By Akhtar Malik
19 June 2013
Yesterday a very tragic incident took place in Mardan KPK, where 29 people have been killed and over 60 wounded in a suicide bomb blast. A PTI MPA Imran Mohmand was also one among the killed. The suicide bomber blew himself in Namaz e Janaza of a petrol pump owner who was murdered a day ago.
This is not the first incident of its kind. The terrorists have targeted a large number of funeral processions/ namaz e janaza in the past, particularly in KPK andTribal areas. As a matter of fact any kind of gathering like Jumma paryers, Eid prayers, funeral processions, namaz e janaza and peace jirga have always been a lucrative and easy target for a suicide bomber. A bomb explosion in such places invariably results in colossal loss of innocent lives.
It is agreed that stopping a suicide bomber is a very difficult task- almost next to impossible. But with little care and effort the damage can be minimized. Though you cannot stop the bomber from operating his explosive device but you can force him to blow himself up away from the intended target, thus minimizing the damage.
It is pity that through a decade of suicide bombings, our people have not been able to adapt to this lethal threat. Though the local security arrangements are made in Masjids for Jumma or Eid prayers, Namaz e Janaza is generally left open for any intruder to join and blast himself. The issue concerns the community equally as it concerns the government. The community should develop a sense of self security and take all measures as are applicable.
The huge gatherings like peace jirgas, should be avoided as far as possible. When unavoidable these should be staggered and kept small.
Namaz e Janaza is always a planned activity. The time and place is announced beforehand. It should be handled like any public meeting or ‘Jalsa’. The coordinators should therefore control the entry of people through specified gates, where the guards should physically check all the persons.
I hope KPK government in particular and public in general will learn to live with this menace by becoming more security conscious, till the time the country is able to bailout from the ‘war on terror’.