Afghanistan,  Human Rights,  Islamism

Pakistan’s slow submission to the Taliban

From The Guardian comes the depressing news that the cancer of Sharia Law has infected the body of Pakistan.

Pakistan is to impose Islamic law in a vast region of the north-west called Malakand in an attempt to placate extremists, even as President Asif Zardari warns that they are “trying to take over the state”.

Pakistani Taliban militants who are in control of the Swat valley in the region announced a ceasefire tonight, reacting to the government’s agreement to bring in sharia courts.

Malakand is part of North West Frontier province, a regular part of Pakistan, not the wild tribal area, which runs along the Afghan border.

Critics warned that the new sharia regulations represented a capitulation to the extremists’ demands, and that it would be difficult to stop hardliners elsewhere in the country from demanding that their areas also come under Islamic law.

What will happen next? The Pakistani government may think of  it as “an attempt to placate extremists” but is anyone under the illusion that this is reversible? Has placating fascists ever arrested their demands?

UPDATE:

Make no mistake, the people have been abandoned to a cabal of crazies. The cost to normal Pakistani society starts with this…

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Singer Sardar Yousafzai and his band were driving from a wedding gig when the gunmen burst onto the road, firing without warning.

Yousafzai survived, but a harmonium player died and four others were wounded. He is now in hiding — the latest of many entertainers whose lives and livelihoods face an escalating threat from Taliban-led militants in northwest Pakistan.

“I am so scared,” said Yousafzai, who met with The Associated Press in Peshawar, the region’s main city. “I can’t go home or to any performance.”

As Taliban militants gain a stronger hold in this region of Pakistan, they are imposing their view that music, singing and other such arts are un-Islamic. Several entertainers have been kidnapped or killed, while many others have fled, quit or watched their work opportunities dwindle. Criminal gangs seeking to extort money are also suspected of involvement as overall security deteriorates.

(Associated Press)

And goes on and on…

Militants seeking to impose the strict form of Islamic law have also destroyed more than 200 girls schools in the mountainous valley, once a popular tourist destination, just 130 km northwest of Islamabad.

(Reuters)

… and we know where it ends.

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