Police suspect IS the culprit for the Pak rally blast
Police in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have indicated that the Islamic State (IS) terror group is suspected to be behind the suicide blast at a Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) workers’ convention in Bajaur. The attack resulted in the deaths of 46 people and left over 100 others injured. Emergency was declared in hospitals, and critically injured victims were transported to Peshawar by military helicopters.
The police are conducting investigations and have taken three suspected individuals into custody. Pakistan has witnessed an increase in extremist attacks since the breakdown of the ceasefire between Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the government last year. The TTP is believed to be seeking a merger with Al Qaeda to form an umbrella organization for militant groups in South Asia.
The JUI-F chief has called for an investigation into the incident, and the party is a major ally of the coalition government, which is preparing for national elections in November. Pakistan has accused Afghanistan of not fulfilling its commitment to prevent terrorism on its soil, contributing to cross-border militancy.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the blast, considering it an attack on Pakistan’s democratic process, and vowed to hold those responsible accountable. The Pakistan Army has also expressed concerns about terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan affecting the country’s security.