Sharif cancels trip to Britain, following Lahore blast; will fly to US directly

Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has cancelled his visit to Britain following the deadly Easter Sunday suicide attack in a Lahore city park that left at least 70 people killed and over 250 injured.

Sharif cancels trip to Britain, following Lahore blast; will fly to US directly

Police officers and rescue workers gather at the site of the bomb explosion. AP

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 Sunday evening.

Sharif was to go to London for a meeting with his British counterpart David Cameron, and then onwards to the US for the Nuclear Security Summit, 2016. He will now travel directly to the US after a couple of days, according to the News International.

The spokesman also said that Sharif held detailed deliberations at a high-level meeting, which reviewed the 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 on Sunday night, Sharif said terrorists and their facilitators involved in the attack would be taken to task at all costs, Radio Pakistan reported on Monday.

Saying 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.

The meeting, attended by Nisar Ali Khan and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar among others, took several important decisions in the wake of Lahore incident, the media report said.


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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2016 14:17:00 IST

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