The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government said on Saturday that it would disclose the perpetrators of the Peshawar mosque blast and their network within 48 hours as per the findings of the investigating agencies.
“We have identified the suicide bomber. Such kinds of information are sensitive and we will not divulge it and advise people to avoid making any comments,” Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif said at a press conference in Peshawar.
He was accompanied by Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Ijaz Khan.
According to the chief minister’s aide, the crime investigation team has so far identified the assailant with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority.
Based on such methods, investigative bodies have traced and identified the culprits and their network. “We will soon bring them in front of you,” said Saif.
On speculation regarding police’s apparent negligence, he said the officers were on duty and their death proves their alertness during the duty. “Nothing is more important than that a person’s life.”
He admitted there could be a human lapse but added that police could not be blamed for the incident as they also lost their two officers among the 62 people dead in the blast in an old neighbourhood of the city.
Elaborating on the police personnel who were on duty, the CM’s aide said that many officers were providing security to the polio team as the immunization campaign started on Friday. Moreover, many police officers were on duty at mandirs for an event.
Police Officer Police Muhammad Ijaz Khan said that as many as 5,500 police personnel were on polio duty and despite that, they tried to put police on duty for the place of worship.
“The CCTV footage shows the assailant was trained as in one shot he neutralised the first constable and second was also shot on the chest,” he said, “On initial information, it was shared that there were two terrorists, however, the second person was a common citizen who took the police’s gun in an effort to help the police who was down,” Khan said.
Saif also addressed reports that the administration had been alerted of such an incident.
“There was not a pinpoint on intelligence but there was a general intelligence, there was a danger, there was an alert and because of this alert our police officers were on duty there [mosque],” Saif said. “I want to tell this because there was no negligence from the police side.”
Saif further advised people to avoid reaching conclusions without knowing details.
Lauding the country’s forces, he said the institutions conducted the investigation and traced the main support network of the suicide bomber. Additionally, they have also taken in custody the rickshaw which the assailant used to reach the site.
He added the government and security officials had met the religious leaders of the area and assured them of bringing the culprits to justice and improving the security of prayer areas.
The CM’s aide said that all the security agencies were coordinating and working together.
“We will redo security in KP and police will be equipped,” he said and refrained from terming the incident a “terror wave”.
“The overall situation of the city is under control,” he added.