Suicide bomber kills four in Peshawar


A suicide bomber killed four Pakistanis while targeting a police station in the latest strike in Peshawar. The attack took place in a crowded area of Badhaber, a suburb of Peshawar. The blast leveled a mosque, damaged a boys' school, and collapsed a wall of the police station.

One child was among those killed, while 26 Pakistanis, including women and children, were wounded.

The Taliban have made Peshawar a focal point of their terror offensive, which began on Oct. 5. Peshawar has been hit with five suicide attacks in the past week. Eight of the 22 major attacks in Pakistan have taken place in or near the capital of the Northwest Frontier Province.

Suicide attacks have targeted the headquarters of the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, police stations and checkpoints, markets, and anti-Taliban leaders in Peshawar.

In the neighboring district of Nowshera, the Taliban assassinated another political leader. Gunmen shot Malik Yaqoob, a political leader in the Awami National Party, the ruling, secular Pashtun party in the Northwest Frontier Province which opposes the Taliban.

Yaqoob is the third anti-Taliban political leader to be killed in the northwest since Nov. 8. A few days ago, the Taliban assassinated anti-extremist leaders in Peshawar and Bajaur, and just yesterday failed in an assassination attempt on another leader in Peshawar.



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READER COMMENTS: "Suicide bomber kills four in Peshawar"

Posted by FORAC at November 16, 2009 9:19 AM ET:

What is this, number 21484824128 in the past week?

Posted by Neo at November 16, 2009 7:35 PM ET:

It should be said that the Awami Party is not anti-Taliban, per se, but against the violence of both the Taliban and their government opponents. There movement is very much in the passive resistance activist mold, although they do not outright proscribe strict pacifism. The do tend to mirror western passive resistance movements in many ways. For much of the conflict they tended to be sympathetic to the plight of Pashtoons who joined the Taliban and blamed the Pakistani government and western powers as the ultimate source of conflict.

The Awami Party did rather well in regional elections only two years ago. At the time the Taliban intimidated them quite a bit, but found their votes temporarily useful for for drawing off PPP votes, and for the Awami stand against "America's war" in Pakistan. Since then, the Taliban has declared open season on them and we don't hear much from the Awami Party folks other than their death notices.

One would think the plight of the Awami Party would be an example to like minded westerners, but they are virtually invisible in the western press. I would tend to think of them as the canary in the coal mine for any prospects of pacifying the Taliban.

Posted by My2Cents at November 17, 2009 2:34 AM ET:

Neo:

I think you meant 'prescribe' (to specity as a requirement), not 'proscibe' (to forbid).

Posted by Neo at November 17, 2009 9:22 AM ET:

South Waziristan Campaign (Villages)

Jandola - Sararogha Axis
Jandola 32.33 N, 70.12 E
Kotkai 32.41 N, 70.045 E
Kund Mountain 32.40 N, 70.02 E
Zeriwam 32.45 N, 70.045 E
Sararogha 32.52 N, 70.02 E
Ahmadwam 32.54 N, 70.01 E
Tsappara 32.54 N, 70.03 E
Khawasai 32.57 N, 70.02 E
Hisar Ragha 32.585 N, 70.02 E
Janata 32.60 N, 70.01 E
Shahbozai 32.56 N, 69.938 E

Razmak - Makeen Axis
Razmak 32.69 N, 69.83 E
Shora Kas 32.691 N, 69.822 E
Shami Khela 32.676 N, 69.812 E
Tauda China 32.64 N, 69.836 E
Kama Nazhmaerai 32.651 N, 69.85 E
Kam Narakai 32.631 N, 69.814 E
Bashka 32.633 N, 69.806 E
Tanga Darra 32.634 N, 69.797 E
Bazam 32.627 N, 69.81 E
Imar Khel Zangai 32.622 N, 69.813 E
Kot Band Khel 32.62 N, 69.817 E
Wuchoba 32.619 N, 69.827 E
Mian Nur Khel 32.628 N, 69.824 E
Bahadur Khel 32.623 N, 69.831 E
Makeen 32.62 N, 69.84 E
Sir Rugh 32.614 N, 69.839 E
Tauda China Khula 32.614 N, 69.844 E

Kanigurram - Ladha Axis
Landaiwam 32.51 N, 69.72 E
Chalweshti 32.502 N, 69.734 E (Badder Valley)
Sarwek 32.507 N, 69.747 E
Wam 32.51 N, 69.758 E
Asman Manja 32.53 N, 68.796 E (Large Flat top Hill)
Kanigurram 32.52 N, 69.79 E
Khazar Manzar Ziarat 32.527 N, 69.802E
Karam 32.545 N, 69.795 E
Shpeshtin 32.544 N, 69.82 E
Swakai 32.538 N, 69.826 E
Kazhakai 32.553 N, 69.823 E
Old Ladha Fort 32.565 N, 69.83 E
Ladha 32.58 N, 69.83 E
Bangal Khel 32.575 N, 69.83 E
Narakai 32.573 N, 69.79 E
Siga 32.583 N, 69.815 E
Langi Khel 32.579 N, 69.832 E
Tatai 32.583 N, 69.827 E
Sultana 32.588 N, 69.812 E
Satta 32.576 N, 69.857 E

Over ridge south of Kanigurram
Karwan Sar 32.518 N, 69.832 E Mountain
Karama 32.505N, 69.838E

(Shakai Valley - Khaisara River - Tiarza Plain - Tiarza Tehsil)
Landi Noor 32.48 N, 69.62 E
Tiarza Bridge 32.425 N, 69.675 E
Guilit Kili 32.407 N, 69.679 E
Tiarza Narai 32.385 N, 69.673 E
Chalweshti 32.47 N, 69.70 E (Shakai valley)
Sherwangai 32.489 N, 69.721 E (high point on east valley rim)
Kikarai Star Kili 32.41 N, 69.69 E
Landai Kili 32.395 N, 69.7 E

Posted by Bill Baar at November 17, 2009 12:09 PM ET:

Neo, The west's ignorance of Awami and the likes of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan striking. I read a left criticism of Obama's A-Pak strategy (before he lost it) with a lot of fuzzy talk about using King and Ghandi's models of passive resistance, and I suggested a Hindu and a Christian may not be the best models to suggest to Muslim allies in a fierce struggle with Muslim fanatics... if you need to go that route, at least suggest someone like Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

I didn't get very far with that.

Posted by Spooky at November 17, 2009 4:56 PM ET:

I wonder how someone like Imran Khan would do if given the proper support. Being a former cricket star, he's more beloved than most of Pakistan's politicians, he's good looking (which does help in propaganda against the anti-state forces) and most importantly, he seems to be genuinely friendly with the West. However, he doesn't have experience in running a state, just a cricket team. But thats better than having a known grafter in charge. Also (and I may be wrong about this), he doesn't have any ties to the feudal class, which may endear him further...

Posted by T Ruth at November 17, 2009 9:04 PM ET:

Spooky which emerging country from an imploded pakistan did you have in mind for imran?

Posted by TLA at November 17, 2009 11:46 PM ET:

I'd say that Imran Khan is friendly to the West Spooky.

How many Western girlfriends has he had? Was married to James Goldsmith's daughter too!

He's got a lot more influence (or popular appeal) in Pakistan than just about anyone.

Posted by bard207 at November 18, 2009 12:56 AM ET:

Spooky,

1. Why do you expect PML-N to step aside so Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) can take power?

2. Imran Khan is in favor of more Peace Deals with the Taliban rather than dislodging them.

Imran Khan to hold talks with Swat militants (February 15, 2009)

3. Some people consider Imran Khan a Taliban sympathizer.

4. Pakistan needs a Leader that can span some of the visible Gaps in Pakistani society and Imran Khan isn't the person for that.

Posted by Raven at November 18, 2009 9:11 AM ET:

The culture to nourish and grow likes of Gandhi has to come from moderates, tired of violence, ready to support any new idea that takes them away from this feudalism. This also can not be sustained by external help unless the masses truly need it. With Pak military on one side and deep insecurities of larger society on the other, don't know how Imran Khan (remember he was married to a Jewish lady!) can be an alternative. Though he is more beloved than any other politicians, he will not be more beloved than religion itself, I would think. Few fatwa's from religious nuts will take away any standing that he has earned, good looks or not!. But Spooky's idea that there has to be a better alternative for this mess is a worthy one.

Posted by Spooky at November 19, 2009 1:30 AM ET:

T Ruth-

Give him his hometown and the surrounding area. Or give him the Karachi city state. :D

bard-

I am aware of these things, but the point is to strengthen Pakistan's government so that it can actually do its job. There is not one politician in Pakistan thats clean.

Besides, to give support to someone like Khan (who shares no love for U.S. medling) would put a hole in the complaints that all we want are puppets, which always seem to backfire...

But let me go through the points one by one, from bottom to top-

4. Imran Khan has charisma and popularity that came over from his days as a cricket champion. Do not underestimate South Asia's love for Cricket. He may not be the common man, but he relates to the common man better than any other politican in that country.

3. Some people also consider Nawaz Sharif a Taliban sympathizer and he's the most powerful politician in Pakistan right now (if he wasn't being so cautious, he could have toppled Zardari's government months ago). His party pretty much owns Punjab, and thats all that matters.

2. So was the rest of the government. Then came the GHQ attacks.

1. With the right backing and negotiation, Tehrik-i-Insaf could actually ovetake the PMLN, especially with PPP on its death knell.

Posted by bard207 at November 19, 2009 8:40 PM ET:

Spooky,

There are a fair amount of people in Karachi that dislike Imran Khan.

There is no real rush for Nawaz Sharif to take power in Pakistan. Let the dislike for Zardari continue to build and Nawaz Sharif can become even more popular. Not that PML-N, PML-Q, PPP, MQM, ANP or Tehreek-e-Insaf can solve Pakistan's problem, but that is tangential to this discussion.

Yes, Nawaz Sharif has also been labeled a Taliban sympathizer. PPP is probably among the most Liberal parties in Pakistan and the next party in power will likely be more Conservative than PPP.

Posted by Ahmad Tariq at November 21, 2009 8:22 AM ET:

bard207,

there are a fair amount of Pashtoons in Karachi (especially bus drivers, who run the whole transportation network within Karachi) who do like Imran. In fact, Karachi has the highest number of Pashtoons compared to any other city in Pakistan.

The next party will definitely be a conservative one, which am guessing is going to be PML-N, the party most loved in Punjab. Plus, its governance is somewhat better than PPP (which is a group of feudals with their paws on Pakistan's national kitty everytime they are in the Government, that's all).

Posted by bard207 at November 22, 2009 7:49 AM ET:

Ahmad Tariq

I am not denying that there are a fair amount of Pashtoons in Karachi, but you didn't mention some of the other groups that also live in Karachi.

Top MQM leaders among NRO beneficiaries

PTI to challenge NRO in SC: Imran

The Karachi King

Taliban Threats in Karachi MQM feeling Danger (Video of news and interviews from last Spring)