The Pakistani Advisor to Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik Monday said the suicide blast outside the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad was targeting political leadership.
"The suicide blast was aimed at targeting political leadership but the government foiled the malicious designs of the terrorists by changing the venue of "Iftar" dinner hosted by Speaker of the National Assembly from the Marriott Hotel to the Prime Minister House," Malik said while talking to media persons at the Chaklala Air Base near Islamabad.
Two suicide bombers rammed an explosive-laden dumper into the gate of the Marriott Hotel, killing 53 people and injuring 266 others on Saturday.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani earlier said the blast targeted the parliament House and Prime Minister House.
He said the incident could have been averted if there was an effective disaster management system and well-equipped fire brigade team.
"We have learnt a great lesson from this tragedy and the government would set up disaster management cells in the Federal Capital and in all the provinces," said Malik.
Malik said the attack would not deter the government's resolve to fight against terrorism and extremism, according to the News Network International news agency.