(Jan 12, 2011): Adding matters of Indian and Pakistani history to this blog.
Free speech and sensibilities
23 hours ago
Much of the physical and psychological intimidation of journalists and judicial officials is precipitated by the perception that they are either working with the United States against Pakistan’s interests or exposing the ISI-jihadi networks. The experience of Buriro and Mirza was no exception.On the prosecutors’ return to Karachi, the agencies began hounding them. “In the Karachi bar association we were interrogated by the ISI officers many times: ‘Why did we go to America for training? What type of training? Why did we give a briefing on the Rangers case in America? Why were you invited? All others were uniformed persons from other countries,’” Buriro said.Buriro and Mirza were trouble for the army and the intelligence. They understood the relationship between the jihadis and the agencies, and they knew how uninterested the establishment was in prosecuting terrorists.“The agencies are not interested in convictions of extremist guys,” Buriro said.Every week, the prosecutors would get a visit from ISI and military intelligence officers to discuss the terrorism cases, to find out how many were being tried, how many pending. “And always they’d say, ‘Why are you going after good Muslims?’ or ‘What is the case against [Lashkar-e-Janghvi leader] Akram Lahori? He is working for Islam. Why are you working against him?’ We replied that the government gave us the case. They should withdraw it.”
On December 16, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacked a military-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan. 145 people were killed in the attack, including 132 children. Afterward, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed that the government “will not rest until every terrorist is killed,” but there is deep skepticism that he can deliver on that promise. Dr. Christine Fair, Assistant Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, talks with The Diplomat about the Peshawar attack and Islamabad’s response.
It should be clarified that the picture attached to this article is from a prayer gathering following the Peshawar massacre that was staged by the charity arm of an organization associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba, another Pakistani terrorist group.
Samar Abbas Kazmi offers this new comment: "I think it subliminally underscores the extent of the challenge Pakistan has to overcome: when the outlet for your grief from a terrorist attack is a prayer meeting organised by another terrorist group, with a similar outlook, you really do have a problem as a society."