Must read: ‘The path of isolation’ – by Asma Jahangir

PAKISTAN remains in the dog house of the international community mainly because its rulers refuse to accept that violence and conflict within the country are escalating and have serious ramifications for the entire region.

Pakistan’s friends fear a severe economic meltdown and there are widespread concerns over continuing corruption which has also partly impaired governance.

Amazingly, while militant non-state actors are knocking down our doors and have successfully solidified their networks, our civil institutions are busy rubbing each others’ noses in the dirt — perhaps for sound reasons but the rubbing is excessive.

Constant political bickering keeps policymakers, the media, the judiciary and the public distracted from the risks we face.

Corruption is rife in all governments and institutions. Sadly, selective investigations often remain inconclusive. Ironically, most of those accused of corruption brazenly say they have been singled out, rather than plead innocence and prove it too.

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No laughing matter: Entertainer who poked fun at militants kidnapped

By Riaz Ahmad

PESHAWAR: “Shave my head, paint my face black; Mount me on a donkey and make fun of me.”

Either militants didn’t take kindly to Nisar Khan’s comedic song referring to an incident where Taliban insurgents seized thieves, shaved their heads and mounted them on donkeys; or they took it a bit too seriously.

Nisar, a comedian, was kidnapped by militants mid-show in Peshawar’s suburban town of Matani on Monday, telling the shocked audience that they ‘needed an entertainer urgently’.

He was entertaining guests at a wedding party when around 20 militants entered the hujra where he was performing and abducted him, residents said. The event was taking place near a police check-point.

“The militants took Nisar away, saying they too needed an entertainer on an urgent basis,” a resident told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity. “They told people not to panic and that Nisar is being taken away only for a few days. They said he will not be harmed.”

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Extremist recruitment on the rise in Punjab madrassahs – daily Dawn

2008: Extremist recruitment on the rise in south Punjab madrassahs

Excerpts;

….. jihadi recruitment network had been developed in the Multan, Bahawalpur, and Dera Ghazi Khan Divisions. The network reportedly exploited worsening poverty in these areas of the province to recruit children into the divisions’ growing Deobandi and Ahl-eHadith madrassa network from which they were indoctrinated into jihadi philosophy, deployed to regional training/indoctrination centers, and ultimately sent to terrorist training camps in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Locals believed that charitable activities being carried out by Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith organizations, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the Al-Khidmat Foundation, and Jaish-e-Mohammad were further strengthening reliance on extremist groups and minimizing the importance of traditionally moderate Sufi religious leaders in these communities. Government and non-governmental sources claimed that financial support estimated at nearly 100 million USD annually was making its way to Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith clerics in the region from “”missionary”” and “”Islamic charitable”” organizations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ostensibly with the direct support of those governments. Locals repeatedly requested USG support for socio-economic development and the promotion of moderate religious leaders in the region as a direct counter to the growing extremist threat …..

Read more : DAWN.COM

http://dawn.com/2011/05/22/2008-extremist-recruitment-on-the-rise-in-south-punjab-madrassahs/

The Jihad continues to eat its own – Militants Turn Against Pakistan’s JUI-F Islamist Party

Militants Turn Against Pakistan’s JUI-F Islamist Party

By: Zia Ur Rehman

Jamiat-i-Ulama-i-Islam-Fazlur (JUI-F) is one of the leading Islamist political parties in Pakistan. The JUI-F is considered ideologically similar to the Taliban, and the party is popular in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Yet in the past four years, several activists and leaders of the JUI-F have been targeted and killed in KP and FATA by unidentified Islamist militants. Even the JUI-F’s right-wing leader, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, has been targeted in two failed assassination attempts.[1]

Although no group has claimed credit for the attacks, analysts believe that the operations have been executed by irreconcilable Pakistani militant groups that disapprove of the JUI-F’s “appeasement” policies. These include the JUI-F’s decision to support the present ruling coalition in Islamabad, which is carrying out military operations against Pakistani Taliban groups in FATA,[2] as well as the party’s reported attempts to engage the United States on peace talks for the war in Afghanistan.[3]

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Pakistan – Jihadis all over

By Mujahid Hussain

After a lull, the al-Qaeda and the Taliban terrorists have re-launched attacks in Pakistan. These attacks falsify the myth that al-Qaeda and the Taliban sympathizers had been combed out in the wake of the security forces’ successful operation in the Tribal Areas.

As a matter of fact, the Taliban terrorists have pushed the security forces and the local Peace Lashkars out of the area. Now the Taliban are attacking the urban areas and the adjoining settlements at will. The recent example of the Taliban penetration is the release of hundreds of dangerous criminals from the prison of Bannu, situated on the periphery of the Tribal Belt.

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