Pakistan PM vows to eliminate ‘coward’ terrorists

Army makes arrests dozens in raids on militant bases in Punjab after Lahore bombing claimed by Taliban faction.

LAHORE // Pakistan’s prime minister on Monday vowed to eliminate terrorists after a suicide bombing targeting Christians killed 70 people in Lahore on Easter Sunday.

After a meeting with security officials, Nawaz Sharif called the perpetrators of the attack “cowards” and vowed to defeat the “extremist mindset”. He also cancelled a planned trip to Great Britain as Pakistan began a three-day mourning period.

The military said dozens of people were arrested on Monday in raids in eastern Punjab province, where several deadly militant organisations are based.

The attack Lahore, Punjab’s provincial capital and Mr Sharif’s hometown, underscored both the militants’ ability to stage large-scale strikes despite a months-long government offensive against them and the precarious position of Pakistan’s minority Christians.

A breakaway Taliban faction, which publicly supports ISIL, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, in the capital Islamabad, extremists protested for a second day outside parliament and other key buildings in the city centre over the execution last month of Mumtaz Qadri, a policeman who killed a provincial governor for campaigning against harsh blasphemy laws. They also demanded that authorities impose Sharia.

The army, which was deployed on Sunday to contain the rioters, remained out on the streets as demonstrators set cars on fire.

The Lahore bombing took place in a park that was crowded with families, with many women and children among the victims. At least 300 people were wounded.

Even though a breakaway Taliban group, known as Jamaat Ul Ahrar, said it was targeting Christians, most of those killed were Muslims, who had also gathered in the park, a popular spot in the heart of Lahore, for the weekend holiday.

Of the dead, 14 have been identified as Christians and 44 as Muslim, according to Lahore police superintendent Mohammed Iqbal. Another 12 bodies have not yet been identified.

Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for Jamaat Ul Ahrar, said the attack was also meant to protest against Pakistan’s military operation in the tribal regions. The same militant group calaimed the twin bombings of a church in Lahore last year.

In recent weeks, Pakistan’s Islamist parties have been threatening widespread demonstrations to protest what they say is prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s pro-West stance. They have also denounced provincial draft legislation in Punjab outlawing violence against women.

Mr Sharif had earlier this month officially recognised holidays celebrated by the country’s minority religions – the Hindu festival of Holi and Easter.

In Lahore, dozens of families were bidding final farewell to their slain kin during funeral ceremonies on Monday.

Shama Pervez, a widowed whose 11-year-old son Sahil died in the blast, was inconsolable during funeral prayers. She said he had pleaded with her to go to the park rather than stay at home on Sunday, and she finally gave in.

On the outskirts of Lahore, in the Christian area of Youhanabad, mourners crowded into a church that was attacked a year ago.

“How long will we have to go on burying our children,” said Aerial Masih, the uncle of Junaid Yousaf, one of the victims in Sunday’s bombing.

Ten members of Qasim Ali’s family were killed on Sunday, all Muslims. His 10-year-old nephew Fahad Ali and two sisters were badly injured, and they had lost their parents and a sister.

The Punjab government said it would give about US$3,000 (Dh11,000) in compensation to the seriously wounded and $1,500 to those with minor injuries from Sunday’s bombing.

Counter-terrorism official Rana Tufail said the bomb was a crude device loaded with ball bearings, designed to rip through the bodies of its victims to cause maximum damage. He identified the suicide bomber as Mohammed Yusuf, a known militant recruiter.

Zahid Hussain, an analyst and author of books on militants in Pakistan, said Sunday’s violence was a coordinated show of strength by the country’s religious extremists, angered over what they see as efforts to undermine their influence.

The military launched an offensive against militants in the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan in June 2014. The operation has killed more than 3,000 militants, according to the army. In December 2014 , the Taliban retaliated with one of the worst terror attacks in Pakistan, killing 150 people, mainly children at a school in north-western city of Peshawar.

Mr Hussain said the government had been sending mixed signals to extremists – on the one hand allowing banned radical groups to operate unhindered under new names and radical leaders to openly give inciting speeches, while on the other hanging convicts like Qadri and promising to tackle honour killings and attacks against women.

“It is one step forward and two steps backward,” says Mr Hussain. “The political leadership has to assert itself and say ‘no’ to extremism once and for all.”

* Associated Press

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home. 

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

The specs: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Edition

Price, base / as tested: Dh186,480 / Dh252,735

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder

Power: 246hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 365Nm @ 1,200rpm

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Fuel consumption, combined: 7.7L / 100km

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram

 

Tonight's Chat on The National

Tonight's Chat is a series of online conversations on The National. The series features a diverse range of celebrities, politicians and business leaders from around the Arab world.

Tonight’s Chat host Ricardo Karam is a renowned author and broadcaster who has previously interviewed Bill Gates, Carlos Ghosn, Andre Agassi and the late Zaha Hadid, among others.

Intellectually curious and thought-provoking, Tonight’s Chat moves the conversation forward.

Facebook | Our website | Instagram