Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) emir Sirajul Haq on Friday narrowly escaped a “suicide attack” that targeted his convoy in Balochistan’s Zhob while six others were injured, according to police.
City police station Station House Officer (SHO) Sher Ali Mandokhail said that all of the injured were being treated at Civil Hospital, Zhob and one of them was in critical condition.
He said Haq’s vehicle was partly damaged in the incident while the JI emir remained unhurt.
The official added that a body found at the site of the blast was of the “suicide attacker”.
In a tweet, the JI also said that Haq — who was visiting the area to address a political gathering — was safe and that the attacker had been killed.
امیر جماعت اسلامی سراج الحق کے قافلے پر ژوب بلوچستان میں خود کش حملہ، حملہ آور مارا گیا۔
الحمدللہ سراج الحق محفوظ ہیں۔ جلسہ عام سے خطاب کے لیے ژوب میں موجود تھے
— Jamaat e Islami Pakistan (@JIPOfficial) May 19, 2023
“JI emir Siraj reached Quetta today and had to go further to Zhob where he has a political gathering today. When he was entering Zhob and people were welcoming him, a person came and blew himself up,” party spokesperson Qaisar Sharif said in a video message.
“Everybody was safe in the suicide attack and there was no loss of lives. According to initial information, only some cars have been damaged and a few people have sustained injuries.”
“The JI leadership is safe,” he added.
According to SHO Mandokhail, Haq insisted on going to the venue of his political gathering after the blast. “He was given a clearance after additional police and law enforcement personal were deployed.”
The official said Zhob Assistant Commissioner Hafiz Tariq had been assigned the JI’s security.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif “strongly” condemned the suicide attack, saying he had directed the Balochistan government to investigate the attack from all angles and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo expressed grief over the suicide blast.
“We are grateful to Allah who protected the emir of JI and his colleagues,” he said. “It is deeply regretted that five people were injured in the incident.”
He said terrorists wanted to achieve their evil goals by spreading fear and insecurity in the province, adding that militants and their patrons will not be allowed to succeed.
National Assembly (NA) Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf and Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani also condemned the incident, expressing deep grief and sorrow over the loss of lives.
They prayed for the victims and extended their condolences to the bereaved, according to a statement on the NA’s Twitter.
In his condemnation, PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari called for the arrest of the planners of the attack.
He extended his wishes to Haq and prayed for the fast recovery of the injured, a statement on the PPP’s Twitter said.