Brutal Killing of Col. (R) Shuja Khanzada

Colonel (retd) Shuja Khanzada, Punjab’s Interior Minister, didn’t know from Adams what fate had in store for him on August 16, 2015. Shuja Khanzada became target of two heartless suicide bombers while addressing a meeting of local people, at his hometown in Attock, who had come to express their condolences on the death of his cousin. In the brutal suicide attack not only Col. (retd) Shuja Khanzada but 19 other innocent people, including DSP Hazro Circle, Shaukat Shah were martyred. The number of people who were injured in the blast was not small either. As reported in the media, over 23 people were seriously injured in the tragedy.

Col. (retd) Shuja Khanzada was a bold, honest, upright, dedicated and competent officer. His love and concern for the downtrodden people of the country have always been an example for others to emulate. On the fateful day of August 16, 2015 he was with the people of his constituency; meeting them, listening to their grievances and, as always, assuring them of his full support in the resolution of their problems. Shuja Khanzada, it is said, used to visit his home in Attock, every week, particularly for meeting the people of his constituency. This is something that elected representatives of the people rarely do in our country. His political career has been equally notable. He has been a member of the Punjab Assembly since 2002 and an active member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Khanzada was extremely vocal on the issue of terrorism. He has, in fact, been very active in crackdowns on the militants and Taliban insurgents in the province of Punjab. That perhaps is also one of the reasons why he fell victim to the ruthless attack of the militants and lost his valuable life in the bargain.

Pakistan has paid heavily in its war against terrorism. Lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children have been sacrificed in this war. The valiant armed forces of Pakistan are bravely fighting a war against the militants in North Waziristan. Its successes in this regard are worthy of genuine appreciation. Time has come to further gear up our efforts to root out the militants from the soil of our beloved country, once and for all. This is all the more essential if we are to contain the massive toll that terrorism has already taken on our people, and also if we are sincerely desirous of putting Pakistan back on the path to economic development and prosperity.

M. FAZAL ELAHI
Islamabad

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