News / Asia

    Pakistan Divided Over How to Deal with Militant Threat

    Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf speaks to the media at a military hospital, where he visited Malala Yousufzai, in Rawalpindi, October 12, 2012.Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf speaks to the media at a military hospital, where he visited Malala Yousufzai, in Rawalpindi, October 12, 2012.
    x
    Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf speaks to the media at a military hospital, where he visited Malala Yousufzai, in Rawalpindi, October 12, 2012.
    Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf speaks to the media at a military hospital, where he visited Malala Yousufzai, in Rawalpindi, October 12, 2012.
    Despite the outrage over the Taliban's shooting of teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, Pakistan's government has failed to gather enough support for a military operation against the extremists believed to be behind the attack.The political divisions in Pakistan over what to do with militants living within its borders remain as strong as ever despite the national shock over the attack.  
     
    Days after thousands of Pakistanis rallied in support of the gravely wounded Malala Yousafzai, political leaders continue to squabble over what to do about the Taliban militants behind the attack.   
     
    Prime Minister Raza Pervez Ashraf on Thursday insisted terrorism had to be eliminated.

    He says, terrorism has left thousands of victims and all Pakistanis need to fight the extremist mindset that is destroying Pakistan from within.  
     
    The ruling People’s Party this week tried to table a resolution in Parliament referring to a military operation in Waziristan. The tribal region is the stronghold for a number of extremist militant groups, including al-Qaida and the Pakistani Taliban who attacked Yousafzai.
     
    Opposition party leaders and the head of one of Pakistan’s major Islamic parties, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, shot the idea down.
     
    Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz representative Saddiq ul-Farooq said his party refused to back the move because such an operation now would displace millions and push the extremists to more violence.
     
    "We have to deal with this issue with reason, not with military might, military might will be part of that reasonable formula - that if by presenting them very acceptable positive and constructive conditions, if they don’t come to terms, then we can use force," ul-Farooq stated.

    For ul-Farooq, the presence of international forces in Afghanistan and the Pakistani government’s position as an official ally of the United States is inciting attacks on Pakistani soil.
     
    He says once U.S. and coalition troops leave Afghanistan, the Pakistan Taliban will no longer have a reason to attack.  
     
    Analyst Ayesha Siddiqa says despite the shock of the attack on Malala Yousafzai there is no agreement between the government and the opposition on a consensus to fight the militants.
     
    What resulted, she says, is not much more than political melodrama.
     
    “What is not happening here, is people coming together and saying, whatever the source of violence, we have to put an end to it. We have to put an end to sacrificing our soldiers, our children, our men and women. That is not happening,” said Siddiqa.
     
    So far, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has announced a $1 million bounty for the Pakistani Taliban’s main spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who announced the Taliban was responsible for the attack on 14-year-old Yousafzai.   
     
    Her alleged attacker had been detained by the military during a large offensive against the Taliban in the area in 2009. He was subsequently let go because of a lack of evidence tying him to the extremist group.  
     
    Yousafzai was shot in the head October 9, on her way back from school in Pakistan’s Swat valley region.
     
    Doctor's in the British hospital where she is recuperating say they are optimistic about her recovery.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: marvin nubwaxer
    October 19, 2012 10:22 AM
    it's how they live and it's what they do. they have the government they want and deserve or they would change it. they've suckered us into given them billions in extortion and still hate us and work against us. and they have nuclear weapons.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora