Our correspondent quoted sources as saying that Jamatul Ahrar – a splinter group of outlawed TTP – claimed the responsibility of the attack on Shuja Khanzada.
He added the late minister in a press conference had accused Jamatul Ahrar along with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) of acquiring funds from Indian covert agency Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW).
Khanzada said the two outfits receive funds from R&AW for carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan.
The minister was under constant threat by defunct organizations which he also expressed on occasions.
On the other hand, funeral prayers of Shuja Khanzada and other martyred officials of the today’s attack have been offered in Attock.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, CM KPK Pervez Khattak, IG Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera and other higher officials attended the prayers.
At least 19 people including Punjab’s Home Minister Shuja Khanzada were killed in the wake of a suicide attack that took place in Attock on Sunday morning.
According to details, Colonel (r) Shuja Khanzada was listening to the complaints of the people when a suicide blast rocked his political office in Attock.
The blast was so intense that the roof of the building came crashing down, crushing him and several others.
Rescue and security teams reached the scene after the blast. Heavy machinery was called to remove the debris and save the people trapped under the rubble.
His body was finally recovered from the rubble while more corpses are still being retrieved from the debris.
At least 12 people, including the minister and a senior police official, have died in the blast.
Dr. Ashfaq confirms death of Shuja Khanzada by arynews
District Emergency Officer of Attock Dr. Ashfaq has confirmed that Khanzada succumbed to his injuries and has died.
AFP adds: A suicide bomber on Sunday killed a Pakistani provincial minister and at least nine other people at a building where the minister was holding a meeting, officials said.
“Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada has embraced martyrdom,” chief rescue official Mohammad Ashfaq told AFP.
Saeed Illahi, adviser to the province’s chief minister, confirmed Khanzada’s death.
He had been trapped with several others under the rubble after the blast brought down the roof of the building in the village of Shadi Khan in Attock district.
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Khanzada had been active in crackdowns on sectarian militants and Taliban insurgents in Punjab.
Saeed said there were up to 40 people in the compound when a suicide bomber blew himself up, causing the entire roof slab to fall in one piece, complicating rescue efforts.
An interior ministry helicopter had reached the site to take the wounded to hospital while another helicopter with a civilian rescue team was on its way, Saeed added.
A specially-trained team of army rescuers with modern equipment was working with civilian rescuers and trying to lift and cut sections of the fallen roof to reach the victims, AFP was told.
A police spokeswoman said two police officers were among the eight killed in the attack 70 kilometres (43 miles) northwest of Islamabad.
In the past year Pakistani authorities have cracked down hard on the myriad insurgent groups that have plagued the country for a decade.
The offensive intensified after Taliban gunmen slaughtered more than 130 children at a school in the northwest of the country in December.
Last month the leader of an anti-Shiite group behind some of Pakistan’s worst sectarian atrocities was killed in a shootout with police, along with 13 other militants.
Malik Ishaq was shot dead along with fellow Laskhar-e-Jhangvi militants, including senior commanders, in Punjab.
LeJ, long seen as close to Al-Qaeda and more recently accused of developing links with the Islamic State group, has a reputation as one of Pakistan’s most ruthless militant groups.
Colonel (Retd.) Shuja Khanzada was born on 28th August 1943 in Shadi Khan, Attock. He graduated from Peshawar’s Islamia College in 1966.
Khanzada joined Pakistan Army and was commissioned in 1967. He also fought the 1971 War.
He was awarded Sitara-e-Basalat 1988 for his services.
He was also posted as Military Attaché at the Pakistani embassy in Washington from 1992 to 1994.
He became a Member of Punjab Assembly in 2002 and served as an advisor to the Chief Minister.
He became the Home Minister of Punjab after the Model Town Incident in 2014. He put all of his efforts in implementing the National Action Plan against terrorists.
life and times of Home Minister Punjab Shuja… by arynews
#ShujaKhanzada becomes top trending tweet
Twitter users in Pakistan started the trend to voice out their opinions on the killing of Punjab’s Home Minister
national resolve 2 eliminate the menace.Khanzada Shaheed was bold Offr whose sacrifice 4 greater cause of cleansing Pak won’t go waste-2
— AsimBajwaISPR (@AsimBajwaISPR) August 16, 2015
— Hammad | خان (@Hamad_khan9) August 16, 2015
Brave officer brave politition #ShujaKhanzada
— Raza Rumi (@Razarumi) August 16, 2015
— Raza Rumi (@Razarumi) August 16, 2015
— SHAHEED SHUJAH (@hafeezsayem) August 16, 2015