Pakistan blasts kill 24

posted at 8:38 am on March 11, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The city of Lahore has a reputation as the cultural center of Pakistan, and until recently, even the jihadists had left it alone. Now, no city in Pakistan can consider itself safe, as two suicide bombers blew up a house and a police headquarters there today, killing 24 and wounding more than 200:

The two blasts happened about 15 minutes apart in different districts of this eastern city. The first tore the facade from the Federal Investigation Agency building as staff were beginning their working day. It also damaged scores of homes in the neighborhood.

City police chief Malik Mohammed Iqbal said an explosive-packed car was driven into a parking lot and detonated next to the building — which houses a department of the federal police’s anti-terrorism unit — knocking out the walls of several offices and part of a stairwell. …

The second explosion shattered the office of an advertising agency in a residential neighborhood, about 15 miles away. Police investigator Tasaddaq Hussain said two children and the wife of the house’s gardener were killed.

The blasts have already created a political firestorm. Nawaz Sharif, whose party won the second-largest number of seats in the election, blamed the blast on Pervez Musharraf’s cooperation with the United States. Islamist politicians joined Sharif in this assessment, and all demanded Musharraf’s resignation and a new direction on foreign policy — presumably away from the US and more closely aligned with Islamist causes.

Musharraf has already appeared on television to insist that he will fight the terrorists. Whether or not he can effectively do that remains to be seen. The military seems willing to fight to some extent, but the intel service appears more sympathetic to the bombers, at least in part. The PPP, Benazir Bhutto’s party and the largest contingent in the Pakistani parliament, says they want to fight the Islamist terrorists, but they need Sharif to form a government after the election.

One factor that may wind up helping Musharraf and the PPP is the thought of what America might do if the Pakistanis reject us. We would no longer be constrained by our need to avoid undermining Musharraf, and we might get a lot more aggressive about tracking down AQ and Taliban terrorists in Waziristan. If Pakistan refuses to cooperate with the US, we could argue hot pursuit and attack Taliban bases as part of our effort to protect Afghanistan. Pakistan also has to worry about our relationship with India. If they decide to move away from the US, it will give us much more flexibility in bolstering ties with Pakistan’s primary opponent in Asia.

In short, the US is not the only party with significant potential risk in a diplomatic rupture. Sharif may not like it, but Musharraf and Ali Zardari certainly understand it.


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Comments

Tragic! We hope for the Pakistani public resistance to terrorism rather than succumbing in hopes for “mercy” from the murderers. Hope for sanity. If only it were as simple as painting your door with lamb’s blood to remain safe from destruction. It is disappointing to find that security measures were not already instigated to protect their own central intelligence agency. RIP to all victims.

All the world needs at this point is the dumb bell Obama to prove his allegiance to his inner convictions or dreams from his father.

maverick muse on March 11, 2008 at 8:56 AM

China can cause us trouble in Pakistan, their traditional ally against India.

JiangxiDad on March 11, 2008 at 9:04 AM

Captain Ed writes:

Nawaz Sharif, whose party won the second-largest number of seats in the election, blamed the blast on Pervez Musharraf’s cooperation with the United States. . .

If this view gains ascendency in Pakistan, that by disavowing ties with the US and kowtowing to the Islamists Pakistanis can buy protection from Al Qaeda, the people of Pakistan will be losers twice over: first, but losing the aid and friendship of the United States, and second, by subjecting themselves to the growing control of Islamist thugs, who will take away their liberties and destroy their society.

But the danger is even greater to us and the rest of the world if ascendent Islamists in Pakistan gain control of the nuclear arsenal.

In that event, the next President may be faced with quite a dilemma: we may have to take action, but what? Maybe it is time to talk to our erstwhile adversaries, China and Russia, both of which are targets of Islamist movements, and both of which would be threatened by Pakistani Islamists with nuclear weapons.

Who was it who said, “May you live in interesting times”? These may quickly grow too interesting!

MrLynn on March 11, 2008 at 9:07 AM

A failed state if there ever was one is Pakistan.

Hilts on March 11, 2008 at 9:08 AM

If Pakistan refuses to cooperate with the US, we could argue hot pursuit and attack Taliban bases as part of our effort to protect Afghanistan.

We’ve precedence already having allowed Turkey incursions into Kurdish Iraq to follow and destroy rebel terrorists who would destabilize Turkey, and probably Iraq with consistency of the rebel’s purpose for their independent Kurdistan.

As per that, I’ve always seen the only way for Iraq to “work out” is allowing their own “united states” of Iraq; one territory per traditional constituents working together for their own national security, bound together not only as allies but as body parts of the same “federal” government. Why expect more congeniality of an unwilling and never to succeed forced amalgamation of the Iraqi population than we’ve managed to evolve over the course of 225 years in the USA? And until this decade, we’ve never really had to deal with the zealot Islamic populace bent on destroying us from within and without our borders. Sorry for wandering off course, Captain.

maverick muse on March 11, 2008 at 9:10 AM

AQ knows America’s elections are around the corner. They know the American people are tired of war, as well as hurting from high oil prices. They are starting their “tet offensive” in Iraq & Pakistan and perhaps we will see more elsewhere.

wepeople on March 11, 2008 at 9:27 AM

This type of thing never happened until the US invaded Pakistan. It was a peaceful, kite-flying country even if it had a repressive government. Oh wait, that was Iraq, though I’m sure Michael Moore would find someway to blame this on George W. Bush.

rbj on March 11, 2008 at 9:28 AM

The Islamists won’t be able keep themselves from soon renewing the war with India. Great way for China to keep it’s #1 competition down, with a little proxy war between PAK and India.

Digging my bunker a bit deeper this morning.

Limerick on March 11, 2008 at 9:37 AM

As Jihdais find it increasingly more difficult to take back Afghanistan and Iraq, they are finding it easier to terrorize Pakistan – a country with nukes ready for the using.

jimbo2008 on March 11, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Peace! Religion of PEACE! Oh yeah! I keep having to remind myself……

Vntnrse on March 11, 2008 at 10:08 AM

There couldn’t be a better time to raid some of these lawless provinces in a hunt for OBL. Even though my gut tells me he’s in Iran and has been there for some time.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 11, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Let’s hope that this leads to a Paki Awakening.

On the bright side, I just saw on Fox that A.Q. is on the internet verbally bashing … the Taliban! We need to foment a civil war between those two.

Tony737 on March 11, 2008 at 10:21 AM

FTA: “… an explosive-packed car was driven into a parking lot and detonated next to the building — which houses a department of the federal police’s anti-terrorism unit …”

What, no guards? No concrete barriers? Nah, why would they need that in Pakistan?

Tony737 on March 11, 2008 at 10:31 AM

” We would no longer be constrained by our need to avoid undermining Musharraf, and we might get a lot more aggressive about tracking down AQ and Taliban terrorists in Waziristan.”

Let the carpet bombing begin! Operation Linebacker 3. Also, secure the nukes and give ’em to India.

Tony737 on March 11, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Ed, you know something is off. I can’t put my finger on it.

If all this BS is going on and we just GAVE Pakistan a shiite load of money, where did it go? When is Musharaff going to realize that he is ticking off enough of the US to cut ties with everything (money).

That man is a tad off his rocker…. but I don’t think it has everything to do with the US. He has a backhand in someones pocket.. but who.

upinak on March 11, 2008 at 10:56 AM

There couldn’t be a better time to raid some of these lawless provinces in a hunt for OBL. Even though my gut tells me he’s in Iran and has been there for some time.

THE CHOSEN ONE on March 11, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Would be better of Musharaf invites us in (while he still can).

I agree about Osama; I’ve long thought he was in Iran, where some of his relatives have been for years. Now if we could prove that. . .

MrLynn on March 11, 2008 at 10:58 AM

MrLynn on March 11, 2008 at 10:58 AM

I think he is in a smaller area. Iran is one thing, but he has links in Suadi, Quatar, more or less little oil nations due to his family’s business.

upinak on March 11, 2008 at 11:05 AM

STOCK FOOTAGE.

That’s all Islamic States’ future subtitle.

STOCK FOOTAGE.

profitsbeard on March 11, 2008 at 11:05 AM

Sharif may not don’t like it

Rock the Casbah

bspoogeferd on March 11, 2008 at 12:39 PM

I’m sure some one will be found to “deal with” again soon.

/s

What happened to all your previous money? Well, there has been an election and everything old is new again.

[email protected] on March 11, 2008 at 1:41 PM

I would think that if most Pakistanis wanted to be closer to the Islamists, the Islamists would have done better in the last election. Sharif can say what he wants, but Bhutto was killed by these same people.

Terrye on March 11, 2008 at 2:00 PM