| ]

Going to the mosque for the eid prayers, my mind was occupied with the fear of losing my life to a suicide attack. I know that the previous generations did not have to face this fear. Mosque is holy place for all the muslims. Yet, we find muslims blowing themselves to kill other muslims while they are offering their prayers. Today, lack of security has become a reality and no place inside Pakistan is safe. Children going to school, women going for shopping, families going out for dinner and people gathering in a crowd, seems like a myth these days. Now, who am I? I am a common man in Pakistan. What have I done that I am being targeted? I think I am innocent and I don’t deserve this fear. Why these people are trying to kill innocent people? What compels them to do so? What are the conditions urging them to do so? These are some questions that need some answers. First, we need to know the motivation behind these kinds of attacks? What was the purpose of suicide bombing when it started? What is the purpose of suicide bombing now?

                           The advent of suicide attack in modern history can be traced by to World War 2. Japanese were the first to use suicide bombers but their mode was different. Japan was losing the battle so they started to sand planes full of explosives and they use to hit American military. First attack done by Japan was on US carrier Bunker Hill and that was the best known attack that killed 372 American soldiers. It was done on May 11, 1945. This was a war tactic. Suicide bombing in guerilla warfare first started in Srilanka. These attacks were done by rebels named as Tamil Tigers. They used women in those attacks. One such attack killed a Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Another big incident was of Srilankan President Ranasonghe Premadosa, falling victim to a suicide bomber.

                            In 1983 suicide bombing was done in Bierut. This was done against the presence of American and French troops in Lebanon. This attack killed more than 300 American and French soldiers. Suicide attacks in Afghanistan started when former Soviet Union first attacked Afghanistan” Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Mehsud was killed in a suicide attack in 2001. Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack. This was the first suicide attack inside afghan territory. The attack on world trade centre was the first major suicide attack inflicting heavy casualities.

                       According to a report in 2007 more than 700 suicide attackers were done in modern history and about 70% of those attacks were done after 9/11 incident(Hekmat Karger, Himal Magazine July 2007).

                             Suicide bombing increased in the world after American war on terror. American was using aerial power to hit Talibans. Taliban had no other choice but to go for guerilla war. America attacked them with fighter planes. Taliban used suicide bombing against American troops and their allies to great effect. Invasion of Iraq started a series of suicide bombing.

                                  Suicide bombing in Pakistan started after 9/11. Today Pakistan is the biggest victim of terrorism. After 9/11 incident, Pakistan supported the war on terror in Afghanistan. That war effected Pakistan very much. As border was not sealed so most of the Talibans ran away from Afghanistan to Pakistan. They were given shelter by the people of tribal areas of Pakistan because of their tradition of hospitality and clan bonding . As already Afghans were in refugee camps in Pakistan, so it was difficult to differentiate Talibans and Afghan refugees. Pakistan became a target as we found friends in Taliban’s enemy. Suicide bombing started in Pakistan. Initially, only the security forces were targeted but now even the common public is not spared. The war has spread to every nook and corner of Paksitan.

                                      First suicide attack in Pakistan was done in Islamabad in 1995. A truck full of explosives entered the Egyptian embassy and 14 people were killed. After investigation it was found out that bomber was Egyptian. Second suicide bombing was in Karachi. French engineers were attacked outside Sheraton Hotel in May 2002. In this attack 14 people were killed in which 11 were French engineers. Another attack in June 2002 was done outside American embassy.

                                In 2003 President General Musharraf was targeted. In 2004 there were five suicide attacks including one attack on Prime Minister. In 2005 only 2 suicide attacks occurred. In 2006 suicide bombing again started to increase as there were 6 suicide attacks in which American embassy and Pakistan security forces were also targeted. In2007 these attacks were increased and total suicide attacks were done. In these attacks was on Former Prime Minister on Benazir Bhutto. In 2008 59 suicide attacks were done. In year 2009 till November 19, 70 suicide attacks were done.

                                During Afghan jihad against Russia, America and Pakistan joined hands to fight it together. After the war, the U.S.A left the region in distress and civil war started in Afghanistan. The idea to use religion as a tool to convince people to fight this war and organizing private militias resulted in destruction of Afghanistan after the war. It did not stop there. Pakistan continued on using religion as a tool and helped Taliban to form a government in Afghanistan. The whole episode of Al-Qaeda taking refuge in Afghanistan and 9/11 attack gave rise to a new fear. Previously, the whole world had their eyes closed to this Frankenstein they themselves created. Suddenly there was a hue and cry everywhere. Islam was said to be the threat to the whole world. Muslim bashing started happening and things got from bad to worse. America got dragged into this war and Pakistan along with it. Now after fighting it for this long, there seems no going back. There is no victory in sight and it cannot last forever. So it is a confusion which has found no solution.

                                  This history of suicide bombing in Pakistan shows that Pakistan suffered after American war on terror in Afghanistan starting from 2002. Pakistan The war was imposed on Pakistan. Pakistan supported Americans in the war of terror resulting in all the anarchy today. George Bush policy of “With us or against us” has left no other option for Pakistan. Pakistan joined this war on terror and it has resulted in destabilization of the region. The main target Al-Qaeda is still not finished after so many years of war and destruction in this region. The spill over of the war from Afghanistan has resulted in Pakistan’s tribal areas becoming a region of conflict and a sanctuary for Taliban.

                              One reason of suicide bombing in Pakistan is a tradition of Pushtoons called” badal”(revenge). This is the tradition according to which if a person of its tribe is killed by the person from other tribe then revenge is being taken from the killer tribe and that revenge is called badal. So similar to this happened in Afghanistan and tribal areas of Pakistan. People of those tribes were killed by American and Pakistani army. So reply to that they started targeting the check posts pf army but later on they changed their target and now their target is innocent public of Pakistan. They considered it their right to kill the people in order to take revenge.

                             Another reason of suicide bombing is American involvement in Pakistan. Pashtoons have got a history that they do not allow the foreign forces to occupy their land. American involvement in Pakistan is also not liked by Pushtoons and Taliban of Afganistan and Tribal areas. Taliban has targeted Pakistan for their commitment to America. America’s drone attacks within Pakistan territory is one of the reasons for the increase in suicide attacks. Bajaur incident and Lal masjid operation has helped Taliban by providing them new recruits for suicide bombing. In both incidents innocent students were killed. In retaliation there have been a lot of suicide attacks in Paksitan for the last three years.

                     Inability of Taliban to fight conventional war against Pakistan army is one another reason of increase in suicide bombings in Pakistan. Pakistan army has a lot of resources compared to Taliban. Taliban are successful to an extent in their strategy and inflicting heavy casualties on the Army and public.

                      How are these people convinced to give up their life and kill others in the process of a suicide attack? Suicide bomber are normally young people from the age group of 16-25. Religious affiliation is a factor as it can be motivational. Money is also a factor so poor are prone to hiring. Then there is a factor of maturity as youngsters can easily be brainwashed compared to older people. These youngsters are mostly unmarried so their bonding with their families is relatively weak then the married ones. Hatred or revenge can also be a factor especially when there is a war going on.

                   American invasion of Islamic countries has contributed a lot to the common hatred in the Muslim world. Economic bondage was already there and then war was imposed on independent and sovereign countries. The feeling of resentment giving rise to Al-Qaeda and their extreme philosophies did not help the situation. Palestine, Iraq, Kashmir, Chechnya, Bosnia and Kosovo are all examples of Muslim occupied territories. Things were fine for the western world as long as there was no organized retaliation. It was bound to happen someday and it did happen. The result is that the world is very unsafe today and there is a lot of hatred which can result in a clash of civilizations.

.                The intensity and frequency of suicide bombing in Pakistan is as a result of bad governance and extreme religious ideas. Poverty is also a factor. Much of population in Pakistan is living below poverty line and the poor are susceptible to the radical ideas. Taliban have used the economic difference and the class structure in Pakistan as a tool to hire new recruits. The idea of rich becoming richer and poor becoming poorer is playing into the hands of Taliban. The ineffective governance, ramping corruption and our feudal structures have given fuel to this fire.

                     The immediate impact is loss of innocent lives to these terrorist activities. It has also resulted in lack of investment in Pakistan owing to the security situation. The economic situation in Pakistan is worsening. These terrorist attacks are also challenging the writ of the government. There is a gradual feeling developing in the general public about the failure of institutions in Pakistan. The government is not able to provide security to its public. How long can it continue? It is a ticking time bomb. Anti American feeling is there in the general public while the government is an ally of America. It is a contrast which is very visible and it does not help. There is gradually a public support developing for the war on terror in Pakistan. How many casualties can we take as a nation before the public opinion turns the tide and results in failure of this war? Anarchy is very visible and there is a sorry state of affairs all around. There is confusion in the government on the mode to fight this war and everyday suicide attacks do not help.

                       There is a talk about winning heart and minds of the people. There is a talk about political situation to this problem. There is a talk about three-prong strategy to talk terrorism. Military operations, rehabilitation and talks are the three steps to tackle this issue. Is this really being applied? Bad governance is a big hindrance to this process. Effectively, there is military being used for the solution.

The Pakistani public is getting tired of these extremist and liberals fighting each other for the ideals. The common man has a limited access to even the basic necessities of life. Suicide bombing is another nail in the coffin of this hopeless nation.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...