A suicide bombing yesterday was responsible for the death of the Pakistani army's surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Mushtaq Ahmed Baig. The bomber was disguised as a beggar and approached Baig's car in a crowded commercial area before detonating his weapon. Eight people were killed and another 35 people injured. This is the second attack targeting the army's medical corps in Pakistan in less than a month.
Here's the chilling part: the Pakistani Taliban declared a cease-fire only a few days ago. The question then, is the Taliban behind these attacks or are we now uncovering other militant groups operating in Pakistan? Adding to the chaos of the bombing, which killed the highest ranking official military officer to die in an attack in years, is the political limbo the country faces while Musharraf hangs on to his job. The newly elected opposition leaders have declared their intention to begin talks with Islamic extremists. To see how Musharraf stands dangerously in the way of that,
This weekend a top Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, stated his group was ready to begin talks with the government to end hostilities, but promised that anything less than a sharp break from the policies of President Pervez Musharraf could have dire consequences.
A spokesman for the Taliban said, "We want to make it clear to those politicians who are going to form the next government not to impose war on us, otherwise we will retaliate vigorously."
Though Musharraf is a U.S. ally against terrorism, how can we reconcile our support of him when terrorists hinge attacks based on his presence? Should Musharraf step down?