Pakistan Update

sherpao-cartoon.jpgInterior Minister Sherpao is confirming that Abdullah Mehsud (Pakistani Taliban commander related to Baitullah Mehsud) was behind the attack on him that killed 28 via suicide bomber last week. Since then three more have passed away in the hospital, bringing the total death tally in the horrific bombing to 31.

This ups the unrest ante, as most of Pakistan was ready to jump on the problem being caused by Afghan Taliban. (See earlier Post here.) Full detailed rundown on this and other things Pakistan at The Fourth Rail. Article with Sherpaos’ statement at Dawn.

karzai-musharaaf-ankara.jpgPresident Musharaaf and President Karzai are currently holding talks in Turkey on jointly combatting terrorism, perhaps they can iron out some differences and stop lobbing verbal grenades at each other, it aids both countries if both governments are stable and seen as competent. If they can overcome their differences then perhaps the real crack-down on the Taliban will occur.

In the WTF (What the Fatwah!?) Department we have another woman who goes on the list of having more courage than many men — Nilofer Bhaktiar in a Daily Times interview:

LAHORE: Tourism Minister Nilofer Bakhtiar has criticised extremists for trying to impose their version of Islam on others, and said religion is a matter between God and individuals.

In an interview with Shekhar Gupta of the Indian Express, she also criticised the press for giving more coverage to the fatwa against her, after she was pictured appearing to hug her French paragliding instructor following a jump, rather than the good causes for which she did the jump.

Excerpts:

Shekhar Gupta: You know, it’s amazing, you coming to New Delhi within a week after your little French problem, and it makes one wonder what you did to deserve this.

Nilofer Bakhtiar: I’m still wondering myself. Because when it happened, I didn’t realise it would get such huge coverage all over the world. Actually this whole thing got covered in the media after a month, and I still don’t know how it happened and why it happened. You know it just happened to me and I now think I should just ignore it and just move forward.

SG: What surprised you, the intensity of the reaction, or what the clerics did, or the support you got after that?

NB: Initially, it was what the clerics said about me, the fatwa part, and the language the media used … different captions for that photograph, which was very, very innocent.

But I still think none of them covered the real cause for which it had been done. And I still feel very sad for that fact.

SG: Yeah, you were raising funds for earthquake victims …

NB: For the earthquake victims, for the orphans, and the French are trying to build schools in Pakistan. I did this only to show some solidarity with the French people. And now they are coming to Pakistan on August 14, and they have even asked me to do this with them in Pakistan again, but I don’t think there’s a reason to do that now … I still feel the media should be more responsible. These things can affect people’s lives.

I mean the caption to the photograph with my French instructor was so bad. I didn’t hug him. It was a moment when he was trying to pat me and congratulate me, so he came forward. He didn’t expect I’d do the drop without training, and was glad when I landed safely.