Friday, July 13, 2007

Pakistan buries the dead from Red Mosque

Gen. Pervez Musharraf on Thursday said that the Pakistani government had been more than forebearing and that the militants in the Red Mosque and its attached seminaries had forced the government's hand. He pointed especially to their kidnapping of Chinese residents of Islamabad and the embarrassment this action caused as a reason for acting. China is a key ally of Pakistan, which has been locked in decades of conflict with its much bigger and more powerful neighbor, India. Musharraf blamed the militant leader Abdul Rashid Ghazi for constantly inflating his demands and declining to negotiate seriously. Given this situation, Musharraf said, the attack on the mosque was "inevitable."

Al-Qaeda's number 2 man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, issued a videotape menacing the Pakistani government over its attack on the mosque.

Musharraf says he is determined to reform the madrasahs or Islamic seminaries. Past such pledges have gone unfulfilled.

Journalists were given access to the mosque/seminary complex on Thursday (see video, below), and found a scene of horror, including a place where a militant blew himself up in a suicide bombing of approaching troops, and a room where 5 militants committed collective suicide as the Pakistani army closed in on them. At least 76 militants were killed, and 9 Pakistani troops.


Anonymous said...

Pakistan has been playing with fundamentalists for a long time - training and funding them for its low intensity war against India.

It is only a matter of time before the snakes turn against their masters - just as the Jihadi groups turned against the US.

What do they teach the kids in such schools - primacy of religious dogma above everything else ?

Anonymous said...

After Iraq, Pakistan? Is Worrying About Pakistani Nukes Serving To Keep Us In Iraq?

The bloody assault by Pakistani troops on the Islamic militants occupying The Red Mosque in Islamabad just might mark the beginning of the end of the Musharraf regime and the beginning of a period of radical destabilization for Pakistan — a prospect that causes great consternation in the West where commentators remind us that Pakistan is nuclear-armed and bin Laden has remained at large in its untamed northern provinces.

Some Americans may feel reassured to know that national defense experts have already been imagining the scenario of the US military intervening in Pakistan to prevent nukes from getting into the hands of al Qaeda — scary scenes of terrorists stealing away with a few devices in the chaos that engulfs the country after Musharraf is ousted.

Anonymous said...

Deadly attack on Pakistani troops

At least eight soldiers have been killed in a suicide attack on a military convoy in north-western Pakistan.

Fifteen others were hurt in the attack near the village of Daznary, in North Waziristan.

The attacker struck the convoy with an explosives-laden vehicle.

TMEubanks said...

Why did they march with banners saying "Shame on enlightened terrorism ?"

It sounds like something was lost in the translation.

Anonymous said...

34 die in Pakistan suicide attacks

A suicide bomber attacked a military convoy near the Afghan border on Saturday, killing at least 24 Pakistani soldiers as thousands of troops deployed to thwart a call for an anti-government holy war.

Another suicide car bomber struck a convoy elsewhere in the border region early Sunday, killing more than 10 security personnel.

The escalating violence along the frontier, a haven for Pakistani and foreign extremists, follows the government's bloody attack on Islamabad's Red Mosque that sparked calls for revenge from radical groups.

Anonymous said...

Pakistan militants scrap cease-fire

A suicide bomber kills 26 at a police recruitment center, bringing the toll from weekend violence over 70.,0,4770658.story?coll=la-home-center

With more than 70 people killed in weekend bombings and a controversial ceasefire annulled in Pakistan's volatile frontier zone, the specter loomed today of a possible full-blown war between Islamist militants and the US backed government of President Pervez Musharraf.

Anonymous said...

A vicious campaign of violence against the Pakistani military, a strategic US ally, escalated Sunday as a round of suicide bombings killed at least 36 soldiers and police recruits, and wounded more than 95 in a region regarded as an al Qaida and Taliban safe haven.

The attacks brought the weekend’s death toll to 60 soldiers and recruits, and more than 120 wounded in a series of strikes unleashed by militants in tribal areas close to Afghanistan. And as the latest bodies were counted , militants announced that they were backing out of a truce with the Pakistani government.

On Thursday evening, President Musharraf said in a televised address that his forces would move soon to contain radical Islamists in his country.

But some in Islamabad are concerned that a military onslaught pitting Pakistani troops against Pakistani militants, and foreign fighters under their protection, could backfire.

The specter of Pakistani troops opening fire in villages might further split the government - already beset by the supreme court chief justice and Lal Masjid problems - from its people and risk unrest.

“If the Americans want our government to … use even more force, then I think they don’t understand the domestic situation in this country,” said Matinuddin, the retired general. “If we kill too many people using aircraft and missiles there will be a strong reaction.”

Beg, the former chief of Pakistan’s military, agreed.

“They (the Pakistani army) will create more enemies,” he said, “and that will lead to defeat.”

Anonymous said...

The Meaning of Lal Masjid

The entire Lal Masjid episode, for an eminent example, did not show that the days of the Musharraf-George Bush dalliance were coming to an end. Many in Pakistan and India believed that the alleged anti-al-Qaeda friendship would not outlast Musharraf's confrontation with his own Frankenstein, the Islamic "fundamentalism" he had fostered in his own capital.

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