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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘TTP’

Pakistan Redux

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

With all the attention being paid to the Turkish election, the continuing “negotiations” between the six powers and Iran and the ins and outs of the talks that at some point may or may not take place between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, little attention is directed towards very concrete and significant events in a country that is not only strategically located but already has nuclear weapons–Pakistan.

The government of Nawaz Sharif, which is the first in Pakistan’s history as an independent country to succeed another elected government with no period of military dictatorship in between, has been trying to reach an accommodation with the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), ensconced in its mountain lair in North Waziristan, which borders on Afghanistan and which has been in constant violent conflict with the Pakistani government for years.

The TTP agreed to negotiate under three conditions: a cessation of military actions against it by the Pakistani army, a cessation of U.S. drone attacks, and the release of TTP prisoners held by the army.

At the initial meeting, a representative of the army was invited to attend. Afterwards the high command of the armed forces decided not to attend any further negotiations and planned a major offensive against the TTP in North Waziristan that was carried out without any authorization from the civilian authorities. As a result the TTP ended the talks, cancelled the temporary cease-fire, and staged a series of terrorist attacks in major Pakistani cities.

The army, ignoring the civil police, proceeded to arrest dozens of alleged TTP militants and is holding them in military prisons. The Pakistani armed forces are in line to receive about seven billion dollars worth of military supplies from the U.S. when it evacuates Afghanistan, which will add greatly to its operational capabilities.

In light of Pakistani history, all this would undoubtedly be a prelude to yet another military coup, but the armed forces may hold off until they have received the American equipment, in fear that the U.S. might renege to show its displeasure with the coup, as it did in Egypt following the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government of (now) ex-president Morsi.

The parallels between the Pakistani and Turkish situations are striking. An Islamist-oriented government was elected and faced a politically active secular military establishment that had taken power on various previous occasions. In Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood-linked government of Erdogan, succeeded in defanging the army and has moved on to various electoral victories. In Pakistan, the increasingly Islamist and dictatorial Sharif, clearly intended to follow the same path, but is facing a military that is obviously not about to be sidelined.

What does all this mean to the Middle East and Israel in particular? A secular nuclear Pakistan means that the potentially nuclear Iran must also worry about its Eastern neighbor.

Originally published at The American Center for Democracy.
A version of this article will be published in Globes.

An Evil and Repugnant Ideology

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Many of you have been shocked by the story of Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year old Pakistani girl shot in the head by a Taliban terrorist because of a blog she wrote and interviews she gave starting in 2009, criticizing the Taliban and calling for the education of women.

This lovely, self-possessed girl, who speaks and writes on a level far above her age, and who planned to enter politics (video), may or may not survive. If she does not, it will be an enormous loss for Pakistan and for the world.

This is not simply an atrocity of war. This was not done out of hatred, anger or because someone was crazy. Nobody lost control in the heat of battle or was infuriated by a ridiculous YouTube video. No low-level extremist was responsible for this.

No, it was something else entirely. Read about the letter sent by the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership to international media today:

The letter, written in English, says a Taliban gunman “successfully targeted” Yousafzai “although she was young and a girl and the TTP does not believe in attacking women.” It says Yousafzai, who gained global recognition at the age of 11 through an online diary she wrote for the BBC about TTP influence in her hometown of Mingora, was shot because “whom so ever leads a campaign against Islam and Shariah is ordered to be killed by Shariah.”

The letter accuses Yousafzai of being “pro-West,” promoting Western culture, and speaking out against Taliban militants — charging that Yousafzai’s “personality became a symbol of an anti-Shariah campaign.” Using the term for Islamic holy warriors to refer to Taliban militants, the letter says that “Yousafzai was playing a vital role in bucking up the emotions” of Pakistan’s military and government “and was inviting Muslims to hate mujahideen.”

The letter goes on to argue that “[i]t is a clear command of Shariah that any female who, by any means, plays a role in the war against mujahideen should be killed.” It then seeks to justify the shooting of the schoolgirl by citing passages from the Koran in which a child or woman was killed…

The Taliban’s justification concludes with a threat, saying: “If anyone thinks that Malala is targeted because of education, that’s absolutely wrong and is propaganda by media. Malala is targeted because of her pioneer role in preaching secularism and so-called enlightened moderation. And whom so ever will commit so in the future too will be targeted again by the TTP.”

The TTP also warned that if she survives, they will try again, and that it is intended as a warning to other children.

The Taliban has thus provided a coldblooded ideological and strategic explanation of their actions, a clear window into their thinking.

And what do we see through this window? For one thing, the emptiness of the idea that all disputes are based on a lack of understanding or communication between the sides. No amount of ‘communication’ can make me accept or understand the principle that promoting secularism is a death penalty crime for an eighth-grader.

We also see that these are not abnormal humans who are missing their moral senses. They are not Ted Bundy or Charles Manson. They are logically acting on the implications of the ideology that they are committed to, the ideology which informs their moral perceptions in the first place.

The ideology is Shari’a, Islamic law. A demand for strict observance of Shari’a characterizes radical Islamists everywhere, from Iran to Pakistan, to the UK.

Do I need to add that this ideology is evil and repugnant?

Visit Fresnozionism.org.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/an-evil-and-repugnant-ideology/2012/10/11/

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