14 suicide bombings by Afghans? Minister, officials refuse to disclose details

Geo Fact Check reached out to the interior minister multiple times but he didn’t respond to a single query

Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti addressing a press conference on October 26, 2023. —APP

LAHORE: Caretaker government officials are refusing to disclose any information to back up their oft-repeated claim that Afghan nationals were involved in 14 out of 24 suicide bombings in Pakistan this year.

On October 3, the interim interior minister Sarfraz Bugti revealed in a televised press conference that from January till October there have been 24 suicide bombings in Pakistan.

“Of those 24 bombings, 14 have been carried out by Afghan nationals,” he added, “Afghan people attacked us. This includes the Peshawar mosque bombings and the one in Qilla Saifullah and Hangu, amongst others.”

Bugti further claimed that the government had all the necessary proof.

“Afghan nationals are involved in the attacks on us. We have evidence. We have evidences of everything,” he stated.

The interior minister has repeated the claim in several interviews to international and Pakistani news organisations.

These purported statistics have been used by the interim government to justify ordering all undocumented immigrants, including 1.73 million Afghan citizens, to leave the country or face deportation.

Till now, over 400,000 Afghan nationals have left Pakistan, the interior minister told Dawn TV last week.

Last month, Geo Fact Check reached out to Bugti for details – documents or evidence – to corroborate his claim that 14 out of 24 suicide attacks in Pakistan were carried out by Afghan refugees or nationals.

Messages were sent to him on November 10, 13, 16, 24 and again on December 5. He did not respond to a single query.

Geo Fact Check then contacted Qadir Yar Tiwana, the director general of media at the Ministry of Interior, requesting the same information. On November 24, he promised to get back with the relevant information. After which no response was forthcoming from Tiwana either, despite repeated attempts to contact him.

Geo Fact Check further reached out to Aftab Akbar Durrani, the secretary interior, on December 1 and 5. But he also did not respond to the request for comments.

With additional reporting by Fayyaz Hussain.

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