Pakistan Update

iftikhar-demonstration.jpgThe demonstrations continue for Chief Justice Iftikhar while the trial goes on. The army has taken umbrage at the criticism by lawyers, and there’s some back and forth on that for the political situation. Current consensus is that if Musharaaf makes it past June that he will survive. Meanwhile Baitullah Mehsud continues his assassination campaign in the frontiers, attacking followers of Sherpao, and the on and off attacks by the Taliban against the Frontier Constabulary continues in Tank.

Meanwhile in Dir, parents are removing their children from schools as they are finding that some have gone missing, kidnapped by Al Qaeda and the Taliban, some have been taken to Jihaid activities during school hours as well. Previous story on this here, from Daily Times:

DIR: Some parents have started enrolling their children in schools outside Dir district to keep them away from people who are “luring” their kids towards jihad, sources told Daily Times on Saturday.

“A man whose son was taken away from school and later found with a jihadi organisation has enrolled his kid in a school in another district,” the source close to the parent, asking not to be named for fear of reprisal, told Daily Times.

The father was quoted as saying that he was taking his son hundreds of miles away from the influence of jihadi organisations. Hashim Hussain, opposition leader in the Dir District Assembly, took up the issue on the floor of the house a few days ago, demanding the district administration stop jihadi organisations from ruining the children’s future.

“I asked the assembly members if participation in jihad at such an early age guarantees a place in paradise … no one responded to my question,” he said. Ten schoolchildren have been reported “missing” from a school in the district and local policemen said they have started an investigation into the incidents. Hussain said the children were not given military training for jihad. The children are only given a suicide jacket to blow themselves up in public places, he said.

al-qaida-schism.jpgThis continues to illustrate what I’ve said all along about the inherent weakness of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Everyone is disillusioned with Al Qaeda, and disaffected from the Taliban. They can’t hide the tens of thousands of muslim deaths they’ve created the past few years, the Jihad has lost moral authority even among the most fervent, what are left are the gullible, the defective, and the insane. Unfortunately, young children are very gullible.

To show what’s going on at the front, from 2001 to present, the total US deaths in Afghanistan is 325, with only 208 being from hostile actions from the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The civilian deaths created by the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the same time frame are ten times that. The Taliban and Al Qaeda deaths are in the thousands every year they fight, last year they were greater than 3,000. AQ and the Taliban are out of competent leaders and for followers they now kidnap children. That’s pathetic.