Pakistanis strike back against Taliban

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“The supply-line issues in Pakistan are quite serious,” Gen. Petraeus said. “There have been already various initiatives that obviously take on new urgency to look to the [the nations of Central Asia] for the purchase of … materials and perhaps the transit for some.”

Days after the attack, the mood on Ring Road remains somber. During daylight, the road is dotted with only a few vehicles. After evening prayers, the road is almost empty, as many prefer taking a detour rather than traveling on it. The restaurants and markets located on the road have their shutters down, and only occasionally does a wanderer make his way there.

Naseer Khan, 59, no longer enjoys coming to work. “Something is always going wrong here,” he said. “I pray to Allah every morning when I am leaving my house because I never know if I will be able to go back.”

Such tales of lament and woe are common in Peshawar. Some have lost their siblings. Others have lost their spouses or parents.

More than 1,500 civilians have been killed by terrorists in Pakistan this year, many in suicide attacks in and near Peshawar.

Noor Muhammed, 35, lost his boss of 17 years in a bomb blast in 2006. “He got off the car,” he said, referring to his boss, who was working as deputy inspector general in Peshawar.

“He was heading off to check the security arrangements at a Shi’ite place of worship when suddenly a loud explosion was heard,” Mr. Muhammed said.

Mr. Muhammed was also thrown back by the impact of the explosion, but he was able to run toward his boss,who was lying flat on the ground. “When I picked him up, he was dead. I keep reliving that scene every time I leave my house to go to work.”

Majid-u-Rehman, 30, a police constable on duty at the Kissa Khawani Bazaar - the scene of a bombing earlier this month that killed at least 20 people - said he was not worried about future attacks.

“I believe death will come when it will come,” he said.

Ali Hussain, 50, who was badly injured in the recent blast, also has a similar point of view. “I want to live to build and rebuild whatever the terrorists have destroyed,” he said. “As long as I live, I will continue to build back.”

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