Easter Suicide Bombing – Lahore, Pakistan

Posted on May 3, 2016 by

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“We must bring the killers of our innocent brothers, sisters and children to justice and will never allow these savage inhumans to over-run our life and liberty,” military spokesman Asim Baja said in a post on Twitter.  According to http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/27/dozens-killed-in-blast-outside-lahore-park-pakistan?CMP=share_btn_tw, on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, a suicide bomber set off an explosion which witnesses claimed was loud enough to be heard for miles. This tragedy occurred at a public park named, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, in Lahore, Pakistan. In my discussion, I will analyze media coverage from a variety of sources, pertaining to the recent attack in Lahore.

In the article, “Lahore Attack: Pakistan ‘Detains 200’ After Easter Blast” from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35916578, the author emphasized Pakistan’s authorities efforts to hunt down those responsible for the catastrophe. Apparently, out of 5,000 people who were questioned, over 200 people were detained following the explosion. The short, to the point, article presents that a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, known as Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, took responsibility for the attack at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park. According to this source, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar said they were targeting members of Lahore’s Christian community who were celebrating Easter Sunday at a funfair located at the park. The Christian community may have been the target, but www.bbc.com provides that most of the fatalities were Muslims. This specific article doesn’t give any detailed coverage of the chaos on the scene or history of the issue. Respectively, I will assess news sources which have included more information.

Although the media source from www.bbc.com emphasizes Pakistan’s counter-terror offensive, an article from http://time.com/4273312/lahore-attack-easter-pakistan/ entitled, “Lahore Easter Bombing Shows Pakistan’s Fight Against Extremism Is Far From Over” quotes, “The attack raises questions about why greater protection wasn’t provided to Lahore’s Christians before the bomber struck.” This claim was then supported with evidence that Jamaat-ul-Ahrar also took responsibility for the Youhanabad attacks which occurred in Lahore just a year prior, during the same month. The author of “Lahore Easter Bombing Shows Pakistan’s Fight Against Extremism Is Far From Over”, Omar Waraich, goes on to heavily suggest that the law enforcement could have been more proactive in their efforts against terrorism in Pakistan, in the following article, “Read More: Outpouring of Sadness and Solidarity for Pakistan as World Reacts to Lahore Blast”. Waraich describes the scene of the incident prior to the explosion using vivid language. In my opinion, Waraich tries to gain sympathy by generalizing how innocent families spent their day, prior to the attack. Obviously, his bias supports the victims of the tragedy. The article from www.time.com contradicts information which was given in the article, “Lahore attack: Pakistan ‘detains 200’ after Easter blast” from www.bbc.com. According to www.time.com, most of the victims of the suicide bombing were a part of the Christian community.

According to the next article I would like to analyze, “Pakistan Bombing: Suspects, Arms Seized After Attack on Christians Kills 74,” which I accessed on the website, http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/28/asia/pakistan-bombing-lahore/, the Easter terror attack resulted in the death of at least 74 people. Punjab province Chief Secretary Khizer Hyat also provides that 362 people were physically injured by the attack. In previous articles I mentioned, the bare minimum number of casualties recorded was slightly lower than the number Chief Secretary Khizer Hyat claimed. The article from www.cnn.com includes testimony from a male witness named, Danish. Danish recalls the events at the amusement park and he quotes, “It was so crowded that there was even no way of entering it,” he went on to say, “There was suddenly a big blast. Everyone panicked, running to all directions. Many of them were blocked at the gate of the park. Dead bodies can be found everywhere.” One of Danish’s sisters died that day; the other was wounded. In my opinion, by describing the horror which occurred on Easter Sunday by using eye witnesses personal recollections of the events, the authors: Sophia Saifi, Holly Yan and Daniel Hassan, CNN, have given readers a better ability to connect and sympathize with the victims in Lahore, Pakistan, which seems to be the goal of the article. This article also goes on to discuss the history of violence in Pakistan, in recent years. The authors Sophia Saifi, Holly Yan and Daniel Hassan support a point which was made by Omar Waraich in the article, “Lahore Easter Bombing Shows Pakistan’s Fight Against Extremism Is Far From Over” during the History of Violence section in “Pakistan Bombing: Suspects, Arms Seized After Attack on Christians Kills 74,” by also acknowledging that the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks that occurred in Lahore, in March of 2015. The CNN article also adds that the Pakistani Taliban had warned of more to come.

An article available at http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/lahore-bombing-suicide-attack-kills-72-park-easter-sunday-n546231 titled, “Lahore Bombing: Suicide Attack Kills 72 in Park on Easter Sunday,” successfully tugs at reader’s emotions by including footage of distraught relatives grieving the victims of the bombing. This article, unlike others I included, gave a physical description of the suicide bomber. This source also used testimony from Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif adding fuel to the literary fire against the Taliban. 

To see the aftermath of the attack in Lahore, Pakistan watch http://nyti.ms/22Fd4x .

In every media source I provided, it was blatantly implied that the Christians who were celebrating Easter on March 27, 2016 are innocent victims of the terrorism caused by the Pakistani Taliban. None of the media coverage I included in this analysis of the suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan, specifically discussed details regarding the cause of conflict of religion between Christians and radical Muslims. By avoiding controversial topic, I think the various authors saved themselves from having additional bias in their media coverages and from failing to accurately present a given religion. 

Sources

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/27/dozens-killed-in-blast-outside-lahore-park-pakistan?CMP=share_btn_tw

“Lahore Attack: Pakistan ‘Detains 200’ After Easter Blast” – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35916578

“Lahore Easter Bombing Shows Pakistan’s Fight Against Extremism Is Far From Over” – http://time.com/4273312/lahore-attack-easter-pakistan/

“Pakistan Bombing: Suspects, Arms Seized After Attack on Christians Kills 74” –  http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/28/asia/pakistan-bombing-lahore/

“Lahore Bombing: Suicide Attack Kills 72 in Park on Easter Sunday” – http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/lahore-bombing-suicide-attack-kills-72-park-easter-sunday-n546231

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/28/world/asia/explosion-lahore-pakistan-park.html?_r=0

Video – http://nyti.ms/22Fd4xJ

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