Ahmed Rashid The massacre of over 80 worshippers at two mosques in my hometown of Lahore by Pakistani Taliban militants has exposed, in the most extreme and brutal way, the half-heartedness of Pakistan’s military and civilian leadership in confronting homegrown terrorism and the failure of the country’s intelligentsia to recognize the seriousness of the crisis.
At least nine gunmen and suicide bombers shot their way into the two mosques during the weekly Friday prayers on May 28, opening fire on those inside and exploding bombs at random. The worshippers belonged to the Ahmadi sect, just one of several religious groups that the state discriminates against or declines to adequately protect. Other groups include Hindus, Christians and even Shia Muslims. At least 74 people were killed and 108 injured during the attack, but many succumbed to their wounds over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 90, according to Ahmadi officials. Continue reading