The attempted murder of a 14-year-old girl, Malala Yousafzai, by the Pakistani Taliban was initially met with wide-ranging disgust and calls for action against the Taliban by the press and government alike.
The Economist Reported:
“Most condemned the attack without condemning the Pakistani Taliban. A few went further. The army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, who had already taken a more aggressive stance against extremists in recent months, sounded ready for action. After visiting Malala in hospital in Pakistan, he said: “We refuse to bow before terror. We will fight, regardless of the cost. We will prevail.””
Yet, even this level of condemnation of the act is beginning to seem like a criticism too far. The previous half-hearted attempts by the Pakistani Military to chase the Taliban from Swat have resulted in their unseating as a local authority. Yet, they remain seemingly perpetual in their continual ability to intimidate, threaten, and kill those with whom they disagree or condemn.
This shooting will not result in some watershed moment that will finally provide the impetus for a rout of the Taliban from Pakistan. In fact, it would be a surprise if any thing happens at all. Here lies the failure of the Pakistani state. It’s inability to recognise the true nature of the burden of the Taliban and the fact that their failure of deal with them stains the Pakistani government with an un-removable tarnish. This is the mark of a failed state, the inability to control its dominion, enforce laws, and avoid becoming beholden to forces it cannot control. The Taliban are a creation or at the very least, a manifestation of the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency. Their support of the Afghani Taliban as an ally in their constant paranoid competition with India paid dividends before the Taliban began hosting Al Qaeda.
“On October 16th the main opposition party, led by a former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, opposed the government’s resolution, demanding proof that earlier military operations had not weakened the country rather than strengthened it. The PPP balked, and dropped its proposal. With an election due in the next few months, politicians of all stripes are cautious about advocating operations against extremists that could result in a violent blowback across Pakistan.” – The Economist
The proposal of course was one to take ‘practical measures’ to address the situation created by the shooting of Malala. Typically, it failed to pass the proposal stage. Hard-line Islamists of the Talibani ilk are smearing Malala’s name, claiming she’s an agent of the US, according to the Economist. Well, isn’t that charming.
While the US makes noises about Iran and its apparent desires toward achieving an atomic weapon, the true danger is Pakistan. Its broken government, nuclear arsenal, and inability to keep its house in order are evident of a coming storm. Eventually, either the corrupt government or the extremists will win. By standing by, the world is placing a sucker’s bet.
- Pakistani Girl Malala Shot By Taliban Able To Stand (eurasiareview.com)
- Taliban stifle media over Malala (edition.cnn.com)
- Will attack on a child at last prod Pakistan (triblive.com)
- You: Pakistani schoolgirl attacked by Taliban sent to UK for treatment (guardian.co.uk)
- German neo-Nazis, Pakistani Taliban complain about how unfair the world is (news.nationalpost.com)
- Exposed to Politics Too Early (pochp09.wordpress.com)