After al-Zawahiri has declared war on Pakistan over the Red Mosque attack, Pakistan apparently declared war in return.
According to a top Pakistani security official who spoke to Asia Times Online on condition of anonymity, the goal this time is to pacify the Waziristans once and for all. All previous military operations - usually spurred by intelligence provided by the Western coalition - have had limited objectives, aimed at specific bases or sanctuaries or blocking the cross-border movement of guerrillas. Now the military is going for broke to break the back of the Taliban and a[l]-Qaeda in Pakistan and reclaim the entire area.
If militants are indeed targeting Bhutto, Musharraf could come out a winner if the Taliban et al kill Bhutto and Pakistani forces successfully suppress Islamic militants. Two rivals for power would be eliminated at the same time.
At least 136 people were killed and more than 387 wounded around midnight Thursday in a suicide bombing near a motorcade carrying former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who returned to the country earlier in the day after eight years of self-imposed exile, according to hospital and police sources.
Alternately, perhaps Bhutto is flypaper. While she's alive, she's a more attractive target for militants than Musharraf.