Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has said that “anti-state agencies” are involved in the Lahore’s Johar Town blast.

“Terrorists responsible for the Johar Town bomb blast in Lahore have been arrested,” said the chief minister during a press conference on Monday.

He said that the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Punjab had traced the culprits behind the incident within 16 hours of the blast. 

The chief minister was all praise for CTD Punjab for pursuing the case in a professional manner to expose those who were behind the attack. 

“All local and international characters behind the blast have been identified,” he said.

They have conducted raids across the country, in just four days, to arrest the terrorists involved in the incident, he added.

Terming it a “great achievement” for the Punjab government, Chief Minister Buzdar said those who had sold, bought the car and planted explosives it in, had all been arrested. 

He said that an “anti-state agency is directly involved in the terrorist incident and had provided financial support” to the elements behind the Johar Town blast. 

Inspector-General of Punjab Police (IGP) Inam Ghani said that the CTD Punjab had been able to arrest culprits “within hours” of the incident, adding that police was able to ascertain how the car used in the blast was bought.

“We have arrested the linchpin who had the blast carried out in Pakistan,” said Ghani. “We have arrested the ones who were used in Pakistan to conduct the blast, those who bought the car and repaired it as well, are also under arrest,” he added. 

The IGP said 10 Pakistanis were arrested in connection with the blast, adding that they comprised both men and women. He said Punjab police has also managed to identify the people who are part of the foreign agency involved in the incident.

“We have shared [the information] with our intelligence agencies as to who the members of these anti-state agency are,” he said. “A JIT has also been constituted on the chief minister’s directives to investigate the case.”

The Punjab police chief said the way this attack was carried out indicates that this was not the first time this group was carrying out subversive activities in Pakistan. 

“We will also investigate in which part of Pakistan this agency carried out subversive activities and we will come to a conclusion,” he said.

“As far as the hostile anti-state agencies are concerned, we have names at the moment, but if there are others involved, we will get to them as well,” IGP Ghani added. 

He rejected media reports that the suspect’s name had been listed under the Fourth Schedule of the Terrorist Act. 

Ghani said the car used in the explosion had been stolen in 2010 but had been recovered by police in 2011.

He shared additional details about the suspect who carried out the attack. “Though he has belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the man is a resident of Punjab and speaks fluent Punjabi,” he added. 

NETWORK: Meanwhile, sources saidthe CTD Punjab has found that the network is spread in Lahore, Karachi, Jhang and Rawalpindi.

“It is believed that Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies masterminded the terror activity,” sources said.

Earlier, the investigators have achieved a breakthrough in the blast case as a suspect, believed to be the man who parked the explosive-laden vehicle, was arrested from Rawalpindi.

Sources said that suspect Eid Gul was taken into custody in a raid by the CTD Punjab from Rawalpindi and was shifted to Lahore.

The writer is a member of staff
The reporting desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk

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