Monday, June 8, 2009

Blowing Up Pakistan Mosque: Not the Best Idea for Taliban

It may have seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Taliban blew up a mosque in Pakistan's Upper Dir district last Friday. Since the blast went off during prayers, 33 worshipers were killed, and dozens injured.

This doesn't seem to have made the Taliban any more popular in the region. To date, up to 1,600 tribesmen have joined militias - they're called lashkars, apparently - and attacked two villages that are known Taliban strongholds.

The score so far is 13 "militants," as The Associated Press likes to call them, dead. Also 25 homes of Taliban commanders and fighters destroyed.

Whether or not the lashkar actions against the Taliban are effective may depend on what Pakistan's central government does - or doesn't do.
"...The government has encouraged citizens to set up militias to oust Taliban fighters, especially in the regions that border Afghanistan where al-Qaida and the Taliban have hide-outs. But villagers' willingness to do so has often hinged on confidence that authorities will back them up if necessary...." (AP)
It's possible that the situation is better now, than in September of 2008, when "...Pakistan's leadership apparently has decided that American troops are a bigger threat than a bunch of self-proclaimed Muslims who blow up girls' schools...." (September 16, 2008)

I may be overly optimistic about this, but it seems as if people in Pakistan's Upper Dir district have decided that an organization that blows up a Mosque is not very nice.

It's quite possible that there really is growing lack of enthusiasm with the Taliban in Pakistan. If so, and if the people who are supposed to be running Pakistan's government decide that, by and large, being nice to the Taliban isn't the best policy, the country and it's nuclear weapons would be less of a worry to its neighbors, and more of a partner.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.