There will be no exaggeration to state that the Pakistani forces have accepted defeat against the terrorists. The terrorists have been killing the people, but still there is debate that these terrorists are criminals or heroes. Pakistani leaders have still been befooling the world. US President Bush has been made a fool of - or he has deliberately been allowing the terrorists to kill people. Most of the tribesmen think the government should initiate decisive action against the terrorists or Taliban.
According to a newspaper comment: the former Interior Minister, Mr Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, was targeted by a suicide bomber again within a span of eight months, leading to a great slaughter of innocent people. It happened on the day of Eidul Azha during the prayer that the erstwhile minister was offering with his family members and the local people in his hometown of Sherpao in Charsadda. The congregation counted a thousand strong devotees out of whom 50 were reported killed while injuries were sustained by a son of Mr Sherpao who himself narrowly escaped. The prayer meeting was firmly guarded and the people who came for namaz were passed through a metal and explosives detector. Nonetheless, the suicide-bomber got inside with 9 kgs of explosives on his body.
Some students of a nearby madrassa were arrested but there is no doubt that Mr Sherpao has been targeted once again because he, as interior minister, spearheaded the government's campaign against terrorism in general and against Talibanisation and Al Qaeda in particular. The bombing was a part of the big spike in attacks in the past six months in which over 600 innocent people have been murdered. The contents of the bomb were found to be typical of the bombs used in the recent past by religious fanatics acting as suicide-bombers for elements operating out of the Tribal Areas which, according to President Pervez Musharraf, could be the headquarters of Al Qaeda. Starting with the Arabs controlled by Al Qaeda, the cult of suicide has caught on in Pakistan. South Waziristan's pro-Al Qaeda warlord Baitullah Mehsud is supposed to have several hundreds of them at his beck and call.
The Tribal Areas are splattered with videocassettes showing beheadings - another Al Qaeda signature - and containing last testaments from the suicide-bombers used to kill official and sectarian targets all over Pakistan. The earliest use of this lethal way of killing came from the jihadi organisations used by the state agencies in Kashmir. Therefore it is impossible to take seriously President Musharraf's observation after the Charsadda bombing that "no Muslims could do the deed". The fact is that not long ago the same organisations that carry out suicide-bombings were not considered non-Muslim. He was himself targeted unsuccessfully by Jaish Muhammad, a darling of the state in Kashmir jihad, and by some personnel of the armed forces considered "true Muslims" by the state. The truth is that, barring a few exceptions, only Muslims carry out suicide-bombing these days, from the recent Al Qaeda bombing in Algeria to the ongoing sectarian mayhem in Iraq.
A Pakistani psychiatrist who has made a study of the Afghan jihad returnees in the various prisons of the country concludes that the recruits are usually picked up from mosques and not from madrassas. They are youths who believe in the clerical campaign against America and "its allies in Pakistan"; they are also usually in deep depression because of their domestic circumstances.
The religious content in the testament tapes so far appears in references to the divine compensation in the Hereafter and in particular to the holy Quran where it asserts that martyrs remain physically alive even after death. The other references are to the emotion of revenge against action taken by the state against the bombers' relatives, meaning that more suicide-bombers are bred when military action is taken by the state with incomplete success, and centres of anti-state power are left to survive as possible "negotiators" of peace agreements. The families of the "martyrs" are compensated by the "minders" which could actually be another motivation behind the cult of suicide.