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پیر، 31 دسمبر، 2012

Kharji TTP massacre 21 Pak soldiers

 The heartless Kharji Taliban brutally massacred 21 Jawaans of the Paramilitary forces in their custody on the night between Saturday and Sunday in the outskirts of Peshawar sending a wave of shock and harassment among the ill-fated families and causing serious concern among the administration.

Plumbing new depths of barbarity, the militant Pakistani Taliban lined up 21 of the 23 Levies personnel they had kidnapped earlier in the week on a cricket pitch late Saturday night and gunned them down in cold blood. One kidnapped soldier who survived the ordeal has been transferred to Lady Reading Hospital in critical condition while another reached home safely after managing to escape from captivity.

The massacre is indicative of the deepening security crisis Pakistan is currently facing. While assaulting the check posts on the periphery of Peshawar, the attackers were wearing security forces uniforms and were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. This is not the first time terrorists have worn security uniforms to fool officials when carrying out an attack. The recurring security breaches are clear indications that the terrorists are ahead of the security agencies in terms of sophistication, technology, equipment and intelligence.

The Pakistani Taliban have waged a sustained and ruthless campaign of violence since 2007, taking responsibility for a number of high profile kidnappings and murders of Pakistani civilians, policemen and government officials — the most recent being that of ANP senior minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour. The attack is a grim reminder that the war is nowhere near over and the Taliban are still strong.

To kill disarmed innocent people who are in your custody shows these savages have no notion of honour, even in war. There is a contradiction, a gulf, between their words and their practice. Just three days before this attack, the Pakistani Taliban outlined terms for a ceasefire, which includes the adoption of Islamic law, a break with the US, a refocus on a war of ‘revenge’ against India and a rewrite of Pakistan’s laws and constitution according to their own narrow interpretation of Islamic law. But to carry out an attack so soon after speaks volumes on the credibility of these terrorists. They are neither amenable to reason nor trustworthy. They have time and time again violated deals they have made with the authorities (for example in Swat and Waziristan) both civilian and military. The letter and video the Taliban released recently categorically stated that democracy is “un-Islamic” and therefore they will not support any political party or the current Constitution. They have no respect for the Pakistani state, constitution or rule of law. It is high time apologists recognize the enemy for what and who they are.

The timing of the ceasefire offer is also questionable: it comes as the focus in Afghanistan shifts from a continuing military engagement by NATO troops to potential peace talks between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban, and amid speculation of a rift between top Pakistan Taliban leaders that they have taken pains to deny.

Although these terrorists purportedly fight in the name of Islam, there is nothing Islamic about their ideology or methods. They peddle poisonous falsehoods and their narrow worldview to gain political power; the rest is obfuscatory sophistry. The solution, although military means are necessary, cannot ever be purely military. We must root out the terrorist mindset that plagues our society through education that teaches critical thinking, poverty alleviation, and job creation. Our courts and law enforcement agencies must have a no-holds-barred policy towards terrorists: catch them, convict them, and set desperately needed precedents that the terrorists can and will be brought to justice.

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