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.
Sharon Behn
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.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More