LAHORE – A seven-year-old boy and his younger brother succumbed to injuries in the Intensive Care Units of two different public hospitals on Wednesday, mounting the death toll in Tuesday’s powerful blast at Lahore Railways station to 4.
Security and intelligence agencies investigating the blast, which also wounded more than 55 persons including children and women, hinted on Wednesday that the blast was clearly identical to the (September 22) twin-bicycle blasts in Lahore. In 2005, two bombs planted in bicycles went off in Ichhra and outside Minar-e-Pakistan, killing nine persons and injuring 30 others. An anti-terrorism court had convicted Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) activist Jan Maqbool in the twin-bombing and sentenced him to death on 11 counts in November 2006. The court had awarded life imprisonment to another BLA activist on charges of aiding the main convict.
According to well-informed sources in the Interior Ministry, security agencies have so far arrested five people for their involvement in the Lahore blasts from different parts of the country including Quetta and Karachi.
They further claimed that the terror act was carried out by the BLA, an ethnic nationalist group funded by Indian Intelligence Agency – RAW or Research and Analysis Wing.
According to hospital sources, the seven-year-old injured boy, identified as Mehmood, breathed his last at Mayo Hospital on Wednesday morning while his four-year-old brother, Amir Sohail, died at the Children’s hospital in the evening. Another two victims are still said to be in critical condition.
Terrorists targeted passengers at Lahore Railways Station on Tuesday evening by exploding a high-intensity bomb, which left two people dead and injured more than 55 others. A railway police constable and a porter were also among those killed in the blast, which took place when the passengers were disembarking from the Peshawar-bound Awami express.
On Wednesday, doctors were seen struggling hard to save innocent lives while they were providing medical treatment to dozens of injured in various public hospitals.
Well-informed sources confided to TheNation that the initial intelligence reports sent to the authorities by different security agencies indicated that the Baloch separatists are orchestrating and fomenting deadly terror attacks and targeted assassinations across the country from their safe havens located in Afghanistan on the instruction of their handlers in New Delhi. These anti-state elements are operating from Afghanistan and fuelling unrest in Balochistan and now in Punjab to destabilise Pakistan, quoting a confidential report, a senior official in the Interior Ministry said.
The arms, ammunition, explosives and funds are all being funnelled into Pakistan by India via Afghanistan to aid anti-Pakistan forces in Balochistan, he maintained. According to the sources, the security agencies had issued prior warning to the government about possible terror attacks ahead of Bangladesh cricket team visit to Pakistan, which was subsequently postponed on security grounds following the Dhaka High Court ruling. Meanwhile, a top official in the Pakistan Railways admitted on Wednesday that the cameras were not operational at the station for the last couple of months due to the lack of funds. He said that the ministry had planned to install CCTV cameras at 12 railway stations across the country but the shortage of funds hit the project.
Though reportedly, an unseen outfit, Lashkar-e-Balochistan, has claimed responsibility for the blast, sources revealed that the Indian funded terrorists operating under the banner of BLA planned and executed the deadly terror attack.
Political pundits say that the nationalists in Balochistan are playing in the hands of external forces particularly India. The BLA openly claims responsibility for acts of militancy while other Baloch militant organisations are receiving funds and weapons from abroad.
Mass killing of non-Baloch elements is a reality and people responsible for such crimes need to be brought to law,” they said.