Islamabad: Women wearing burqa "need to be searched without exception", said a leading Pakistani daily after a woman suicide bomber blew herself up in Peshawar city.
An editorial in the Daily Times said: "The 'piety' of terrorism's holy warriors has shown its true colours - the sanctity of the holy month of Ramzan seems irrelevant to them as evidenced by the latest attacks...."
Pakistan has witnessed a string of terror attacks following the May 02 killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
On Thursday, two bomb blasts took place in Peshawar. In the first bombing, a police van was targeted by a remote controlled device, leaving five policemen dead.
A second blast took place in the same locality two hours later. Though the suicide bomber was stopped at a check post, she threw a grenade and exploded her suicide jacket. The suicide bomber was killed and a total 42 people, mostly policemen, were injured in both blasts.
"It is interesting that the suicide bomber was a woman," the editorial said as it recalled that the last time a female suicide bomber was employed was when a husband and wife duo blew themselves up near a World Food Programme centre in Bajaur in late June.
"Does this imply an emerging pattern of recruiting women as suicide bombers," it asked.
"It is no secret that women in our culture, especially in a conservative society like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, are hardly ever frisked or searched when it comes to security checks.”
"It seems that the very culture that the terrorists claim to uphold - of keeping a woman untouched by male hands and covered in a burqa as well - is exactly what these monsters are using against us."
The editorial warned that if women are the "new lethal weapons against the citizens and the state then counter-measures must be drawn up to face this threat".
"Women, especially those in the baggy burqa, need to be searched without exception. For that, female police officers must be stationed at check posts and security stations throughout the country," it added.
It went on to say that the country is in the "throes of a convulsion that is eating it up from the inside".
The editorial said the terrorists make no distinction between men, women, or children, either as human bombs or victims.
"Apart from the emerging use of women, they recruit children as young as nine years old for suicide bombings and do not hesitate to attack in cold blood during the holy month."
First Published: Saturday, August 13, 2011, 13:13