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A taste of Taliban rule

A taste of Taliban rule

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: February 20, 2009.
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/157624/A-taste-of-Taliban-rule.html

Journalist killed as shari'ah is enforced

The 'peace deal' between the Pakistani Government and the pro-Taliban Tehreek Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi has already claimed its first victim. In a chilling reminder of what the Taliban really stands for, a journalist working for The News and Geo TV, Musa Khankhel, has been brutally murdered. His body, riddled with several bullets and his throat slit, was found in Matta sub-division of Swat Valley. Musa Khankhel was in the area covering the developments regarding this week's shocking agreement between the Government of Pakistan and the Taliban that, ironically, is supposed to see the latter lay down arms in exchange for the imposition of shari'ah in Swat. Instead, Musa Khankhel's death bears testimony to the kind of 'peace' the Taliban actually has in mind. If the PPP Government thought that by signing a piece of paper and holding the Taliban to its word these champions of jihad would give up their murderous ways or their medieval ideology, it has been proved utterly wrong. The fact remains that the Taliban is nothing but a barbaric organisation whose sole aim is to forcibly impose its own savage brand of Islam on the whole world. It would be extremely naïve to think that people like Mullah Fazlullah - the local Taliban commander in Swat Valley - and his band of marauding ghazis will be satiated by what they have achieved so far. At this point there is no reason to believe that the Taliban will not continue to expand its domain - it could reach Islamabad sometime in the near future.

New Delhi cannot remain unperturbed by these developments. BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley could not have highlighted the gravity of the situation any better when he told Parliament that the Taliban was "just a five-hour motorable distance from Amritsar". Given that India has been a victim of jihadi violence itself, the Taliban is literally too close for comfort. This, coupled with the UPA Government's muted response to Islamist terror, is definitely a cause for concern. Despite the 26/11 fidayeen attack on Mumbai, apart from the face-saving act of creating a National Investigation Agency, the UPA stands accused of refusing to act tough on jihadi elements at home. Given this, if tomorrow the Taliban were to come knocking on our doors, it is anybody's guess if the Government would be able to keep the barbarians at bay. The UPA, it seems, is more interested in vote-bank politics than in issues concerning national security.

Meanwhile, the situation in Pakistan continues to deteriorate rapidly with the jihadis fast gaining ground. The Taliban in Swat Valley has already set about enforcing its diktat. It has set up its own courts that administer the Talibani brand of justice typified by beheadings, public floggings and other cruel, medieval punishments. It has also banned girls from going to school in Swat and threatened retribution if girls are not given in marriage to its men. On its part, the US has done little apart from issuing a belated statement that it is "troubled and confused" by Islamabad's recent move to make peace with the Taliban. But it will take more than such insipid statements to regain the ground that has been lost. The Obama Administration must live up to its promise and exercise its diplomatic leverage to make Islamabad renege on its so-called 'peace deal' and resume the military campaign against the Taliban till the last jihadi is killed. This is the only way forward.

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