Security has reportedly been raised to its highest level in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, following yesterday’s suicide bombing in Charsadda. At least 30 people died and many more were wounded in Charsadda. It was the fourth attack in the area in as many days. Today the victims were buried, amid increasing local calls for Pakistan to distance itself from America in the hope of stopping the bombers.
One mourner said: “If our foreign policy changes and we end our close links with America, and stop the military offensive against the Taliban, then the problem will go away.” Charsadda lies close to Waziristan, where the army is fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda. It is thought the militants hope their indiscriminate killing will weaken the army’s resolve to continue that offensive along the border with Afghanistan. But that could backfire, turning local people against the extremists as happened in Iraq.