Huge bomb hits heart of Islamabad

September 20, 2008

Scene of destruction outside Marriott Hotel

A suicide truck bomber hit the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday, killing at least 40 people, wounding nearly 250 and starting a huge fire.

The explosion came hours after President Asif Ali Zardari made his first address to parliament a few hundred metres away, calling for terrorism to be rooted out.

Defence analyst Talaat Massood said that militants, who had launched a string of bombings in retaliation for attacks on them, were giving an “unambiguous message that, if the government pursues these policies, this is what we will do in response”.

“They are saying ‘We can strike anywhere, at any time, regardless of how good you think your security is’ … They are are also giving a message to the people of Pakistan: ‘Your government and army are allowing the Americans to attack our territory’.”

It was the biggest attack in Islamabad since Pakistan signed up to help the Americans in their campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban in 2001. But was it the size of the blast, the death toll and the live television footage of the Marriott in flames that prompted one analyst to call it the “9/11 of Pakistan”? Or was there an even darker meaning to it; that this attack might mark a turning point that will send Pakistan in unpredictable directions that no one can yet foresee?

19 comments

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Ref: “They are saying ‘We can strike anywhere, at any time, regardless of how good you think your security is’ …

That may be true. I don’t think the security was good enough. The distance from where the explosive laden truck would have entered Islamabad (coming from NWFP) to the Marriot hotel is about 20 KM. Trucks are only allowed to ply on the roads of Islamabad at night between 0100 to 0700. This truck must have entered Islamabad around 1900. How come this truck was not detected and stopped during its journey from its entry to Islamabad to its target?? It is a security lapse through and through particulary when there was an advance warning of such an attack.
In view of the advance warning there should have been more police force on the roads of Islamabd. Whereas there was less police force on the roads than normal because large number of them had been withdrawn and deployed around the Parliament House where President had just addressed the loint session of the Parliament and PM house where the parliamentarians and other dignitries were going to have their IFTAR and dinner.
Realistically the terrorists should be saying: We can strike anywhere, at any time, regardless of how good you think your security is bacause we know you dunces well enough and how well you can plan your security …

Posted by Kabir Das | Report as abusive

It is obvious that blast was some distance from the hotel. Though the outside of the hotel where the blast was did not catch any fire. But amazingly the fire started on the roof of the hotel that would mean that more bombs were planted on the top of the hotel.

Is this the job of RAW FROM INDIA?

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Through, such a coward act needs to be condemned, the years of encouragement given to Islamic extremists and Jihadi outfits has bear a fruit.

Posted by Sudhir | Report as abusive

Pakistan’s September 11th?

“i am looking for peace. i am looking for mercy.
i am looking for evidence of compassion.
any evidence of life.
i am looking for life.”

http://beta.vajood.com/?p=437

There is no security in Pakistan because you don’t know when the extremists are attacking also because there are many places they can attack which makes it even harder and also the lack of security measures taken by the Pakistani police must be taken into consideration.
Furthermore you have to look how the Pakistanis are fighting against the terrorists. The threat that is coming from the terrorists is from within which makes it very hard to handle. The people are getting more and more impatient and lose also their faith in the gouvernment, because the more actions the gouvernment takes against the terrorists the more aggressive and various gets the retaliation acts of the terrorists.

Posted by Jonas | Report as abusive

John

Get your RAW brain checked

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

This is certainly a tragedy, and its perpetrators should not be allowed to go unpunished, but who are they? Alqaeda and other extremist elements usually claim when they make such an attack, but to my knowledge no such claim was forthcoming.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

@bill

Even for 9/11, no one claimed responsibility. Only hijackers were known at that time but no organization claimed responsibility immediately after the incident.

Posted by Sudhir | Report as abusive

sudhir:

Sorry, but they did. The hijackers left the tapes and in them they told their affiliation. Of course no Bin Laden tape came out early, not until everyone involved had a chance to get away. Anyway it still leaves the identity of who did this unresolved so far.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

This could be one of pakistan govt’s crooked idea to gain public interest moved towards fighting terror and support US..I can believe it coz Zardari declared 1Cr rupees to anyone who can give lead for the bomb attack..he is confidendt that no one can get that info and he do not have 1Cr either.

Posted by Om | Report as abusive

This and other bomb blasts are no doubt the job of our own millitants. They have an axe to grind alright. The question which has started bothering many thinking Pakistanis is who is supplying them sophesticated arms and ammunition and communication equipment including FM radio transmission equipment for their evil design.
There is certainly someone else behind them facilitating them to procure state of the art arms and ammunition and communication equipment who has his own axe to grind and wants to destablise Pakistan. It does not require a rocket scientist to figure this out. It is like adding up two and two to get the right answer. This reminds me a couplet by a famous Pakistani poet, Hafeez Jallandhri, who said something to this effect:
“When looked back towards the trench after getting hit by an arrow in the back got to meet none other than own friends”.

Posted by Kabir Das | Report as abusive

Pakistan’s very own created Frankenstein is turning around on it’ Master, FATA has always been one of the world’s largest illegal Modern Arm bazaar – courtesy the “Pakisaints” & then they wonder, some cheek,

Kahat Kabir Suno Bhai Sadho,
-Sadho Ye Murdon Ka Gaon
Peer Mare, Pygambar Mari Hain
Mari Hain Zinda Jogi
Raja Mari Hain, Parja Mari Hain
Mari Hain Baid Aur Rogi

Sayeth kabir listen O Saints—
Saints this is the land of death,
Messengers die, Prophets die
Death spares not even Immortal sages,
Kings die, subjects die
Death spares neither Physicians nor diseased.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Pakistan is a brave nation, such coward terrorist acts will not detter us to back out from challenges. We stand united on the face of this tragedy as dust settles, Pakistan will emerge even stronger. InshAllah.
May Allah protect Pakistan. Ameen

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

“We stand united on the face ” & stab in the back,

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

PAKISTAN WILL NEVER SUCCEED DEFEATING THE TERRORISTS OR THE ISLAMISTS AS LONG AS THE AMERICANS DICTATE WHAT TO DO EITHER IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY OF PAKISTAN OR THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT ON THE BORDERS OF AFGHANISTAN.
THE WAY THE CORRUPT EX-PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN, NAMELY PARVEZ MUSHARRAF ENDED HIS REIGN, ANY OTHER PAKISTAN GOVERNMENT HAVING TIES WITH THE UNITED STATES, WITH END UP EITHER WITH COUP D’ETAT OR BY MASS DEMONSTRATION. PAKISTAN CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE SEPARATED FROM THE UMMA OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD. ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THE EXISTANCE OF AFGHANISTAN IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO THE WELL BEING AND THE TRUTHFUL POWER OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE MILITARY MIGHT OF PAKISTAN.
ANY OTHER FORCES TRYING TO DICTATE OTHERWISE, WILL NOT SUCCEED.

Posted by JOHN DEAN | Report as abusive

Pakistan has tolerated AQ behind-the-scenes to get aid from the US. Now that the US pressure is on, Pak is taking basic action against AQ. Problem is that this pet Pakistan has encouraged to attack others, has become strong and is attacking its master. Innocent people are getting killed all over because of this.

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

Indian
back stabbing is an Indian habit, you Indians are famous for betrayal and back stabbing. Do you know Pakistan’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah joined Indian national congress in 1906. He left Congress and joined Muslim League and went on to demand a seperate state for Muslims of India called: PAKISTAN.
Now, I have great respect for Gandhi Ji, but remember it was the back stabing of Congress that led to partition of India. Now, its time you stop killing christians in India, stop burning churches, stop massacring muslims, stop demolishing Mosques, the hindu fascists and fundamentalist of Bajrang Dal and RSS need to stop their fanaticism, other wise India cannot stand united as a country.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Umair,
Muhammad Ali Jinnah wa a traitor & a terrorist(ref:Direct action, calcutta,1942)by betraying his birthland he created a separatist state called -PAPISTAN.
for the rest,spare me from your wails, as if you care a hoot.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Suicide bomb in Islamabad. it is very serious problem. It is very serious war against milliant Now or Never. Without war against suicide attack is not life in Islamabad.