Saturday, 17 November 2007

Fighting Terrorism, Part III

The Musharraf regime continues its outstanding efforts in the war on terror. Imran Khan, who on his arrival at Punjab University was assaulted by Islamist thugs and handed over to the police has been charged with terror offenses. Here is a BBC report showing him committing acts of terror in Pakistan:




To top it off, a small PTI protest later that evening was attacked by a heavy police contingent who also proceeded to manhandle and arrest Imran Khan's sisters.

Meanwhile, we hear that the head of the TNSM is now out of the lockup and has been brought to Peshawar where he has been installed in the private ward of a hospital, apparently as part of continuing negotiations with the Taliban militants in Swat, who are led by his son-in-law. Here is an excerpt from a recent report in the media about the doings if this fine bunch:
Supporters of Maulana Fazlullah responded by beheading three paramilitary soldiers and a police officer and displayed their heads in a village near the town of Swat, according to a provincial official.

The pattern is clear: Show up at a university to speak to students and you are a terrorist , whose family members will be beaten up and arrested. Behead people and stick their heads up on poles and your murderous relatives are lavished with extra care and affection and released from incarceration. This is our government's keen-eyed strategy to win the war on terror.

Meanwhile, Musharraf continues to fool credulous sections of the foreign press. I watched a truly idiotic report on CNN yesterday which was entitled something like 'Extremist Opposition Gaining Ground' or the like (I tried to find it on CNN.com but couldn't. If anyone does, please send me the link!). It seems as if Maulana Fazlur Rehman, stung by the criticism of his fawning relationship with the dictator decided that it was time to hold his own protest on Friday in Islamabad. The CNN reporter reported breathlessly on the 'anger' of the extremists against Musharraf and his policies. She also noted the heavy police presence, but observed that they watched the protest until it came to an end and dispersed peacefully.

So Fazlur Rehman, whose Islamist JUI-F has been working hand in glove with the military for the past three decades gets to have an undisturbed "anti-Musharraf rally" in front of the foreign press corps, thereby highlighting the 'dangerous' threat of Islamists to the country.

Meanwhile this is what happens if you are a bunch of school kids protesting against the Emergency (compiled from phone camera footage):



As Teeth Maestro blogs about the protest here, the students protest silently and do not disrupt traffic. When the police arrive and tell them to stop and wait for the Magistrate, they do so. When the magistrate arrives and tells them to go back the way they came, they agree with a naive "yes uncle". When the police block off the road and order them to move off to an embankment, they do so. They are then surrounded by police in riot gear and dragged off to prison. The youngest child arrested was apparently 12. They were eventually released without charge after the intercession of various NGOs etc.

Obviously peaceful school kids are a much more significant terrorist threat than the group who created the Taliban, even when (especially when?) the international media is not present.

So while much of the media outside Pakistan is wringing its hands over whether supporting democracy in Pakistan will strengthen the extremists, its worth asking, as one blogger at All Things Pakistan does, 'who is protesting and who is not'?

1 comment:

Ali Eteraz said...

Dear Misanthrope,

Would you kindly email me please?

eteraz at gmail dot com

I look forward to hearing from you.

Simply put 'misanthrope' in the subject heading.