By Muhammad Luqman
Chief Minister of Central Paksitan province, Shahbaz Sharif was the actual target of July 24 suicide attack near Arfa Karim IT Park in Lahore, said Maj. General Asif Ghafoor, Director General of Pakistan Armed forces media wing , ISPR on Monday.
At least 26 people, nine policemen among them, were killed and scores of others were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a vegetable market near Arfa Karim IT Park.
Banned terrorist outfit Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for the attack.
“According to our investigation, terrorists wanted to target Chief Minister of Punjab and after failing to do so, they targeted the police,” Maj. General Asif Ghafoor revealed at a press briefing in capital, Islamabad.
He said that Operation Khyber-4 that was launched on July 15, has successfully been completed .
“The ground targets had been achieved in Rajgal and Shawal areas of Khyber Agency,” ISPR Chief said.
As a result of the operation, 253 kilometers of land had been cleared from terrorists in in which 52 outlaws were killed, one arrested, 31 sustained injuries while four blew themselves.
Clearance operation was still continued in the Khyber Valley, he added, saying 91 checkposts had been setup in Rajgal area.
The security forces had seized a material being used in manufacturing the improvised explosive device (IED) bore a label of “Made in India”, Maj General Asif Ghafoor said..
Hundreds of landmines had been defused during the Operation Khyber-4, for which we had consulted with the Afghan security forces and also sought their cooperation.
Overall 24,000 operations had so far been conducted across the country. Of them, 3300 were carried out under the Operation Raddul Fasaad. In Punjab, 1728 intelligence-based operations had been conducted.
About the internally displaced persons (IDPs), the DG ISPR said that 95 percent IDPs had returned to their homes.
He rejected the Indian allegation that Pakistan had hoisted the national flag — the highest in South Asia — on the Wagah border to gather intelligence information.
About former military dictator Gen (retd) Musharraf, the DG said that the former president issues political statements in the capacity of a politician.
He said that the Kashmir issue is in the United Nations, adding that India declares every movement launched in the occupied Kashmir.
Emphasising the significance of reforms in FATA, he said the Pak Army had already conveyed its recommendations on reforms to the government.
To a question, the DG denied there were any differences in civil-military relations and said we are on the same page. There may be some differences but these should not be attributed to the civil-military ties.
About the Dawn Leaks report, he said the authority to make it public lies with the government. He said that those wanted to see the report public should request the government.