Suicide Bombers, their handlers and Financiers
The News, September 09, 2008
By Tariq Butt
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik says all the suicide bombers and their handlers are Pakistani and are being financed from within the country.
He was speaking to a group of reporters at an Iftar-dinner he hosted for them at his residence here on Monday. Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was also present. The adviser said that the government has in its custody two suicide bombers, who have made confessions, apart from nine handlers. Besides, he said, fifty-two kilograms of explosive has been seized, which was to be used to play havoc on September 13 and 14.
Malik said there were three suicide bombers, who were to strike Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF), Wah. Two of them exploded themselves while the third one, who was caught, has told the investigators that he did not detonate because he did not see "Englishmen" there as he had been told to kill them. He said he changed his mind after seeing that Pakistanis were being made target.
The adviser urged the media not to make suicide bombers hero. Malik said Pakistan hopes that the United States will take seriously the voice of the people of Pakistan expressed by them through the National Assembly and the Senate against Nato strikes in the tribal areas.
"Washington should clearly take the message from Pakistan," he said. "I think the biggest democracy of the world would listen to the democratic voice of Pakistan as well," Malik added.
The advisor, however, said when rockets were being fired on Nato forces in Afghanistan from the tribal areas, retaliation had to take place. He said the temporary suspension of supplies to Nato in Afghanistan through Pakistan was now a dead issue. He said the supplies were allowed to go to Afghanistan the same night these were suspended.
Malik said on that day 20 Frontier Corps personnel were kidnapped, thereby making Jamrud Road unsafe for transport, which was suspended in toto. After reinforcement of forces, the road was reopened, he said.
He said the passing of the Nato supplies to Afghanistan through Pakistan was part of the transit trade agreement between Islamabad and Kabul and there was no separate arrangement for the purpose. To a question, the adviser said the Pakistan Air Force has not been ordered shooting down of the intruding planes in the tribal areas.
He offered no comment on the statement of Maj-Gen (R) Rahat Latif that as part of a secret agreement between former President Pervez Musharraf and the United States, Nato could intrude into Pakistani territory in pursuit of terrorists.
Malik said that the recent statement of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Tariq Majid about the Nato intrusions in the tribal areas was most appropriate. In that, he said Pakistan would be compelled to respond if such strikes continue, the adviser pointed out.
He said that it was for the first time that the American ambassador in Pakistan was summoned to the Foreign Office twice and was handed over the protest about the Nato strikes. Answering another question, the adviser said that two shots hit the windowpane of the prime minister's car. It was sent to Britain for analysis and a report has been received. He said it was yet to be determined whether these were warning shots or attempt to kill the driver.