Every paper has most of their column space dedicated to stories on the Chief Justice’s re-instatement (previous story here,) but terrorists are like rust — they don’t seem to sleep. In the hinterlands it’s still hell while everyone is in general jubilation over the verdict.
Yesterday there were two suicide bombings, and today there were two suicide bomb attacks in Hub and Cantt which claimed 45 or more lives. In Cantt, the bombing took place in an mosque during prayer sessions. In Hub the attack was with a remote controlled VBIED that killed many civilians and shopkeepers at the Gadani Bus Stop, but which security forces think was targetted at some Chinese engineers.
Update: ATP brings up discussion as to whether Pakistan is at war — in my opinion Pakistan has been at war with itself and it’s neighbors on four fronts for quite a while.
- There is the Kashmir, and the troops staring at each other across the the Siachen Glacier.
- There is Balochistan / Waziristan where tribal mores and religious conservatives struggle with religious extremists (the dividing line between the two is as thin as the proverbial white silk thread at dawn, but like the thread at dawn the difference between extremism and conservatism is clearly visible to anyone who sees true.)
- There is the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Federal troops war with Jihadis bent on destabilizing Afghanistan.
- There are the cities, where urban moderns and the educated war politically for a stable, modern society with rule of law.
These wars have gone on for years, and they are not always visible and kinetic.
Eyewitnesses said some 31 shops and 15 cars were also destroyed in the blast. The explosion occurred near a bus stop, known as Gadani Stop, which is located in the main bazaar. Most of the victims were ordinary people who were waiting on a bus stop for transport. Some shopkeepers of nearby shops also fell victims to the blast. Residents in the area informed that a huge explosion occurred at a time when they were leaving for their daily businesses. Soon after the explosion, several damaged cars and buses lay rammed into one another and were caught in flames. Body parts and blood was scattered everywhere on the scene and people were crying and screaming. The blast also ripped off the front of several roadside shops killing many shopkeepers. Inspector General Balochistan Police while confirming death of 26 people including seven policemen informed that a powerful bomb was planted on the road passing through main Bazaar of Hub which was blown up with remote control. He said the blast also killed 19 passersby including children besides leaving over dozens people injured.
In Miranshah the Taliban burnt down seven more CD shops and a suicide bomber killed four, including a Frontier Constable and two civilians even as tribal elders were meeting with the Taliban to try to resurrect the broken peace accord.
Meanwhile in Islamabad, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) President Qazi Hussain Ahmad is promising to hold prayers Friday at the Lal Masjid mosque thus inciting a confrontation with the Military in Pakistan’s capital city. The MMA is the political arm of the Taliban in my opinion, and the past two weeks their clear ties have been exposed. This is why Benazir Bhutto boycotted the All-Party-Conference in London, since the MMA sent reprentatives and mostly directed the discussions.
In other news some government officials have beefed up security and been warned of potential attacks against them as a hunt is on for seven suicide bombers.
Pakistan is surely reaping what they’ve sown; the only good so far is that the people don’t like it. The Taliban continue to execute “American Spies” but really these are just locals who are sick of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and their foreign sharia cause.
Update: the two German hostages have been slain by the Taliban.
One other note on the new tactical trends: There have been several hostage takings in Afghanistan the past weeks (the demining teams, the Korean aid workers, and today two Germans,) so the Taliban can’t mount effective attacks there and have also sent all suicide bombers back into Pakistan (note that the original wave at the forefront transited through Gilgit in advance of the Lal Masjid storming.)
This shift tells me a few things — they are undermanned and underfunded in Afghanistan, and are attempting a redeploy of last resort back to Pakistan. The hostage taking is what they can do to gain more funds, so let’s hope that the soft-target NGO’s they seem to be targetting do not aid their cause.