Editorial - Terror tactics - Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Source : http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=35126&Cat=8

Faisalabad, the country’s third largest city, has faced its largest terrorist attack in many years. Up until now, the populous textile-manufacturing centre had not been hit – blasts in Punjab, for the most part, took place in Lahore or Rawalpindi that houses the military headquarters. The explosion in Faisalabad resembled those that have occurred in other places in terms of its careful planning and execution. A car packed with explosives blew up at a CNG station, killing at least 20 people and injuring around 100 others with the numbers of both dead and injured expected to rise. Gas-filled cylinders at the station exploded and the building was almost completely destroyed. It is believed government offices, a police station and an army recruitment centre in the area were the target of the militants.

This latest blast indicates a growth in the ring of terrorism. The menace has expanded beyond the tribal belt and into cities everywhere. It is possible that terrorists chased out of their strongholds in Khyber-Pakhtukhwa have set up bases elsewhere. It is also likely that they are working with activists based in Punjab. We need to develop a broad-based strategy to tackle terrorism and hunt down those behind it wherever they may be in the country. The Punjab chief minister has already suggested that a national conference be held to discuss this growing crisis. The Faisalabad blast should help eradicate any doubt as to the need to call one and devise a plan to stop terrorism from growing and taking a still greater toll on lives. According to more conservative estimates, some 4,000 people have died as a result of bomb blasts since 2007. It seems obvious we have in our midst ruthless murderers ready to add to this number. The fanning out of activities to still other cities adds to the security challenge involved in netting them. There is no evidence that the efforts made so far have had far-reaching results. The militants remain capable of obtaining huge quantities of explosives, bringing them into cities and using them to create havoc. We need to ask many questions about the failure to stop them. It is only when the answers are found that we will be able to work out what methods to use against them and to prevent the trail of destruction which winds its way through the country from stretching out any further than is already the case.

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