Peshawar mayhem and Dir tragedy –

Raza Rumi

Two tragedies are unfolding as we try and make sense of the mayhem. Peshawar, already under siege has been hit hard by terrorists. One target is the paramilitary installations and the other a rally brought out by a moderate political party that rules the province. The 25 or more killed in Dir area were civilians and workers of a political party that has suffered at the hands of Taliban. When will this end? What do ordinary people have to do with the geo-strategic interests and politics. This state of affairs is unacceptable.

PESHAWAR: A series of powerful explosions and gunfire rocked Peshawar area of Saddar on Monday as heavy grey smoke spewed into the sky, witnesses and a security official said.

The causes of the blasts were not immediately clear, said the security official and local residents.

At least two people were killed and two others injured in the blast; the bodies and the injured have been shifted to Lady Reading Hospital. Some other injured have been moved to the CMH as well.

Khyber Road where the US Consulate building is situated, is being air-monitored by the helicopters.

Television footage showed a heavy mushroom cloud and smoke rising into the air over the garrison part of the city, close to the US consulate and the Peshawar headquarters of Pakistan’s top spy agency, bombed last November.

Bursts of heavy gunfire could also be heard in the wake of blasts which a foreign news agency puts at five in number.

The Khyber Road, where the US Consulate is situated, has been closed.

The cameras of news channels were live covering the incident with security personnel on their positions, when two consecutive blasts occurred.

The series of these three blasts occurred within 20 minutes and shook the city followed by extreme firing. The second and third blasts occurred in vehicles.

The blasts were so intense that the mobile phones services were closed for some time.

Emergency has been declared in Peshawar Hospital.

The US Consulate official said the Consulate is garnering information about the blasts.

The second blast

TIMERGARAH: The death toll in a blast that ripped through the rally of Awami National Party (ANP) in Timergarah rose to 25, Geo News quoted a doctor saying Monday.

The blast occurred at ANP’S public rally in Timergarah Tehsil of Lower Dir; the rally was being taken out as thanksgiving, as the name of the province was changed to Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw.

The Party kept secret its program to celebrate over the new name of the province.

The MS of District Hospital Timergarah Doctor Wakil said at least 25 bodies and over 100 injured were brought to the hospital.

The blast was so powerful that the nearby buildings shook and their windowpanes broke down.

The injured were shifted to the nearby hospitals. The local people initially started relief work on self-help basis.

The security personnel soon arrived on the spot and cordoned off the affected area.

The rally was passing near a police check post and a passport office in the main bazaar, when the blast occurred.

According to DIG Qazi Jameel, the blast occurred near a guesthouse.

Emergency has been declared in all hospitals in the area.

The injured include the borher of the ANP leader Haji Adeel.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Peshawar mayhem and Dir tragedy –

  1. Midfield Dynamo

    Force can never destroy an insurgency, perhaps the only exception is the Russian success in Chechnya, but then there was an explosion in the underground only to remind us that it is not over yet and there can be no certainty if this was a sporadic event or yet another step towards a sustained escalation of hostilities by the insurgents. The temporary success of the Russians can be attributed to the fact that they were able to isolate the insurgents from the safe havens and the sources of supply, made possible by both physical force on the ground and a clever diplomatic offensive against sympathizers of the Chechnian movement whether it was the US or the other democratic powers around the globe. Will it be possible for the US and its coalition partners to manage a similar success in Afghanistan and Pakistan, remains hanging in the balance, for there are many intangibles that prevent the stake holders from reaching a permanent solution, for if the pull gets too strong in favor of one of the protagonists at the cost of another, they will surely throw a spanner in the works once again creating mayhem. In this case the sources of supply and the safe havens are both indigenous; therefore physical isolation is not an option, however, overt diplomatic isolation has met with a great deal of success whereas it would be difficult to assess the long term repercussions of sympathizers amongst the radicals, for now it seems that the tide is on the ebb.
    This seems to be the trend, after all the Taliban resurgence took a few years after the US invasion of Afghanistan to become effective. This was also the case in Iraq, where the complexity of the situation vis-à-vis the Shia-Sunni inter sectarian hatred for each other actually provided a face saving solution to the occupation forces, an opportunity to pass on the baton to the locals and achieve a clean break from the fire fight. The situation is Afghanistan is quite different and does not provide such an opportunity of achieving a clean break, India or most likely Pakistan which will be left holding the bag, to train the Afghan forces, thereby take on the responsibility of ensuring that international terrorism is not spewed within the confines of its territory is a tall order and will take a huge cost in personnel and material to administer such a task, with no guarantees to its successful outcome. In fact as the costs continue to mount the odds will become more favorable for the insurgents, which is a tendency that the international community cannot tolerate for the increasing vulnerability to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and their delivery systems makes the world unsafe.
    The world at large will therefore continue to support Pakistan to squash the insurgency, and the insurgents will continue to resort to bloody killings of innocent people through suicide bombings. The end is thus not in sight, unless there is a major shift in the psychological makeup of the peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they have the moral courage to tell Al-Qaida, their benefactors to fight their war against their monarchs in their own countries, kill their own people and cease to manipulate the innocent of this region with Arabic doctrine for a self serving motive. We should have the sense to see that we are fighting somebody else’s war, if they want to kill Al Saud, to hell with them, let them kill whosoever they want to, we should be able to tell them that Al Saud is on the Arabian Peninsula, not in Afghanistan or Pakistan, so go and kill him there, spare us the responsibility. We have our own problems to take care of, so you go home and sort out yours and let us deal with ours. We should be able to see through their game which is not Islamic, it is tribal. It is not ideological, it is economical. They come here to plant the seeds of hatred by marrying young girls and produce off springs in the name of Islamic tradition, it is all a farce, if only we had the eyes to see.
    To answer your question, this will never end unless we are able to see through this ruthless game that is being played with us, and are able to disassociate ourselves from our so called benefactors and devise a policy which is best suited to our own personal interests.

  2. Sadia Hussain

    Yesterday attacks remind us that the battle against extremism continues. While we condemn such attacks there a certain quarters in the blog sphere who are trying to rationalize the acts of Taliban by propagating lies such the Sawat flogging video being fabricated. Such elements need to be countered at all points as nothing justifies violence and they cannot gain public sympathy by spreading misinformation.

  3. Ammar

    Violence breeds further violence and nothing positive comes out of it. Indiscriminate bombings on civilians cannot be termed as Jihad. Unfortunately Jihad is now being defined in terms of armed struggle whereas it is broad concept which entails struggle against poverty, lack of education and extremism.

  4. Almost over a hundred people die to this. It is sad and Pakistan condemns it.  I guess this is just a reminder to us that Taliban will keep striking back till we uproot them fully. Praise be to the soldiers who also dies in these attacks.

  5. Battle against extremism continues. It is not yet over and the lifes given by our Pakistan brothers and sisters will nto go in vain. The Taliban will have to pay in this life and hereafter as well. If they want to bring a change this is no way of doing it by killing millions and effecting lives of all.

  6. Praise be to the security officials who gave their life and protected the US consulate. Just last night a blast took place in Islamabad too. Measure must be taken to increase the security of the civilians in all cities.