Author: Alan

Talibanism is a new level in Pakistan

Talibanism is a new level in Pakistan

Public floggings. Women banned from parks. ‘This is the Taliban 2.0?’

In the world’s most repressive country, where women still have fewer rights than in Pakistan, Talibanism has reached a new level.

In a society plagued by violence and extremism, the Taliban are winning. In March a Taliban suicide bomb attack on Parliament in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed at least 17 people. The deadliest attack to date has taken place in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, where a suicide bomb blew up a bus in the city’s diplomatic quarter. A second bomb exploded near an army garrison, killing 25 people and wounding dozens more.

In the first three-and-a-half weeks of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Islamabad, between 10 and 12 people have been killed and up to 28 have been arrested. That’s at least double the number of people killed by the Taliban in the same period in 2011.

In the last nine months of 2011, as the Afghan conflict wound down, Pakistan claimed three major attacks, one of them an assault on an Indian military base.

And in recent weeks, officials from both Pakistan and Afghanistan have begun talking about an offensive to take Kabul if the Taliban decide to attack again. The Taliban said they will be ready to enter into talks if the Kabul government does so.

A Pakistani man walks past a poster of slain Taliban leader Mullah Omar as the Pakistani capital is shrouded in darkness on June 1.

In Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the Taliban said they had killed more than 1,500 police and soldiers since they launched their spring offensive last month. “Their strength is at its peak and they will enter Lahore in ten days’ time to kill and capture the Pakistani capital,” said Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan in a videotaped address.

Two days earlier, Afghanistan’s military carried out the largest-ever air assault on the Taliban. The air force struck a Taliban camp in their stronghold in Oruzgan province, killing at least 30 members of the group and blowing up the compound.

The attacks have been met with a wall of silence from the Afghan government. An Afghan minister had previously said the attacks would be

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