Comment for de Volkskrant, Holland
The truck laden with 1000 kg of explosives that suicide attackers rammed into the high-security Marriott Hotel in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad on September 20, 2008 demolished a major power symbol, prompting many to call it “Pakistan’s 9/11”. Although the number of casualties, around 60, was far below the over 150 killed in the attack on late former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s welcome procession of October 18 last year, this attack had greater symbolic significance.
Many foreigners patronize the five-storey, 290-room hotel that was also reportedly being used for a covert operation by US Marines, who were seen unloading a US Embassy truckload of steel boxes the night of September 17 — the day Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani met US Admiral Mike Mullen in Islamabad and convinced him to cease America’s military incursions into Pakistan. Continue reading