After a lull of a few months, the country was once again rocked by a deadly explosion on November 2nd, at the border village of Wagah. The target of the attack was the border post closing ceremony, held routinely at the only land crossing between Pakistan and India. This was not the first targeted terror attack since the commencement of the military operation in North Waziristan but the most deadly, nonetheless, as regards the number of civilian casualties incurred.
The attack in which 62 people lost their lives and around 200 got injured occurred on the 8th of Muharram – a time when the security arrangements across the country are beefed up generally, due to sensitivity of the Ashura days of the holy month of Muharram. The attacks that occur during Muharram are customarily sectarian in nature but in case of the Wagah attack, no sectarian link was established or claimed.
Three different militant outfits claimed responsibility for the attack, the first being Jundullah; soon afterwards, the TTP splinter group, Jamat-ul-Ahrar and later a lesser known outfit called the Mahar Mehsud group accepted responsibility. It is interesting to point out that it is not the first time that the responsibility for a terror attack was claimed by two or more different terrorist organizations. Most terrorist outfits are merely names to achieve different ends. The assertion over terrorist activities serves many different purposes for these militant organizations. It can be a recruitment gambit to attract or engage new members and/or to avoid backlash from sympathizers that are ever present within our society.
As far as the Jundullah is concerned, it has often represented the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan in the past, especially the Mohmand faction of the TTP, that has now splintered to form the TTP Jamat-ul-Ahrar (TTPJuA), headed by Omer Khalid khorasani. These two groups are similar in the sense that they have same ideology, goals, involvement in targeted sectarian activities and have close ties with the Al-Qaeda. They have simultaneously accepted responsibility for terror attacks previously also, such as in the case of the ISI-Sukkur headquarter attack, the Peshawar church blast and the Gilgit tourist killings, to name a few. Read the rest of this entry »