by Liu Tian, Jamil Bhatti
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The terror violence is resurging in Pakistan after a wave of deadly suicide attacks jolted the country this week, especially the deadliest at a shrine in Sindh Province that claimed 88 lives Thursday night.
The week witnessed four black days as seven blasts hit across Pakistan and killed over 110 people and injured nearly 400 others, against the backdrop that a visible drop in such attacks since the country's army launched its nationwide Zarb-e-Azb operation against local and foreign terrorists.
A suicide bomber slip into a shrine in Sehwan and blew himself up Thursday evening when about 500 to 800 Sufi Muslims were performing their religious dancing inside the mosque. The blast, which was one of the most fatal attacks in the South Asian country, killed 88 people and over 343 others were injured.
On Monday, a suicide blast targeted a rally closed to Lahore city assembly and killed 14 people and injured over 60. Other attacks occurred from the country's northwestern tribal area to southwestern city of Quetta.
Muhammad Ashraf, president of the Punjab Peace & Security Committee, told Xinhua Friday that there are multiple factors behind the series of attacks recently.
He said Pakistan has seen a relative peaceful period in recent years and international community, especially investors and sportsmen, started coming to Pakistan, and international business think tanks were giving Pakistan positive signals.
"The hostile forces chose the right time to hit the country when Pakistan was going to host a mega sports event in Lahore in March. They wanted to show the world that Pakistan is neither safe for sports nor suitable for investment," he said.
He believed that the chronic disease of terrorism has not been completely cured. "No doubt there was a great operation against terrorism, but majority of them either ran to Afghanistan or went underground in the country. The current wave is proof that they have re-established their networks."
The Pakistani Army announced immediately after the Sehwan blast to close Pakistan-Afghanistan border for security reasons and it also summoned an Afghan embassy official to the army headquarters and handed over a list of 76 most wanted terrorists hiding in Afghanistan.
Thursday's blast was claimed by the militant group of Islamic State (IS). The notorious extremist group also carried out two major attacks in Pakistan last year. In November, IS staged a suicide bomb at a shrine in Balochistan Province, leaving 52 killed and 102 injured. The group also claimed that it attacked a police training center in Quetta in October, with 60 killed and 117 injured.
The IS attacks also prompted concerns that whether the extremist group has already infiltrated into Pakistan. "In the past there has been debates whether IS is present in Pakistan or not. The Pakistani government never accepted such claims," said the expert.
He said some splinters groups of Pakistani Taliban pledged their affiliation with the IS and vowed to fight for the group. Pamphlets distributions and wall chalkings for the IS were spotted in various areas of Pakistan, while security forces also arrested several terrorists belonging to the IS.
As Pakistan has been in war on terror for the past 15 years, Ashraf urged the country to establish proper think tanks and research houses that can help make anti-terror policies for the government.