ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has directed the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) national coordinator to investigate security lapse that led to the deadly blast in Parachinar.
At least 25 people were killed and over 65 injured when a powerful explosion ripped through a crowded marketplace in Parachinar in the Kurram tribal area on Saturday.
The minister disclosed this while talking to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra on Monday. He also expressed his deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the explosion.
The minister told the governor that he has directed NACTA coordinator to probe as to why suitable security arrangements could not be made despite two ‘clear’ threat alerts -- first issued on November 25 and then again on December 14 by the Ministry of Interior.
Jhagra also hinted at conducting an investigation into the blast at the local level.
Nisar said: “After giving so much sacrifices and achieving enormous successes in the war against terrorism, incidents like the blast in Parachinar spread despair in the nation, adding, “Time has come to analyse whether the incident constitutes a security lapse despite having effective intelligence to the effect.”
“If this is the case, then who should be held responsible for it,” the minister posed the query.
Moreover, Nisar was to fly to Parachinar on Monday to meet the bereaved families and the injured but had to cancel his visit due to inclement weather.
So far investigators have arrested several suspects in connection with the deadly bomb blast who were being interrogated. The authorities concerned did not disclose the identities of the arrested people.
Moreover, one of the two militant outfits that had claimed responsibility for the attack said that it was a suicide attack.
A spokesperson for the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has released the picture of apparently a teenager, identified as Saifullah, who he claimed had carried out the attack. After the explosion, the local administration has tightened security at bazaars and other commercial places in the Bajaur tribal area.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2017.