How many Pakistanis have been killed by their own countrymen recently?
23 January: Four pro-government tribesmen are shot in Badaber, Peshawar. Two former peace militia members killed in Kari Haider Khel, Tank. Police actions kill three men in an ‘encounter’ in Faisalabad.
22 January: A Shia doctor is killed in Peshawar. A woman in Mastung, Balochistan, has her throat slit and her body dumped near a police station over an alleged elopement. Six people are killed in Karachi: torture and beheading to blame.
21 January: Two security personnel killed by an IED in the Mohmand tribal region.
18 January: Kamran Faisal, charged with investigating corruption allegations against the prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, is found hanged in Islambad. His uncle said the body bore signs of torture. I don’t think anyone believes it was suicide. Eight people die in Karachi. Armed men kill a school principal and his son in Kharan, Quetta.
17 January: Five people, including two women and two children, killed by shelling in Miramshah, Waziristan.
15 January: 18 - I’ll say that again - 18 bodies are recovered from Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency.
Does this mean NOBODY was killed on January 16? What happened? Did Pakistan take the day off?
I apologise for the bleakness. Here is a picture of something cute.
A cloud of doom hovered over the commentary on Pakistan too. Here is some Pakistan reading.
…the fortuitous outcome of Pakistan’s single-minded focus on Tahir ul-Qadri’s so-called Long March was that New Delhi’s tough response to brutality on the LoC went almost unnoticed in Pakistan, allowing Islamabad (which has little appetite for roiling the waters) to settle for a pro-forma response. This avoided an acid exchange of tit-for-tat statements that would have united Pakistan’s divided anti-India constituency.
Ah yes, Qadri…
The man and his not so million-strong march occupied Islamabad in addition to swathes of column inches, screen time and hot air. Things in Pakistan happen so quickly it’s best to wait to let the dust settle. Who could have predicted that even as the cleric was in his luxury shipping container making his demands the Chief Justice would issue an arrest order for the prime minister? It’s Pakistan, nothing is accidental. Anyway, here’s Huma Yusuf on the symbolism of the shipping container in Pakistan (no really).
But what were once symbols of the globalized economy and regional trade have become markers of Pakistan’s deteriorating security situation.
Shipping containers, which have been used to transport NATO supplies through Pakistan to Afghanistan, now represent rocky U.S.-Pakistani relations. In 2011 and 2012, to protest the killing of Pakistani soldiers in American airstrikes, the Pakistani government blocked the passage of containers for seven months and threatened to only allow the resumption of shipping for exorbitant transit fees. The containers have also become a favorite target of militants who oppose Pakistan’s cooperation with the United States in the fight against terrorism.
The sectarian violence of the last few weeks continues to be felt. Dawn has this photo gallery of Bara villagers protesting in Peshawar while Al Jazeera has this feature on the plight of the Hazaras. The article carries an extract from those tools over at Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which claims responsibility for the Quetta blast.
If it is the will of God, in 2013 Lashkar-e-Jhangvi will not allow any Shias to remain living in Quetta […] we will carry out such attacks that the enemy will, with the will of God, not have any escape. […] Our message to the Shias is simple: be prepared to kill, or be killed
Here is a puppy.