Extremists taunt Pakistan leader
LAHORE — The Pakistani militants who bombed a Lahore park on Easter Sunday, killing 70 people, taunted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (pictured) on Tuesday, declaring their war had come to his doorstep.
The military has said it is hunting the Taliban’s Jamaat-ur-ahrar faction and has carried out several raids since the suicide bombing, but neither the military nor the government has given any details.
Jamaat-ur-ahrar claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it had targeted Christians celebrating Easter and warning it would step up attacks.
Lahore is the capital of Punjab, Pakistan’s richest and most populous province and Sharif’s political heartland.
“Let Nawaz Sharif know that this war has now come to the threshold of his home,” tweeted Jamaat-ur-ahrar spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan. “The winners of this war will, God willing, be the righteous mujahideen.”
Jamaat-ur-ahrar, an independent faction of the Pakistani Taliban which and also previously declared loyalty to Islamic State, has carried out five major attacks in Pakistan since December.
In a televised address to the nation on Monday, Sharif vowed to continue pursuing militant groups.
“I am here to renew a pledge that we are keeping count of every drop of blood of our martyrs. This account is being settled, and we will not rest till it is paid,” Sharif said.