Following the attack on Lahore city, most places such as parks and prominent markets remained closed on Monday in mourning of the lives lost and those injured in the terrorist attack at Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park.

Support was promised by traders’ associations to assist the armed military in their crackdown against terrorist outfits. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies were admonished to participate in the venture and to enhance their surveillance in order to prevent such deadly attacks.

The Anjuman Tajiran Punjjab president, Chaudhry Mahboob Ali Sirki, outwardly denounced the attack which occurred on an Easter Sunday and declared his association’s support for efforts made by the armed forces to combat terrorism in the country.

Sirki, who is also the president of Ferozepur Road Traders’ Board, announced the traders’ three-day closure of business to express their heart-felt condolences with the families of the victim.

“We will happily keep our businesses closed even for a month if it helps in eradicating extremist outfits,” he said.

Muhammad Ashraf Bhatti, the Anarkali Bazaar Traders’ Association president was of the same opinion, saying that the involved parties in the attack ought to be handled with ‘an iron hand’.

The secretary-general for Anjuman Tajiran, Abdul Razzaq Babar was of the opinion that the blast was as a result of a security breach. He blamed the law enforcement agencies for their negligence, saying that it was because of them that such terrorist incidents kept occurring in the country.

“The United States suffered from the 9/11 attack and the United Kingdom 7/7 bombing but they did not let such attacks happen again,” he said.

He believed that a mechanism had to be put in place to tackle the attacks… “There must be some issue with our intelligence and law enforcement mechanism.”

Sardar Azhar Sultan, president of the Lahore Traders’ Rights Forum opined that terrorists were of no religious standing.

“They are enemies of our country. The government should revisit its counter-terrorism strategy and launch an indiscriminate action against terrorist outfits,” he said.

The prominent commercial areas that had its premises shut on Monday were markets on The Mall, Hall Road, Circular Road, Ferozepur Road and MM Alam Road; Hafeez Centre; Liberty Market; Nila Gumbad; Akbari Mandi; Urdu Bazaar; Anarkali; Shah Alam Market and in Gulberg.

The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) also expressed their sympathies by cancelling all their events including the ongoing Spring Festival in view of a three-day countrywide mourning. Public parks overseen by the authority also remained closed on Monday.

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