ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI - The civil, military and political leadership of the country strongly condemned on Sunday the terrorist attack in Attock and reiterated that operation against the enemies of the state would continue till elimination of the last terrorist.

The prime minister, along with President Mamnoon Hussain, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and all political leaders were united to show solidarity and express resolve to fight terrorism.

President Mamnoon Hussain termed Khanzada’s martyrdom a tragedy. He said Khanzada’s martyrdom won’t go in vain. The president extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and prayed for them to bear the loss with courage and fortitude. Strongly condemning the terrorist attack, the president emphasised that such cowardly attacks could not dent the determination of people and reiterated the commitment that the whole nation stood united to eliminate the scourge of extremism from the country. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, “Sacrifices of our brave nation and valiant heroes like Shuja Khanzada will decimate the designs of coward terrorists and they will be chased to their last hideout and eliminated with national resolve and unity.”

In a statement, he reaffirmed the commitment and determination of the government for pursuing the National Action Plan against terrorism with full force and directed for pre-emptive security strategy to counter the terrorist planning. He stressed for the change of tactics and go for preventive operational methodology.

Army chief expressed condolence on the incident and said that Shuja Khanzada sacrificed his life for a great cause, adding that acts of terrorism could not shake determination against terrorism.

"Such dastardly coward attempts can't dent our national resolve to eliminate the menace," said army spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa in a statement. "Khanzada Shaheed (martyr) was a bold officer whose sacrifice for the greater cause of cleansing Pakistan won't go wasted."

Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif announced three-day mourning in the province over the martyrdom of Shuja Khanzada and loss of other precious human lives in Attock.

Shahbaz described the martyrdom a tragedy and said the country had lost a patriotic Pakistani. He said he could not describe the grief in words, adding that he was his close companion. He said the war against terrorism will continue till complete elimination of terrorism and the murderers will not escape their logical end. Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Senator Pervaiz Rashid said the whole nation was united and such cowardly acts of terror could not weaken their resolve.

Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana expressed profound grief over the loss of lives in the blast. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah condemned Khanzada’s killing and said they will not rest until terrorism is eliminated. “The attack is an act of cowardice,” he added. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch also expressed their profound grief over the incident.

PTI chief Imran Khan, former president Asif Ali Zardari, opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah, Jamaat Islami chief Sirajul Haq, MQM chief Altaf Hussain, former Punjab chief minister Pervez Elahi, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Central President of ANP Asfandiyar Wali Khan, opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rashid were among many who strongly condemned the terror attack and said such cowardly acts could not shake their resolve.

Thousands also took to twitter to pay homage to deceased Khanzada using multiple hashtags. Minutes after the attack, hashtag attock (#Attock) became the trending topic in Pakistan while hashtag Pakistan Salutes Shuja Khanzada (#PakistanSalutesShujaKhanzada) and hashtag Khanzada Mission Will Continue (#KhanzadaMissionWillContinue) were used after the death was confirmed by officials.

Twitter user not only paid tribute to former Pakistan Army colonel but they also reaffirmed their resolve against terrorists.