The North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan seems to be mutating rapidly into a mountainous version of the Gaza Strip. Like the Palestinians, the Taliban in the area have now decided that using children as suicide bombers is theologically justified.
According to the Taliban in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province boys and girls are ready to launch attacks in the name of “jihad”. The terrorists seek to take over whole regions along the border with Afghanistan and threaten more slaughter if the government does not stop its military operations.
Leaders of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have warned that their boys and girls aged 10 to 20 are ready for a “Jihad against the infidels.” Addressing a press conference in Anayat Kalley, a few kilometres from the headquarters of the Bajaur Agency, a tribal area near the Afghan border, Tehrik’s deputy chief Maulana Faqir Mohammad and spokesman Maulvi Omar said that “a ‘fidayeen squad’(suicide bomber squad) comprising 10- to 20-year-old boys and girls, was ready to carry out attacks if the government did not immediately stop its operations in the Swat Valley and reverse its decision to launch military operation in other tribal areas. In the meantime arrangements have been made to effectively wage a “Jihad against the infidels”.
Maulvi Omar said that Tehrik’s chief, Baitullah Mehsud, held consultations with key Taliban commanders and they agreed that the only way to effectively counter the government’s plans was to launch massive terror attacks.
Notice that, after logical consideration, this decision was arrived at as a strategic necessity. It’s not a form of madness, a sudden fit of religious mania that comes upon believers in the spur of the moment.
It’s something they thought about carefully. They’ve decided it’s the tool required for the job. It’s thinkable because their religion tells them that anything, absolutely anything, is permitted — provided that it advances the cause of Islam.
The article continues:
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Suicide attacks involving minors are set for Peshawar, Mardan, Dir and other sensitive districts. The spokesman said Taliban had set up modern anti-aircraft and missile systems at their checkpoints along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to avert any threat of incursion into fundamentalist areas by NATO and the Afghan National Army.
The Taliban are also threatening to take control of Karachi:
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan also warned Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain to “immediately end his kingdom in Karachi”, saying the time was ripe for the Taliban to gain control of the city. “This is a final warning for Altaf Hussain to cease his statements against the Taliban and end his kingdom in Karachi, otherwise we will launch attacks against the MQM”.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders did not wait long to respond, accusing the Taliban of plotting to “spread ethnic and sectarian violence” with a variety of weapons, adding that it was prepared to counter the enemy threat.
The Movement’s leaders called on the government to act against the “Talibanisation” of the North-West Frontier Province and find out who is supplying the Taliban with weapons and funds.
It’s a good question: who is funding the Pakistani Taliban? Cui bono?
No sovereign government, not even Saudi Arabia, would benefit from an Islamist takeover of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
My first guess would be elements of the ISI which have been entwined with the Islamists for decades and are known to oppose Pervez Musharraf. One might also assume that zakat money from Muslims throughout the West has been making its way to NWFP through various “charitable” networks.
Any other suggestions?
Hat tip: VH.