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At Least 70 Killed in Pakistani Hospital Bombing; Babashoff Lost Four Times to East Germans in 1976; Dogged Determination. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired August 8, 2016 - 14:00:00   ET


[14:00:00] MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Tonight on the program, a bomb blasts at a hospital in Western Pakistan kills at least 70 people. The prime

minister expressing deep grief and anguish as the Taliban in fact claims responsibility.

Former Pakistani ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani joins the program, live, on what the attack means for peace and security in the country.

Also ahead, what it feels like to be cheated out of Olympic glory? A victor of the East German doping scandal, record-breaking American swimmer

Shirley Babashoff.

And the stray dog that ran alongside an ultra marathon runner in a dessert race wins hearts and a new home.

Good evening everyone. Welcome to the program.

I'm Michael Homes in for Christiane Amanpour.

Now we begin with the terror and chaos in Pakistan today. A suicide bomber detonated at a hospital targeting lawyers, gathered there to mourn one of

their colleagues and self-murdered earlier by militants.

At least 70 people were killed; more than a hundred wounded. A faction of the Pakistani-Taliban claiming responsibility for the blast which happened

in Quetta in Balochistan Province.

Militants earlier gunned down Balochistan Bar Association President Bilal Kasi, whose body was taken to that hospital where the bomber then showed


A "Wall Street Journal" in Pakistan says the attack was meant to send a message.


SAEED SHAH, REPORTER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: This really is the terrorist saying we're still here despite all these counterterrorism operations in

the last couple of years, which have had a big effect. The terrorist are very much saying with this marker that we're still around and we can still

hit you.


HOLMES: And let's take you now straight to Pakistan.

Syed Ali Shah, the Quetta bureau chief of Dawn News, joins us now on the phone to talk about this.

And thanks for being with us, Syed.

First of all, I want you to tell me about the cameraman who was killed in this attack. This dreadful attack. You knew him. You knew him well. He

was a father figure for seven children.

SYED ALI SHAH, BUREAU CHIEF, DAWN NEWS (via telephone): Yes, indeed. It was indeed a tragic incident. This cameraman was working for the last more

than seven years here in Dawn News with me.

He has also faced a lot of difficulties. Initially, he was appointed as a security guard. He was very polite, very humble and he was studying. He

did his (INAUDIBLE) as security guard. And then we appointed him as a (INAUDIBLE). And then his performance was extremely outstanding and then

we promoted him as a cameraman.

And then he did a graduation here from Dawn News and at the same time he was working as well as studying here. So this cameraman was, indeed, it

was not the loss of only his family. It was my loss. It was Dawn News' loss.

It was, indeed, I mean, a man of power and outstanding person.

HOLMES: It's very important to get that perspective, too. Put a name to these numbers.

The government says that it's targeting militants, Syed, but these sort of attacks are happening and they are happening, committed by a variety of


How insecure does the Balochistan region feel right now? What is it like to be living there?

SHAH: Well, it's this kind of incident in Balochistan (INAUDIBLE), so this was indeed not the first time. In February 2007, a similar thing has

happened today. (INAUDIBLE), I mean, he barged into a courtroom. He blew himself up killing a judge and all this 17 lawyers here in Quetta, the

southwestern city of Pakistan. It was also an incident. And then lawyers having killed on sectarian basis. On a sect basis, lawyers having killed.

This incident took place because early in the morning here in Quetta, Pakistan's southwestern city, armed militants they killed a lawyer. I

mean, the sitting president of Balochistan Bar Association. He was on his way from his house to court where he was gunned down by militants.

His dead body was brought to a school hospital in Quetta. A large number of members of the elite fraternity were there inside the emergency ward of

the Civil Hospital in Quetta.

[14:05:00] When they were in there, they were also (INAUDIBLE) according to a police and bomb squad. He blew himself up, killing more than 70 people

and injuring more than 100 people.

All the injured, they have been shifted to various hospital here in Quetta and 29 injured were shifted in a special emergency planes to Pakistan,

(INAUDIBLE) city of Karachi and the doctors says that the condition of (INAUDIBLE) in serious condition.

HOLMES: A tragedy indeed.

Thank you so much Syed Ali Shah, the Quetta bureau chief of Dawn News joining us there on the line with the very latest.

Let's take a broader view now. Let's get the view of Husain Haqqani. He served as Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. from 2008 to 2011. He joins me

now from Washington.

Ambassador, thanks for doing so.

Pakistan civil and military leaders claimed to have blocked militants, the Taliban specifically from making further advances. But you see these large

scale attacks continue. Has there been a broad enough approach to fighting all the extremist groups by the government.

HUSAIN HAQQANI, FORMER PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: Michael, unfortunately, no. Pakistanis continue to pay the ultimate price because

of Iran policy that has been in place for almost a quarter century.

Pakistan's military and intelligence service think that they can make distinctions between various Jihadi groups, those that are targeting

Pakistan and those that target Afghanistan and India.

They befriend one set of groups and they do not -- they act against the other. Unfortunately, the Jihadist don't think that way and they basically

move seamlessly between groups and every few weeks or months, they try to show to the Pakistani authorities that they're alive and well, which

basically proves that Pakistan's policy is in adequate and wrong.

HOLMES: So it's not working. We got this claim of responsibility by this one group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. Now this is a splinter group of the Taliban.

There's been suggestions that they may have links to or sympathies with ISIS as well.

What does this suggest about the movement of these groups? I mean, the Taliban is -- there is no one Taliban. There are various groups within the

Taliban, of course.

HAQQANI: And it's not just the Taliban. There are other terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba which struck inside India not long ago. Jaish-e-


Then there are splinters of splinters. There are at least 42 groups that Pakistan has declared as terrorists groups. But it has not operated

against all of them. The Tehrik Taliban Pakistan or TTP was the group that brought bold the brand of Pakistan's recent military operations and

actions. It was a brave move by the Pakistan army. But the fact remains that either Pakistan moves against all Jihadist or some of them will

continue to bite Pakistan back as we saw in Quetta today.

These groups operate either against religious minorities or against Shia Muslims or sometimes they move against certain professions and groups

because they have an ideology and that ideology is simply not compatible with the idea of a modern Pakistani state.

The sooner Pakistan makes no distinction between Jihadi groups and operates against all of them, the easier it will be for Pakistan to eliminate them.

HOLMES: So in miscalculation in your view, what does this mean for the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif? There are already concerns over his health.

He is also going to have to be appointing a successor to the army chief.

What sort of stresses are facing him in a political sense because of these apparent failures of security in this region?

HAQQANI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is facing a lot of challenges, but it's not just him. If he were to be replaced tomorrow by somebody else,

that person would also face the same challenges.

Pakistan's course challenge is to realize that even in a highly militarized city like Quetta, which is the headquarters of the 12 Pakistani Army Corps,

where there are a lot of military and intelligence personnel trying to deal with a nationalist revolt in the southern part of the Balochistan Province,

even there the Taliban can act and can act with impunity.


HOLMES: Why is that? Why is that ambassador? That seems absurd.

HAQQANI: Well, it does seem absurd but it's an absurdity that is tolerated by Pakistan's intelligence services desire to have Jihadist as instruments

of influence for operation in Afghanistan, or in Kashmir and India.

[14:10:05] And that basically is the error in the policy. Pakistanis to realize that no Jihadi, no terrorist is good for it, including those that

it has sustained and nurtured for several years for regional influence.

HOLMES: Again, you said, I think your words were bad policy as subsidized by the international community. Explain that for us.

HAQQANI: Well, for many years, the international community has thought that the way to win Pakistan over is by giving it subsidise. So give it

aid. That is what was done when General Musharraf was in charge.

Soon after 9/11, Pakistan acted against certain groups but did not act against others. And then many of the groups that had been banned

resurfaced under new names.

So the international community has essentially been trying to use carats with Pakistan. The carats have only worked partially and the fact that the

international community continues to support Pakistan the way it has operated over the last two quarter centuries. The result is that

Pakistan's policy is simply not changing.

HOLMES: How much when it comes to Balochistan, this sort of apparent haven for many groups despite the military presence.

How much does the local separatist sentiment play into that as well?

HAQQANI: Well, we must understand the Pakistani army's world view. It sees India as the internal threat. It does not see the Jihadist as a

permanent threat. And so it is quite happy to use the Jihadist as a means of containing the nationalist in Balochistan.

Now the Balochistan Nationalist are not necessarily all separatist. Some of them just want it within Pakistan and within the framework of Pakistan's

constitution. But the army sees them as instruments of India. To destabilize Pakistan, it operates against them in the process empowering


You must remember that the Taliban leader will last. And Mansour was found in Balochistan Province and taken out by the Americans not long ago. And

even before that, right after 9/11 when the Taliban lost power in Afghanistan, they all move to Balochistan.

I'm sure you've heard of the Quetta Shura that has been mentioned for many years.


HOLMES: Yes, pretty much since --


HAQQANI: Unfortunately, all of that is coming back to bite Pakistan.

HOLMES: And, you know, if there's anything that talks, it's money. If you think the politics is at play here. One thing Pakistan does need is

investment. China is talking about $46 billion in investment. A lot of that going into this very region so that it can get oil and gas in and out

through this region.

Do you think this instability might cause China to get a bit nervous, perhaps put pressure on the government, quickly, if you will?

HAQQANI: China has made promises of investments, but obviously investment has to have returns. And in an environment and security, investment cannot

have the high rate of return that they expect.

At the same time, we must bear in mind that those who want to deny China space and influence in that region may also want to undermine China's

project. Pakistan needs to move far more carefully than its policymakers are moving at the moment, including in bringing China all the way to the

coast, very close to the Persian Gulf and allowing it access, unprecedented access in that region.

HOLMES: Former Pakistan ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani.

Thank you so much, Mr. Ambassador. We appreciate your time.

When we come back, we head to the Rio Olympics. Of course, they are well under way. Controversy refusing to leave the Russian team, though, after

swimming success in the 100 meter breast stroke semi-final.

The Russian world champion Yulia Efimova raising her finger, wagging it, showing that she's number one. Well, that drew disgust from American

competitor Lilly King who meet her in the final. She told "NBC," quote, "You waved your finger, number one, and you've been caught drug cheating.

I'm not a fan."

We will duke it out on the pool for the medal tonight. And after the break, we speak to an Olympian robbed of her moment of glory because of

doping. That's next.


[14:15:50] HOLMES: Welcome back to the program.

There will be no Paralympics for Russia next month. Its entire team booted out by the Paralympic committee for doping. After the doping scandal that

also cost the country a large chunk of its main Olympic team, of course.

Anti-doping chiefs are also investigating new claims against the Kenyan official who allegedly offered to warn athletes of drug test in return, of

course, for thousands of dollars.

Well, few people have felt the pain of being robbed of their Olympic dream more than former Olympic swimming Shirley Babashoff. Finishing second to

East German swimmers four times at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Swimmers all later found her being fuelled by testosterone injections years later.


HOLMES: Well, Shirley details her pain in a memoir making waves and I'm glad to say she joins me now from Los Angeles.

And thanks for doing so.

Cheated out of four gold medals by East German swimmers back in `76.

I guess that was a tragedy then when we look back at it.

But can you believe that 40 years later, doping is still an Olympic scandal? Why does it continue?

SHIRLEY BABASHOFF, FORMER OLYMPIC SWIMMER: That's a really good question. I mean, I started writing my book two years ago. And my co-author Chris

Epting and I would always discuss, you know, doing this 40 years later and why people would come up to us and say, like, why now. And thanks to the

Russians, we have an answer.


BABASHOFF: It's still going on. It's still embarrassing. It hurts your body. I don't know why athletes would need to do this. I think the only

thing that would probably drive them to do this would be for the monetary reason.


BABASHOFF: There's so much money in the Olympics now that people will do anything to get the money.

HOLMES: Take us back will you, Shirley. You ended with those games a world record holder. There were expectations that you might get six gold

medals, but all of a sudden, you're on the silver podium.

And you knew, you knew just by looking that something was wrong.

BABASHOFF: Well, we noticed something was wrong in 1973 when we went to the first world championships in Yugoslavia. I mean, these Germans were

there in Munich when I swam in Munich. But honestly, I didn't even notice they were there.

The next year they were beating us by body lengths and hundreds, and in 200 and they were just hopping out of the pool like it was nothing. We didn't

know then what was going on because people weren't using steroids to swim faster. And, you know, they kept coming up with excuses about their

bathing suits being different and they were training at high altitude. You know, they always came up with the excuses but they never came out and

said, oh, yes, by the way, we're also using steroids on our girls.


HOLMES: You've got a lot of criticisms --


BABASHOFF: When '76 --

HOLMES: For you personally that was tough because you did speak out. You said something. And in fact it was you that people turned on. They

criticized you, even people in the U.S. I think "Sports Illustrated" I read had a cover that said, "Loser," on it. And I can't imagine what that

was like for you when you were right.

BABASHOFF: Yes. I spoke out at '76. I had four years of frustration. And at '76, I was pretty much just bombarded by all these reporters coming

up to me and they said, well, how do you think the East Germans are going to do. And I just said, well, I'm sure they will do fine with their

mustaches and their deep voices.

And so then I look like a poor sport. And when I only got second at the Olympics, people were -- yes, were calling me a loser. I was 19 years old

and it wasn't "Sport's Illustrated," it was "Time" magazine that actually put my picture in there and said loser next to my name.

I think getting to the Olympics is pretty neat. Just getting through the Olympics. And getting a silver medal is pretty special, too. But then,

you know, knowing that there's something wrong and saying something about it, just really -- I was bait. I was perfect for what they needed at that


[14:20:12] HOLMES: Yes, when you look back now and of course the vindication. You know, you were right. But unlike some of the others who

were cheated out of medals in more recent times, the chances of you getting the gold medal that you deserved are slim.

Are you disappointed about that?

BABASHOFF: Well, I think it's disappointing that the IOC won't go back more than eight years, when -- this happened in 1976. And when the wall

came down in November of 1989, it was 13 years after the fact. And we had proof that they were cheating. They acknowledged that they were cheating.

And yet the IOC said, no, we're only going back eight. So already we're out of the loop. We didn't have a chance. So there's a lot of girls who

were -- some girls got fourth place that should have a gold medal. It's for everyone. It's not just for me. Everyone deserves what they worked so

hard for.

And today or yesterday, seeing that they're letting proven cheaters in to swim at these Olympics is just a real disappointment to me.

HOLMES: And, you know, the other thing, too, as you said, your record was outstanding back in the 70s, but it wasn't -- it's not just medals, is it?

I was reading about a shot putter who was beaten in the second place by a man found out later to be a drug cheat. And he estimate that it cost him

$2 million in earnings, sponsorships, endorsements and so on. It probably cost you a fortune, too.

BABASHOFF: Well, I'm sure there would have been a Wheaties box or, you know, more -- I did some commercials. But I didn't -- I wasn't allowed to

accept money until after I retire from swimming. It's so different than it is now.

Now you can obviously be in commercials and take money. And you're absolutely watching professional swimmers. You're absolutely watching

people who are at work and doing their career when you're watching the Olympics. Now it isn't an amateur sport. It's not just for the sport of


And I think when they brought in money and professionalism into the Olympics, it pretty much just made it go on to a tangent. It's a

completely different kind of vibe now, I think.

HOLMES: Yes, yes, undoubtedly.

You know, it's interesting -- you know, individual athletes, I supposed, are always going to look for an edge and that might be by doping. But what

impacted you was state sponsored doping. And what we have seen alleged against the Russian team is a state sponsored as well.

Do you think that the team should have been ban? Are you surprised there are competitors?

BABASHOFF: Well, I don't think everyone should have been banned. But when you're proved, you've been proven cheating already once or twice as the

girl breaststroker you mentioned was, she should not be allowed. I don't understand why they think that she is not cheating now.

Once a cheater, always a cheater. It's the same thing. And if you cheat once, I just think you should be out for life.

HOLMES: Well, the good news is now, whenever you go places, people ask for your autograph and know what you really went through.

It's a pleasure to speak with you, Shirley.

Shirley Babashoff, thanks so much.

BABASHOFF: Thank you.


HOLMES: All right. Russia's doping looming large, of course, over Rio, but it's not overshadowing some truly historic achievements.

The Syrian refugee and swimmer, remember her? Yusra Mardini. She was known for escaping Syria and then helping to pull a sinking raft for three

hours until they reached the shores of Greece.

Well, now, she is an Olympian and even more she won her first swimming heat. How about that?

While Kosovo got their first ever medal in their Olympic debut. Majlinda Kelmendi taking gold in Judo.

Next up, more sporting success.

The dog who decided to join an ultra marathon and won the hearts of thousands.


[14:26:24] HOLMES: And finally tonight in the midst of all that human achievement of the Rio Summer Games, we imagine a feat of dogged


Scotsman Dion Leonard went to China to take part in one of the world's most gruelling sporting events, the ultra-marathon. It covers 250 kilometers in

a week. A tall order for anyone to take on alone. But luckily he didn't have to.

He received a special escort across the Gobi desert. A canine companion who followed Leonard nearly from the start. She crossed surging rivers

with him, eating and sleeping with her newfound running mate.

Gobi, yes, he's been named after the desert who tackled, ended up tagging along for almost all of the huge race and together they came in second.

But Gobi didn't just win a medal; he's winning a new home.

After Leonard realized the special bond that had formed with the dog, he went to extraordinary measures to adopt her. Crowd funding thousands of

dollars after the story went viral because it's not cheap to import a dog from China. So now Gobi will have to get past the triathlon of quarantine,

medical test and paperwork to make one last epic journey to her new owner's home in Scotland for Christmas.

The family's cat hasn't been told and Gobi hasn't been told about the weather contrast between the Gobi desert and Scotland, but we're sure all

will be well.

And that is it for our program tonight. And, remember, you can listen to our podcast. You can see us online, or follow us on Facebook

or me on Twitter at @HolmesCNN.

Thanks for watching and goodbye for now from London.