Interior ministry rules out UBA hand

Published April 10, 2014
An over view of the spot of an explosion at fruit market in Islamabad. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad / White Star
An over view of the spot of an explosion at fruit market in Islamabad. — Photo by Tanveer Shahzad / White Star

ISLAMABAD: Hours after the banned United Baloch Army accepted the responsibility for the terror attack in the busy fruit and vegetable market of the federal capital, the interior ministry surprised many by rejecting the claim.

An interior ministry spokesman said the initial probe suggested that the UBA had nothing to do with the blast. “Accepting responsibility for the attack by this organisation is not just surprising, but also ridiculous.”

He said an investigation by intelligence and security agencies had indicated that the blast had roots somewhere else. “Those responsible for it will be chased after completion of the investigation,” he said.

Analysts wondered what warranted the ministry to come up with the statement without waiting for completion of the investigation. They believed that a faction of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan might be responsible for the attack because there appeared to be a clear division among pro- and anti-talks groups of the Taliban.

The TTP condemned the blasts in the fruit and vegetable market in Islamabad and at Sibbi railway station and declared that such attacks were ‘haram’. TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement that attacks targeting innocent civilians were un-Islamic and illegal.

He said the oppressed people of Sindh and Balochistan were ‘brethren’ and termed state oppression against them a black chapter in the country’s history. He said targeting civilians in retaliation was also oppression.

The TTP spokesman said the involvement of a hidden hand, which wanted to punish the people of Pakistan for their love for Islam, could not be ruled out. “After their failure to overcome militant organisations, they resorted to such barbaric attacks to defame them,” he remarked.

He claimed that the blasts had been carried out by ‘secret powers’ in different cities, including Lahore and Peshawar, in the past in the name of TTP.

He said implementation of a ceasefire declared by the TTP had been acknowledged by the media. “The sane people of Pakistan know who was behind these attacks at public places.”

Saleem Shahid adds from Quetta: Mureed Baloch, a spokesman for the UBA, told newsmen in Quetta by telephone that his organisation was behind the bomb attack in the Rawalpindi-Islamabad fruit and vegetable market.

“Our organisation has carried out the bomb attack in fruit and vegetable market in the twin city in reaction to operations conducted by security forces in Kalat, Turbat, Panjgur, Mastung and other parts of Balochistan,” he said.

The UBA also claimed responsibility for the Jaffar Express bomb blast in Sibbi on Tuesday that killed 17 people.

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