Thursday, April 2, 2009

Suicide attacks – religious flair by Nadia Khan

Radical forces in Pakistan have given a new dimension to suicide attacks in today's environment by intermixing it with religion and collective tasks. Religious flair concept is borrowed from freedom fighters engaged mostly with US or Israeli security apparatus in Palestine or Iraq. As number of videos are available from many of the suicide bombers reciting Holy Quran verses and presenting himself as a martyr who has given his life for Islam, passing wrong signals to common people as it is a religious act and bomber will be considered as Shaheed.


One of the biggest successes of Taliban is that they have dimensioned suicide attacks as a symbol of martyrdom and hence due to cultural influence or low literacy, poverty-stricken parents are providing raw human support to them unknowingly in tribal areas.


By considering the brutal assault philosophy of Jewish Army, Palestinians are left with no option; hence suicide attacks have been given a new dimension. Probably, with this view Dr Yousuf Qardawi, a renowned Egyptian religious scholar has said, "Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom, He has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do." However, killing of innocent women & children, and elderly Jews is not permitted and world leaders are keen for Middle East peace process - a separate homeland for Palestinians, to end this longest ever standing war.


In Afghanistan, suicide attack case is little different than Palestine. Like Jews, they have US and Allied forces, in the name of Osama or Mullah Omer or Al-Qaida leaders' hunt, bombing the innocents. Be it a wedding party or a cultural gathering, with fake intelligence or half baked information, number of innocents Afghans have been killed so far. Thus Afghans relook at USA & Allied forces as an aggressor, and countering their activities with suicide attacks, mostly at their military installations. As Afghan fighters, formerly freedom fighters against USSR, are split into various groups and factions, based on their ethnicity or religious affiliation or sect, hence they are using suicide attacks as a tools to settle their disputes also. That's how you could have noticed few suicide attacks in mosques of different sects.


Iraq, with Sunni & Shias ethnic divide, is the worst affected country by suicide war tactics, where most of them killed during such attacks were innocents, with a fact that each warring faction against US is missing a unified command structure and hence – blind suicide attacks have shaken the society.


In Pakistan, the case of suicide attacks is much more complicated. It has warring factions in tribal belt, fighting against US or Allied forces or among themselves, as well as radical forces like Taliban or tribal warlords engaged against Pak Army in areas which they conquered and challenging the writ of the govt by implementing self proclaimed Shariah, without the endorsement of rest of country's religious forces. There are ethnic groups in some parts of Pakistan especially in southern Punjab, previously orchestrating ethnic warfare among Shias and Sunnis, and now with the help of their likeminded tribal warlords or religious groups they are setting up group suicide attacks to build pressure upon govt for their own interests. Or some external elements, like Indian spy agencies protecting their interest, and utilising local hands for logistics and support in orchestrating suicide attacks in urban parts of the country. For example, the quantity and quality of RDX used in Marriot Islamabad bombing is primarily used by armed forces and none of the non state actors could afford to buy such a costly explosive!


Sri Lankan cricket team or Manawan, a place near Lahore, Police Academy attacks are of same nature though in earlier case, the team escaped unhurt, luckily. And in later case, a group of suicide attackers have been sent to cause maximum damage for new joiners of Police academy. There are clear intelligence failure reports, as the Police was notified few days prior, and during the operation, which is termed as quite successful, it is learnt that few terrorists escaped.


While claiming the responsibility of Manawan & other places, Bait Ulla Mehsud tried to justify his act that,"his faction of Taliban is attacking Pakistan security agencies due to the fact that they are inline with US govt who is responsible for drone attacks on civilians." However he didn't consider that, "even though drone attacks on civilians are indeed condemnable but by taking other innocents lives to register protest against drone is also not in line with true teachings of Islam," says grand Mufti of Pakistan, Mufti Rafi Usmani while talking to a local TV station!

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