Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said his country had sowed seeds of terrorism, Dawn reported. The minister’s statement came a day after a massive explosion at a mosque in Peshawar claimed 100 lives and injured several others.
Between 300 and 400 policemen had gathered for afternoon prayers at the mosque on Monday in the provincial capital, when an entire wall and most of the roof were blown off, showering rubble on officers.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly in Pakistan, Asif said, “I will not talk for long but I will say briefly that at the start, we sowed seeds of terrorism.”
Further, he said the suicide bomber who blew himself up on the mosque premises in Peshawar was standing in the front during Zuhr prayers.
“Worshippers weren’t martyred during prayers even in India or Israel, but it happened in Pakistan,” he added.
According to the report, Asif questioned who would be held accountable for the Peshawar mosque explosion.
The minister said that the entire nation needed to be united against terrorism and only then could it be fought against.
“Terrorism doesn’t differentiate between any religion or sect. Terrorism is used in the name of religion to take precious lives,” the minister was quoted by Dawn as saying.
PAKISTAN MINISTER SPEAKS ON TERRORISM IN COUNTRY
Asif called for unity in the fight against terrorism and said it was time for Pakistan to set its “house in order”.
Speaking about the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the past, the Pakistan defence minister said, “When Russia invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan offered its services to the United States on rent.”
“The agreement made with the US went on for eight to nine years, after which the US went back to Washington celebrating the fact that Russia was defeated. Pakistan was left to deal with the aftermath for the next 10 years,” Asif was quoted by Dawn as saying.
“Once those 10 years passed, 9/11 happened. A threat was received from there and we got involved in another war,” he said.
The minister said that Pakistan’s involvement in these two wars had spilled over into “our homes, our bazaars, our schools and public places”.
PESHAWAR MOSQUE BLAST
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Peshawar mosque blast rose to 100 on Wednesday. At least 170 people were wounded in the explosion, which demolished the upper storey of the mosque as hundreds of worshippers performed noon prayers.
The blast was a targeted revenge attack, a police chief was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The attack, in the Police Lines district, was the deadliest in a decade to hit this restive, northwestern city near the Afghan border and comes amid a surge in violence against the police.
Authorities say they do not know how the bomber managed to breach the military and police checkpoints leading into the Police Lines district, a colonial-era, self-contained encampment in the city centre that is home to middle- and lower-ranking police personnel and their families.
Given the security concerns in Peshawar, the mosque was built to allow police to pray without leaving the area.
No group has officially owned up to the attack.__Courtesy India Today