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Attackers identified: Jamali

Pakistan premier on Friday said the people involved in the bid on Musharraf's life had been identified but refused to give more details.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2003 18:09 IST

Pakistan Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali on Friday said that the people involved in Thursday's suicide attack against President Pervez Musharraf had been identified.

He, however, refused to give further details, saying that they would be provided after the investigation was completed.

Jamali also said that according to the Blue Book all the security personnel are responsible for the security of the president, and hinted at a possible revamping of the set up.

Two suicide bombers rammed the president's motorcade near his official residence in Rawalpindi, killing 14 people and injuring at least 46.

Since Thursday, Pak politicians have cut across party lines to condemn attack on Musharraf In a rare and unexpected show of support, they condemned the second assassination attempt in less than two weeks on the president as cowardly and a conspiracy to unseat the present dispensation.

"It was an unfortunate incident and the government would never submit before terrorism, rather continue its fight against it," Jamali told reporters after a late night emergency cabinet meeting on Thursday.

He further said that the government would strengthen its efforts for eradicating this scourge from the country, in all its forms and manifestations, The News quoted him as saying.

Pakistan Muslim League chief, Syed Shahabuddin Shah Al-Hussaini termed it as a deep-rooted conspiracy of people not wanting Pakistan to play its frontline role against terrorism.

He claimed that some vested interests did not want Musharraf to cooperate with the world community in its fight against international terrorism.

In Karachi, the chairman of the National Peoples Party and former Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi said that the attack should put everybody on alert and it was the duty of the international community "to see how these acts of terrorism could be halted."

There was a need "for unity in order to face the situation," he added.

According to an international news agency report quoting analysts, Al-Qaeda militants and religious fanatics are being blamed for the organised effort to kill Musharraf.

Ruling party Senator Mushahid Hussain called the attacks a "matter of deep concern."

"It shows an organised group is chasing him," he added.

Musharraf himself seem to downplay the threat to his life over the last fortnight, saying in a televised address late on Thursday, that he and the Pakistan Government would not be backing down in their fight against terrorism.

"We are fighting a war against terrorism. We have to face them and we will not lose courage. These are cowardly people who attack while hiding. They should come out openly, so that we can also fight them," he said.

He expressed his condolences for the 14 people killed in the twin bombings and promised to compensate their families. He said the attack reinforced his faith in God. "My faith in Allah has reinforced. My determination has solidified. There is no change in our mission nor there is any deficiency in our resolve. We will take it forward."

Messages of support also came in from leaders across the globe, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. The Indian Government condemned the incident too.

Musharraf also dismissed speculation that the twin bombings were aimed at disrupting the SAARC summit.

"I am the target. People around me may be concerned but there is no threat to citizens and leaders coming for the summit," he said.

First Published: Dec 29, 2003 14:57 IST