Pakistan: Four Killed After Suicide Bomb Targets Polio Campaign

    Image copyright: AP [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • A Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) suicide bomber crashed into a police escort for a polio vaccine team near the southwestern city of Quetta, Pakistan, on Wednesday. The attack killed four and wounded more than 30 others, including 15 police officers.

    • Among the dead were three family members and a police officer who perished after the blast toppled the polio truck into a ravine and impacted a nearby car. The attack occurred just two days after a national polio vaccine drive began Monday.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Pakistan has been left to fend for itself after the Taliban's recent takeover of Afghanistan. In order to conduct genuine negotiations with the TTP, Pakistan must do so without directly engaging the Afghan Taliban — while discreetly working to ensure the Afghan Taliban drops its support for the TTP. Unfortunately, it's up to Islamabad to walk this unfair tightrope and build diplomatic and military safeguards to ensure these heinous attacks end.

    Narrative B

    Pakistan's current dilemma stems from its decades-old dream of establishing Muslim rule in neighboring India. The radical militant groups it nurtured in the 90s to fight a proxy war in Kashmir have turned into the Taliban and TTP groups seen today. Simply put, Islamabad is reaping the extremism it once desperately wanted to sow in its neighbors.

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