Enemy within: Suicide bomber is one of us

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by JAYRAM, Sep 21, 2011.


    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

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    North Frontier, The Mighty Himalaya's
    Sonya Fatah | Sep 21, 2011, 07.21AM IST

    You wouldn't know anything had happened in Karachi on Monday morning if you looked at the papers this morning. There was this warning: 'India battles poliovirus from Pakistan'. To be fair, there was news of an attack in Bara, the gun capital of the tribal region where 15 anti-Taliban crusaders died.

    But I was in search for a news report on Karachi. Things got off to a bad start that morning, when I discovered that a bomb had gone off on 32nd Street in Defence House Authority, the equivalent of Delhi's Nizamuddin East. It wasn't just that a suicide bomb went off in Defence but that it went off on the same street where my mother, brother and sister-in-law live. I felt weak with fear, considering the possibility that the bombers target, a senior police officer's home on 32nd Street, could be any one of my mother's SUV-driving , tinted-windows boasting neighbours.

    So you can imagine my relief when I heard my mother's voice, strong and steady, at the other end. The officer's house was some distance away on the eastern edge of the long street that runs parallel to our version of Marine Drive. Eight people died, six of them police officers guarding the top cop, Chaudhury Aslam's house. The other two were 'collateral damage' , a mother taking her 12-year-old son to school.

    The awkward hero of this story is Chaudhury Aslam. His family and him escaped death but lost their home. Aslam was a target because he led the counter-terrorism unit at the crime investigation department . Quite apart from dealing with political thug squads of MQM, debilitating Karachi's drug mafia, and taking on terror networks over the course of his career, Aslam has himself done time for alleged murder.
    Yet, yesterday he was every Karachiite's hero. He emerged from the rubble of his home to pick up the dead himself, and mouthed off at his attackers: "I will not step back," the Express Tribune quoted him. "I will carry on with my jihad (against the terrorists) until the day of judgment."

    No attack, in recent years, in Karachi has hit the elite so close to home. It's not just that this one was on 32nd street, close to my house. It's that it was much closer to a great number of private schools, which suffered smashed panes and other destruction. Karachiites were concerned, afraid and horrified. It's not as if the war on terror wasn't hovering . Still, when bombs start exploding besides your children's school you sit up and take notice. Schoolchildren in other parts of the country have been dying ever since the Taliban and their shadowy network of illiterates decided that education would pose a problem for their posterity.

    For many years attacks on Indian soil have had the Pakistan tag attached to them. Those of us who condemn terror (I assure you over 150 million people) cringe at every association . Our problem is that our enemy is internal. The suicide bomber is one of us. As the status quo goes, we have a few lessons to learn from Karachi . The first is, our terror reality isn't going away soon. The second is that fighting the good fight means making strategic alliances and strange, if not wise, bedfellows. Our man of the moment is Chaudhury Aslam. If no one else is willing to challenge a faceless, fearless enemy I salute him for his bravery. We're not allowed to be too choosy with our leaders these days and if Aslam has figured this one out, I think Pakistanis should give his due.

    And finally, this brings me to us here in India. I know you think of Pakistan as a place of intolerance and hate. I assure you we are intolerant, intolerant of these hate mongers. We, too, are strange bedfellows, strained in our relations yet needing one another. If we trade more openly, meet more often, exchange ideas and share resources we will be much better able to combat terror , and perhaps even polio.

    The author is a Delhi-based Pakistani journalist.

    Enemy within: Suicide bomber is one of us - The Times of India

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