The recent improvised explosive device (IED) blast on Peshawar’s Warsak Road, injuring at least six people, including four children, serves as a distressing reminder of the persistent security challenges faced by Pakistan, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). The indiscriminate targeting of civilians, especially in close proximity to educational institutions, is deeply concerning. The lack of an immediate claim of responsibility further complicates the situation, leaving the motive behind the attack unclear.
The incident, which occurred near Peshawar Public School around 9:10 am, involved an estimated four kilograms of explosives planted in a cemented block on the side of the road. The area has been cordoned off, and investigations are underway to determine the target of this heinous act. The windows of a nearby building and windshields of two Suzuki vans were shattered due to the intensity of the blast, underscoring the severity of the attack on innocent civilians.
The condemnation from caretaker KP Chief Minister Justice Arshad Hussain Shah and ANP provincial president Aimal Wali Khan emphasises the urgency for robust security measures and a comprehensive strategy to counter terrorism. As Pakistan approaches general elections expected on February 8, the escalating violence raises critical questions about the feasibility of political activities in the region.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar and Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti have strongly condemned the attack, with Kakar directing relevant authorities to provide the best medical facilities to the injured children and Bugti vowing to punish those responsible. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has called for strict action against the criminals involved, emphasising the need for a unified response to protect the country’s future.
The uptick in terror activities in recent months, especially in KP and Balochistan, poses a grave concern. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s decision to end its ceasefire with the government in November last year has exacerbated the security situation. Data from the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies reveals a 34 percent increase in anti-state violence last month, with KP being the most affected province, experiencing 51 attacks and resulting in 54 fatalities and 81 injuries.
As the nation grapples with the aftermath of yet another tragic incident, it is imperative for the government to take immediate and decisive action to address the rising threat of terrorism.