“We don’t follow a policy of attacking shrines. During five years of government in Afghanistan, the Taliban never demolished a single shrine. Strategically it would also be ridiculous if we send anybody for any suicide attack. Why should we do that? If we really want to kill people over there all we need is to simply park an explosive laden car and that’s all.”

–Muhammad Umar, a spokesperson for the Punjabi Taliban, denying allegation that the TTP was responsible for the July 2010 Lahore attack.

 

On this day in 2010, Lahore was struck with shock and grief as two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the Sufi shrine, Data Durbar Complex. At least 50 people died and 200 others were hurt in the blasts. This was the largest attack on a Sufi shrine in Pakistan since 2001, causing riots and scuffles. The next day about 2,000 people, some armed, staged protests in the city shouting “Down with Shahbaz Sharif”, as most of them blamed the Punjab government for the lapse in security arrangement. The Taliban denied any involvement in the massacre and blamed foreign forces trying to ‘malign’ the mujahidin. This was the largest terrorism attack in the heart of Punjab before the Gulshan Iqbal Park massacre took place. The people of Lahore lived in a false sense of security for so many years had passed by without such an incident. The reality as that no one is truly safe as long as terrorism is allowed to exist in whatever form in the country.