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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora