Faisalabad immersed in grief after car bombing


FAISALABAD – Shops and offices remained closed on the second day of the blast that left 26 dead and more than 100 injured. Faisalabad has been a peaceful city as compared to Lahore and Karachi and the residents are not familiar with the scenes of bomb blasts followed by noisy ambulances, police and rescue operations that are always considered as ugly aftermaths of terrorist attacks. But Tuesday’s scenes of massive bloodbath have shaken every one’s confidence and there is a general perception that the city no longer carries the image of a simple and friendly environment where people have no fear of terror attacks.
As the city government is counting the cost of the damage in terms of precious lives and property, the residents have condemned the sadistic designs of the merchants of death and destruction who have no conscience, no humanity and no shame for their barbaric acts.
“It is sad that the terrorists have targeted Faisalabad for their nefarious activities,” said a travel agent working at Regency Plaza located opposite the PIA building that collapsed. “The blast in the busiest commercial area of the city is a ploy to undermine the business activity and harm the national economy,” he said.
Commenting on the announcement of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) that took responsibility of the attack, a volunteer helping the rescue teams said these are the mercenaries fighting for money and there is sufficient evidence that these anti-state elements are playing as puppets in the hands of Indian and Afghan lobbies which are bent upon destroying the country.
A security officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said: You cannot declare the incident a security lapse. You must be aware that the terrorists have missed their target and the blast at CNG station was done in panic. The intelligence agency office they wanted to hit was located at least 50 metres from the blast site,” he added.
This incident is thought to be the retaliation of the death of TTP mercenary Doctor Ma’az who was killed along with his accomplice about one year back by the intelligence agencies after a gun battle.
There are always good things and bad things following any tragedy. So in this case the good thing was that The Young Doctors Association Faisalabad called off their strike for pay raise and took charge of the emergency to treat the injured. The head of the association, Dr Rai Arif Hussain, said they are humans and know the value of saving a precious life; therefore, they have put the strike on hold. But the other side of the story is that politicians took it as a window of opportunity to ditch their rivals.
Former Punjab Minister Raja Riaz, commenting on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s visit to the DHQ hospital, said, “The helicopter excursion costs Rs one million and it was more appropriate to give the money in terms of aid to these victims instead of visiting them to gain popularity.” On the other side, the PML-N local leadership has blamed the federal government for the security lapse. The bottom line is that our political leadership has not learnt any lesson from the incident. They have ignored that this is the time to take a united stance to fight TTP.
The CNG station next to the PIA building was the epicentre of the blast and the scale of disaster was magnified due to the ignition of CNG gas.
The citizens have reiterated that the city government must revise the policy of issuing NOCs for CNG stations in the densely populated areas. Anjuman Tajiran City Chairman Shahid Razzaq Sakka has condemned the incident and announced a three-day mourning to mark the tragedy that has caused a serious blow to the local business already destroyed by electricity and gas load shedding. The district bar association has also declared a two-day strike. DBA President Fawad Cheema at an emergency meeting of the executive committee has condemned the cowardly act.