Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dark days behind, dark days ahead

The attack on the army headquarters in Rawalpindi speaks volumes of the wide reach of terrorists in Pakistan today. A brigadier was among the six dead in the attack that also left four terrorists killed. Two terrorists, according to BBC, are at large within the sprawling military compound in Rawalpindi, and their fate as of now is not yet known.

The attack on the army headquarter is eerily similar to the attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Lahore in March 2009 that was followed by another attack on the Police training camp near Lahore.

The brigadier killed by the attack on Saturday by the terrorists, who were also dressed as soldiers, is the second-most high-ranking soldier killed in the fight against the militants in Pakistan. In February 2008, a suicide bomber killed the army’s surgeon general. Earlier a suicide bomber in Islamabad attacked the offices of the World Food Program killing 10. The bomber was dressed as a soldier from frontier constabulary, the battalion attacking the Taliban in the northwestern province.

The suicide bomb in Peshawar last week that killed almost 50 civilians an injured when many others took place steps from my ancestral home.  The attack in Khyber Bazaar was intentionally targeted at civilians and children to returning from schools.  In the same week, a suicide attack near the Indian embassy in of Afghanistan left scores dead.  And not in the very distant past, a suicide attack on a Shiite village in the frontier province killed almost 50 Shiites in a hotel. The suicide attack on Shiites was the first rural suicide bombing in Pakistan. Other attacks have been mostly targeted at urban centres.

It appears that the scale and the frequency of terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan is increasing at an alarming rate.  The past few weeks have been deadly for Pakistan and Afghanistan. It appears that as the Pakistani military prepares for a final push through the tribal areas of Waziristan Agency, the place where most Taliban leadership is believed to be hiding, the attacks by militants have been increasing.

In the words of famous Urdu poet, Habib Jalib:

Azab-e- Ahd-e-rafta seh chukain hein
Our ub hey khufaey mustakbil muqabil

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