Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
One of the more troublesome aspects of the current situation in Pakistan is how subdued - at least relative to the scale of the deaths - are protests against suicide bombings on Pakistani cities. Travelling from Lahore to Islamabad last month, my taxi driver winced in pain when I told him I had a text message saying the city we had just left, his city, had been bombed again. Yet where was the outlet for him to express that pain, or indeed for the many grieving families who had lost relatives?
I was reminded of this reading Nadeem Paracha's latest piece in Dawn on the outcry over Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist jailed in the United States after being convicted of shooting at U.S. soldiers. She has been claimed as the "daughter of the nation" who must be rescued from an American jail.
"Never have the highly vocal keepers of our women’s sanctity even superficially censured the aggravating antics of monsters like the Taliban and al Qaeda at whose hands thousands of innocent Pakistanis have lost their lives," writes Paracha. "None of the many women, children and men who were mercilessly slaughtered by the extremists, it seems, were good enough to also be celebrated as brothers, sisters and children of this nation."
Saba Imtiaz made a similar point in Foreign Policy last month. "Political parties rarely call for protests after suicide bombings, but the Jamaat-e-Islami called for countrywide protests shortly after Aafia's sentencing. Breathless condemnations of the sentencing came in almost instantly from political parties," Imtiaz wrote.
from Afghan Journal:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned Pakistan of 'severe consequences" if a future attack on the U.S. homeland is traced back to Pakistani militant groups.
It's the kind of language that harks back to the Bush administration when they threatened to "bomb Pakistan to the Stone Age" if it didn't cooperate in the war against al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban following the Sept. 11 attacks. Pakistan fell in line, turning on militant groups, some of whom with close ties to the security establishment.