Khanzada attack in retaliation of LeJ chief's killing: sources

Published: August 16, 2015
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Rescuers gather at the site of a blast at Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada's political office in Attock on August 16, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Rescuers gather at the site of a blast at Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada's political office in Attock on August 16, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

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.

Read: Blast at Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada’s political office in Attock kills 8

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.

Read: Muzaffargarh gunfight: LeJ founder Malik Ishaq killed in ‘police encounter’

“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.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Reasoner
    Aug 16, 2015 - 2:28PM

    There’s no difference in Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and banned Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat (ASWJ) former Sipahe Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) !
    Malik Ishaque was also selected Vice President of ASWJ after his release from jail in 2012.
    It’s time to brutally crush banned ASWJ/LeJ without any delay !Recommend

  • Hassan
    Aug 16, 2015 - 2:30PM

    RIP. Thank you for your sacrifice Sir. Thank you for not bowing down to monsters like Malik Ishaq.Recommend

  • Bairooni haath
    Aug 16, 2015 - 2:35PM

    So this was supposed to be done by punjab’s bad terrorists Laskar e jhangvi, and not by the good terrorists Laskar e toiba & JuD.Recommend

  • farhan
    Aug 16, 2015 - 2:50PM

    Sad news! It is strange to see that mullahs who used to let thir pictures taken with terrorists like malik ishaq are all over the media condemning this incident… media should be careful in this respect. Recommend

  • Jawwad Khuwajah
    Aug 16, 2015 - 3:06PM

    I think it is correct because Faisal Muhammed former central Politician PML who is also holding an status of Diplomatic Mediator also give indication that it would be a reaction of
    (LeJ) chief Malik Ishaq Faisal Muhammed still have an strong grip in Pakistan’s political affairs.Recommend

  • samir
    Aug 16, 2015 - 3:12PM

    All indian trolls highlighting good vs bad terrorists disgust pakistanis. It shows they are nothing but selfish people. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Aug 16, 2015 - 3:21PM

    Raana Sanaullah……stand up and take responsibility.Recommend

  • Raisani
    Aug 16, 2015 - 3:23PM

    Mostly probably RAW is involved in the attack as many RAW agents were killed in the recent suicide attack in Kabul Afghanistan. Recommend

  • Ghulaam
    Aug 16, 2015 - 3:40PM

    I salute the Express Group and Express Tribune for honest and to the point reporting, yes, this is a case of retaliation by LeJ.Recommend

  • Roussou
    Aug 16, 2015 - 4:29PM

    A strong action like Karachi operation needed against these blood sucking leeches like LeJ and Ahlai sunnat waljama’at. It’s time for action in Punjab.Recommend

  • Babloo
    Aug 16, 2015 - 5:53PM

    Looks like Pak rulers are prisoners in their own country.Recommend

  • Tajamal
    Aug 16, 2015 - 6:21PM

    Instead of rooting out of the militancy the govt tried to hide behind bombing of wazirestn which is weapons testing n research field. Try to neutralise punjab militants but those r kashmir freedom fighter n if they comit such brutility in Pakistan they r simply ignored n points to ward wazirestn. A complex game by our army n v r suffering n paying the price for their policy.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Aug 16, 2015 - 6:35PM

    CM Punjab Shahbaz Shrif didn’t take such successful actions against terrorism in Punjab when he used to keep interior affairs portfolio. The Reason was fear of retaliation from sstrategic assets. When military leadership forced him to act against such monsters he nominated Shuja Khanzada as interior Minister to keep away from direct threats. Recommend

  • Aug 16, 2015 - 7:55PM

    Lashkare jhangvi sectarian terrorist organization has strong hold in south punjab,, various punjab ministers has links with lashkare jhangvi,, especially Rana sanallah punjab minister big suppoter and protector of lashkare jhangvi Recommend

  • Indian
    Aug 16, 2015 - 8:15PM

    @samir:

    how are we selfish ? you are the one who classifies terrorists as good and bad. you supported all the terrorists who attacked india and called them good. but now when the terrorists attack pakistan you call them bad?Recommend

  • Sara
    Aug 16, 2015 - 9:08PM

    Punjab’s law minister and the Sharifs’ teddy bear Rana Sanaullah is a direct patron of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. He along with the rest of that terrorist group must be hanged in order to give A. S. Khanzada full justice.Recommend

  • Ali S
    Aug 16, 2015 - 9:32PM

    It’s high time for PMLN to stop bumbling around when it comes to the dragon’s nest that’s blooming in South Punjab – killing Maliq Ishaq and his deranged cohorts is a step in the right direction and it needs to be followed up with full unbridled force (like the operations in FATA and Karachi), not meek caution. FATA and Karachi bear the brunt of any military operation while Punjab based militants are largely free to do as they please thanks at least in part due to their toleration by the Sharif brothers.
    The Sharif brothers need to take responsibility for crushing the reptiles who have been allowed to breed in thier backyard, venomous snakes don’t distinguish between their handlers and enemies – they’ll readily bite whoever’s the most convenient target.Recommend

  • bigsaf
    Aug 16, 2015 - 9:33PM

    Not a retaliation, just a continuation of religious extremist terrorism regardless of what name or group, LeJ, Taliban, LeI, TTP splinter, etc….Recommend

  • vasan
    Aug 17, 2015 - 3:30AM

    samir : Selfish ?? That is a relative term and varies with circumstances. No body is self less and everyone is selfish. Go and figure.Recommend

  • Paa ji
    Aug 17, 2015 - 3:36AM

    @Bairooni haath:
    obsession has no cure. Don’t worry we understand.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Aug 17, 2015 - 3:36AM

    So bad news he was a brave man, may Allah bless his soulRecommend

  • Paa ji
    Aug 17, 2015 - 3:38AM

    @Babloo:
    sitting across the border, giving sweeping statements. Don’t worry, we commiserate with your obsession.Recommend

  • Zak
    Aug 17, 2015 - 6:16AM

    He was one of a few sensible politicians. He came from the army but he was truly a democrat at heart. Rest in Peace Sir !!Recommend

  • Aug 18, 2015 - 8:44PM

    As Pakistan intensifies its operations against terrorist’s outfits, the desperate enemy is hitting back. We saw a cowardly suicide attack that killed the Punjab interior minister along with several other government officials. Earlier this month the terrorists had attacked and killed a lower court judge in Islamabad and proudly claimed responsibility.

    The U.S. Mission in Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Punjab Home Minister Col (r) Shuja Khanzada’s offices in Attock and extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims of Sunday’s violence. Such blatant disregard for human life is unacceptable and contrary to the aspirations of the Pakistani people for a secure, stable, and prosperous nation. The United States remains committed to the people of Pakistan and to the Pakistani government’s efforts to fight terrorism. We support Pakistan’s determination to bring to justice those behind the attack.

    State Department Spokesman John Kirby said US backs Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism. He said, “The attack is condemnable and the US would cooperate in the investigation if Islamabad seeks help.”

    Abdul QuddusRecommend

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