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Saturday, 15 June, 2002, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Pakistani press fears new trend
Pakistani newspapers with bombing details
The attack is the main story in all the Pakistani papers

A day after a suicide bomber attacked the US consulate in Karachi, the press fear the nation's "enemies" might be involved, and wonder if a new trend of suicide bombings is taking shape.

"Who are those people who are sacrificing their lives to kill others?" asks the Urdu language paper, Al-Akhbar, as a nation in shock ponders the second suicide attack in Karachi within five weeks.

In May, a dozen French nationals were killed in a similar incident in Karachi.


The possibility of Indian intelligence involvement must... be investigated

The Nation

"It is certain that some frenzy is behind these two incidents, but the question is how did the method and style of suicide attacks find its way into Pakistan?" Al-Akhbar wonders and accuses "Pakistan's enemies" of being involved.

Whodunnit

"From where are our enemies obtaining the services of the volunteers who are ready to sacrifice themselves for taking lives of others?" the paper asks, and wonders if they could be recruited from mental hospitals or even death row.

The perpetrators, according to Dawn, are no mere criminals, but people determined to strike even a highly-sensitive US mission in spite of its heavy security outfit.

Wreckage of a car caught in the blast
Eleven people died in the attack

The Nation feels the attack was committed "by those opposed to Pakistan's collaboration with the West in the ongoing war against international terrorism".

The possibility of the Indian intelligence action "must certainly be rigorously investigated," The Nation suggests.

According to the paper, "the international community considers blasts in India or Indian-controlled Kashmir as proof of Pakistani aggression" while blasts in Pakistan are considered proof of Pakistani inability to handle terrorists.

Foreign relations


The blast will send the wrong messages about Pakistan

The News

The News expresses concern that the incident will adversely affect Pakistan's image.

"Now, it will be almost impossible to reconstruct Pakistan's image as a secure country with the noise of the two explosions still reverberating," the paper laments.

"Coming just a day after US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's departure from Pakistan, the blast will send all the wrong messages about Pakistan, undoing whatever the government had done...," it says.

It adds that the blast will have a negative impact on efforts to restore the confidence of the foreign community and investors.

According to The News the suicide bombings, are incidents "aimed at creating an atmosphere in which foreign nationals feel highly insecure".


This is another grim reminder of the price Pakistan is paying for its role in the anti-terror campaign

Dawn

The paper is concerned that Washington has chosen to close its diplomatic missions and centres in Pakistan.

"With the British having already done the same, other states can be expected to follow suit," it says.

Dawn believes that rather than abandoning Pakistan, it would be better if the US and its allies stand firmly behind Pakistan to show that "they are not cowed down by such acts of wanton killing and terror".

After all the "horrifying incident was another grim reminder of the price Pakistan is paying" for its role in the US-led anti-terror campaign, the paper says.

By retreating from the scene, Western governments send the wrong signals to the terrorists who seek to isolate Pakistan for supporting the anti-terror war, Dawn adds.

And The News worries that the disturbing trend of suicide attacks might soon become a fact of life in Pakistan.

href="http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk" BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

02 May 02 | Country profiles
15 Jun 02 | South Asia
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