‘Slaughter in God's house’ was the headline of the front-page report in The News daily on yesterday's attack that killed 40 people, including 17 children and five senior serving officers of the Pakistan Army, including a major general who headed the Armoured Corps.
The headline in The Statesman read ‘Siege leaves mosque awash in blood’ while the headlines in the Dawn and Daily Times newspapers clearly pointed the finger of blame at the Taliban, who have been blamed for most of the recent attacks targeting the security forces.
Yesterday's attack, which came after a brief lull in terrorist activities before and during the Eid-ul-Azha festival, left citizens numb and enraged.
Even by the standards of recent brazen assaults, it was gruesome.
Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in the mosque packed with 150 men, women and children after the attackers lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately into the gathering.
Security forces gunned down two attackers but it is believed others involved in the assault managed to escape. Academician Adil Najam wrote in a blog: "One stares into space. How many such headlines have we seen? How many more are we destined to see? Carnage. Bloodshed. Callousness. Hatred".
He added: "The headlines scream out that more than 40 people are dead after a heartless and soulless suicide attack on a mosque in Rawalpindi.”
"The story under it tells us that more than half of those butchered are children. Numb. Enraged. Without words".
The News, in an editorial titled ‘Massacre in the mosque’, said: "Seen from behind the ugly, distorted lenses through which the militants see the world, this act counts as among their most successful.”
"From any other point of view the most awful human tragedy imaginable unfolded within that mosque".
Questions that have been bothering most Pakistanis after the attack were articulated in the editorial.
"Did the militants have links that made their task possible? How did they have so much information about the layout of the mosque? How were they able to get past the security shield reported to have been in place? These queries have come up before – most notably after the siege of the General Headquarters".
The Dawn, in its editorial, pointed out that while the counter-insurgency operation in South Waziristan has notched up some military successes, the fight against militancy is far from being won and yesterday's attack sends a signal that "nobody is safe".
Islamabad: Pakistanis on Saturday reacted with anger and revulsion to the brutal attack on Friday worshippers in a mosque in Rawalpindi, with the media pointing out that the war against terrorism was far from over.
First Published: Saturday, December 05, 2009, 16:40