General Bajwa assures security for PSL 2017 final in Lahore    AFP
General Bajwa assures security for PSL 2017 final in Lahore AFP

Lahore: Seeking to allay security fears after yesterday’s suicide attack here, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa today offered military’s “full support” in holding the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final as scheduled. During his visit to Punjab’s capital in connection with the blast yesterday that left 13 people, mostly police officers, dead and over 80 injured, Gen Bajwa presided over a security meeting at the Corps Headquarters here and took stock of investigation in the blast. Talking about its linkage to sabotage forthcoming PSL Final at Lahore, Gen Bajwa said: “The army will extend full support to all concerned for holding the PSL final in Lahore as scheduled.”

He said such incidents can neither lower our national resolve nor can affect our ongoing efforts against terrorism. The PSL final is scheduled for March 5. He said that terrorists of all hue and colour, their masters, financiers, planners and abettors including from outside will be hunted across the country, held accountable and responded to. “Our gains over the years cannot be reversed,” he said and appreciated efforts of intelligence agencies in tracing culprits of last night blast which have resulted in important apprehensions overnight including of few Afghans.

Gen Bajwa also visited the family of a slain police officer and visited the injured at Services Hospital Lahore. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Pakistan Cricket Board officials have also declared that the Lahore blast was a “conspiracy against PSL”. The game of Cricket has been targeted repeatedly in Pakistan by extremist organisations.

In March 2009, six Sri Lankan cricketers were injured when their bus, part of a larger convoy, was fired upon by 12 gunmen, near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, leading to most of the cricket-playing nations refusing to visit or play in the country. The poor security situation in the country also forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to strip Pakistan of its hosting rights for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, eventually won by India.