Bomb Blast in the Heart of Islamabad

Posted on March 15, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice
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Adil Najam

A bomb blast at Luna Caprese – a top-end Islamabad restaurant, located in the very heart of the Federal Capital (near Super Market, Islamabad) frequented often by foreign diplomats and high-level government officials – extremist violence to Islamabad.

Bomb Blast in Islamabad at Luna CapreseBomb Blast in Islamabad at Luna CapreseBomb Blast in Islamabad at Luna CapreseBomb Blast in Islamabad at Luna Caprese

According to The News:

Two persons including Turk female citizen have died and over 15 others have injured in Islamabad blast on Saturday evening. One victim was identified as a Turk female citizen working in an NGO who was died in the Islamabad blast. Three US citizens and including two doctors and a Chinese citizen included among the citizens. The majority of injured is reportedly foreigners, the sources added.

The blast occurred in the backside of an Italian restaurant “ Luna Caprese” near Super market, the sources said. Over 15 injured including foreigners have been shifted to hospitals. The bomb blast at Luna Caprese restaurant in Islamabad this evening was not a suicide attack confirmed spokesman Interior Ministry, Brigadier (Retd.) Javed Iqbal Cheema. “It was not a suicide attack,” Cheema said adding “It is yet to be ascertained if the blast was caused by a remote controlled device.’

A BBC story adds:

… It is the first attack that has apparently targeted foreigners in Islamabad since 2002, analysts say. Two foreign diplomats, one from the US and one from the UK, were among the injured, their governments said. Those injured also include nationals from Japan, Canada and Turkey, officials say. Five are US nationals, according to police.

Witnesses said Saturday evening’s explosion occurred in a garden at the back of the restaurant, leaving a crater in the ground and blowing out the windows. Part of the back wall of the restaurant also collapsed. “It was deafening,” Tariq Mahmood, a waiter at the restaurant, told Reuters news agency. “We pulled out at least eight people from the wreckage. Most of them were foreigners,” he said.

… Luna Caprese is located in a busy shopping area, and is one of the few restaurants that serve alcohol in Islamabad. There have been concerns raised recently by security officials over the lack of protection of such venues, the BBC’s Syed Shoaib Hasan reports from Pakistan. Foreigners, especially those from Western countries, were advised last year to stay away from public places and popular restaurants, he says.

This is one more in a string of blasts, including a recent one in Lahore. Neither the timing nor the location of this blast is without significance. It comes on the eve of the first meeting of the new National Assembly (on Monday) and in targets a location that is not only in the very heart of the Capital but a location that is frequented by foreigners and by high-level officials.

Those sending these dastardly messages of death know exactly who they are sending the message to. They are sending a message to Gen. Musharraf’s government reminding them that they have lost control of the country, they are sending a message to the incoming political parties to let them know that they should tread with care on the issue of extremism, and they are sending a message to the rest of the world that Pakistan is a dangerous place and will remain so no matter what happened in the elections or what happens on Monday.

But the most venomous message is being sent to the citizens of Pakistan. Each of these blasts- from Peshawar to Quetta to Karachi to Lahore to Rawalpindi, Islamabad and everywhere else (here, here, here) – is one more way for the extremists to mock us and to shout out in our face that it is they and not us who control our destiny… That it is they and not we who speak for Pakistan to the world at large… That it is they and their sick minds and not we and our aspirations and hopes who will define the future of the country. That is what they want us and the world to believe.

Whatever else happens, the message of hatred and death must be defied. It is incumbent not only on governments – old or new – but on all of us to stand and speak out against their agenda. Niether they, nor their message, nor their tactics, nor their actions speak for for. Indeed, we all must speak out against them.

52 responses to “Bomb Blast in the Heart of Islamabad”

  1. FAUZIA says:

    I would like to propose to the government that the shoudl build a monument to all the Pakistanis who have died in all these suicide bombings. Something powerful so that we never forget the murder and hatred that is being spread in our society.

  2. Yousaf says:

    Its indeed very sad as well as frightening to see such massive explosions in public ares killing hundreds :S. I wonder whats going to happen. Specially when our government is happy that no VIP was hit. I guess all this is pre-planned to isolate Pakistan on international fronts and totally block foreign investment and make it as frightening as possible for foreigners to travel here
    I can’t sleep after seeing very disturbing images ate different websites like riott-suicide-bomb-blast/

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