Terror revisits Lahore

MONDAY saw fear and panic gripping the provincial capital of Punjab as terrorists struck the busy Lahore’s Ferozepur Road killing as many as 26 people and injured scores of others. The attack has come at a time when our security forces have launched Operation Khyber-IV in tribal areas to eradicate the last bastions of terrorists there.
Lahore attack has once again made it crystal clear that sleeper cells of terrorists backed by foreign elements who do not want to see stability and peace prevailing in the country are still very much present in major cities. Quite recently, it has been seen that police force has become a prime and soft target for terrorists. In recent times they were attacked in Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar and now in Lahore as nine of the killed were police personnel. This once again exposes lack of counter terrorism training of police personnel. Though we understand that a major anti-terror operation is going on in the country against terrorists and has also achieved major successes, therefore, backlash and isolated incidents of terror cannot be ruled out, yet we believe that most of the acts can be averted through better intelligence sharing. In most of the cases red alerts are also issued to provincial governments but it has been noted that relevant quarters do not give much importance to them and the security is beefed up only after the terrorists succeed in their designs. Given the nature of threat, it has become incumbent upon political parties to rise above their vested interests and mudslinging and pay attention towards implementation of National Action Plan in letter and in spirit. The role of NACTA in this regard is very pivotal. Joint Intelligence Directorate under the NACTA needs to be activated at the earliest and provided with all resources in order to thwart sordid enemy designs against the country.

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