Monday, October 08, 2007

Pakistani Taliban besieged, but confident

This report by Suzanna Koster on the Taliban reveals the continued confidence and zeal of the movement: her informant tells her "everybody is on the road to get training in suicide attacks . . ." The culture -- the conventional practices produced by those organizing the Taliban -- have made suicide seem natural to the foot soldiers, the right thing to do by upright people. One wonders if any of them ever has any doubts. Despite the popular images of culture it is pliable, always changing, always manipulable (although not always successfully). We can see it elsewhere.
In our own society, how many doubts do folks have about practices that seem to becoming conventional here, the practice of "remanding" prisoners to countries that torture, indeed the practice of torturing our prisoners even within our borders? American culture is changing before our eyes and scarcely anyone notices.
Click on the title for a link to the whole article.

By Suzanna Koster
Christian Science Monitor

"The 26-year-old Pakistani pro-Taliban militant Majnoon used to openly vice patrol in his hometown ... But since a peace agreement in his area ended two months ago, the Pakistani Army is after him, and he says he can no longer go after those who violate Islamic social norms. But he still wants to continue his struggle for an Islamic state in Afghanistan.'Now the training camps over here are shunned, and everybody is on the road to get training in suicide attacks and other tactics inside Afghanistan,' says Majnoon"

"the NATO and US forces in Afghanistan now face more threats from Pakistani pro-Taliban militants than before a controversial peace agreement was broken."

"Pro-Taliban militants and the Pakistani government signed a heavily criticized peace agreement in February 2005 and September 2006. The Pakistani Army agreed to reduce its presence in tribal areas if the militants would stop attacking the Pakistani Army and forces in Afghanistan.But many analysts and observers said that the peace agreement provided free cross-border movement for Taliban fighters, thereby increasing violence and instability."

"Last July, the agreement came to an end following a standoff between the Pakistani military and militants in Islamabad's Lal (Red) Mosque."
"Indeed, a new United Nations report shows an upsurge in violence"

" It ... said that 100,000 troops and 1,000 military posts were put along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.But militants maintain that crossing the border is easy"

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