LAHORE - Sadness and fear prevailed yesterday as the city is mourning the loss of precious human lives in Gulshan-e-Iqbal suicide attack on Sunday.

Business centres and most of the private schools remained closed while lawyers stayed away from courts to mourn death of at least 72 people in the tragic incident. Various organisations and public at large arranged vigil in the memory of innocent people including 15 Christians.

Prominent political leaders including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, PTI Chief Imran Khan, PML-Q leader Ch Shujat Hussain, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, ministers and parliamentarians visited hospitals to inquire after the health of injured. They expressed sympathies with the patients and presented bouquets.

Accompanied by Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali and CM Shehbaz Sharif, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inquired after the injured of Gulshan Iqbal Park blast at Jinnah Hospital. They went to different wards and supervised medical facilities being provided to the injured.

The prime minister directed the hospital administration that best treatment facilities should be provided to the injured and their proper care should be ensured.

Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif also announced financial assistance of Rs 1 million each for the families of the persons who were killed. The Punjab government will pay Rs0.3 million to the seriously injured, while financial assistance of Rs0.15m will be given to those who received minor injuries.

He said that the attack at a public park was the worst kind of terrorism and should be strongly condemned. “Every Pakistani is grieved at this tragic incident and shares the grief of bereaved families,” he added.

The chief minister, who also donated blood on Sunday night, said that he would sacrifice even the last drop of his blood for the eradication of terrorism and brutal elements playing with human lives.

He vowed that the facilitators involved in Lahore terror attack would soon be brought to justice.

Later on Monday, PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz visited the injured at Services Hospital, where he said that the menace of terrorism will be rooted out at any cost.

“There is no discrimination of good and bad terrorist and the elements involved in Gulshan Iqbal Park tragedy will be exposed,” said Hamza Shehbaz, adding that the deplorable incident is a test for the nation.

Meanwhile, Shehbaz Sharif and Ch Nisar Ali Khan attended an important meeting presided over by PM Nawaz at Model Town. The meeting reviewed various matters with regard to the suicide hit at Gulshan Iqbal Park.

Welfare organisations and philanthropists also approached the aggrieved families and provided help in shifting of injured to their homes in Lahore and native towns. They also provided assistance in last rituals and burial of the dead.

People in large numbers attended funeral prayers of victims in different areas and last rituals of Christians at church to express sympathies with the bereaved families.

Though the situation was improved at hospitals, the atmosphere still remained gloomy and sad. Families of injured were still panic-stricken.

According to a spokesman of Punjab government, investigation into Gulshan Iqbal Park tragedy is continuing and facts will be made public. The spokesman stressed upon print and electronic media to refrain from speculating on sensitive issues so that investigation agencies could trace the real culprits.

In the wake of suicide attack at Gulshan-e-Iqbal, the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has closed down major parks for security reasons.

PHA will reopen these parks after evaluating existing arrangements and improving security for visiting people.

PHA has also cancelled ongoing Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations at Jilani Park in line with three day mourning announced by the Punjab government.

Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Jilani Park, Bagh-e-Jinnah, Jallo Park and other big parks are amongst picnic spots closed down for implementation of revised security plan after evaluation of existing arrangements. However, hundreds of small parks in housing schemes and other localities will remain open for general public.

Director General Wildlife & Parks Punjab Khalid Ayaz Khan has said that walkthrough gates would be installed at entry/exit gates of Safari Zoo Park and Lahore Zoo.

Talking to the officers during his visit to check security arrangements at Lahore Zoo and Safari Zoo Park yesterday, the DG said that every visitor would be scanned and thoroughly checked for ensuring foolproof security at these places.

He further directed the management of Safari Zoo Park to install CCTV cameras at entrance and important points. Police have also been requested to increase patrolling near these places, he added.