The terrorist attack on the Pakistan army headquarters in Rawalpindi on Saturday comes at a crucial time as the armed forces make plans to launch a major offensive in South Waziristan.
“It is a crucial message that the militants are giving,” said analyst Imtiaz Gul. “The timing suggests the militants want to bring attention to action in the tribal areas and also to the fact that they can fight back.”
Analysts agree that the message from the Tehreek-e-Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the attack, is that no one is safe from its foot soldiers.
Over the past week, three high profile attacks have taken place in Pakistan.
“Tehreek-e-Taliban wants to show that they have the capacity to hit back,” analyst Hasan Askari said. “It is also a diversionary tactic to ensure that the attention of the military is diverted from the tribal areas to its own backyard.”
Farooq Hasnat, another analyst, said the choice of target was to show “that the most secure portion of Pakistan is also not safe.”
Tribal areas expert Inam Wazir said the attack was aimed at boosting morale among the Taliban and its supporters.