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Data Darbar Attacked: Suicide Bombers Murder 40+ in their War Against Pakistan : ALL THINGS PAKISTAN
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Data Darbar Attacked: Suicide Bombers Murder 40+ in their War Against Pakistan

Posted on July 1, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters, Law & Justice
Total Views: 28297


Adil Najam

(Editor’s note: Beware, the pictures here may be graphic and disturbing for some readers. Although, no more disturbing than the reality of murder and inhumanity that they depict.)

It was just weeks ago that we were humming along with Arif Lohar about selling wangaaN (bangles) at Data Sahib (the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh Hajveri) in Lahore. Today, brutal murderers ruthlessly butchered at least 40 innocent Pakistanis and injured another 170 in a heinous and dastardly suicide attack on Data Durbar that specifically targeted the vulnerable, the poor, the religious, the helpless in their ongoing war against Pakistan. This is one more in a string of attacks in and around Lahore which seem to have picked up just as momentum gathers for an operation against militants and extremists in the Punjab in the aftermath of the attack on Ahmedi worshipers in Lahore.

That Lahore’s single most iconic and revered location has been attacked – and on a jumaraat, which many consider to be sacred – reeks with symbolism and speaks volumes about the depth of hatred that these murderers have for all things Pakistan. Yes, I take this personally. Just as I have taken every murder of innocent Pakistanis anywhere in Pakistan, personally. Anyone who loves Lahore cannot hear of this and not have a shiver go down the spine; as it went mine. But that shiver is now a nearly daily occurrence. Whatever the symbolism of Data Sahib may be, it is paled by the outrage at the murder – yet again – of innocent people: the begunah, the masoom!

I would like to find the words to express that outrage, to express what Data Darbar means to so many, to describe the pain that pounds me once again as it has each time these murderers have hit Pakistanis anywhere. I would like to do that but – quite literally – my hands are trembling, my eyes have swelled up, and that shiver up my spine has gripped my entire body. Maybe later I will find the words to say what I need to say, but right now I ponder only on the darkness that resides in the hearts of the men who commit these acts, those who plan them, and those who choose to justify them.

For now, all I can do is to give you the essential details, as reported in Dawn:

LAHORE: In the first terrorist attack of its kind in the Punjab capital, two alleged suicide bombers blew themselves up at the Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine on Thursday night, killing at least 40 people and injuring 170 others. The first explosion took place in the basement reserved for ablution and the second in front of the shrine’s main building where a large number of people from across the province gather for worship on Thursdays.

At first, police announced that some crackers had exploded near the shrine. The two bombers entered the shrine and exploded themselves three minutes apart. Surveillance cameras, walkthrough gates and metal detectors turned out to be ineffective. Around 100 volunteers and several policemen were present in and around the shrine, searching visitors thoroughly.

Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmad told Dawn that two suicide attacks had been carried out and investigators had found the bombers’ skulls and limbs. He said ball-bearings and other material used in the blasts had also been collected. Lahore Commissioner Khusro Pervaiz Bakhtiar told journalists at the spot that the bombers had blown themselves up during a large congregation. In reply to a question about involvement of a foreign hand in the attack, he said the strike was a horrible conspiracy but “our own people become instruments in the hands of others”.

The official said an investigation had been launched about the breach in security measures. According to witnesses, the explosions were so powerful that a large number of people fell down and several of them were injured in a stampede. The shrine’s administration announced seconds after the first blast that a generator had exploded in the basement and they might continue their activities. The bomb disposal squad estimated that 10-15kgs of explosives had been used in each suicide jacket.

Ambulances of Rescue 1122 and the Edhi Foundation took the bodies and injured people to hospitals. According to a devotee, two gates on the north and south side of the shrine, which usually remain closed, were open on Thursday. He suspected that the bombers had entered through those gates. Scores of enraged people gathered outside the shrine and protested against terror attacks. They also damaged public and private property. There were reports that a cracker was exploded before the suicide blasts to create a panic.

Police evacuated Data Darbar to collect evidence and carry out rescue work. All commercial and residential buildings adjoining the shrine were also searched for suspects. Following the blasts, an extensive crackdown was launched across the city and several people were detained for interrogation. A suspect was also taken into custody near the Darbar. Rumours of terror attacks on other shrines in the city panicked devotees and police also launched a search operation there. Security was beefed up in and around all shrines and religious places.

89 comments posted

Comment Pages: « 1211 10 9 8 7 6 5 [4] 3 2 1 » Show All

  1. RamRahim says:
    July 2nd, 2010 8:55 am

    I agree that such gory pictures should be removed. There is no GOOD or BAD terrorist. A person who spreads hatred in any form is a terrorist. I have a question for the guys who always blame Hindus for every thing evil happening in Pakistan. If Pakistan is so PAK why spread hatred in J&K and every where else in the world. Every second terrorist caught in the world has links to Pakistan. Muslims everywhere from US to Indonesia, from Kurdistan to Kashmir seems to be always against the system. If they are in minority they cry that the system is against them, if they are in majority they start asking for separate land. How much land one needs for burial?
    Pakistan’s policy has always been India and Hindu centric, look what have you achieved. People frown and become uneasy where they see a Pakistani. We also have our own problems but at least we don’t export fidayeen.Indian muslims are very happy in INDIA.You may talk about Gujarat,but who started the fight (muslim mob burned the train carry Hindu pilgrims).I am against the killing, all who died were INDIAN first and then Hindus or Muslims.WE DON’T HAVE TO MENTION OUR RELIGION IN ANY DOCUMENT (EVEN IN PASSPORT) IN INDIA.
    Hindus constitute 78% ,muslims 12% of the population of India,still they are very happy.ISI and the subsequent government in Pakistan have to rise about religion politics and work to get rid of this cancer which has already spread a lot.

  2. vtpcnk says:
    July 2nd, 2010 8:31 am

    a drop of poison will inevitably poison the well. religious communities war against each other saying they are god’s chosen ones and that the other is the unbeliever. soon it is only a matter of time that the venom turns inward and against themselves.

    in this latest gory episode we know only one thing : whoever committed it had nothing to do with goodness or virtue.

  3. July 2nd, 2010 8:18 am

    These People are not Muslims and they are the real enemy of Islam

  4. Laloona says:
    July 2nd, 2010 7:42 am

    This is truly unbelievable. In a country where daily killings are marked by apathy, this is hair-raising. It leaves everyone speechless.

    while no-one wants to gloss over the goriness of it all, I do agree with the earlier commentators, that such graphic images shouldnt have been shared.

  5. Pakistani says:
    July 2nd, 2010 7:03 am

    Adil Najam sahab,
    Please follow a responsible journalism and remove the images from the main story page immediately.

    Otherwise, complaint will be lodge against you and your website in media regulatory authority.

  6. Shehryar says:
    July 2nd, 2010 6:29 am

    I feel you should avoid such graphic images in the main story. If you feel it is essential to convey the story, it should be a link with a warning, or have a layer on top similar to the way the Boston Globe handles it (although this may be difficult to pull off without “tech support”) http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/06/afghanistan_june_2010.html

  7. DARWEESH says:
    July 2nd, 2010 5:47 am

    Sheer madness,height of “Jahalat”
    Long Live Pakistan

  8. Sam says:
    July 2nd, 2010 4:28 am

    @Ahmed Siddiqui , People like you suck, big time. Pakistan is a land of Sufis and we never wanted saudi wahabism to visit us. for people like you, I leave judgement to Allah as Allah knows who is better , one who kills innocent or one who loves people and spread the his right message.

Comment Pages: « 1211 10 9 8 7 6 5 [4] 3 2 1 » Show All

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