National participation needed to defeat terrorism: Gen Bajwa

Updated July 25, 2017

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Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at Lahore General Hospital. — DawnNews
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at Lahore General Hospital. — DawnNews

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday chaired a security meeting at Corps Headquarters Lahore, during which he was briefed about the suicide attack that occurred a day earlier as well as recent updates from Operation Raddul Fasaad.

While expressing his grief for victims and their families, the COAS said: “Such incidents cannot lower our resolve to eliminate terrorism from its roots.”

“We are breaking connectivity between terrorist masterminds and their facilitators,” he added.

While appreciating the police’s role in maintaining peace in Lahore, Gen Bajwa said: “The army fully supports and stands with police and other law enforcement agencies in their role as first responders.”

“We have fought against terrorism as a nation and the key to [the successful elimination of terrorist elements] is national participation by reporting every suspicious activity to security forces.”

While discussing recent exchanges between Pakistan and Afghanistan regarding the presence of terrorist elements on each side, the COAS said: “Concurrent blasts at Kabul and Lahore are a testimony of our stance that both Pakistan and Afghanistan are victims of terrorism and will continue to suffer if these actors are able to use Afghanistan's territory with impunity.”

He reiterated that Pakistan is ready to help Afghanistan to eliminate terrorist safe heavens in their border areas.

Visit to Lahore General Hospital

Gen Bajwa also visited the Lahore General Hospital to inquire after those injured in the suicide bomb attack on July 24.

The blast, which took place near the Arfa Karim IT Tower on Ferozepur Road on Monday afternoon, had taken the lives of 26, nine of them policemen. Another 54 were reported injured in the attack.

According to Rescue 1122, the injured are being treated in various public hospitals in the provincial capital.

Lahore's DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf had said that the blast was a "suicide attack" and that “police were the target”. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility, stating that a "suicide attacker" had used a motorcycle bomb to target the police officials.