Taliban targeting Pakistani scientists
By Ahmed Hashmi
Taliban have now increased their influence to such an extent as now they are targeting high profile state organs – which no doubt is a loose slap on the face of this democratic government.
When on 2nd July 2009, a bus containing ‘federal government employees’ was hit by a suicide bomber, the government’s information ministry took a bold step to quickly announce that the attack was by pro-Taliban forces – not telling the citizens of the country who actually was targeted?
The next day, the newspapers DAWN, Karachi and Daily Times, Lahore published stories claiming the employees in the bus were that of Dr. A. Q. Khan Research Labs (KRL), Kahuta, whereas the newspaper The News published that the staff was of Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC), Taxila. In another story, an acclaimed journalist named Amir Mir claimed that the bus contained staff of the country’s supreme intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
Having so many sources claiming the state organs to be the victim of this specific attack, makes this fact a certainty that the bus was carrying people working in high profile state organizations, either of KRL or HMC or probably the ISI.
Even now there has been no claim of responsibility by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or any other organization, however the arrow of suspicion points this to TTP which in the past have chosen similar targets for their ruthless activities including the attack on bus containing staff of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Islamabad and attacking Pakistan Air Force officers in Sargodha.
If this government knows simple maths, they should begin to realize now that Taliban are now changing their war tactics. Just after the aftermath of Lal Masjid, there was a series of attacks on tactical assets of the country including, the Pakistan Army, the Navy, Pakistan Air Force, the ISI, provincial headquarters of Federal Investigation Agency, the DG CMH, and countless numbers of times on the Police. If they’ve noticed there has not been a single attack on any scientist and engineer of the military’s industrial-and-nuclear-missile complex as of this attack, which are/have been the most popular destination of the Pakistan’s security bureaucracy.
Targeting scientists, probably the new target of Taliban, will create the risk of antagonizing the Pakistani society – which includes the mainstream fundamentalist’s parties, which lionize the nuclear scientists – including Jamat-e-Islami and Tehreek-e-Insaf Pakistan.
Sooner or later, if this turns out to be true that the bus attacked were containing technicians, engineers & scientists, the question will by why did Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan took such big risk – knowing that scientists are most favorite people of security establishment? The only reasonable answer to this would be that Taliban have now calculated that the only way of exercising pressure on the military to slow down, if not completely halt the SWAT operation, is to target the strategically important establishments such as KRL and HMC.
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