chapter  7
6 Pages


Kharotabad killings: security and political responsibility
WithSyed Sami Raza

On May 17, 2011, breaking news regarding a potential suicide bombing attack began to flash on local TV channels in Pakistan. The law enforcement agencies claimed that a group of five (possibly Chechen) suicide bombers, including three women, were travelling towards the city of Quetta, Baluchistan. The agencies further claimed that the group was stopped at a Frontier Corps (FC) checkpoint in the town of Kharotabad, on the outskirts of the city Quetta. Suicide bombings are not infrequent or unusual in Pakistan. Therefore, many such prevention operations by LEAs are viewed as a relief. However, this time something was different: the appearance of a photograph of the last alleged female suicide bomber taken just before she was ultimately killed. The photograph presented such a powerful gesture of the injured woman that it called into doubt the official claims that the operation was, in fact, a successful prevention of a suicide bombing.