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
As the entire Pakistani nation watches video footage of a 17-years-old girl screaming on their television screens during the process of her torture at the hands of the brutal Taliban in Swat, one wonders if the mothers, sisters, daughters and the male members of this nation will ever take time out to think about this system of justice advocated by these men who are not even qualified to interpret the Quran and Sunnah.
By Rafia Zakaria
The scene is chilling. A crowd of men watches as a 17-year-old girl wails in pain and humiliation as she is flogged by a masked man. Her punisher, unflappable and untouched by her remonstrations, does not pause as he metes out the punishment. Another man holds her down as she flails and writhes in pain. This is the Taliban justice at its best: a rapt crowd, a female victim crying out in pain, and a world stunned into silence. There is much to be said about the scene: its barbarity, its theatrics, and its channelling of the medieval are all visible in a tableau now being routinely enacted before the world by the Taliban and its affiliated groups. Continue reading
While PTI has gone out and condemned the flogging incident, it has expressed its suspicion over the “timing”. Is it too much to ask of PTI to condemn what is wrong unequivocally without any caveat? -PTH
Swat Flogging and PTI’s Stand
Dr. Arif Alvi, Secretary General Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
There has been a lot of sadness and condemnation of the Swat flogging incident. The day on which Mr Imran Khan’s statement was issued by me there were many press reports in Frontier newspapers in which some elements of the Taliban had condemned the incident and others said that the incident happened during the time of total lawlessness and before the peace deal.
This piece summarises the key perspectives on the recent release of a brutal video that has further sharpened the political divides in the country. There has been an unprecedented backlash against the atrocities committed in the name of our great religion. Raza Rumi
Girl’s flogging exposes Pakistani rift
Salman Masood (writing for The National)
ISLAMABAD // The video of a teenage girl being whipped in public by the Pakistani Taliban has riveted the country and has highlighted an ideologically strained and divided society faced with the growing threats of Talibanisation and extremism, analysts say. Continue reading
For all the nay-sayers who doubted the logic of a civil rights movement around the constitutional rights fo citizens, it is now abundantly clear that it is not the “left wing” and “progressive” PPP and “secular” ANP – who have been busy signing accords to implement Taliban-style “Sharia” in Swat- but the rightful and independent Chief Justice of Pakistan who has for all practical purposes rubbished all extra-constitutional accords and devices. If some in the right wing thought they could ride the constitutional tiger of the Lawyers’ Movement, they must be sorely disappointed because the logic of civil rights is anti-tyranny – be it religious or military- and pro-people. This New York Times article makes it plain why the restoration of the Chief Justice is the restoration of peoples’ rights against a wretched establishment, machiavellian power politicians, rogue religious fundos and the entrenched military of this country -YLH
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The newly restored chief justice of Pakistan displayed his reputation as a human rights advocate and a prod to the government on Monday, when he hauled the attorney general and other officials before the Supreme Court and rebuked them over the flogging of a 17-year-old woman in the Taliban-controlled area of Swat. Continue reading
Courtesy The Daily Times
COMMENT: The video that shook Pakistan —Syed Mansoor Hussain
By establishing a bench to look into the matter and demanding production of the victim in the court, the CJ has done the right thing. The unfortunate fact though is that it is extremely unlikely that any branch of the government of Pakistan has the ability or even desire to fulfil the orders of the honourable court Continue reading