By Declan Walsh
Reproduced from www.guardian.co.uk
I often find myself defending Pakistan against the unbidden prejudices of the outside world. No, Islam is not the cause of terrorism. Yes, the Taliban is a complex phenomenon. No, Imran Khan is not a major political figure.
This past week, though, I am silent. The massacre of 94 members of the minority Ahmadi community on May 28 has exposed something ugly at the heart of Pakistan – its laws, its rulers, its society.
It’s not the violence that disturbs most, gut-churning as it was. During Friday prayers two teams of attackers stormed Ahmadi mosques in the eastern city of Lahore. They fired Kalashnikovs from minarets, chucked grenades into the crowds, exploded their suicide vests.
As the massacre unfolded, a friend called – his father-in-law, a devout Ahmadi, was inside one of the besieged mosques. The family, glued to live television coverage, were sick with worry.
Two hours later, my friend’s relative emerged alive. But many of his friends – old men, including a retired general and former judge – were dead.
Filed under Citizens, human rights, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Jinnah's Pakistan, minorities, Punjab, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, violence
Terrorism and the denial problem
By Dr Hasan-Askari Rizvi crosspost from Daily Times, 28 March, 2010
The most serious threat to Pakistan’s political stability and economic development is the growing terrorist attacks by the various Taliban groups and other militant Islamic groups that use violence to pursue their narrow-based religious and political agendas.
Gen. Zia ul Haque
Pakistan army soldiers carry a coffin of a colleague who lost his life during a fight against al-Qaida and Taliban
Pakistan’s societal harmony and political stability is threatened by the complex challenges of religious intolerance, Islamic-sectarian violence, militancy and jihadi culture against the backdrop of the regional and global environment that is not always helpful. These domestic ailments have compromised Pakistan’s capacity to cope with global pressures and improve its bargaining position in international diplomacy. Continue reading
Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Army, Democracy, Education, Islamism, Pakistan, Religion, state, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, War On Terror