‘Teenage suicide bombers don’t act out of religious fervour’

April 7th, 2009 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, April 7 (IANS) The teenage suicide bomber of the kind who struck at a Shia mosque in Pakistan’s Punjab killing at least 24 people, including four children, did not act out of religious fervour “but under coercion or brainwashing”, an editorial in a leading English daily said Tuesday.
Another editorial welcomed the “change” in that the interior minister had refrained from finger wagging at neighbouring countries and had admitted that a Pakistani was involved in Sunday’s attack in which 35 people were injured.

“The suicide-bomber was just 17 years old and certainly did not know what he was doing. Now we know enough about this kind of terrorism to know that children who do the dirty work don’t do it out of religious fervour but under coercion or brainwashing,” Daily Times said in an editorial.

Noting that “these children are business for some renegade madrassas and their clergy”, it added: “The going rate for a suicide-bomber is from Rs.600,000 to Rs.800,000.

The editorial also pointed out that Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud “has announced that he will strike Pakistan twice a week. And he is said to have 300 children suicide-bombers in reserve”.

Daily Times also saw the Sunday attack as part of the efforts of the Taliban and Al Qaeda to drive a wedge between Shias and Sunnis.

“Baitullah Mehsud has the Shias of Orakzai and Kurram Agencies under his heel; he has wrested control of such Shia community towns in the NWFP as Hangu and Kohat, the last one Pakistan’s major air force centre, to force the Shias to live under fear,” the editorial noted.

As for Al Qaeda, it “let” slain commander Abu Musab Al Zarqawi “start killing” Shias in Iraq and, in the 1990s, had “tolerated sectarian violence” by Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e Jhangvi “whose boys were trained in its camps in Afghanistan”, the editorial contended.

Then, Taliban chief Mullah Umar “always declined to hand over the killers to Pakistan as they fled into his territory.

“Now, sectarianism also makes strategic sense for terrorist groups because its fallout plugs into the larger mayhem they have planned to unleash on Pakistan to bring the state down to its knees,” Daily Times added.

On its part, The News termed as “a positive development” the “admission” by Interior Minister Rehman Malik that the Sunday bombing and other recent terrorist attacks, including that on a police check post in Islamabad that killed eight Frontier Corps personnel, “are the work of Pakistanis”.

“It is not clear how, why or when this light has suddenly dawned on the man responsible for safeguarding our security, but certainly it makes a change from the past tendency to immediately point fingers in the direction of neighbouring countries,” The News maintained.

“This is the doing of our own people. Cover-ups and a refusal to face what is happening to our country will take us nowhere. We must hope the interior advisor’s admission can lead to action to deal with the elements who have set up base everywhere in the country and today threaten its very survival,” the editorial contended.

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