Stories about militancy

In the commune: Militancy in Karachi

Karachi saw terror once again on Thursday night when a suicide bomber struck an area referred to as the highest security zone in the city, meters away from the Sindh Chief Minister House.The attack on the Sindh police’s main investigation agency, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) building, near PIDC killed at least 16 people and injured more than 140. Incidents of terrorism have become a frequent occurrence in Karachi as the menace of militancy continues to spread. We asked Tribune bloggers about their views on rising militancy in the city in the context of the recent attack. Ayesha Umar One can’t help wondering ...

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Times are tough, but we are tougher

We are living in turbulent times where only an excuse is needed to start a killing spree. Be it in the name of religion, national security or revenge. Pakistanis have never felt less secure than they do at present, because anything can happen at any time which can affect their welfare. The terrorists blow themselves up at whim whenever they deem fit with only one ultimate aim to have as many casualties as possible. There is terror and bloodshed at every turn, be it at our own hands or at the hands of external forces. Although no one doubts that ...

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The ugly face of distorted religion

Translated from the German ‘Die Religion… ist das Opium des Volkes,’ philosopher Karl Marx said that “religion was the opium of the masses.” While this statement is extremely applicable to Pakistani society, religion is more than just the ‘opium’ of the people. It is now being used as a weapon; their excuse and justification for everything including things which are not very pleasant in nature. The most obvious example of this would be the “extremists” and their code of conduct, which they attempt to justify in the name of Islam, which has in the process literally distorted the religion’s main ...

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US rule book: America’s precedent for illegal attacks

Having lived in the US for the majority of my adult life, I have seen the numerous positive aspects of American society that are missing in Pakistani society. Their support for ‘freedom of speech’ and their judicial system are precedents that I hope are followed in Pakistan someday. That being said, America has also set some dangerous precedents by its actions and inactions in the recent past.  It is these precedents that undermine their efforts in Pakistan and make Pakistani’s even view their goodwill efforts with skepticism. If America wishes to improve its relationships with the Pakistani people, it must ...

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For those who have seen drone attacks

Many believe Izzat Gul did not die a fair death in South Waziristan. ”When these infidels could not equal the valour of Izzat Gul, they most dastardly sent a drone to get rid of him. These hell seekers have also martyred two of his young children and his wife,” says Esar Mehsud, who joined the files of Taliban four years ago and has become a force to reckon with in his own right. Amidst the political furore it is becoming increasingly difficult for the government to answer for the numerous drone attacks. Government officials remain tight-lipped when asked if drone ...

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What is young Pakistan thinking?

It might come as a surprise to those concerned about a growing militancy problem in Pakistan that most of the people in the country believe that the Taliban and al Qaeda are not doing any service to Islam. According to the findings of a recent survey by the Pew Research Centre, support for terrorism among Pakistanis is much lower compared to other Muslim states. Militants have expanded their targeting of public places and intensified sectarian attacks in the last few years, actions that have fuelled public sentiments against them, and undermined the formerly tacit support for the Taliban in ...

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Can we stop small-time terrorists?

The wanna-be Talibans are at it again. In Lahore their success with these crackers is the height of absurdity. Petty groups and moral police have been active since October 2008, hitting the very fabric of the way life is lived and they are succeeding. Honestly speaking, I always say a little prayer of relief every time an explosion turns out to be low intensity because there aren’t serious casualties. But even if these low intensity bombs, crackers, home made bombs etc do not result in a bloodbath, they still provide cause for celebration to the ‘wanna-be’ Talibans, because they achieve what they set out ...

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Will the Kampala blasts herald a wave of terror in East Africa?

Somali militant group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for twin blasts in Kampala, the Ugandan capital. 74 people were killed while watching the end of the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands, and dozens were injured. An unexploded suicide vest laden with ball bearings was also found in a disco hall, suggesting that militants planned another attack. Four “foreign” suspects were arrested in connection with the find. No doubt, this is a significant event. It represents the first time that Al Shabaab, a rebel group attempting to gain control of Somalia, has struck outside the country’s borders. However, ...

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No ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Taliban

Militancy has not only changed the lives of countless people in territories east of the Durand Line, but also made several drone and suicide attacks, Taliban and Blackwater, household terms across the country. The Pakistani version of Taliban has also gone under a metamorphosis. What started as local Taliban or neo Taliban were then called fasadis and now terrorists. Following the US’s mulling over withdrawal from Afghanistan, they came to be classified into good and bad. The ‘good’ Taliban in Afghanistan are those ready to enter into talks with the US-led coalition and those who do not attacks Pakistani targets. Also, ...

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Is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa better off than NWFP?

“Why was naming our province Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the course of ANP’s tenure so crucial?” I have asked my father repeatedly and consequently got into long discussions on why NWFP just had be renamed. Was this the issue that surpassed all our other problems? I don’t think so. When I asked several colleagues the same question one said, “I don’t think I care whether it’s called KPK or NWFP. We’re knee-deep in a serious crisis that needed to be tackled first. This could have been addressed later.” Over all, the name change was met with a lot of enthusiasm from the pro-Pakhtunkhwa population but has faced a resistence ...

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