Bomb Blast in the Heart of Islamabad

Posted on March 15, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice
Total Views: 37871

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. Lin says:

    We like restaurants that go BOOM

  2. Absar says:

    Mus, you actually believe that the US did this. Just how delusional can people be!!!!

    Unless we accept the crisis facing us, we will never resolve it. These murders are the enemy of Pakistan and of Islam and we have to recognize them as such.

  3. Mus says:

    The US strategy is to steer AlQaeda’s attacks away from NATO and towards Pakistan.This will serve their demonic, wicked interests:One,the NATO will have more breathing space and two,Pakistan will be even more destablised which is after all in the US interests too.

  4. Gill says:

    correction in that last post, “going behind the backs of the Taliban and Baitullah” is what I meant.

  5. Gill says:

    The government likes to blame everything on the militants.

    If Baitullah Mehsud declares he’s going to scale back fighting, and really, we hear much less about battles and casualties now in the news… then why would he suddenly start an attack campaign on these government/military targets? It doesn’t make sense.

    It seems more the work of Fazlullah, who is kind of crazy. Fazlullah is also Taliban-wannabe, whereas Baitullah Mehsud is alleged to actually fight in Afghanistan under Taliban commanders. It would make sense for Baitullah to behave more responsibly because the Afghani Taliban want to concentrate on NATO in Afghanistan.

    But when the Pakistani Army starts putting pressure on their regrouping activities in the border regions, it makes sense that they’d endorse Baitullah trying to get them a little space by alternately fighting, then trying to negotiate ceasefires with the Pakistani Army.

    Fazlullah just seems to want to mess everything up by doing crazy things.

    There also seems to be an internal dynamic between the Taliban (who want to concentrate on defeating NATO in Afghanistan) and Al-Qaeda, who are also quite crazy (Jihadi Salafis). Perhaps Al-Qaeda establishes links with Fazlullah because he’ll listen to them, going behind the backs of the Taliban and Fazlullah.

    It’s a complex situation.

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