President Perez Musharraf of Pakistan has signed into law the Women’s Protection bill, which created a spate of demonstrations by the radical anti government MMA. The MMA is the party that vocally supports the Taliban and extremist sharia views in Pakistan, so it it natural that they would demonstrate against the bill.
Many of the MMA have been arrested, but they will continue to agitate, even though this bill is popular with the majority of the population in Pakistan, as seen in numerous online forums. This bill has diminished the effectiveness and the power of the MMA, and is probably one reason that the Taliban has cracked down on news in the NorthWest Frontier Provinces. Many Pakistani’s are now speaking out against Mullahs, and Mullahs and the vested interests that finance them are the backbone of the MMA.
Other important things that are going un-noted in Pakistan: Registration of Afghan and foreign refugees is continuing, and also roundups of Taliban. It’s interesting that they are being arrested mostly outside of the NWFP, so … is this an effort to corner the Taliban and Al Qaeda to just one area? From the Frontier Post:
QUETTA, (Online): Quetta police have arrested nine people including 7 suspected Taliban during raids at various localities of the provincial capital. DIG operations Quetta Ghulam Qadir Thebo talking to private TV channel told that police arrested 7 suspected Taliban from Pashtonabad during a raid and a case has been registered against them under the foreign act. He told that these suspected Taliban were students of a local Madrassah. DIG further told that 2 people Fakir Hussain and Bismillah have been arrested in connection with the bomb blast near the IG office in Quetta on November 2, in which 4 people including two police officers were killed. He said the two men are being interrogated. DIG operations said that efforts are being made to arrest 4 key Afghan refugees, who are believed to be involved in several subversive activities
There is also new legislation to regulate Madrassas and religious education schools, and cases before the Supreme Court of Pakistan to remove some MMA from government since they do not have the complete courseÂ needed for a certified degree, a requirement to sit in the National Assembly.
Editor’s Note: if you wonder why I quote from Frontier Post so much, they seem to present the most objective and open view of all papers in Pakistan. The fact that they’ve been attacked by both the government and MMA demonstrates this, as well as the fact that they carry both anti-government editorals and pro government editorials. I wish more papers in the US were as good as the FP in reporting in the War on Terrorism.