Minister’s killing is not the last death: Pakistani daily

Islamabad, Aug 17 (IANS) Punjab home minister Colonel (retired) Shuja Khanzada’s being killed in a suicide attack “will not be the last death that arises from the ongoing battle against militancy”, a Pakistani daily warned on Monday.

An editorial “Line of fire” in the News International said that the death of Khanzada in a suicide bombing on Sunday at his political office in his native village of Shadi Khan in Attock District “will not be the last death that arises from the ongoing battle against militancy”.

“But this attack on the head of security matters in Punjab should not be taken lightly.”

Khanzada had earlier spoken of how terrorists had infiltrated Attock and other parts of Punjab and he “had also talked about specific threats against himself”.

The daily said that the audacious attack on the “sitting provincial minister who had taken a strong line against terrorism was obviously designed to send out a very specific message”.

It noted that the point “the militants wanted to push through has been made. They will strike back when they are targeted, and they will strike back where it hurts most”.

The editorial wondered whether Khanzada have been provided more security? Should his concerns have been taken more seriously?

“We will need to be prepared for more possible attacks as this effort continues,” it said, adding that there is every reason to believe that, driven to desperation, the militants will strike again.

“Counter-efforts require good intelligence and good security. It should by now be possible for the many agencies working in our country to penetrate the most dangerous militant groups working within it. If this has not happened, we should be asking why. We must also review how we protect our key leaders,” the daily said.

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