AIR MARSHAL (RETD) AYAZ AHMED KHAN On June 2, 2008 at 1:00 pm, an explosive packed Toyota Corolla 1800 CC was used as a car bomb to destroy the Danish embassy located in the highly secured zone and posh Sector F-6/2 of the capital, Islamabad. The car with a fake number plate exploded in the parking lot of the embassy, killing eight Pakistani citizens including a Pakistani embassy worker and wounding nearly thirty, mostly drivers. Some of the injured in the blast are in a critical condition. Over two dozen cars were destroyed. The Danish embassy also suffered massive damage, which appears to be beyond repair. The embassy of Norway, next door was also severely damaged, and so were a number of houses in the vicinity. None of the Danish, Norwegian or any other foreign citizen was killed during the blast. Both the Danish and Norwegian embassies have been closed. Parts of the exploding car ripped across trees, and landed in neighbouring houses. Brigadier Sadiq Awan's house across the Danish embassy was also massively damaged. The engine of the suicide bomber's landed sixty feet across, in the front lawn of Sadiq Awan's residence. Needless to say, the families living in Sector F-6 are still in a state of shock, and so are the citizens of Islamabad. Fear has returned to Islamabad. All the roads and lanes leading to the Danish embassy have been cordoned off. This car bombing and the earlier bombing of the Italian restaurant Leona Caprice in the same sector is a clear indication that the suicide bombers continue to be on the prowl in the capital city. The plans of the security agencies and the police have failed. As usual, they are in high alert and high gear only after the event takes place. The embassies of Denmark have been threatened, since the blasphemous caricatures depicting the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were reproduced by a Danish newspaper .in February 2008. It is astonishing that even after world wide protests by Muslims, over the caricaturing of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), in September 2005, this Danish newspaper had the temerity to reproduce the obnoxious caricatures. These offensive caricatures had hurt the feelings of 1.1 billion Muslims worldwide. Protests were held not only in the Muslim countries, but also in every country of the world. Ayman al-Zawahri, the number two Al-Qaeda leader, had denounced these caricatures in his recent video And this denunciation could have lead to the June 2, 2008 bombing of the Danish embassy in Islamabad. However, this assumed attack by an Al-Qaeda fanatic, will achieve nothing, except defamation of both Islam and Pakistan. It cannot be condoned. Undoubtedly, the acts of criminality by Muslims haters should be responded to by wisdom and patience, as was done by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and not by bombing and killing of its own citizens. The president, prime ministers, other leaders and also the people of Pakistan have condemned this act, and demanded that the masterminds and perpetrators be identified and brought to justice. Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Prime Minister of Denmark, has called this car bombing as a "cowardly" act. He assured the Danish nation and the global community that such heinous suicide bombings would not change the policies of the Danish government. He said, "This bombing was an act of war, and an attack on Denmark. Denmark will not alter its foreign policy because of a terrorist attack." It is worth mentioning that currently Denmark has 700 troop contingent serving in the US-NATO led coalition forces who are fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Rasmussen has ordered the closure of the Danish embassy in Islamabad. The prime minister cannot be blind to the fact that some Danish newspapers are engaged in provocative caricaturing, which is highly offensive to the Muslims. He should have taken note of it. The bombing attack however cannot be justified, because the Muslims in Denmark will have to pay the price. Both Denmark and Norway have sizeable Pakistani expatriates, who have done well, and have prospered in these societies. There is likely to be a backlash, against the innocent Pakistani citizens in these countries, because the extremists in Denmark show no respect for the feelings of the Muslims. However, the militants here have tried to settle the scores through violence. The Muslims in Denmark, Norway and in Europe will face repercussions and will have to live in fear. The United States of America and some of the European countries have advised their citizens to avoid travelling to Pakistan. Pakistan and its poor citizens have to pay the price for terrorism, by foreign and local militants. The appeals for reconciliation by the coalition government have fallen on the deaf years of the militants. The suicide bombers here do no comprehend that their attacks have put Muslims at great risk worldwide. At about 11:00 am, while returning from the Islamabad International Airport, I saw President Pervez Musharraf's motorcade, escorted by the Pakistan army, and police commandos heading towards the Margalla Highway via 7th Avenue. I felt that the president had insufficient security considering the volatile and charged atmosphere in some parts of the country. The president's security officials must not forget that he is on top of the terrorist's hit list. His motorcade is a sitting duck. Anyway, the president was heading towards the National Defence College to deliver a lecture. It appears that the president's movements by road had been leaked out to the militants. The Toyota Corolla 1800CC driving up and down the Margalla Highway was seen and noticed by the police on duty. The police observed the car's suspicious movements, especially when the car bomber asked a policeman about the heavy presence of the troops on the highway. In spite of this, it is surprising that no police official searched this suspect vehicle and the bomber asking about the president's return to the presidency by road. But when it was confirmed that the president had returned to the presidency by a helicopter, the suicide bomber went for the embassy, which was the alternate or a secondary the target. However, it appears that President Pervez Musharraf was the real target of the suicide bomber. Moreover, it is merely the lack of initiative of the intelligence agencies, security and police officials that they did not judge the intentions of the driver that is amazing. They need to be retrained. The intelligence and the security agencies as usual were caught napping. There is a need of a master plan for the security of the capital city, especially for the diplomatic Corps. All the lanes leading to the embassies in Sectors 6,7 and 8 must have guaranteed security for the safety of diplomats and foreigners working there. It is our moral duty to ensure safety of every foreigner in Pakistan. So far our governments have failed to do so. There has been a relative lull in terrorist attacks since the new coalition government assumed power ten weeks ago. Besides top Taliban warlord, Baitullah Mehsud, has been engaged in peace talks with the NWFP-Pakhtunwa authorities. As head of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, he had declared ceasefire a few months ago, threatening to hang any one indulging in terrorist activities, especially suicide bombings. He is being promised huge amount of "development funds" for the uplift of Waziristan. Various jirgas in FATA have desired peace and integration into the settled areas, or representation in the NWFP Assembly. Conditions must be created to enable the FATA tribesmen to have a stake in national economy and politics. The tribesmen have suffered a lot since 1978, when Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and especially after 9/11, when the US bombed Afghanistan and killed about one million, mostly innocent, Pushtuns. The government should call it a day, seek forgiveness and urge the Pushtun's to forgive and forget and start development work for the poor tribal people. The ANP government has taken several conciliatory measures and it must pursue reconciliation with the tribes to a logical conclusion.