Days after the deadly attack on a mosque in Peshawar, the country’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah admitted in the National Assembly that it was a mistake to prepare the mujahideen for war with the global force. He stated, “We did not need to make Mujahideen. We created Mujahideen and then they became terrorists.”
This admission came as a response to the recent attack that claimed 100 lives and left over 220 people injured. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, leading the Interior Minister to admit that the former government’s belief that the TTP would lay down their arms was misguided.
The Defence Minister, Khawaja Asif, also spoke in the National Assembly and stated that the country’s National Security Committee would decide on the operation against terrorists. The Interior Minister further claimed that members of the TTP who were serving death sentences were released by the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
The remarks by the Interior Minister highlight the complex and ongoing issue of terrorism in Pakistan. For years, the country has been grappling with the problem of Islamist militant groups operating along the Afghan-Pakistan border. The recent attack in Peshawar serves as a reminder of the need for continued efforts to combat terrorism in the country.
The admission by the Interior Minister highlights the need for introspection and accountability in addressing the issue of terrorism in Pakistan. The government must work towards a comprehensive strategy to tackle the root causes of terrorism and ensure the safety and security of its citizens.
Insight of the Peshawar mosque attack
On January 30th, 2023, the Police Lines area of Peshawar, Pakistan witnessed a devastating suicide bombing at a mosque. During midday Zuhr prayers, the attacker detonated the bomb, causing a powerful blast that collapsed the mosque’s roof and killing 101 people while injuring over 220 others. Most of the casualties were police officers, who were present in large numbers, around 300 to 400, at the mosque to offer prayers.
Despite multiple barricades manned by local police, the attacker managed to reach the mosque, located inside a high-security compound that houses the headquarters of the provincial police force and a counter-terrorism department. A policeman who survived the attack recounted eyes on “a huge burst of flames” before being surrounded by a plume of black dust.
Omar Mukaram Khurasani, the current emir of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and a member of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) leadership council, claimed responsibility for the bombing, stating that it was an act of revenge for the death of Omar Khalid Khorasani in August 2022. Although TTP is an umbrella organization of Islamist armed terrorist groups operating along the Afghan-Pakistan border, its central leadership denied involvement in the attack through its spokesperson. The relationships between TTP central leadership and its factions are complex, which might be why TTP did not comment on earlier statements made by TTP officials claiming responsibility.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the bombing, with Sharif stating that Pakistan stands against terrorism and Khan calling for improved intelligence gathering and better-equipped police forces. The attack also received widespread condemnation from international leaders, celebrities, and the European Union.
The 2023 Peshawar mosque attack serves as a grim reminder of the ongoing threat of terrorism globally and the importance of intelligence gathering and equipped police forces to combat it. The victims and their families deserve our condolences, and the world must stand together in the fight against terrorism.
Pakistan Government’s Official Statement on the Peshawar Tragedy: A Review
The suicide bombing at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on February 1, 2023, has been described as a “security breach” and a “negligence” by security analysts. The bombing, which left 100 dead and 225 wounded, took place in a highly secured police compound and raised concerns over how the bomber was able to gain access to the site. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, but later distanced themselves from the carnage. There is speculation that the attacker had inside help and the bombing was the work of a well-organized group.
The attack comes at a time when the country is dealing with multiple challenges, including political and economic crises from a disputed election and severe floods, as well as a surge in militant violence. The government has been criticized for its handling of law and order, with calls for an investigation and even resignation.
However, the prime minister, Shahbaz Sharif, has called for unity against anti-Pakistan elements and dismissed criticism of his government. The bombing has also raised questions about the responsibility of TTP, as the initial claim of responsibility was later contradicted by the group’s spokesperson who stated that it was not their policy to target religious places. The situation highlights the complexities of the security situation in Pakistan and the need for a comprehensive approach to tackle the issue of militant violence.