Frustrated over failure of the Punjab Police and Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) to make a breakthrough in the Anarkali market bomb explosion case, the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order has decided to form a joint investigation team (JIT) for the purpose.
The committee approved the decision on Tuesday in a meeting attended by provincial ministers, the chief secretary, the inspector general and all regional police officers. Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Muhammad Basharat Raja approved presided over the meeting.
An official shared that the decision had resulted from frustration over lack of progress regarding Basharat Raja and the federal interior minister’s claims of the arrest of suspects and the possibility of a foreign link over the reported involvement of a militant organisation from Balochistan.
The provincial minister had faced disappointment and embarrassment after his claim of the arrest of two suspects in the explosion proved wrong.
The investigators had detained some suspects of whom two were said to be linked to the incident. However, later it transpired that the CTD officials had detained labourers who had been working in the locality for a decade.
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) had also protested over the alleged arrest of two of its activists who gathered at Mayo Hospital to inquire about the health of the injured and donate blood.
A Baloch students organisation in Lahore had also raised an outcry over detention of students in late hours from their hostels.
The CTD and Punjab Police failed to solve the case while Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed pointed fingers towards the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and a Baloch militant organistaion claimed responsibility.
The JIT having representation of intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies will also study the possible involvement of a foreign hand in the recent subversive acts in the provincial capital.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2022.
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