Pak PM Sharif cancels Britain visit after Lahore blast

nawaz sharif

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has cancelled his visit to Britain because of the Easter suicide attack in a Lahore city park. At least 70 people killed and over 250 injured.

According to a spokesman at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, Sharif was scheduled to leave for Britain on Monday but he cancelled his trip after the blast at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, where Christians were celebrating Easter on yesterday evening.

Sharif was to go to London for a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron on way to the US for the Nuclear Security Summit 2016. He will now travel directly to the US after a couple of days. The News International quoted the spokesman as saying.

The spokesman also said Sharif held detailed deliberations at a high-level meeting here which reviewed security situation in Pakistan. The meeting lasted for several hours, and was attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and officials.

The Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it deliberately targeted Christians celebrating Easter.

During the high-level meeting in Islamabad late Sunday night, Sharif said terrorists and their facilitators involved in Lahore suicide attack would be taken to task at all costs, Radio Pakistan reported on Monday.

Stating that his heart bleeds as the terrorists had targeted his sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, Sharif said the terrorists were committing “cowardly acts after facing defeat”.

The prime minister stressed the need for strengthening national unity and burying differences to confront terrorism with strong resolve.