Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif talks to an injured victim of Sunday’s suicide bombing during his visit to a local hospital in Lahore. Photo / AP
In an emotional televised address, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has vowed to hunt down and defeat the militants who have been carrying out attacks such as the Easter bombing that targeted Christians and killed 72 people.
“We will not allow them to play with the lives of the people of Pakistan,” Sharif said. “This is our resolve. This is the resolve of the 200 million people of Pakistan.”
As the country began three days of mourning after Sunday’s suicide bombing in the eastern city of Lahore in a park crowded with families, Sharif said the army would forge ahead with a military operation on extremist hideouts and police will go after what he called the “cowards” who carried out the attack.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway Taliban faction that supports Isis (Islamic State), claimed responsibility and said it specifically targeted Christians.
But most of those killed were Muslims who had also been in the popular park for the holiday. Many women and children were among the victims. At least 300 people were wounded.
Sharif, who cancelled a visit to the United States to attend a nuclear summit, also warned extremists against using Islam to justify their violence in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation.