Blast at Baba Farid’s shrine kills six

Published: October 26, 2010
A devotee prays while another mourns inside the shrine just hours after the blast. PHOTO: REUTERS

A devotee prays while another mourns inside the shrine just hours after the blast. PHOTO: REUTERS


At least six people, two women among them, were killed in a bomb blast outside the shrine of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar in Pakpattan on Monday.

Two men riding a motorbike left a milk container near the gate of the shrine which exploded into a huge fireball, a witness said. “Four persons were killed [on the spot] and at least 12 wounded,” regional police chief Mohammad Kashif told reporters. “The rescue work is over. We’re now investigating.”

According to witnesses, the blast demolished the shrine’s boundary wall and damaged several shops and stalls outside it where the 12th century saint, Baba Farid Ganj Shakar, is buried. Police said the blast took place near the eastern gate of the shrine, which remained undamaged. The shrine, he said, had been closed for security reasons. Dr Mohammad Ashraf, head of the hospital in Pakpattan where the injured are being looked after, said that two women were among the dead and three among the wounded. Seven people were later discharged after providing them first aid, adding that two critically wounded patients had been shifted to Lahore, AFP quoted Ashraf as saying.

Leader of the Sunni Ittehad Council Fazl Karim described the attack as an attempt to create sectarian unrest. “There will be a three-day mourning and on Friday protest rallies will be taken out across the country,” Karim said.

Shrines to be closed

The Punjab home department and police have recommended keeping all shrines in the province closed between sunset and sunrise to avert terrorist attacks because of its inability to make foolproof security arrangements. There are 320 shrines across the province.

The proposal was made during a meeting held a week ago to review security arrangements and installation of security equipments in all shrines in the wake of a string of attacks, an official said. After a suicide attack on the shrine of Hazarat Ali Hajveri, the home department received various reports of threats complied by security agencies and issued instructions to police and the Auqaf department to enhance security.

The Auqaf department has, however, opposed the proposal, saying that most people visit the shrine at night and if the government would enforce such a rule, it would result in resentment among the visitors, adding that it might create a law and order situation.

According to data, 320 shrines are supervised by the Auqaf department with an annual earning of Rs800 million. As much as 80 per cent of the amount is received via donations or contributions.

AFP (With additional reporting by Anwer Sumra in Lahore)

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • Fiaz
    Oct 25, 2010 - 9:12AM

    I do not know what will happen to Pakistan now? This is never ending. I was just reading an article on foreign policy magazine that what can fix Pakistan problems?
    Pakistan have multi faced problems on all fronts and not getting better. We have social, economics, industrial and corruption all issues.
    Where is my Allah here who is the only can save this country?Recommend

  • Ahsanullah Mehsud
    Oct 25, 2010 - 9:14AM

    Attacks on sufism should be condemned to every possible extent. security should be beefed up on all the shrines.Recommend

  • Humanity
    Oct 25, 2010 - 10:05AM

    Edward W. Said quoting Eqbal Ahmad in “Cherish the Man’s Courage”:

    “We live in scoundrel times. This is the dark age of Muslim history, the age of surrender and collaboration, punctuated by madness. The decline of our civilization began in the eighteenth century, when in the intellectual embrace of orthodoxy, we skipped the age of enlightenment and scientific revolution, In the second half of twentieth century, it has fallen.

    I have been a lifelong witness to surrender, and imagined so many times — as a boy in 1948, a young man in 1967 .. and approaching middle age in 1982, that finally we have hit rock bottom, that the next time even if we go down, we would manage to do so with a modicum of dignity. ..”

    It’s 11 years since Eqbal Ahmad passed away and the bottom is not yet reached. How deep does this abyss of death, destruction, and ignorance run? How long will the people wait for true islam to be revealed, while holding the book of the final message from God in their hands? Recommend

  • Singh
    Oct 25, 2010 - 10:06AM

    Shame on Pakistan.
    Darkest Day in history of Islam
    Shame on Pakistan
    Shame on all mullah.
    it is first nail in coffin of pakistan state.
    People who can’t preserve their history, always doomed.
    What else they are waiting for? To nuke theirself.Recommend

  • Noor Muhammad -
    Oct 25, 2010 - 10:13AM

    It is so unfortunate that the people and ideologies responsible for spreading Islam in the sub-continent are being targeted in the name of Islam by terrorists whose objectives are purely political.

    Data Darbar, Mazar of Abdullah Shah Ghazi and the Mazar of Baba Farid (Ganj-e-Shakar) symbolize an enlightened version of Islam led by lovers of humanity, peace, progress, knowledge and coexistence. Sufism, in fact, is also a historical response to the puritan brand of the religion .

    The state’s inability to safeguard and promote the symbols of harmony and humanity reflects poorly on our willingness to fight the menace of religious terrorism. Recommend

  • SA
    Oct 25, 2010 - 10:45AM

    Is there any end to this?Recommend

  • Sarah
    Oct 25, 2010 - 11:26AM

    With some ammendments:

    I am just thinking that Are we really true Muslims that we cannot save our selves, our nation, our Holy Shrines, Mosques and Imambarghas, Schools and Markets, Hospitals etc etc. Where those Muslims lost who used to be with Allama Iqbal, Quaide-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Have they really lost or they were pretending on that time.

    Alas!!!!!! I am also one of them that i cannot do anything for my country just Ufsos and usfsos.

    May Allah give peace in oue beloved country forever. Ameen.Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Oct 25, 2010 - 12:12PM

    Mulla’s Islam in action. The preaching of hatred by the mullas has the country on fire. God help us.Recommend

  • A Suhail
    Oct 25, 2010 - 12:44PM

    There is no simple answer to all this. Some of us will jump to conclusion thats its a work of Blackwater, some accuse the whole mullah race, some will accuse wahabi’s and some will accuse the taliban. We need to decide on the definition of the enemy. Taliban routinely claim responsibility for these acts but time and again we have people on here accuse blackwater and US for it and everyone under the sun who is not muslim. How can we solve a problem when so many of us point fingers at different entities and groups. Recommend

  • RhyMe
    Oct 25, 2010 - 12:50PM

    why now often the mazars are targeted?Recommend

  • Oct 25, 2010 - 1:01PM

    It looks like Pakistan is at the brink of a very furious civil war. I don’t know who is doing this and won’t be irresponsible to blame any group but this is for sure that our true brand of Islam and culture is under severe attack——–the Sufis and Aulias represented peace, love, respect, tolerance, truth and wisdom and an attack on their shrines is like a signal that our enemies want to eradicate all these traits from our society. PPP, being a liberal and forward looking political party should take it seriously and try to nip this evil trend in the bud. I don’t expect much from PML(N) which needs to make sincere efforts ——and here is an opportunity————-Please stop them bombing the shrines of our Aulias and Sufis. Don’t let them snatch poor’s last resorts of hope.

    In short “Today I feel totally ashamed of myself- I am in a shock, need a quiet place to cry———-I can’t even find a place to cry now” Recommend

  • Aristo
    Oct 25, 2010 - 1:20PM

    Its the beginning of the end!Recommend

  • Talha
    Oct 25, 2010 - 2:17PM

    You wanted Islam, the real ‘Islam’, one where you decide who is a Muslim and who is not. One where you force others through violence and subjugation.

    Well you got it now, enjoy the fruits of what you sowed.Recommend

  • Afreenish Gul
    Oct 25, 2010 - 2:33PM

    Let them rest in peace for once!
    Just a few days back a number of news channels were flashing with the tragedy of a suicide attack. Or should I say, ‘Yet’ another suicide attack! After Rehman Baba in the North, Data Gunj Baksh in the East and now Abdullah Shah Ghazi in the south, it was now the turn of Baba Farid in Pakpatan
    It is however quite dim-witted to display your anger on the brick and mortar of buildings which mark the burial of some of the subcontinent’s legends, who either devoted themselves to spirituality or forms of art. What is worth grieving over is the fact that after all this unnecessary bloodshed, a man with a wilted beard accomplishes childhood’s dream to come on television, but this time it is just a delusional heroism for taking up the responsibility of numerous lives lost! What a way to pride!
    To give it another thought, if these pro-religious guerrilla fighters are against the act of visiting shrines or paying homage to the deceased, why not educate people through their abducted and enslaved victims
    What hurts me the most is the ignorance all of these events lead up to. Imagine what it must be like to not get a moment of peace and quiet even after you have left this world. Didn’t fate promise solitude once we were lowered into the ground?
    May u Rest In Peace! (Ameen)Recommend

  • Waseem bari
    Oct 25, 2010 - 2:56PM

    they try to hit pakistan and want to sectarian war in pakistan .
    they are against pakistan and islam ,Recommend

  • Kashif
    Oct 25, 2010 - 3:30PM

    A Silent Message from The ENEMIES of ISLAM, We All Muslims should Understand and Realize the Fact that The so Called TALIBAN who are proudly taking responsibility of such attacks in Lahore and Karachi, are NEVER EAGER to TARGET the Wine Shops, Discos or Brothel Houses where openly SIN is committed… WHY???? … Rather they target the Mosques and Mazaars where worshipers are gathered irrespective of race and sectarian belief. General Public should understand that this is NOT in the NAME of Islam, BUT its for AGAINST ISLAM and the UNITY of MUSLIMS specially in Pakistan. Islam and Pakistan Zindabad.Recommend

  • Sidra Humayun
    Oct 25, 2010 - 3:44PM

    on 20th Oct 2010 we saw a live theater performance by AJOKA name “Bullah” Through that play at least I got the answer that why it is happing at Mazar’s. The crux I understood that people who have nothing with true sprit of Islam are the real enemies of islam and they don’t want that we could pass or deliver our preaching to our next generation. If anyone like do watch that play. Because how the Muftis*(so callled few-many) missguide the innocent people.
    Discrimination is the real cause also. Recommend

  • Muhammad Ashar Azhar
    Oct 25, 2010 - 4:00PM

    Attacks on Aulia’s Mazar is very shameful act. Islam is preached by these Aulia Allah and Sufis like Data Ganj Bakh, Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shakar, Abdullah Shah Ghazi. Bomb blast attacks on these shrines is the attack on Islam. Those who are accepting the responsibility of these shameful acts do not belong to Islam in fact they are the actual ENEMIES of islam. Question arises why the Govt. is not taking it seriously? Why govt. is not starting the Army operation against these wild creatures who are blaming themselves that they are Muslim or Taliban?Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Oct 25, 2010 - 5:41PM

    It is time Pakistan’s civil society stood up and take a stand. It should reclaim its country from Army. Mullah and America/China. Force the govt to spend on scientific education and not on bombs. Pakistan assets are its Manpower and that is what these vested interests are destroying. Only education is the weapon which can break the stanglehold of religion on the masses. Else this “opium of masses” will not let anyone live in peace.Recommend

  • Hafiz shah Ali
    Oct 25, 2010 - 5:59PM

    This is very sad and shameful. Where is the writ of the government??

    Even mazars of Sufi saints are not safe.Recommend

  • Hafiz shah Ali
    Oct 25, 2010 - 6:00PM

    Where is the writ of the government?? this is indeed very sad

    Even mazars of Sufi saints are not safe.Recommend

  • Ibad ullah baber
    Oct 25, 2010 - 6:09PM

    Attacks on shrine of Hazarat Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shakar is shameful.befor this attack we faced bom blast on shrine of Data Ganj Bakh,Abdullah Shah Ghazi. Thes attacks on shrine is the attack on Islam. I thind all of theses attacks or bom blasts are being planded by the raw mosad and black cat . In all these scorcom stances our secourty aggences fail to protect the people of pakistan. Recommend

  • sid
    Oct 25, 2010 - 7:00PM

    for God sake install good security cameras on all these sensitive locations, for once can we read in the news paper “culprits identified through surveillance cameras and police has apprehended them”. Rather by default the police statement is ” two unidentified men on a motorbike”. what the hell is this. Police should be disbanded in Pakistan, they have no purpose except to salute the elite and harrass the poor. There is nothing that the Police does in this country to prevent any sort of crime. Nothing is done proactively, what is the use of showing up after the carnage and making statement. Long live Pakistan. With a devil like Zardari as president what more can be expected from anyone. Pakistan has a cesspool of theives and the lowest degree of humans possible in power. Alas all we can do is sit and cry. Maybe its the result of our own acts. Very sad. Recommend

  • Talha
    Oct 25, 2010 - 7:08PM

    I thind all of theses attacks or bom
    blasts are being planded by the raw
    mosad and black cat.

    In all fairness, I think that this country is done.

    Black cats, chalo bhai.Recommend

  • Omar
    Oct 25, 2010 - 7:29PM

    in 1924 the theological and political pact between the Saud clan and the Wahhabists resulted in the control of Mecca by the radical fundamentalists.

    After the conquest of Mecca, the vast oil wealth of the kingdom is being used to export a radical Wahhabist ideology across the globe, these blasts are the result of such ideology.Recommend

  • Mubarik
    Oct 25, 2010 - 7:43PM

    Let us divide Pakistan to make lots of ‘Istans’ e.g. Wahabistan, Bralvistan, Sunnistan, Deobandistan, Shiaistan ….. every body goes to his or her Istan and then we live in pieces ever after. Shammmme on these animals in the garb of human beings who target Saints in the name of their ‘own Islam’. May God crush these enemies of humanity and show mercy to the rest of Pakistanis.Recommend

  • peccavi
    Oct 25, 2010 - 7:50PM

    The people responsible for this act of violence are the people of Pakistan themselves, who abdicated their civic responsiblities and stood idle, while the civic and legal rights of their fellow citizens were being denied in the name of religion and who accepted everything, without questioning their government, when it was done in the name of religion. Much, much worse is going to happen in Pakistan and the country will continue to burn in the fires of religious intolerance and hatred unless and until, the people of Pakistan learn to separate religion from politics. There can be no writ of the state in Pakistan, which can stop this mayhem until religion is made subordinate to the law of the land, which must be a secular law and not a law based on theocratic principles. Recommend

  • Bangash
    Oct 25, 2010 - 8:08PM

    and yet many Pakistanis continue to live in denial, or even worse support these Taliban animals.Recommend

  • RG
    Oct 25, 2010 - 8:33PM

    What Pakistan suffers from is a Leader? someone who can lead us ..this country is bleesd with everthing…just one man we r looking for after Quaid…may be it will happen in my life time or I will go just like my older genaration has… thinking of that dream Pakistan should have been..Recommend

  • Tehreem
    Oct 25, 2010 - 8:43PM

    The attacks on the mausoleums of our respectable Saints. Now its became so common for us like we are use to of facing the everyday dellima .This shameful , blasphemous and cowardly act has done by the enemies of Islam.

    It is so unfortunate and blasphemous for we Pakistanis that the preaching of these respectable Aulia has aware us about the blessings of Islam ,their ideologies are responsible for spreading Islam in the sub-continent and now their respectable mausoleums are being targeted by enemies of Islam.

    And the extremely shameful act of those Islam enemies is that they are calling their selves “Mujaheddin”. Do they really know what “Mujaheddin” are? How would be they able to gather the courage of taking responsibility of such cruel and shameful act. After attacking on the mausoleums of our respectable Saints, instead of being guilty they proudly stated their responsibility of attacks.

    Because they are not human beings they are much more hatred than wild beast. Our country was found on the basis of Islamic ideology and our government is not safeguarding Islam in this state.

    Dear government please do something for the stability of Islam and provide highly strict protocols to these mausoleums as you arrange HIGHLY STRICT PROTOCOLS to your security. These mausoleums are symbolize as the pillars of peace and humanity and how will peace stay in our country when our these pillars are in danger.Recommend

  • J
    Oct 25, 2010 - 9:13PM

    there is no reason to act as if anything about this and other similar attacks is surprising. and there is no reason to wait until incidents like this take place to condemn this ideology of hate and violence. they exist all around you. they might be spreading their hate filled ideology through your neighbourhood masjid. Recommend

  • anis qureshi
    Oct 25, 2010 - 9:48PM

    religious organizations who have supported these talibans should be banned.Maudoodi hate literature should also be banned as is done in bangladesh. The only solution is to seperate religion from politics. Give equal rights to every pakistani. Recommend

  • mushy
    Oct 25, 2010 - 10:21PM

    People, just blame it on raw,mossad,cia and start living in delusion again. Next will be our paak-saaf cricketers in UAE who will be targeted by icc/ecb/bcci. We are the purest of all!Recommend

  • S
    Oct 25, 2010 - 11:57PM

    Whats the big deal? Ahmedi and Shia places of worship have been under attack for years. Lets not even talk about non-Muslims. So what is the big deal about sufi shrines all of a sudden? All utopias are built on blood and violence. Welcome to our Islamic utopia. Recommend

  • Aasia Sohail Mian
    Oct 26, 2010 - 1:13AM

    I extend my profound sorrow and grief on the casualties and deaths due to bomb attack and God may give patience to the families of the injured and deceased and pray for recovery of health.Recommend

  • Oct 26, 2010 - 5:08AM

    Shrines are apart of our culture. The architecture and the decor inside IF taken care properly, can easily be used to promote tourism in this part of the region. But ALAS..!!! And MORE ALAS…!!! For taliban sympathizers. Recommend

  • Arshad Jamal Butt
    Oct 26, 2010 - 12:45PM

    West has understood that Muslims are emotional about their religion; hence, they have conspired through Sectarianism, patriotism.
    Question is that why west is successful in conspiracies?
    There are two major following reasons:
    First our so called Mullas never played their role because they could not respond to modern technology and sturdy Media against Muslims and they never understood real spirit of Islam which is that we just not read Arabic for “Sawab” we should understand message in it.
    Second, our greedy politicians never edified our people because they just desire to rule us and following the doctrine “divide and rule”.

    USA used Pakistan and Mujahideen during Afghanistan and Russian War and now these Mujahideen are terrorists. After 9/11 USA is safe but innocent kids, women, poor labor is dying in blats in bombing and Drone attacks in Pakistan and USA is still blaming Pakistan.
    Jihad was Ok and acceptable during Russia Afghan War for west. But now they have used Mujahideen and tissue papers (mujahideen) should be throw in dustbin.
    Some people don’t even read Islam and commenting against Muslims and Quran. They should read it properly then they would understand its sprit.

    May I ask how many people died during 1st and 2nd war? Are Muslims were involved in it?

    USA threw Atom Bomb on Japan and they are allies.
    Countries who fought 2nd world war are now allies.
    57 Muslim States should also think that and should be united and should think about root causes of terrorism and show off face who funds those terrorists.Recommend

  • Tax Payer
    Oct 26, 2010 - 6:39PM

    When the rulers become party to these elements, nothing will change . Just sit back and think what you have done to bring this Government in power.Recommend

  • Rehan Ul Hauqe
    Dec 3, 2010 - 11:09AM

    Is bieng muslim my crime..?? Why whenever wherever in the world, is there any bomb blasting or any siucide attack, blame on mulims..!! Why in mosque, temples bomb blasting? Why not in church, why not in otherplaces.? Why everyone making target to muslim.. In mosque bomb blasting and blame comes on muslims they did it… What is this…?? Where is muslims, where is our faith.. Wake up mulims Wake up….Recommend

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