20/09: Bomb blast at Marriott Hotel, Islamabad

The people of Pakistan have, yet again, been targeted by another suicide bombing in Islamabad's elite Marriott Hotel. This hotel is located in a red security zone area with the highest level of security possible. The home of the Prime Minister is just a kilometer away from the place of incident and this adds to the security of the area.

The method of the blast is unclear, as of yet. Geo News, through Hamid Mir, is speculating and spreading panic as is usual without regard to public unrest over the incident. What I don't get is how come media teams are inside the hotel lobby and halls while the rescue teams cannot be seen there? The first thing the police and rescue teams should have done was to cordon off the area for protection of civilians and media personnel alike. Not only is this a gross violation of the protocol for responding to such incidents, this is dangerous for the people inside, trapped or otherwise. Furthermore, allowing media personnel free rein inside will be detrimental to preservation of evidence on the crime scene. One is led to wonder if this is a deliberate intention of the current government.

The number of casualties and injured are rising with passing time. Currently, the numbers are pretty inconclusive. Time will tell who was responsible for this and how exactly this incident came to be but the current anti-American atmosphere in the country will not help any.

All that we can do at this time is to stay safely away from the location of the incident, inquire with family and friends about their safety and refrain from panicking ourselves and others. Refraining ourselves from watching Geo News and switching to some other news channel will be helpful to achieve the last aim of not panicking needlessly.

Stay safe and stay aware!

Note: The official excuse being given by the government for a truck being able to approach the hotel despite the ban on trucks entering the federal capital is that the Red Zone did not include the Marriott Hotel. This is inspite the fact that it was stated to be in the red zone the last time blasts occurred near it. On being contacted by the media, Farhatullah Babar told Geo News that "No VIP was killed". It is clear that the democratic government Pakistanis chose for themselves does not even cares for their lives. Dozens of people lose their lives, many more injured and all they can say is that no VIP was killed. What about the loss of life of the common civilian? Is this government there to serve the common man or the VIPs?

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