistan government initiate visible measures to crack down on terrorists before the country is allowed re-entry to the United tions. Nothing short of such drastic measures is likely to have any effect on a member state that has long exported terrorism to other countries of the world.