Daily Archives: September 16, 2008

Thoughts on Terror – after the blasts in Delhi

We condemn the horrible attacks in India’s Capital – we face the similar menace and therefore understand how the citizens, the ordinary people feel about this. (RR)

Yoginder Sikand analyses this phenomena (received via email):

As in the case of many previous deadly blasts across India over the past decade or so, there is much speculation about the real masterminds behind the recent blasts in New Delhi.  Depending essentially on who you are—which these days has largely come to mean for many people which religious community one identifies with—the monsters behind the carnage could possibly be disgruntled Muslims or Islamist terrorists (for many Hindus) or Hindutva militants (according to many Muslims).

In the wake of the Delhi blasts, the media and intelligence agencies have been quick to blame the banned  Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) or what is claimed to be its new avatar, the Indian Mujahideen, as behind responsible for them. I have no doubt in my mind that the radical rhetoric of the SIMI was inherently conducive to mindless militancy and that, therefore, there is indeed a possibility of former SIMI members having been  behind some of the blasts that have rocked India in recent years. Continue reading

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Filed under India, Islam, Society, Terrorism

‘Justice’, Taliban-style

by Beena Sarwar
Violence against women has been on the rise in the Taliban-dominated areas of Pakistan. Recently the Taliban moral police killed two women in Peshawar, leaving notes on their mutilated bodies accusing them of immoral behaviour and warning others of similar repercussions if they didn’t reform. See Asma Jahangir’s statement at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan blog:

I wrote about this issue in March, for a Shirkat Gah publication that has just been published, ‘2007 Events & Analysis’. Other essays in the publication are: ‘Lal Masjid Occupation and seige’ (Kamila Hyat), ‘The lawyers’ movement’ (Asad Jamal), ‘The students’ movement’ (Aasim Sajjad Akhtar), ‘Media’ (Muhammad Badar Alam) and ‘Violence against women politicians’ (Shahzada Irfan Ahmed). I don’t see it up on their website yet – www.shirkatgah.org. My essay below.

Being a woman and a teacher cost Khatoon Bibi her life. On Saturday, September 29, 2007 four masked men on two motorcycles shot her dead with AK-47 assault rifles as she waited at a bus stop to return home from school in Pakistan’s Mohmand Agency, part of the tribal belt adjacent to the North West Frontier Province. Continue reading


Filed under Islamism, North-West Frontier Province, Peshawar, Terrorism, Women

A visit to the city of the ‘Dead’ (story of the Dalits in Pakistan)

Yoginder Sikand writing at DNA

South-central Sindh isn’t quite a favourite holiday destination, but I spent a fortnight there while on a vacation in Pakistan. My host was the amiable, 70 year-old Khurshid Khan Kaimkhani, a noted leftist activist, author of the only book on Pakistan’s almost 3 million Dalits. Along with a friend, he edits the only Dalit magazine in the entire country.

Khurshid met me at the railway station in Hyderabad, Sindh’s largest city after Karachi. We drove to his small farm, on the outskirts of his hometown of Tando Allah Yar, a two hour bus-ride ahead. Several Bhil families live on the farm. “They are like my own family,” Khurshid says as Baluji, a tall, handsome Bhil man, manager of the farm, welcomes us in with a tight embrace. Continue reading

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Filed under Pakistan, Sindh, Travel