News Developments in Pakistan

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Astronuc

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Pakistan security is tied to its relations with India and Afghanistan, and to its on internal divisions.

I was stunned to hear that the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked!

Opposition leader: Pakistan security has collapsed
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090305/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_cricketers_attacked [Broken]

LAHORE, Pakistan – The bloody ambush of the Sri Lankan cricket team shows that security in Pakistan has "collapsed" under the country's shaky pro-Western government, an opposition leader said Thursday, as police questioned several people detained in the hunt for the terrorists.

The country's cricket chief, meanwhile, dismissed as "totally fabricated" claims by British referee Chris Broad that police abandoned him and other officials during Tuesday's attack.

"It's unfortunate that a gentleman of such a stature is saying such a thing," said Ijaz Butt, who promised to lodge a protest with the International Cricket Council over Broad's comments. "There is not a single bit of truth in his statements," he said, adding that a police commando was wounded in the neck protecting Broad during the attack.

Six police officers and a driver were killed and seven players, an umpire and an assistant coach were hurt in the ambush in Lahore, which occurred despite government pledges to give the Sri Lankan players and match officials the same level of protection afforded a head of state in the country wracked by a virulent militancy.

"The security system in Pakistan under this regime has collapsed because this government is too busy doing other things, they are too busy in their quest for power," Mushahid Hussain, an opposition leader told a televised media conference. "They should be held responsible."

. . . .
Some people need to learn to disagree or oppose peacefully.
 
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Pakistan security is tied to its relations with India and Afghanistan, and to its on internal divisions.

I was stunned to hear that the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked!

Opposition leader: Pakistan security has collapsed
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090305/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_cricketers_attacked [Broken]

Some people need to learn to disagree or oppose peacefully.
I also read about it yesterday. It was pretty similar to the Mumbai attacks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7920260.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7924478.stm
 
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D

devil-fire

Some people need to learn to disagree or oppose peacefully.
I expect the people here believe there is nothing to be gained by peaceful opposition.
 

LowlyPion

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I was stunned to hear that the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked!
The Australians and the Indians had already shown the good sense not to play a test match there.

These people apparently weren't even fans.
 
A

Art

One wonders if it is perhaps linked to the Tamil Tigers and the recent major military setbacks they have suffered??

The English umpire Chris Broad hasn't done a lot to help Pakistani - British relations with his accusations that the police did nothing to help. Given that 6 police officers were killed in the assault his comments seem, on the surface at least, to be quite disingenuous.
 

LowlyPion

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One wonders if it is perhaps linked to the Tamil Tigers and the recent major military setbacks they have suffered??

The English umpire Chris Broad hasn't done a lot to help Pakistani - British relations with his accusations that the police did nothing to help. Given that 6 police officers were killed in the assault his comments seem, on the surface at least, to be quite disingenuous.
It was my understanding that they hadn't announced any route to the pitch, and were trying to be secure the team, jeez these guys were on scooters with backpacks full of armaments. I'd say all in all they did a pretty darn good job since none were apparently killed while the police took some heavy fire and casualties.

I rather think it's not British-Pakistani relations damaged so much as Umpire ingratitude to those that paid with their lives to save his rear end.
Chris Broad: the man whose greatest asset is a lack of diplomacy
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/cricket/article5848559.ece
 
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Doesn't one think terrorists have changed their attack tactics?
This attack was also different from those common suicidal attacks. Could this be that there's different organization carrying out these attacks that has different motives and ideologies.

Thanks to American aggressive approach, no more attacks in the west. I guess terrorists days are ending.
 
A cricket game? C'mon. Don't they know that they will soon be dealing with 10s if not 100s of thousands of American troops?

If they don't, someone should tell them.
 

turbo

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A cricket game? C'mon. Don't they know that they will soon be dealing with 10s if not 100s of thousands of American troops?

If they don't, someone should tell them.
I hope you don't suggest that US troops invade and occupy rugged terrain filled with militants and religious fanatics, in a country that just happens to have nuclear weapons. Pakistan poses some real problems for the US when dealing with that region, not the least of which is that "official" acceptance of US drones launching missile attacks on suspected terrorists is VERY unpopular. The Pakistani government is on a tight-rope trying to avoid popular uprisings in the more urban, educated, sectors while avoiding outright rebellions from the more remote, rural areas.
 

Astronuc

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Truce in Pakistan May Mean Leeway for Taliban
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/06/world/asia/06swat.html

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The Taliban and the Pakistani Army signed a truce last month in Swat, the once popular tourist area just an hour north of the capital. But far from establishing peace, the pact seems to have allowed the Taliban free rein to expand their harsh religious rule.

Just days after the truce was signed, a member of a prominent anti-Taliban family returned to his mountain village, having received assurances from the government that it was safe. He was promptly kidnapped by the Taliban, tortured and murdered.

The militants then erected roadblocks to search cars for any relatives who dared travel there for his funeral. None did.

This week, two Pakistani soldiers who were part of a convoy escorting a water tanker were shot and killed because they failed to inform the Taliban in advance of their movements.

On Wednesday, the provincial government signed an accord with the local Taliban leader that imposes Islamic law, or Shariah, in the area, and institutes a host of new regulations, including a ban on music, a requirement that shops close during calls to prayer and the installation of complaint boxes for reports of anti-Islamic behavior. Local residents are skeptical that girls’ schools will be allowed to reopen.

. . . .
Somehow, I don't this is going to work.

I heard a story wear the Taliban blew up a mausoleum of a famous poet, because the family or owner allowed women to visit, and because the Taliban don't want anyone to worship (or hold in reverence) the deceased.
 
A

Alfi

For this Canadian, the Taliban are just not understandable.

I just can't grasp the 'this is the way the world should be' concepts that they must have.
 

LowlyPion

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For this Canadian, the Taliban are just not understandable.

I just can't grasp the 'this is the way the world should be' concepts that they must have.
I think it's a common fundamentalist trait. Look at how Christian Conservative Fundamentalists push their noses into bedrooms and schools with their notions of this is how things should be.
 

turbo

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I think it's a common fundamentalist trait. Look at how Christian Conservative Fundamentalists push their noses into bedrooms and schools with their notions of this is how things should be.
With the critical difference that cultural norms in Pakistan condone violent methods (including acid-disfiguration, honor-killings, etc against women) to enforce the religious beliefs of the fundamentalists.
 
A

Alfi

to enforce the religious beliefs of the fundamentalists.

fundamentalism

I'll start here.



Psychological traits of fundamentalism:

a.. A strictly hierarchical and authoritarian worldview. Everything has to have a First, a Somebody in Charge. In any partnership, one partner has to have the deciding vote. Groups and societies work best with rigidly defined roles and stratifications. (There are people who believe this way who are not fundamentalists: at least, not religious fundamentalists.)

b.. Ethical development at the "reward and punishment" stage: morality must be defined and enforced by an external authority.

c.. A lot of guilt and fear about sex.

d.. Basic distrust of human beings; certainty that "uncontrolled," human beings will be bad and vicious, particularly in sexual ways.

e.. Low tolerance for ambiguity. Everything must be clear cut, black and white. Nothing can be "possibly true but unproven at this time, we're still studying it." Fundamentalists regard science as flawed precisely because science changes. (A striking characteristic of fundamentalists is that their response to any setback which may instill doubt is to step up evangelizing for converts.)

f.. Literalism, usually including a limited sense of humor.

g.. Distrust of their own judgment, or any other human being's judgment.

h.. Fear of the future. The driving motivation of fundamentalism appears to outsiders to be fear that oneself or the group one identifies with is losing power and prerequisites and is in danger from others who are gaining power. This is not how fundamentalists put it.

i.. A low self-esteem that finds satisfaction in being one of the Elect, superior to all others. It seems to be particularly rewarding to know that rich people have a real hard time getting into Heaven.

The life experience of fundamentalist that seems to encourage these traits include:

a.. Conditional love: parents, or other authority figures, withheld love to control behavior.

b.. Other factors -- sometimes mental, emotional, or even physical abuse -- that minimized self-esteem.

c.. For those who grew up fundamentalist, the church was the central activity of family life, all else was subsidiary to the church, and social interaction with "non-believers" was discouraged, except when evangelizing.

d.. Those who have converted to fundamentalism often grew up without any firm philosophical framework, or experienced some trauma that destroyed their former framework. They were at a time in their lives when they needed absolute answers.

Fundamentalist groups reinforce these traits:

a.. They insist on a rigid hierarchy of authority. The more extreme the group, the more authority is concentrated in one central figure.

b.. The group, and the authority figure(s) within the group, withhold or bestow love to control behavior. Misbehaving members are cut off from communication.

c.. They magnify current social and individual evils and dwell on the "innate wickedness of man."

d.. Sexual "immorality" is often their central cause.

e.. They promote a Truth which is superior to all other truths because it is absolute and unchanging.

f.. They promote distrust of one's personal judgment, being subject instead to the given truths of the group, the judgment of the church as a body, or the proclamations of a central authority figure.

g.. They are apocalyptic, foretelling an immanent and horrifying future which only the faithful will survive. Any disaster in the news is magnified as "a sign of the apocalypse.

The Alternative to Fundamentalism

Regardless of belief system, an individual is no longer a "fundamentalist" when one develops:

a.. An unconditional self-esteem and (usually in consequence) an unconditional love of others.

b.. A tolerance -- even enjoyment -- of ambiguity and diverse beliefs. One can cheerfully live with the fact that one's neighbor on one side believes that his little blue pickup truck is God and one's neighbor on the other side doesn't believe in God at all, and feel no compulsion to convert either of them. One is not frightened to question one's faith or explore alternatives.

c.. Free social and intellectual interaction with others, beyond -- or even without -- evangelism.

d.. A trust that one can "figure things out," along with a willingness to learn from others and to change one's mind.

e.. A faith that whatever the fluctuations in life and society, things can and will get better. A feeling of personal responsibility and resolve to make it so.

f.. A sense of humor.

It is not necessary to abandon all personal faith and beliefs in order to be tolerant of others. The majority of the followers in any of the world's religions are able to hold a strong personal belief and not feel threatened that others hold different beliefs.

How does anyone ever become an ex-fundamentalist? Any or all of these factors seem effective:

a.. Relationships with "non-believers" who become emotionally valued.

b.. Intellectual process: a build-up of contradictions between taught morality and the behavior of church authorities and members; unresolved questions in study of the Bible; what is taught about the world vs observation.

c.. Receiving unconditional love and acceptance from a non-fundamentalist.

d.. A strengthened self-esteem, with the loss of the need for others to be wrong.

e.. A spiritual epiphany, with a new faith that one's relationship with God is not conditional on "perfect" faith or behavior, that it can grow and change.

from http://anitra.net/activism/fundamentalism/psychology.html




:approve: OK
simple problem. Simple solution.
Education and exposure to the world.
Then.. Hit them with a big stick and tell them to grow up. :biggrin:
 
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LowlyPion

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With the critical difference that cultural norms in Pakistan condone violent methods (including acid-disfiguration, honor-killings, etc against women) to enforce the religious beliefs of the fundamentalists.
I'm not so sure that bombing Women's Clinics and killing doctors isn't all that different, though admittedly not as prevalent and certainly not to the extremes of seeking social change through totally indiscriminate violence.
 

turbo

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I'm not so sure that bombing Women's Clinics and killing doctors isn't all that different, though admittedly not as prevalent and certainly not to the extremes of seeking social change through totally indiscriminate violence.
You're right, of course. They differ only in prevalence. Still, disfiguring a woman's face with battery acid if she rejects a suitor is a particularly cruel punishment for exercising a very basic personal choice. Such a woman (victim) is often seen in their culture as "unmarriagable" and is thus abandoned by her family. I can't imagine how devastating this is to the woman who is brutally attacked and disfigured, only to be ostracized by the only people who might support her. Sick.
 
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You're right, of course. They differ only in prevalence. Still, disfiguring a woman's face with battery acid if she rejects a suitor is a particularly cruel punishment for exercising a very basic personal choice. Such a woman (victim) is often seen in their culture as "unmarriagable" and is thus abandoned by her family. I can't imagine how devastating this is to the woman who is brutally attacked and disfigured, only to be ostracized by the only people who might support her. Sick.
I heard they were going to do the same to the man ...

Here's one other story:
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\07\31\story_31-7-2008_pg7_18 [Broken]
 
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Analysis: Why attack Lahore?


"The easiest way to fight back was to use a bomb and the easiest way to ensure its success was to use someone to manually detonate the device. Little training was needed, and the younger the bomber the easier it was to convince them," the militant said.

But he added that the suicide bomber was not always effective, especially if the target was spread over a large area.

"We will eventually start using assault tactics again, when we have regained our strength in men," he concluded.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7972565.stm

(Somewhat answers my #7 post)

These kind of attacks seem to get more media focus even if there isn't much destruction.
 
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Astronuc

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Pakistani militant poses growing threat to US
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_pakistan [Broken]

ISLAMABAD – The son of a poor potato farmer who once worked as a fitness instructor has grown into one of the most powerful militant leaders along the Pakistan-Afghan border, his rise fueled by alliances with al-Qaida and fellow Pakistani militants.

A day after Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud threatened to attack the White House, a U.S. drone fired two missiles at the alleged hide-out of one of his commanders Wednesday in a remote area of northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border, killing 14 people, intelligence and local officials said.

Mehsud is now seen as posing one of the greatest threats to President Barack Obama's push to stem Pakistan's slide toward instability and turn around the war in Afghanistan, analysts and officials said.

For years, the U.S. had considered him a lesser threat than some of the other Pakistani Taliban, their Afghan counterparts and al-Qaida, because most of his attacks were focused inside Pakistan, not against U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials said the U.S. has changed its view in recent months as Mehsud's power has grown and concerns mounted that increasing violence in Pakistan could destabilize the nuclear-armed ally.

. . . .
The US and developed nations not only face an asymmetric war, but the enemy is amorphous. In addition to Baitullah Mehsud, I think others will compete to see who can outdo the others in terms of grand stand attacks, not only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but throughout the world. Mehsud has threatened to attack the US, and that threat should be taken seriously.


Insurgent Threat Shifts in Pakistan
Assault on Police Academy Indicates Risk Has Moved Beyond Tribal Areas
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/30/AR2009033000098.html

KABUL, March 30 -- The brazen occupation of a Pakistani police academy Monday by heavily armed gunmen near the eastern mega-city of Lahore was the latest indication that Islamist terrorism, once confined to Pakistan's northwest tribal belt, now threatens political stability nationwide.

The precisely orchestrated assault by a squad of young men, which left at least 11 people dead and took security forces nearly eight hours to quell, was also a likely sign that Islamist militant groups in Punjab province, once tolerated and even supported by the Pakistani state to fight in India and Afghanistan, have turned openly against the government.

The assault in the once-peaceful Punjabi heartland came four weeks after an attack in Lahore in which gunmen opened fire on a visiting Sri Lankan cricket team, killing seven people. The latest attack raised new questions about the vulnerability of Pakistan, a nuclear-armed Muslim state with a weak civilian government that only recently emerged from a decade of military rule. Lahore, home to more than 10 million people, is a bustling provincial capital and is generally considered the cultural heart of the country.
. . . .
So while the attack was perhaps not strategically effective, it is symbolic and perhaps the beginning of a long drawn out process and period of instability. I'm sure India is nervously watching developments.
 
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LowlyPion

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In addition to Baitullah Mehsud, I think others will compete to see who can outdo the others in terms of grand stand attacks, not only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but throughout the world. Mehsud has threatened to attack the US, and that threat should be taken seriously.
That comes with the territory doesn't it? The US is the number one target, because it is the easiest way to get attention in the media. Our media and theirs. Any two bit sociopath can grab headlines by threatening the US. (It's not exactly on a par with threatening say Tuvalu.)

Heck even Cheney uses threats from outside to grab headlines for himself.

And this is not to say we shouldn't be taking these threats seriously, because basically it isn't all that hard to find weak points internally and externally and propaganda opportunities from inflicting harm to the US.

But what are the options?
 
M

misgfool

The US and developed nations not only face an asymmetric war, but the enemy is amorphous. In addition to Baitullah Mehsud, I think others will compete to see who can outdo the others in terms of grand stand attacks, not only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but throughout the world. Mehsud has threatened to attack the US, and that threat should be taken seriously.
Looks like the terrorists have already succeeded, but time will tell if their success was permanent.
 

Astronuc

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Engagement and diplomacy.
.
I think Obama is planning to build roads and schools in Pakistan. I will find link to confirm that.

Edit:

So, he said, he was calling upon Congress to pass a bill authorising a tripling of US spending in Pakistan to $1.5bn (£1.05bn) each year over the next five years, to help rebuild "schools, roads and hospitals".
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7966982.stm

Other one:


Obama breaks with Bush Afghan policy

The result of a two-month review conducted by former CIA officer Bruce Riedel, it signalled a clear break with the approach adopted by the Bush administration on several levels.

The tone differed significantly when discussing the threat from militants and the rationale behind continuing America's involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

There was no "you're either with us or against us", no cowboy-like "we'll smoke them out of their holes", just a simple, stern message to al-Qaeda that "we will defeat you".

He signalled that Washington was in it together with Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that the extremists the US was fighting were as much a threat to America as they were to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7969071.stm
 
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LowlyPion

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Engagement and diplomacy.
I don't think that really works with these disaffected sociopaths operating like Ted Kaczynski in the wilderness.

Almost regardless of how content the world may be, there will seemingly always be disaffected.
 

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