A growing monster

The Muslim Times’ Editor for Pakistan

Credit: Xpress Tribune

Published: November 9, 2012
The writer is author of The Gun Tree: One Woman’s War (Oxford University Press, 2001) and lives in Bhurban.

Speaking out in the name of ‘peace’ is increasingly rewarded, not with accolade, but with death in areas that the so-called Taliban claim as their own, with the reprehensible murders of two anti-Taliban leaders, one in Buner and one in Lower Dir, having occurred in recent days. The attempted assassination of the schoolgirl from Swat, Malala Yousufzai, made headlines around the world but these latest killings are unlikely to make even a ripple right here in Pakistan, let alone elsewhere in the world. However, what they should seriously be viewed as, is a warning, that a civil war is escalating and it will not, in the long term — and contrary to ignorant expectation — be limited to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Fata alone.

Taliban activities may have originally begun in these areas but they have, long since, spread their vicious tentacles throughout the country with southern Punjab often being pointed to as a Taliban stronghold, even though there is much controversy about the accuracy of those supporting this school of thought. And now, long after having established themselves in Karachi, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has finally acknowledged Taliban presence there and claims that something will be done about them which, coming from this gentleman is, as always, best taken with a pinch of the proverbial salt. More

Categories: Asia, Pakistan

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