Raheel Sharif may soon find himself drafted by the Pakistani people to return to his previous post as Chief of Army Staff for the Pakistan Army. He retired from the position in November, and now in the wake of the attack that claimed 50 lives at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine, social media is being flooded with calls for him to return.
Blast kills 50, injures many more at Sufi shrine
According to The Express Tribune, at least 50 people were killed and scores of others were injured when a bomb went off inside the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine in the town of Sehwan earlier today. A spokesperson for Sindh Police said the blast was caused by a suicide bomber, and sources told The Tribune that it occurred in the compound where many Sufi Muslims were performing the devotional dance called dhamal.
The suicide bomber reportedly entered the shrine and, when he was in the middle of the devotees, he blew himself up near the Golden Gate. The shrine was crowded today because Sufis consider this a sacred day of prayer.
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Raheel Sharif’s name is trending on social media
A similar attack occurred last year, claiming at least 45 lives in Balochistan’s Dargah Shah Noorani Khuzdar district. However, many Pakistanis feel that while Raheel Sharif was serving as Chief of Army Staff, the country was a much safer place to be, and they’re not imagining things.
While violence still rocked the country under his leadership at the military, the number of attacks seems to be rising rapidly, even though he’s only been retired from his post since November. In fact, the number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan declined 70% during his tenure, The Washington Post said in September 2015. Violence in the country fell to its lowest level in 2006, according to the 2016 Global Terrorism Index, which is prepared by the U.S.-based independent think tank Institute for Economics and Peace.
5 days , 8 attacks , we are missing Raheel Sharif, He was a real Gem.#LalShahbazQalanderBlast
— Asifa (@Asifa_zafar0) February 16, 2017
When Raheel Sharif was the ARMY chief, we saw a sudden drop and eventually there was no bomb explosions in #Pakistan, now what happened?
— Sheeraz Raza (@SheerazRaza) February 16, 2017
Accept it or not, No one can replace Raheel Sharif. ?? Everyone is missing him alot. ?? pic.twitter.com/DTxFuecVGj
— Meh Wish (@KhanXkuri) February 16, 2017
Wanna say this; Raheel Sharif reaching at every attk site gave hope & strength to face the worst. Need someone to step up and be RS. #Sehwan
— Kashif Qaimi (@kashif_Qaimi) February 16, 2017
— Amir Hanif (@amirhanif5) February 16, 2017
— Sshah baloch (@ShakeelShahwan1) February 16, 2017
Unfortunately our army went in sleeping mood after the retirement of Raheel Sharif. Please wake-up.
— Aqsa Khan (@IamAqsa_khan) February 16, 2017
Raheel Sharif is currently serving as Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Military Alliance and has said he will continue helping military veterans even in retirement. He is widely respected for strengthening the military’s role in national security and foreign policy but also letting the civil government retain control of economic and social policies. The four-star general was the first Pakistani general to retire on time without seeking an extension in more than two decades.