There have been over 250 suicide blasts in Pakistan since 2006, but the most recent, in the Bajaur Agency marks a new trend. For the first time, the female sex was the guilty party, as a woman suicide bomber took her life, along with 46 others. The revelation comes as huge threat to Pakistan, considering that the stereotype of a bearded man, in a shalwar kameez being a bomber has been turned over.
“The attack does pose serious problems for security forces, who will have to find ingenious ways to avert such bombings. They will also have to improve intelligence and gadgetry,” Lt Gen (retired) Talat Masood, one of Pakistan’s leading security analysts, told PTI.
It is much easier for a woman to bow her self up without suspicion, considering that explosives could be covered in either a hijab, or even a modern dress. Security tasks face the uphill battle of now training women police officers, to take charge and look for such women.
The incident can not be written off as a one timer. The Tehreek-e-Taliban have claimed responsibility- the usual, but have warned that they have trained many other women to blow themselves up, and will be using them in future. The fear on the face of any scared woman, and the expression on the face of one who blows herself up are almost identical; the incident has brought the element of theatricality to the game of terrorism. One can say that women may have entered this field, in the Northern areas of Pakistan, especially due to their exposure as illiterate and unemployed, used people. The frustration that piles on those trapped inside their houses could also be labeled a cause.
One thing is for sure- the government must take steps to educate such women, make sure that they know the difference between right and wrong, and guide them to make the right choice. If this isn’t done soon, the hard work of the military in getting rid of extremists may be washed away, and work become impossible. Till then, we, the helpless public, can only wait, and say the same thing the woman said before she blew herself up– ‘Ya Allah Khair’