LAHORE - Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanullah Khan yesterday said disinformation about the Defence blast had created more confusion and fear than it was actually there on that day.

Next time the authorised persons of the government and the director general public relations (DGFPR) will speak on such incidents, the law minister told media persons, insisting the Defence blast was not caused by terrorists; instead, it was due to the explosion of a gas cylinder that killed seven persons had lost their lives. He said different persons and department jumped to the conclusion without awaiting the result of the forensic investigation of the material collected from the spot of the incident.

Rana Sanaullah said had different persons not given their own version on the incident which, in fact, was a gas cylinder explosion, an out-of-proportion confusion would not have been created. In order to put a check on the disinformation of this sort in future, the government would let only its authorised persons speak instead of allowing everyone to frame his own guesses.

He also advised media outlets to show responsibility on such incidents and avoid distorting the facts.

Rana Sanaullah said different versions were given on the Defence blast by the bomb disposal squad, Counter-Terrorism Department and the police as the building where the blast occurred had already been declared dangerous. This fact had delayed the forensic department to collect the samples from the badly damaged building.

The law minister said the forensic team had collected six samples which all proved it was a cylinder blast and nowhere any explosive material was found. Illustrating this fact further, the minister said those dead in the incident should have had marks of pellet injuries, but they had the wounds of an article which had blasted. He said after the forensic report came, it was consensus view of the Rescue 1122, police and other departments that it was no terror act or blast. He said the forensic report which takes six to eight hours to complete is now is in hand to clear the dust on the matter.

The minister said a report on the incident has been registered and investigation has been initiated against the companies which are manufacturing substandard cylinders. After receiving a report on it, action would follow against the companies which were not meeting the prescribed specifications while manufacturing cylinders.

Rana Sanaullah also snubbed the media for airing unconfirmed reports on the incident which they dubbed as a terror act. “I strongly believe that the war on terrorism is a national cause and everyone, including the government, political parties, media and others, must own it. We all have to fight this war collectively, so it is necessary to avoid any act which hurdles that goal and creates panic in the society,” the minister said, condemning the people who gave their own opinion on the incident which caused confusion and panic.