Today, Pakistan saw five coordinated terrorist attacks in Lahore and Kohat. The attacks took place in the space of a few hours, and forty-three people are dead. The attacks were highly coordinated, and targeted the police – two police stations, a federal police office, and a police training facility – as well as a school in Peshawar. It’s a direct attack on the forces of order, coming at the end of eleven days of violence, and it’s got Pakistan very scared.
Karachi-based journalist Saba Imtiaz has blogged about the attacks, giving details and context on the situation. One salient quote: “the words ‘SECURITY FAIL’ seem to be flashing over and over again in my head since the facilities were supposed to be heavily guarded and the country’s government officials have been saying repeatedly that they expected more terrorist attacks in the country.”
Pakistan president Asif Zardari has pledged that the attacks will not stop the government’s mission to eliminate violent extremists. The BBC doesn’t give him great odds of doing that. “Clearly the militants remain a potent force and can strike anywhere in Pakistan…Their brazen approach has caught the security agencies flat-footed time and again.”
I have to share in the pessimism. The whole world needs a safe and stable Pakistan, but no one knows how to make that happen right now.