Terrorists Hit Lahore with a Suicide Attack: We Must All Take This Personally

Posted on January 10, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Politics, Society
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Adil Najam

Militant suicide bombers brought their mayhem and murder to Lahore today. The well-planned terrorist attack has left at least 26 people dead and some 70 injured.

Suicide Blast in Lahore Pakistan

Suicide Blast in Lahore Pakistan




According to Dawn:

A suicide bomber blew himself up among police outside the Lahore High Court building Thursday, killing at least 22 policemen and 4 civilians, and wounding over 70 others, minutes before a planned anti-government protest rally of the lawyers latest reports said.

“There were about 60 to 70 policemen on duty when a man rammed into our ranks and soon there was a huge explosion,” said police officer Syed Imtiaz Hussain who suffered wounds to his legs and groin. TV footage showed at least four mangled bodies on the ground close to a destroyed motorbike and a piece of smoking debris. The blast fired shrapnel as far as 100 meters away. It also shattered windows in the court house and set off volleys of tear gas shells carried by the police, witnesses said. Lahore’s chief of police operations Aftab Cheema said the bomber had run up to a barrier manned by police and blew himself up. He said 20 policemen and two civilians were killed. More than 70 others were wounded, including civilian passers-by, officials said. “It was a suicide attack,” Lahore police chief Malik Iqbal told Dawn News TV adding that 22 policemen died in the attack. He said police were “definitely” targeted.

An Associated Press photographer at the scene of the attack saw the severed head of a man with long hair and beard, possibly that of the suicide bomber. Police constable Jameel Ahmed said the attacker was a man aged about 25 who had arrived outside the court building on a motorbike. “He parked his bike and walked up to the police and blew himself up,” Ahmed said. Police bomb disposal experts estimated the bomb contained up to 14 kilograms of explosive. The police had been deployed in front of the court premises ahead of a weekly lawyers’ protest against the sacking of Supreme Court judges in November. The rally had been due to start about 15 minutes before the bomb went off. About 200 lawyers were inside the High Court at the time of the blast, and others were marching from a nearby district court.


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Given that the seat of the government and the military lies here and also the upheaval in the wake of the Lal Masjid crises, the epicenter of much of the militant suicide bombings in Pakistan, until recently, was the twin cities of Rawalpindi-Islamabad. I have deep emotional attachments to both. I was born in did much of my schooling in the other.Karachi, of course, has been cursed with near unending bouts of violence for much longer. This roshniyoun ka shehr that holds such a special place in my heart and that of other Pakistanis, and where I lived for a number of years as a schoolboy, has been cursed with violence in ways that pain the heart deeply. Aisee nazar laggi hai kay maar he dalla hai! Other places from the once scenic Swat to the frontier towns of Quetta and Peshawar – whose bazaars I have roamed so frequently and authenticity and vigor of whose sounds and smells and feels I am so very fond of – have also been the victim of this wave of violence and death that has descended on our country.

But Lahore, as they say, is Lahore. I guess it was. Lahore is always dearest to me not only because of my own roots in the city but also because it hosted me through my wonderful University days there. It is not that Lahore was unfamiliar to political violence and murder. Far from it. But it has not been in the cross-hair of these suicide murders like many other places were. Now it is.

I have gone through my own connections to all these place as a form of catharsis for myself, but much more than that because even if I sit far away from them today, I take each of these attacks personally. I can feel the hurt, and feel – quite literally – like screaming out in pain. These attacks are not just attacks on cities and people in cities that I am fond of. These are attacks on the principles that I stand for, the ideals that I wish for, and the aspirations that I hope for. These are attacks on me. On my Pakistan. On my Pakistaniat.

I fear that there are too many of us who have internalized the violence. This is “how things are.” We have made ourselves “get used to it.” We have depersonalized the pain. Someone else died; somewhere else. Sad, but life must go on. We have made ourselves numb to the destruction and in the process legitimized the violence of the terrorist with the argument is that somehow the violence was done to make a point.

But that is the point. Violence is never an argument. It is a verdict. There is nothing more pitiful than a society that “gets used to” violence. I fear that this is exactly what is happening to us.

I realize that I have gotten a little carried away in my emotions here. But, maybe, we should all get carried away in our emotions now and then. I know that the hurt and the pain I feel is not just my hurt and pain. It the hurt and pain of far too many Pakistanis. For many it is much much more than my own because they have to live the hurt and pain every day in the neighborhoods they live in.

Maybe we should all take this personally. Maybe we should all not just feel the outrage but express the outrage. And do so without the violence and without the mayhem that the terrorists express their own outrage in. We as a people have to learn somehow to express our hurt without feeling the need to hurt someone else.

Violence feeds not only on the anger of those who are violent, but also on the silence of those who are not. We must not remain silent in the face of systemic violence.

76 Comments on “Terrorists Hit Lahore with a Suicide Attack: We Must All Take This Personally”

  1. Shafie Khan says:
    January 10th, 2008 1:47 pm

    If even now, after the killing of Benazir Bhutto, we dont wake up to the reality that extremists are trying to unleash mayhem and bloody crisis in our beloved land, that i don’t know, what will.
    The Sad fact is, that 90 percent of the Pakistanis think, that ISI or army is behind, every attack in Pakistan. This proves, that our society is so prone to “Conspiracy theories”. i have met people in US and UK, who think that Pak govt is doing all this. what a sad state of our people and their thinking. Take for example, the murder of Benazir Bhutoo, her party representative(Mr Babur Awan) is saying that “she was killed using a LASER gun”. What a nonsense thing to say. Looks like hes been watching too many star wars episodes.
    Our Enemies have been very successful in sowing the seed of paranoia and suspicion. I don’t understand why our govt is not doing anything to educate our people on this matter. Why are they not highlighting the suicide bombings on army personell and cantt areas., PAF employees and even ISI buses(attacked twice).
    Why the hell pakistani still think, that govt is doing all this. What a shamefull bunch of ignorants have we become ?

  2. Rahim Khan says:
    January 10th, 2008 1:53 pm

    Where army is busy looting, plundering, while Pakistan is going through a civil-war, this is how Pakistan was lost.

  3. Shafie Khan says:
    January 10th, 2008 2:03 pm

    Rahim, this is not the time to accuse our Army, rather we need to strengthen their hands, against the enemy (the extremists killers). i’m no fan of Musharraf, but for God sake, you need to clear your vision for the future of Pakistan. this is the time, we need to come togather, whether we like someone or no. Army is needed now then ever before.

  4. January 10th, 2008 2:07 pm

    This is extremely sad and distressing. As we pray for the dead, and the tromented survivors they leave behind, it is baffling to figure out who to trust in Pakistan anymore. Extremist, willing to kill and be killed, it seems are everywhere.

    It is clear that matters are beyond the control of the present Establishment. They MUST step down and let a national government take over and start picking up the pieces. Unless all segments and shades of opinion step forward and participate in containing the situation, things look very very bleak indeed.

  5. Daktar says:
    January 10th, 2008 2:09 pm

    Adil, sometimes I think that your pouring your heart out in these posts is “bhains kay agay been bajana” and you are wasting your time. Even the early comments on this show that your readers are just incapable of feeling the pain at a human level. Everyone is interested only in making petty political points. Just as we saw with the Benazir killing, people on all sides will try to take whatever happens, no matter how sad and tragic and try to score cheap political points in favor of whoever they support or against whoever they oppose.

    Sorry to say this but you may be all alone in feel hurt for the human loss here.

  6. Rahim Khan says:
    January 10th, 2008 2:17 pm

    Make no mistake, this is not terrorism, this is civil-war. While government wants you to believe its Islamic radicals, this is struggle against a fascist government in Islamabad. Army has lost its moral compass, and is no longer savior of Pakistan. While rulers and its army cronies give lip service to people, country is burning and slowly dying.

  7. Adnan says:
    January 10th, 2008 2:23 pm

    I wonder when Army was savior of Pakistan? in 71 war we were given Bangladesh, in 99 we lost Kargil. Siachen the Pakistani area occupied by India is a picnic spot for Indians. It’s so weired that our occupied territory has become a reason of revenue generation for them.

    Poor AQ Khan got some nukes but Mushrraf’s regime kicked him as well. Can you please tell me when Army was blessing for us?

  8. Outraged says:
    January 10th, 2008 2:24 pm

    Rahim, can you please explain how “this is not terrorism”?

    Does not matter who did this. Terrorism is a question of what was done. And this was terrorism plain and simple. Ordinary Pakistanis were he target of violence for the purpose of spreading terror in society.

    Also, I think it is very irresponsible of you to put hidden blame on the political parties or the lawyers for doing this, since they are the ones struggling against the government in Pakistan. There is no evidence at all that the lawyers or the PPP or the PML-N or Imran or anyone else is behind this. Please do not spread such lies.

    This is not a civil war yet. It is a attack on Pakistan by extremists and terrorists. I do not support this military government at all and I agree that they have miserably failed in everything including fighting terrorism. This is a clear attack on Pakistan by the enemies of Pakistan and Pakistanis. That is who they are targeting, ordinary Pakistanis.

  9. S.A.Mallal says:
    January 10th, 2008 2:45 pm

    @ Adnan
    You say. “Can you please tell me when Army was blessing for us?”
    I say. ” I can tell you. When it developed various prestigious housing schemes in different cities of Pakistan.”

  10. meengla says:
    January 10th, 2008 2:46 pm

    [What I am going to say below is directly related to the heart-breaking tragedy in Lahore, although it may not seem so at first]
    It is true that the ‘Establishment’ itself is being attacked, as mentioned above. But also unless we ‘point fingers’ we will not begin to know how to confront the problem.

    More than ever since 1971, the greatest need was/is national unity (I have used ‘was’ because may be it is too late now–this I say with literally tearful eyes). After the earthquake of 2005 came the unity not seen since the 1971 war (at least in the then-W. Pakistan) but our bunkered-down general did not initiate the much needed political reconciliation. Then things got worse as far as security situation is concerned and then the political situation has been downhill for Musharraf led establishment since March 9, 207.
    But the real damage was done on December 27th with Benazir’s murder. A situation which demanded most unity has aggravated to the point that not only the govt. is facing extremist terrorism but also now 3 out of 4 provinces have a chunk of population who are alienated from the central govt and the very concept of ‘Pakistan’. After BB’s murder, it is reported that ordinary Sindhis were stopping buses and were looking for Punjabis/Pashtuns to take revenge against. Imagine the implications of these developments on the future of Pakistan.
    A situation has come to the point where eternal hopeful souls like Jang’s Jamiluddin Aali is compelled to say: “Nothing is visible except darkness”.

    So, yes, just because parts of the establishment is now being targeted, but that does not absolve the military led establishment its criminal mismanagement of affairs in its undiluted rule of 8+ years. For that heads should roll.

    PS. Iran is also next to Afghanistan. Iran is perhaps even more targeted by foreign forces. Iran also took part in the so-called ‘Jihad’ against the Soviets. But Iran manages to be a citadel of peace compared to Pakistan. So let’s come up with excuses of ‘foreign hands’ to explain what is happening in Pakistan.

  11. Fateh Mohammad says:
    January 10th, 2008 2:55 pm

    The owners and adminstrators of this site- as its name “All Things Pakistan” indicates- carry themselves as the ultra-nationalist Pakistanis. Alas there Pakistaniyath doesn’t go beyond Karachi and Lahore. When a bomb-blast took place in Charsadda, NWFP, on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha killing about 170 people, there was no news posted here. But now the blast in Lahore has made a headline here.

    As for who is responsible for all this mayham, it is all the doing of Pakistani establsihment. Apart from strategic objectives Pakistani establishment wants to achieve with such projects as Al-Qaueda and Taleban etc., estremism is also a money-making enterprise for Pakistan Army. So far US has given Pakistan Army 11 billion dollars ( most of which has been paid in cash) and out of those 80% has been pocketed by Musharaf and his fellow generals.

    It is time that we don’t blind ourselves with the kind of super Pakistaniyath and call a spade a spade i.e. we accept that the Pakistani establishment is the mother and father of extremsim of all forms that is plaguing that region.

  12. Daktar says:
    January 10th, 2008 3:10 pm

    Dear Mr. Fateh Mohammad, maybe you should read the post itself and note all the cities mentioned there or follow the links in there before you raise the boogey of divisiveness and prejudice. In these divided times such outbursts of ethnic divisiveness is very dangerous and not appreciated.

  13. Tina says:
    January 10th, 2008 3:15 pm

    Hi Adil,

    love your posts and, while “Lahore, Lahore aye” is a byword for Punjabis, I’m not very happy about your faint implication that what happens in Lahore is of greater import than what happens elsewhere because of frequent sentimentality people feel towards that city .

    So Karachi, Peshawer, and Quetta can see politically motivated death on a daily basis, but hey, as long as Lahore was okay….but now it isn’t any more! Oh my, the tragedy of it all!

    See the problem with that reasoning?

    Well-to-do Pakistanis have developed a fortress mentality; the cultural and financial elites have declared Lahore and Islamabad no-go areas for fundamentalist thugs (witness the Lal Masajid crackdown), but have decided that terrorists can have the rest of the country (the Taliban operate openly in Quetta and NWFP).

    That attitude, rather than the ISI, is going to destroy the country Pakistan.

  14. Shafie Khan says:
    January 10th, 2008 3:23 pm

    ALAS!! Fateh Mohammad, you are exactly the “conspiracy theorist, paranoid Pakistani ” which i refered to in my first comment.
    without any truth or credibility, you accused our Army of taking away, “80 %” of the US aid. We didnt get 11 billion, we got 1.2 billions so far. and yes, we do condemn every terrorist act in Pakistan, not just Lahore or karachi. I live in Kohat, and i know, these terrorists first hand, and ordinary people like you, who still think, CIA, Mosad, and ISI are making money out of this.

  15. Anwar says:
    January 10th, 2008 3:33 pm

    My sympathies and condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in this madness.

    This is terrorism and not the result of intentional acts of “establishment.” We need to be objective in our analysis.

    The eleven billion dollars given to Pakistan went in to buying weapons for what the money was intended – i.e. to support defense contractors in the US and not necessarily people of Pakistan. It was also meant to bolster Pakistani defenses and security in view of the spending of its Eastern neighbor.. Yes there is corruption but to say that all of the money went into Musharaf’s pocket is nonsense.

    At this stage a caretaker government is the best bet for the nation. Let us hope that sensible heads will prevail in the corridors of power.

  16. January 10th, 2008 3:34 pm

    Tina,
    I usually try not to comment on my own posts (since I have the privilege of laying out my argument at length in the post it seems unfair to hog up more bandwidth in re-explaining my intent).

    In this case, however, if in fact the impression I have given is what you say then I should clarify and say clearly that this was NOT the intent at all. Far from it – very far from it – I went through the list of some of the many cities in Pakistan that have been afflicted with violence and my deep affection for those places to make the point (a) that violence is now everywhere and not somewhere ‘far away’ and (b) that no matter where it is we should consider it personal. The point was quite the opposite to what might have come across to you – my apologies for not making it clear.

    The “Lahore is Lahore” statement is not about the importance of violence there but of my own personal fondness for that city; something I have expressed here many times (and, by the way, memories are like children, you can be extremely fond of one for a certain thing without being any less fond of the other for something totally different). It is also about the fact that till now Lahore had not Lahore had not been the focus of suicide attacks. (And the point there is not that Lahore is somehow special, but that this argument that the violence is happening “somewhere else” does not work; no one should consider that anyplace is immune to the senselessness of violence).

    If there is any hint, no matter how faint, that violence in Lahore is somehow more important or more tragic than anywhere else, then let me categorically lay that to rest.

    There is probably no other topic about which we have written as often and as consistently as against the culture of violence. If indeed we at ATP had ignored violence elsewhere then maybe that would be a justifiable view. But do please follow the links in the post. I hope you will find that our hurt and pain at violence in Rawalpindi, in Swat, in Hub, in Hangu, in Kohat, in Gujranwalla was no less intense than it was in Lahore. But, then, that is the exact point of the post. No matter where, no matter why, no matter to whom and no matter by whom – violence is bad and violence must be condemned.

  17. zia m says:
    January 10th, 2008 3:37 pm

    I hope all the political leaders will set their differences aside and join hands in condemming terrorism that is spreading like cancer in our country and is likely to kill the nation.
    In the past the govt has tried to blame the victims of terrorism instead of admitting its failure to provide security.
    It is time that people hold their rulers accountable before we become a failed state.

  18. Roshan says:
    January 10th, 2008 3:42 pm

    I was just thinking about those poor policemen who are used by the government as a human shield against these terrorist. I think majority of the people, representing one group, who died in these terrorist attacks are medium and small ranked security officials who normally belong to poor families. These young unsung heroes leave their poor families and children to face the realities of this poor world.
    It is hard to know that a head clerk who died in Lahore blast was returning to his office after lunch break as he went to feed the pigeons on a nearby shrine during break.
    We are passing through a terrible time, where none of us is secure and there seems a huge gap in national consensus to deal with this situation. Terrorists are blowing human bombs and are succeeding in their agenda to shatter and traumatize this society. They hardly care that the innocent and poor people are suffering. Government on the other hand is unable to control their activities even by applying immense force in tribal areas and Sawat Valley.
    I think it is the nation who will suffer or SOLVE this problem. Unless we have government fulfilling the aspirations and basic needs of the people, institutions working for public good and an image that we are fighting this war against terrorism for us not for U.S, we cannot overcome this menace with a leadership which has lost the trust of people in general.
    I agree with Adil, unless we are not going to feel the level of atrocities which the poor people are facing in this bloodshed, we can never stop this horrific violence.
    We need not to let these few terrorist hijack our whole nation with trauma and suffering.

  19. Rahim Khan says:
    January 10th, 2008 4:22 pm

    Interesting information on faces behind attacks, parts of establishments are fighting itself now.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSISL112538

  20. Adnan says:
    January 10th, 2008 4:24 pm

    I hardly agree with Adil’s point of view but I do disagree with the Professor that this post had something to do with Lahore only. Kindly don’t bring Punjabi vs Non-punjabi thingie in such volatile situation. Zardari Bhutto and Pervaiz Bhutto Musharraf are enough for such extreme things.

  21. January 10th, 2008 4:45 pm

    Adil Bhai,

    You are so right that as a nation and as a people me included we have begun to internalise the grief. Thus death becomes another statistic for if we allow ourselves to consider its effect we are left with little hope for we see no way out.

    We can thank this act in Lahore and others before it to the selfish acts of’ ‘Terrorists R’Us’ who comprise of our political leaders who are trigger happy in unleashing state terror and their partner in crime on the other side (or same side?) where we have terrorists who wish to hijack not just our faith but our way of life.

    Pakistan must stand tall and unite as a nation. we need to extinguish this fire and fast. My message for the nation written at the time of the death of Benazir Bhutto still stands for this and it can be seen at: http://www.otherpakistan.org/archive.html

    Feimanallah Pakistan

    Wasim

  22. Asif Raza says:
    January 10th, 2008 4:59 pm

    It is a sad day for Pakistan. To say that army spent money to bolster security against our eastern neighbour is BS. That money went straight to the pockets of generals. Let us not fool ourselves. We stand nowhere in comparison to our eastern neighbour. All we stand in comparison to is Uganda or Somalia or may be even worse. While our eastern neighbour is busy building its economy, we in Pakistan are building bombs to kill each other. God save Pakistan!

  23. Khosa says:
    January 10th, 2008 5:12 pm

    Musharaf, i wish you were human but than what you have done so far, no human will do.

    No one is safe in the entire country.

    You, with your generals are the real problem of this country

    The entire nation prays for your humiliation and wishes the same for your generals.

    You have done what no general or elected leader ever did to us as a nation.

    You have given us the gift of anarchy and hopelessness, we wish god gives you and your family the same.

  24. Fateh Mohammad says:
    January 10th, 2008 5:23 pm

    Mr. Shafie Khan, whom do you want to fool with that disinformation in your response to my post? It is no secret that Pakistan is being paid 1.2 billion dollars a year and since 9/11/2001 has recieved about 11 billion dollars apart from other military aid. Some of these facts have been mentioned in the following authentic article:
    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2007/11/american_arms_may_in_fact_be_k.html
    http://tpmmuckraker.com/archives/004658.php

    This explains as to why the world’s third largest formidable army of 1.1 million men with all the resources and international political backing available to it, is failing against a rag-tag network of militants. This is a money-making project.

    Mr. Shafie Khan don’t try to glorify a colonially-constructed morally bankrupt force that throughout history has looked after the interests of only one province and that has conquered its own people again and again.

  25. Kaseem Ahmad says:
    January 10th, 2008 5:24 pm

    Mullahism is a curse on Pakistan. These mullahs have been given free reign and a stupid amount of power over people – look what they did to Afghanistan under the Ta;liban – they will do exactly that to Pakistan.
    We don’t want a Mullah theocracy! Fight terrorism – fight the mullahs that do not condemn terrorismand support the terrorsists.
    Mullahism murdabad – Pakistan Zindabad!

  26. bilal says:
    January 10th, 2008 5:38 pm

    It is unfortunate that people here have so conviniently blamed Musharraf for everything that is going wrong. Can a single person here can say with honesty that if Musharraf gives up today and a democratic government is installed, say under Nawaz Sharif, things will be better off and these attacks will stop?

  27. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    January 10th, 2008 6:12 pm

    Adil you pour your heart out. These are the cries of a suffering nation. Our nation, our religion, our way of life has been taken away from us by a small fraction of our society. It has been taken away by those who have no regard for human life. Not of theirs. Not of others. How did things come to this end and what could we do to regain our country, nation and faith. This is the question WE all have to ask ourselves. Fingers could be pointed at our rich and upper middle classes. These classes have failed us all. In our collective greed, corruption and selfishness we have created two societies. One of haves and other of have nots. Now the two societies are at war with each other. Rich and upper middle classes are no longer safe. They are literally being blown into pieces by those who have nothing else to loose. You are fond of Faiz and claim credo of ATP based on his one poem. How about adopting ATP credo on his another poem; DOGS. “Yeh Galion Ke Awara Kutay…..”. Don’t cry for Pakistan Adil; cry for its poor wretched masses.

  28. readinglord says:
    January 10th, 2008 7:05 pm

    Adil

    You say:

    “But that is the point. Violence is never an argument. It is a verdict. There is nothing more pitiful than a society that

  29. Sher Bano says:
    January 10th, 2008 7:07 pm

    We must break our bad habit of naming and blaming that gets us carried away from thinking about solving the problem. It also gets us fighting among ourselves. Regardless of who did the attack, Musharraf is indeed responsible for a failed govt. We need a collective pressure on the present govt. to resign. I refuse to believe that in this country of 160 million, one megalomaniac general with his hand picked team are the only eligible ones to rule. Musharraf has in fact become increasingly dispensable at this point.

  30. irritated Pakistani says:
    January 10th, 2008 7:19 pm

    Pak Fauj aur Pak Police ko Salam.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the brave police officers who gave their lives for the defence of their country. We shall never forget this.

    We can only pray that may Allah protect this nation in this difficult time.

  31. paki says:
    January 10th, 2008 8:21 pm

    Salaams all,

    there are some very bitter people posting on this site. instead of being bitter and posting things that make little sense, why dont we (me included) do something (anything) good for pakistan. do it for your ethnic/political/religious/whatever group. just make sure you do “good” and not “bad”.

    i’m going to go try.

  32. Eidee Man says:
    January 10th, 2008 8:27 pm

    Must take this personally? It is patently obvious that the only way our country can have a shred of hope is for MUSHARRAF TO STEP DOWN, the heroes of the judiciary to be restored, and free and fair elections to be held. When it becomes obvious that you’re digging yourself into a hole, it’s time to stop!

  33. Tina says:
    January 10th, 2008 8:57 pm

    Hello Adil,

    Thanks for your reply. Although I know what you are trying to say and I was not trying to target you personally, I’ll stand by my statement about the fortress mentality.

    The people are desperate to get the exploitative elites (in Lahore and everywhere else) out of the way, and they will do so through bloody French revolution tactics and by following the mullahs if necessary. The elites are busy trying to ignore this by making a lot of noise about different “issues”. But there is only one issue: life in Pakistan is not getting better for the great majority of its citizens, who are regarded as little better than work donkeys by their own countrymen in the posh DHS units. Reflecting this one issue is the fact that there are no political forces really representing the average people. So rage is at fever pitch and it has nowhere to go. Mullahs are there to take advantage of it.

    I hope something can be done to make the inevitable change as little like violent revolution as possible. All you need is a legitimate government, centralized and progressive tax collection, energetic social reforms on all levels, land reform, unionization of workers, a military willing to give up its 60% share of the national budget, a ruling class willing to walk away from its most psychologically addictive perks, foreign powers who want to see Pakistan peaceful and prosperous, and….

    Oh, forget the pipe dreams. Revolution it is, then. It worked for the Chinese, and only cost tens of millions of lives.

  34. Boy Wonder says:
    January 10th, 2008 9:07 pm

    Reminds me of ambitious General Custer’s last battle and death

    “As he lay dead, the women…pushed the point of a sewing awl into each of his ears, into his head. This was done to improve his hearing, as it seemed he had not heard what our chiefs in the South had said when he smoked the pipe with them. They told him then that if ever afterward he should break that peace promise and should fight the Cheyennes, the Everywhere Spirit surely would cause him to be killed….I often have wondered if, when I was riding among the dead where he was lying, my pony may have kicked dirt upon his body. “

  35. Maudood says:
    January 10th, 2008 9:20 pm

    I am shocked at how Nawaz Sharif is responding to the crisis that the people of Pakistan facing. People are dying everyday, and he keeps trying to score political points – blaming Mush for all that is happening in Pakistan. NS was in fact was an integral part of the establishment that raised these religious fanatics in the 80′s and 90′s..practically in their laps.

    Nawaz Sharif show some guts (like BB did). Condemn these murders. Show some courage. Announce a mass movement against these fanatics. Otherwise, history will judge you as a coward.

  36. Boy Wonder says:
    January 10th, 2008 9:36 pm

    Mushy to Resign if next govt seeks his impeachment

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20081\11\story_11-1-2008_pg1_5

  37. Mudassar says:
    January 10th, 2008 9:53 pm

    PESHAWAR/MINGORA: Rebel cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who was accused by President Pervez Musharraf of masterminding the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, on Thursday said he was not involved in the murder of the Pakistan People

  38. RIZWAN says:
    January 10th, 2008 10:12 pm

    I totally agree with the post. We keep ignoring this extremism and violence and we must take it personally every time and everywhere.

  39. January 10th, 2008 10:26 pm

    Annkhain band kerne se billi chali nahi jati

    When wana, waziristan, balouchistan was burning it was just parts of country but now its everyday event in big cities. May be not the most dangerous country but certainly one of the most dangerous country. Plus infra-structure and everyday supply of basics are running out

  40. Q-K says:
    January 10th, 2008 10:55 pm

    THANK YOU FOR THIS BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN PIECE.

    YOU LITERALLY BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES, BETA.

    MAY ALL PAKISTANIS THINK LIKE THIS. INSHALLAH.

  41. NT says:
    January 10th, 2008 11:19 pm

    Ai Watan Piyaray Watan Pak Watan Pak Watan ,Ai meray Piyaray Watannnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!

  42. January 11th, 2008 12:13 am

    While the situation looks gloomy, a lot gloomy than ever (during my lifetime at least), the fact is that we, the Pakistanis, should start thinking collectively if we are to take our country anywhere… among all the mayhem, bombings, confusions… we could only stay positive and work on long term awareness and education of our people if our genrations are to reap any rewards!

    Believe me, this is the only solution! There are no shortcuts…

    I met a few Turkish friends last week and they mentioned that Turkey went through similar turmoil in late seventies and early eighties but it was education that saved them…Time does not appear on our side as we have not invested in education to the level that we could reap the real benfits. True that the feudals don’t have interest in educating Pakistan, true that education has not been a priority of any government in Pakistan, true that even the available funds are not fully utilized by the state machinery for education, true that all our state structure is messed up with round pegs in square holes, at all levels – but where are “WE” – the “blessed” lot of educated Pakistanis. We should understand that no change happens without a sacrfice; we need to come forward, we need to talk about educating Pakistanis, run discussions, then turn these into actions. Many of us are doing it, we need more people to join this effort… Please invest in the future of Pakistan; invest in education. We may be running against time, but there is no other way out probably. We have tried too many quick fixes to-date; none has worked. Let’s try to work on longer terms, yes despite all odds!

    Most of us would agree that it is normal to be engulfed in the current state of affairs, but let’s get out of it… most of the Pakistanis want to stick together, want to build this country into a prosperous entity…

    Stay positive, all of us; only this way, we shall get through!

    May Allah be with us, Ameen! O’ God don’t leave us alone, we acknowledge that we do wrongs, we ask for your forgiveness and seek you help… Ameen!

  43. khan says:
    January 11th, 2008 12:46 am

    Still it seems like we are beating the bush, i don’t think the solution is as simple as “GO Musharaff” , he should be blamed but not “only he” should be blamed. Ok some army generals or agencies could be behind this, but these are not army personals who come and blew themselves up, what ever the motive behind it, the people blewing themselves are prepared and fooled by religious smokescreen, which started from Zir reign, stayed and grew through PPP and PML (N) govts. It’s not a piece of cake for any Govt to remove them, and no Govt, army or political party have the guts to do that, we are all confused, we can’t make our mind on what’s wrong and what’s right, this element was so significant in “Lal Masjid” issue. Only Ulehmas and Mullahs can help, but why would they, they see these militants and suicide bombers as their strength, whenever someone like Bait Ullah Mahsood or Maulana Rashid ghazi is touched, they can easily send one of their follower to go blast themselves up at some busy place of Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi.

    @Saleem Toor

    I agree with your comments, specially the last part, we need to pray more then ever before.

  44. Mudassar says:
    January 11th, 2008 12:49 am

    @Saleem Toor,
    I agree 110% with you Saleem Toor and ATP can provide us the platform where we can actually start doing something, Examples of cancer charity hospital, sahara trust are in front of us it is just we need a bigger effort now.

  45. legaleagle says:
    January 11th, 2008 2:04 am

    I agree with you Adil, suicide bombings are now getting personal!

    I propose the following.

    A suicide bomber (who is hell bent on taking his life along with the life of innocents) once identified by the authorities, should be severely reprimanded by prosecuting his entire adult family including father, mother,wife, brothers, sisters etc by giving them a rigorous jail sentence of at least 15 years! They should also be prosecuted in case they are found to have been given money (which is the general modus operandi) by the perpetrators. It may sound cruel at first to propose such a sentence, but at the end of the day deterrence is the best defense against such maniacal personalities. Once this sentence is in place, any likely suicide bomber will at least think 50 times before he caries out the dastardly task.

    The country-less foreigners in the SWA and other likely beneficiaries are taking the entire country for a ride and are using our own people against us, lets unite and nip this damn curse in the bud before we all have to suffer!

    This matter is now beyond any political rhetoric of Go Musharraf Go, or Come Zardari Come or Nawaz Sada Sher ay! This is a matter of Pakistan’s security and its high time we should now take the bull by its proverbial horns!

  46. Aik Aur Dewana says:
    January 11th, 2008 2:21 am

    “A suicide bomber (who is hell bent on taking his life along with the life of innocents) once identified by the authorities, should be severely reprimanded by prosecuting his entire adult family including father, mother,wife, brothers, sisters etc by giving them a rigorous jail sentence of at least 15 years!”

    You sound like a ‘two wrongs make a right’ sort of person. The solution to suicide bombing is mainly intelligence; keep an eye on suspicious groups

  47. Adnan says:
    January 11th, 2008 5:58 am


    , should be severely reprimanded by prosecuting his entire adult family including father, mother,wife, brothers, sisters etc by giving them a rigorous jail sentence of at least 15 years!

    This would increase more disturbance. If that was the solution than jewish state would have peace around them. Make some sense dude.

  48. Jamshed Nazar says:
    January 11th, 2008 6:45 am

    Jihadis are striking in the heart of Pakistan because the Army is striking in the tribal areas for years now, and the rest of Pakistan has done nothing about it. This has created the division of “our land / tribal areas” versus “their land / settled areas of Pakistan”.
    What else should we expect?

    The state of Pakistan is failing to address the critical problems facing the mainstream society – social justice, education, housing, jobs, medical services and the problems are adding up with shortages of electricity, water, wheat, sugar etc etc. With the huge population that is growing up, there is not much on offer by the state of Pakistan.
    All resources are eaten up by the small elite class and its organs spread over army, bureaucracy and the feudal elites dominating the political institutions.
    All this would be ok as long as people do not resist and are happy to be downtrodden and stick with contentment in their fate. Now we have a new generation of young people who are not happy with the way things are.

    In the cities, students are supporting lawyers’ movements etc and in tribal areas, the young people are supporting these taliban. The motivation is similar – revolt against the current order.

    The availability of guns out of the afghan war and the provision of training services facility for years by the pakistan army (including monthly stipends for jihadis), has created a cadre of jihadis that need just a “worthy” cause to continue their jihadi effforts. As the Army makes it more difficult for these people to move to Afhgnaistan and Kashmir, it makes it easy for these people to push into the settled areas of Pakistan itself.

    Pakistan Army is the biggest player in this game.

    There are only two ways out of this,

    1- Army moves out of the political mess along with Musharraf and facilitates the politicians to form a stable government and adresss the problems that the society is facing.

    2- Army uses strong arm tactics, applies marshal law, eliminates these jihadis and maintains total control over government.

    Look at Saudi arabia – there is no dearth of Jihadis over there. In 2004-5 there was considerable militant activity over there but they have been able to contain it much better than Pakistan.
    Since most of our intelligence agencies are busy manipulating the politicians and cleaning up after the americans, they dont seem to have a handle on these jihadi organisations.

    The current state of affairs is a reflection of Musharraf and Army’s failure rather than any real success by these Jihadi outfits.
    What we need is a clean up in Islamabad – 111 Brigade – where are you now??

  49. khan says:
    January 11th, 2008 7:22 am

    No country need to contain jihadis, they can send them to Pakistan.

    Can someone describe Iraq’s situation just before US attacked them?

  50. -Farid says:
    January 11th, 2008 8:32 am

    Anyone has any ideas on any end game ? What are we going to be talking about on 11 / January 2009 ? It must be different.

    Surely this suffering must contain the seeds of its own reversal.

    I guess what I’m getting at is: What is the best case scenario for Pakistan in 2008 ? what needs to happen ? I want to have hope. In fact I am determined to have hope, but I need something to pray for…..

  51. TEE BEE says:
    January 11th, 2008 8:46 am
  52. MQ says:
    January 11th, 2008 9:47 am
  53. faraz siddiqui says:
    January 11th, 2008 10:49 am

    We should first think about ppl who dies in such attacks. Their compensation package is 1 lakh in NWFP and 3 lakh in Sind.

    These young police (or any other)man run their whole family. Their comensation package should be at least 1 million. That will incresae the moral of rest.

    Adil bhai how come you thought Lahore will be safe. Pakistan is burning. OBL and his kinds are burning Pakistan and we are sleeping.

  54. taban.khamosh says:
    January 11th, 2008 12:15 pm

    @tina: re: Revolution

    Do you really think it could happen in Pakistan? I seriously doubt it. I think the only “popular revoution” if it ever happens is going to be the one instigated and exploited by the so called religious forces (idiotic and ignorant as they are).

    But it won’t be near anything like the Iranian revoution, ie; the intellectual underpinnings of the leaders of the coming religious upheaval are evidently suspect, and these idiots are going to hand our land over to its enemies on a silver platter. These religious morons and their extremist brethren have been played like a cheap lute by the british for the last 250 years at least (exhibit 1: the muslim “jihad” against the sikh power bases, instigated and supplied by…. surprise surprise.. yes, the BRITT.TISH etc…, and gues what, the money they took as war reparations from ranjeet’s successors, they used to kill off guess who? the so called jihadists and also they used it for the afghanistan campaign)

    So, our religious leaders are FREAKING RETARDS, and i don’t say it because they are religious, I say it because they are RETARDS and they get played by everyone, and they support every injustice imaginable, and sadly, the pakistani populace kind of looks up to them (to wit: PNA vs Bhutto not that he was a saint)

    China got to have its revolution (IMO) because the imperialist thugs were busy fighting it out over the spoils of the ottomon prize. That wasn’t the ony factor, but their distraction helped quite a bit methinks. But no such luck right now.

    Iran shows it can be done against all odds, but Iran also shows it is very easy for it to be hijacked by ‘unpleasant’ forces (witness the collapse of the so-called Iranian left post revolution). Pakistan looks ripe for a religious revolution, and _that_ will be allowed to proceed by the junta’s continuous foreign husbands because then everyone can agree that it is okay to bomb the crap out of the country to “secure the nuclear assets” etc. it will also achieve the result of pulverization of the country for futre geo-strategic gains in the next 50 or so years.

    And as far as lives being lost, well, Iraqi’s might have been better off had they lost all those lives getting rid of that piece of shit saddam and the exploitative iraqi “establishment” rather than getting blown up by illiterate rednecks from texas on a daily basis.

    Which humiliation is worse? having the boot of the foreigner continuously crushing your skull, your men in concentration camps with electrodes up their anuses, and your women out on the street whoring themselves to put food on the table or facing up to the attack-dogs and their foreign masters now? And what does our religious RETARDS protest against? the cartoons The FREAKING CARTOONS!!! (but I digress!)

    Incidentally, Iraq and it’s “patriotic elite” followed the same path as our “friends” (not masters of course). They pillaged the country, murdered and bombed and terrorized their own people, fought a proxy war at the behest of their masters, and eventually were disgraced like the lackey mongrels they really were. That was just the couple of deck of cards worth. The rest, allowed to leave, are out of the country and are living quite nicely off their stolen wealth stashes. Ordinary Iraqi’s fate is a different story.
    So, what did the ordinary Iraqi’s gain from trying to avoid ‘violence’ and hundreds of thousands of dead? 100 times more violence and millions of dead, and and atomized and pulverized country which is not going to recover for decades (if at all) !

    So much for “peace” and not sticking your neck out and all that good stuff.

  55. RE says:
    January 11th, 2008 12:30 pm

    Since the death of BB everything from burning to looting is well organized. Its like a war. In war enemy goes after infrastructure. Same thing they went for railway stations to Power Plants. Then even Aataa shortage is well planned to hurt Musharraf. This is all sad but real. Hate for Musharraf has blinded some in Pakistan OR to enemy. They are destroying Pakistan just to make Musharraf look bad. Very well planned and well organized.

  56. RE says:
    January 11th, 2008 12:35 pm

    We need to unite like we did for earthquake. We need to unite Pakistan and establish funds for all the innocents deaths in these bombings in Pakistan.
    Where are our hero’s like Tariq Aziz and all other singers need to come on TV and calm down Pakistan. For Allah Sake do it now. Many in overseas want to help the families of innocent deaths.

  57. TEE BEE says:
    January 11th, 2008 1:57 pm
  58. Abid says:
    January 11th, 2008 3:08 pm

    While we all deplore the acts of terror wherever it may happen. BUT we don

  59. RE says:
    January 11th, 2008 3:18 pm

    defend Pakistan go to this link.
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/comments?type=story&id=4118461

    although I believe many on this board are anti Musharraf but still wanted to ask for the sake of Pakistan.

  60. Zaki Hasan says:
    January 11th, 2008 5:04 pm

    If this terrorist suicde bombing happened in Isreal many Pakistanis would call it “Justifiable”. People who conducted the attack would justify the Lahore attack using the same reasoning.

    Suicide attacks should not be conisdered justifiable under any circumstances.

  61. Khairulbashar Siddiqui says:
    January 11th, 2008 7:31 pm

    I wish we as educated pakistani make some sense.
    Build other organisation before destroying the only organisation that Pakistan has. I hate Army. But to stop that was 1961, not now. You don’t have any infrastructure.
    Can we have 100,000 volunteers in all over Europe, UK, and USA, who are willing to go back to Pakistan and fight this Jihad for the people of Pakistan. We all should have one goal. which should be fighting for SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE in Pakistan, even if we are killed. Forget about Army and politicians. Can we do this sacrifice. Instead of Blogging and fighting let us do something.

  62. Sidhas says:
    January 11th, 2008 9:00 pm

    Here is a good report on terrorism in Pakistan. The report issued by Pak Institute for peace studies said that terrorist attack took 3448 lives.

    http://pips.com.pk/san/pakistan/Dec/Pak-SANReport-Jan03-07-D.html

    I am glad that people are beginning to realize the seriousness of terrorism in Pakistan. We supported terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy in India which undermined the moral and legal legitimacy of Kashmiri people.

    When Pakistan was forced to give up, the chickens came home to roast.

    I am reminded of moral of childhood story “Jaisay karni waisey bharni”. May God protect our people and our nation (ameen).

  63. maqbool says:
    January 11th, 2008 11:58 pm

    The increasing violence in Pakistan is not only sad but very disturbing .The causes are many, including state’s using
    religous fervor for recruiting martyrs for wars against Soviets in Afghanistan, war against Indian sponsored northern alliance , war to defeat Indian occupation with thousand wounds in Kashmir.
    But to ride this “Tiger” of fanatic , poorly educated madrassa kids , with a taste of blood in their mouth is becoming impossible for state’s dysfunctional handlers.
    Our society has serious problems which we do not want to face and always blame others or look for excuses. We do not treat ALL of our citizens equally, leading to very serious inequities in our society. We have servants in our households where our own citizens’children work as domestic servants or work in fields and factories as slave and bonded laborers. These citizens who do not see any future are easy recruits for criminal acts and even”suicide ” missions.
    We have to reverse these ills to survive as a society by free and fair voice for all citizens by promoting political , social and civic participation by ALL citizens equally.We have to provide justice to all citizens by independent judiciary. We have to work towards social and economic justice by treating all children equally.
    We have to control our population growth with same vigor as China. We have to fund our religous institutions to a level where their education should be at par with any secular institution.We have to actively guard them against corroding influence of both Saudi and Iranian religious institutions.
    We have to actively promote open , independent discussions and jealously guard our freedom of thought and religion.
    We have to work to make government and public institutions strong and not individuals. We have to collect all taxes fairly and then spend to uplift all citizens and when all citizens’ well being will be at stake , then no one can hurt others or burn their property without facing due consequences.

  64. Mudassar says:
    January 12th, 2008 7:14 am

    @Khairulbashar Siddiqui

    Bashar sb, we are pretty good at posting ideas, i supported Salim Toor’s point of view and i support yours ” yeh baaten karne ka nahi kaam karne ka time hai” and we will have to provide social and economic justice in Pakistan if we want to survive another 60 years. We should start re-building Pakistan.

  65. Aik Aur Dewana says:
    January 12th, 2008 7:23 am
  66. meengla says:
    January 12th, 2008 5:29 pm

    1) I think, as today’s Dawn editorial http://www.dawn.com/2008/01/12/ed.htm hints at, unless we take full account of foreign factors (which, to me, is not exclusively blaming foreign elements) we will be ‘beating around the bush’ discussing tragedies like in Lahore. In this connection, I think ATP is perhaps all-to0-Pakistaniat.
    2) The “we” here assumes a coherent thought-process which would agree on major issues. The only coherence I see even in this highly-respectable (by Pakistani stadards) blog is to ‘kill the mullah’ while we a lot of us remain divided on major issues. To some because Ayub Khan’s era saw a lot of progress/development that is enough to approve of him. Sadly, the reality is that between 1969-1971 there is only a 2-year period where A. Khan’s ‘decade of development’ unravelled–blame for some of which must lay on A. Khan himself; this leads me to #3
    3) Politicians are almost universally reviled; as are lawyers. But if we look around the globe we see that in most countries of the world these two kind of people are the one who are running countries. Despite their faults, a democratic process that ‘lesser evil’ of less obviously ‘corrupt’ politicians are brought as replace, if nothing else than at least being fresh blood. But in Pakistan, since 1977, the army led establishment has managed to convince even highly educated Pakistanis to condemn ‘politics’ itself. General Zia ul Haq not only made Pakistan a ‘client State’ for foreigners, bred the Jihadis which are haunting us, but also managed to de-politicize Pakistanis. His remarks like ‘Politicians are nothing but dogs who will come to me if I throw a bone to them’ (paraphrased) manages to reverberates through the informed blogs like these.
    4) There is another Pakistani ‘Defence’ site online where, no less than a Moderator, is hoping for a ‘bullet’ or ‘suicide’ attack for Asif Ali Zardari for Zardari’s remarks that Pakistan cannot survive without achieving peace with India. Yes, this is an example of our ‘educated class’ which is not satisfied with BB’s murder.

    Long Live General Zia!!!

  67. zia m says:
    January 12th, 2008 9:07 pm

    Just listening to Justice Wajihuddin gives me hope and pride.
    Please visit pkpolitics.com to listen to his interview.

    Long live Lawyers movement.

  68. Parvez says:
    January 12th, 2008 11:36 pm

    Zia, you are right about Wajihuddin interview, I fully support his points about rule of Law.
    Let me caution those who propose that killing this group or that group would solve the problem. Any state that kills its own people without legal process and justification will not stand for long. GOP has been doing this for six years and it has not improved law and order. Army should back to defending the borders and internal security should be given to provinces and local governments.
    I don’t think it is going to turn around even with elections.

  69. Khuram says:
    January 14th, 2008 9:16 am

    Lahore terror attack should be taken personal by all Lahories and resolve to get to the bottom of it.If it was so easy to eradicate this bane, then perhaps by now it would have been dead.No one in his comment has given any remedy.Stop pitying yourself and start to act by ensuring to suspect everyone around you.It may be your new neighbour who is a potential perpetrator.Get out of this habit of expecting the “government” to do all.It can do nothing unless it has ears and eyes in every street and house. Keep the zinda dilli of lahore alive by ensuring that this does not happen again in Lahore.

  70. JMA says:
    January 14th, 2008 1:48 pm

    “Keep the zinda dilli of lahore alive by ensuring that this does not happen again in Lahore”

    Well said but how we do this…..we must get rid of all who are so determined to destroy Pakistan including the Bhutoo family, Nawaz and all other crooks and most importantly the Islamic extremists who are so called muslims killing their own…no where in Islam it says to kill inocent people….get rid of all these and we will have peace
    The most important think we can do is to educate our people so they can tell the difference between right and wrong and not try to elect the same crooks who will never do any thing good for Pakistan

  71. Khuram says:
    January 15th, 2008 8:47 am

    JMA, I couldn’t agree with you more.Believe me every Pakistani that is SANE Pakistani is thinking on the lines you mention.GOD BLESS YOU.

  72. zia m says:
    January 15th, 2008 1:11 pm

    Farid Zakaria just came back after visiting Pakistan.He was on Jon Stewart show last night and put it well ” The dictator has the country by the balls”.Mush thinks the extremists are the judges in Pakistan and he is the messiah sent by God to save the country.
    We are in big trouble some of our educated people are supporting dictatorship over democracy.We should first educate the educated.

  73. Aik Aur Dewana says:
    January 15th, 2008 1:46 pm

    This is interesting article in the context of current extremism and its development over decades.

    The Destabilization of Pakistan by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

    Part I
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7705

    Part II
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7746

    Needless to say the religious element has always been too happy to carry out the American agenda.

  74. zagi says:
    January 15th, 2008 3:51 pm

    When ever there are crisis its a human nature that it looks for someone who can handle crisis. So as a muslim I look towards mosques and molvies but what they are doing is there any movement launched from islamic plateform that we are against sucide bombing we are against to instability of our own home land. but instead when I look to leading islamic parties they just hungry for power and chair. We have thousands of molvies what they are doing just preparing people for sucide which is totaly non islamic.

  75. Agadir says:
    January 29th, 2008 2:49 am

    AOA to alls

    First of all it a shoking nes of any Pakistani because this attack on any Pakistani today on police and tomorrow on us.We will be stop that’s attacks
    and it is our duty to finish these types of terrorism.And Army militant duty is safety of any Pakistani.
    I praying to my God”God Blessing all Pakistani and all muslims”

  76. Daktar says:
    March 11th, 2008 10:37 pm

    Yet another attack by the suicide murderers. When will this madness stop.

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