Two tragedies are unfolding as we try and make sense of the mayhem. Peshawar, already under siege has been hit hard by terrorists. One target is the paramilitary installations and the other a rally brought out by a moderate political party that rules the province. The 25 or more killed in Dir area were civilians and workers of a political party that has suffered at the hands of Taliban. When will this end? What do ordinary people have to do with the geo-strategic interests and politics. This state of affairs is unacceptable.
PESHAWAR: A series of powerful explosions and gunfire rocked Peshawar area of Saddar on Monday as heavy grey smoke spewed into the sky, witnesses and a security official said.
The causes of the blasts were not immediately clear, said the security official and local residents.
At least two people were killed and two others injured in the blast; the bodies and the injured have been shifted to Lady Reading Hospital. Some other injured have been moved to the CMH as well.
Khyber Road where the US Consulate building is situated, is being air-monitored by the helicopters. Continue reading
Posted by Raza Rumi
Zubair Torwali has reported from the field and debunked the perverse myths on the flogging video. This is followed by the brave and daring Samar Minallah’s account of the flogging saga and what more proof do Taliban sympathisers want. PTH is carrying these two pieces in solidarity with these two individuals who believe in a progressive and peaceful Pakistan and condemn militancy at great personal risk.
Swat has witnessed many harsh and cruel days. For about two years, it presented a view of Afghanistan during the heyday of the Afghan Taliban. The man who ignited the situation against the state of Pakistan — Sufi Mohammad — was spared (seemingly by design) for about three years. The MMA was then the ruling government in the province. In 2008, a half-hearted operation was launched under the name of Rah-e-Haq but it was evident then that the action being taken against the insurgents was not serious. However, soon the situation became very grave and serious when the hanging of slit-throated and beheaded bodies became a routine, and the Grain Chowk in Mingora became notorious as the ‘Khooni Chowk’. Upon intense pressure from the people of Swat and the media, the government decided to try and settle the issue peacefully. A long deliberation and negotiations were carried out at the start of 2009 to reach a settlement. In the wake of this endeavour, a peace deal was signed with the Taliban in February 2009. Emboldened by the very apparent capitulation on the part of the government, the militants expanded their writ to the nearby districts of Buner and Dir. The people’s reaction to the peace deal was mixed. Some thought it would bring permanent peace to the Valley but there were many who were cynical and thought that the peace deal was carried out on the terms put forward by the militants. They were of the opinion that since the Taliban were non-state actors, they would not comply with the truce. Their apprehensions proved true and the Taliban extended their ‘rule’ beyond Swat. Continue reading