- Yesterday, a horrifying incident took place alarmingly close to our own border near Amritsar. On the Pakistani side of the Wagah Border, a suicide bomber claimed as many as 55 lives including women and children and injuring as many as 200 people. The incident took place just as people were leaving after witnessing the flag lowering ceremony on the Pakistani side of the border when a suicide bomber blew himself up near one of the exit gates. There was no damage on the Indian side of the border. (Source – HT)
- The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the blast. Speaking to the Pakistani publication Dawn, Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesperson on the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (a TTP splinter group) claimed responsibility of the attack saying it was as and by way of revenge for killing the innocent people in North Waziristan and that more such attacks would occur in the future. (source – Dawn)
- This incident is a chilling reminder of the fact that the terror groups that Pakistani agencies have themselves fostered and encouraged at some point are now completely out of control and are repeatedly wreaking havoc on innocent citizens.
- TTP or the Pakistan Taliban is an umbrella organisation for various groups with the avowed purpose of agitating against the Pakistani state, enforcing their version of the Sharia, and to unite against NATO led forces in Afghanistan. The TTP’s relationship with the Afghan Taliban and the Al Qaeda is symbiotic with these groups sometimes working together, at time competing but always causing loss and suffering to the common man’s life and property.
- Every month or so there are reports of terror groups targeting Pakistani civilian and at times military installations. In October of this year 5 people died because of a bomb blast at a bus station. In September, a car bomb meant for a Brigadier killed 3 people. In July a bomb killed 2 Pak soldiers in the northwestern tribal areas. In June, 3 people died from a suicide bombing in North Waziristan. In May, 3 soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb whereas a motorcycle bomb injured 16 in a separate incident. A bombing incident in an Islamabad fruit and vegetable market left 20 dead and 69 injured in April. Sometimes children are targeted specifically as in the case of a 10 year old boy dying from an explosive device hidden in a toy, which also injured 4 more children. (Source NDTV)
- The list of horrors perpetuated upon Pakistani people by various terror groups is an ever growing one; one with seemingly no end. Another problem that Pakistani people face is the influx of Afghan refugees into Pakistan. December 2012, approximately 1.7 million Afghan nationals were thought to be present in areas such as FATA, north Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and so on. The economic and social burden of such a massive refugee influx to the citizenry is considerable.
- While the Pak state may not directly be encouraging the TTP, seeing that its main target is the Pak state and military, the S Wing of the ISI (Pak intelligence agency) provides direct support to terror groups operating in Afghanistan. Militant groups get aid in the form of money, strategic planning, military supplies from the ISI in spite of the government paying lip service, promising to sever ties. ISI operatives regularly meet Taliban commanders to discuss whether to step up or scale back the violence. The Afghan Taliban based in Quetta, Pakistan, led by Mullah Muhammad Omar, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s militant groups and the guerrilla leader Jalaluddin Haqqani forces are actually considered strategic assets by Pakistan. (Source – NYT)
- Given this destructive duality that exists within the Pak establishment, it is likely that the ordinary citizens of Pakistan will continue to pay the price – sometimes with their lives, sometimes with their property and sometimes with both.
Image source – 1