ISLAMABAD: A preliminary report regarding the blast at Punjab Home Minister Col (r) Shuja Khanzada’s political office in Attock on Sunday suggested it was in retaliation for two major actions of Punjab Police in the province, sources told The Express Tribune.
The preliminary report which was presented to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif by law enforcement agencies and Punjab IG Mushtaq Sukhera suggested Khanzada was attacked in retaliation for the killing of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) chief Malik Ishaq.
“The attack on Punjab home minister is in reaction to the killing of LeJ chief and a senior al Qaeda commander for Punjab last month,” a source said.
Malik Ishaq, the founder of LeJ, a banned militant outfit blamed for some of the bloodiest sectarian attacks in Pakistan, was killed along with 13 others — including his two sons — in a ‘gunfight with police’ on July 29. After Ishaq’s death, Khanzada, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were put on high alert.
Further, following the encounter, PM Nawaz avoided visiting his Jati Umra Raiwind residence in Lahore. and Punjab CM restricted his movements as well.
“Punjab Police foiled a terrorist attack at provincial office of Intelligence Bureau at Zafar Ali Road, The Mall, Lahore,” the source said, explaining the second action which caused retaliation.
“The police raided terrorists’ hideouts at Shahdra and killed al Qaeda linked terrorists in an encounter,” the source added.
Further, the source said the suicide attacker came from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as Attock is on the border of K-P and Punjab.
“Shahbaz was briefed that Police College in Sihala may be next target,” the source added. Further, the source said LeJ might kidnap senior police officers from Punjab particularly Rawalpindi.
Punjab Home Minister Col (r) Shuja Khanzada was trapped under the rubble and eight others were killed in a blast at his political office in Shadi Khan near Attock on Sunday.
Police said the blast appeared to be a large bomb, and it had caused the roof to cave in as Khanzada held meetings with supporters in his hometown of Attock. Khanzada is reportedly trapped under the rubble along with 24 other people as the entire structure of his office building collapsed.