Raza Rumi

As if the recent acts of violence and an atmosphere of fear was not enough, the butchers have attacked Lahore’s oldest and grandest shrine – also known as Data Saheb. Thursday night is the time when thousands visit this shrine to pray and offer their respects to Hazrat Usman Hajwery, a Sufi who has been known as the protector of the city and the generous guide who is believed to have blessed countless generations.

This is a barbaric attack and should serve as a wake up call. Data Saheb’s shrine is not just another crowded place – it represents a millenia of tolerant Sufi Islam which is directly under attack by the puritans.Last year, there were threats and the government had closed the place for a day or two. This time the worst of nightmares has come true.

How long will we be mere spectators and see our great city blown to bits – culturally and physically. This is time for hard, concrete action and a major crackdown on all terrorist outfits that are operating in the country especially the Punjab wit impunity.

How long shall we remain in a state of denial – as if there is no problem within Pakistan and all acts of terror are perpeterated by the Indians, Jews and the Americans.

Here’s the latest report:

LAHORE: At least 18 people were killed when three suicide blasts struck Data Darbar in Lahore on Thursday.

According to police officials, the death toll was still unconfirmed, however, authorities stated that more than 100 people were injured.

The Data Darbar shrine is situated in the center of the city and according to police reports, a large number of people were present in the vicinity during the blasts.

Most of the injured were shifted to Mayo Hospital, where an emergency has been declared. Local televisions reported that some of the victims had also been taken to Services Hospital and Mehran Hospital.

Thursday is a popular day at the shrine where crowds gather at night. Police officials said that the large number of people could have been the reason why the bombers managed to get through, despite the heightened security.