Terrorists continue to thumb their nose at security agencies
Despite tall claims by Punjab police and CTD about the success of combing operations in the province, Lahore still remains in the cross hairs of the terrorist networks. Last month, 26 people, including nine policemen, were killed and 58 others injured in a suicide attack on Ferozepur Road. In April, six people including army personnel died in a suicide hit on a census team on Bedian Road. On February 13, over two dozen people including two senior police officers were killed in a suicide blast on the Mall.
In the latest incident of the sort a massive truck bomb ripped through Lahore’s Bund Road on Monday night, leading to two dead and 46 injured. The powerful blast damaged, partially or heavily, more than 100 vehicles including cars, mini-trucks and motorcycles parked at the stand. The truck had remained parked for three days and despite residents of the area having reported to the police the presence of a suspicious vehicle no action was taken. Incidentally, Nawaz Sharif’s cancelled Sunday rally was scheduled to pass through the route where the truck was parked, leading some to conclude that the former Prime Minister might have been the intended target. The large store of explosives in the truck could also be used to launch a major attack inside Lahore.
What surprises one is how the truck managed to reach Lahore after traveling 698 kilometers unchecked. The explosives must have been loaded either in Swat from where it started its journey or somewhere on the way to Lahore. That it managed to pass through several check posts in both KP and Punjab undetected speaks volumes about the efficiency of the security system on the route. The city was saved from what could have been a much bigger tragedy by sheer chance. This raises questions about the efficiency of Punjab police, the provincial CTD as well as the major security agencies of the country.