The Power Of SMS

Murder In The Mosque

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on April 5, 2009

It is an ominous sign of how much radicalised religious fanatics have become in Pakistan.

The bombing of a mosque in Pakistan’s frontier town of Jamrud on 27 March is a reminder once again of the increasing fragility of society and the state authority in that unfortunate country.

The suicide killing left at least 50 people dead, with scores injured. There is every likelihood that the casualty figures will rise, adding to the grim nature of the tragedy.

(On 30 March, heavily armed men attacked a police training centre in Lahore, the second deadly terrorist attack within a month. Less than a dozen terrorists succeeded in occupying the centre housing with more than 500 trainees, killed 25, injured around 90 and kept others hostage for hours before they were overpowered by the security forces.)

It is certainly not the first time that a mosque has been made the target of a violent attack in Pakistan. It is an ominous sign of how much radicalised religious fanatics have become in Pakistan of late.

They are now ready and willing to transfer the ferocity of their internecine sectarian conflict to the interior of places of worship.

The tragedy in Jamrud comes at a particularly difficult time for Pakistan. On the one hand, its people have been struggling for a democratic order to be put in place. On the other, the proliferating activities of the Taliban and al-Qaeda along its frontier with Afghanistan have eroded much of the authority of the state in the area.

There is too the helplessness of the Pakistan authorities where ceding control of Swat valley to religious radicals is concerned. Swat is now being run on the basis of Sharia law, in clear contravention of the constitutionally stipulated laws of the country.

To what extent such developments have compromised Pakistan’s sovereignty as a state is today open to question. And matters are not helped at all by the recent attacks on Pakistani villages by US drone aircraft in what has been given out as operations against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

The situation in Pakistan acquires a new level of complexity because of an absence of strong political leadership in the country. Weak politics has been causing a haemorrhaging of the state power and effectiveness. The gravity of the situation has been exemplified yet again, this time by the emphasis US President Obama has placed on Pakistan in his Afghanistan policy over the next few years.

There is a clear need for Pakistan’s government to get a grip on conditions. If that does not happen, there is a patent danger that the country’s decline as a state might in time entangle other nations in South Asia. That, in turn, can only widen the sphere of conflict, to the detriment of all of us.

Our worries about Pakistan’s future are only natural, as events there are likely to affect the whole region. Which is why we hope that the country will go for a strengthening of democratic institutions as a vital first step in its struggle for survival. (The Daily Star/ AsiaNews)

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