ISLAMABAD/KARACHI  - The prime minister, leaders of political and religious groups strongly condemned Thursday evening’s bomb blast in Karachi’s Hassan Square, in which Crime Investigation Department Superintendent of Police Chaudhry Aslam and other police officials were killed and several others wounded. They paid rich tribute to SP Aslam for his valor and his role in fight against terrorists and criminals.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif denounced the bombing, and said such attacks would not deter the morale of law-enforcement agencies in their fight against terrorism.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif strongly flayed the bomb blast and expressed sorrow and grief over the death of SP Aslam and other police officials.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan condemned the terrorist attack in Karachi and offered heartfelt condolences to families of the victim police personnel.

Former President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the bombing as a ‘cowardly attack’. He said the attack on the police convoy showed terrorists were against this country and wanted to impose their distorted religious and political agenda on the people of Pakistan. “No matter what these terrorists do will not weaken law-enforcement agencies and nation's resolve to fight them till their last defeat.” Zardari said the nation was thankful to valiant police officers like SP Aslam. He said these officials had been fighting courageously to restore peace in Karachi, so the citizens could live peacefully. He said SP Aslam was a valiant son of this country and the nation saluted its sons who were fighting the scourge of terrorism. The former president asked the Sindh government to look after families of the martyred police officers and provide best medical facilities to the injured.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain condemned the terrorist attack and expressed sorrow over loss of precious lives. He called on the government to immediately arrest the killers of SP Aslam and take them to task.

Jamaat-e-Islami flayed the terrorist attack, and called for an inquiry. It demanded the culprits be brought to justice and penalized. Jamaat’s Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said the government should take serious steps towards restoration of peace in Karachi. He said the citizens were in a state of distress and mental agony due to brewing security situation in the sprawling metropolis.

Awami National Party condemned the suicide blast and expressed grief over loss of lives of police personnel. It said the blood of the martyrs would not go waste. ANP Sindh chief Shahi Syed said SP Aslam was a valiant officer, and termed his death a major loss to Sindh police. Shahi said it was a matter of concern for all the political parties and “our security forces”. He said those labelling terrorists as martyrs should correct their course of action. He added ANP leadership expressed solidarity with families of the victims and stood by them.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz denounced the bombing, and extended sympathy to families of the victims and injured. PML-N Sindh leaders Ghous Ali Shah and Saleem Zia said SP Aslam’s services towards law enforcement would never be forgotten. “Aslam was a brave officer and played a vital role in fighting terrorists and criminals. They also expressed disappointment over the growing trend of targeting police officers.

PTI Sindh leader Imran Ismail also condemned the bomb blast and termed it a “cowardly act”. He said SP Aslam was a fearless, brave officer. He said the Sindh government seemed helpless before terrorists.

Pakistan Sunni Tehreek chief condemned the attack as a “cowardly act”, and said SP Aslam was a threat to extremist elements. He said both the masses and security agencies were not afraid of terrorists.

Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat leader Orangzaib Farooqi flayed the attack, saying it was an attempt to divert attention from ongoing targeted operation in Karachi. He said terrorist attacks on law-enforcement agencies could not bring their morale down.

Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen condemned the attack. MWM leader Allama Mukhtar Imami said the rulers seemed helpless before terrorists and needed to take a decisive action against them. He said the Taliban and other banned outfits were carrying out attacks to fulfill their indiscriminate aims.