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The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Muhammad Khorasani, TTP spokesperson, told Al Jazeera the suicide bombers had been given orders to allow the youngest students to leave but to kill the rest. The attack was in retaliation for an ongoing Pakistan Army operation against the TTP and its allies in the North Waziristan tribal area, Khorasani said. The TTP said many of their family members had been killed in the campaign, and said the attack on the school was in revenge for those deaths. "Many TTP members have lost their family members and they have said they want to inflict pain," Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder said. "But many ordinary people put their children in military schools because of the relatively higher standard of education, so normal people have been hit as well by this." Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, head of the military's PR wing, said all the attackers wore suicide vests and carried rations to last for days. He, however, said the gunmen opened indiscriminate fire and it did not seem they were planning to take hostages.
Pakistan has seen tens of thousands of civilians killed in attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its allies in recent years, but Tuesday’s gun-and-bomb attack on a school in the heart of Peshawar, resulting in the deaths of more than 130 people, mostly children, has left the nation numb. Tuesday’s attack, which the TTP said in a statement was explicitly “in retaliation against” the military’s ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, can be seen, perhaps, as a sign of the group’s desperation. Unable to hit high-value government or military targets, the TTP has been reduced to targeting a school, one that is only nominally army-affiliated, as a sign of its ability to hit civilian targets. The school itself is a soft target, with relatively low security, even though it is located in a high-security zone of central Peshawar. But by killing scores of children, the TTP is unlikely to win itself much public support, with the backlash from the attack seeing a marked unity amongst Pakistanis in rejecting this form of violence. The indignation of the Pakistani public at this targeting of children seems also to have overridden any fear the TTP was attempting to sow with such a large-scale strike. In a country where public support for militancy has often allowed space for the TTP and likeminded groups to operate, this is certainly significant.
The Taliban has killed dozens of children at a Peshawar school in a revenge mission for Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai being awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Ahmed Rashid, an expert on the Islamic militants, told the BBC the insurgents had various reasons to attack the school, one of which was to send a message to the supporters of Malala, who advocates education for women and children.
The Pakistan government has always played a double game of deception by pretending to be an ally against the religious terrorists but surreptitiously at the same time aiding and abetting them on the sly.
originally posted by: intrptr
Is it that or just caught in the middle? The US military drove the Taliban out of Afghanistan into Pakistan.
From 1995 to 2001, the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and military are widely alleged by the international community to have provided support to the Taliban. Their connections are possibly through Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a terrorist group founded by Sami ul Haq. Pakistan is accused by many international officials of continuing to support the Taliban; Pakistan states that it dropped all support for the group after 9/11. Al-Qaeda also supported the Taliban with regiments of imported fighters from Arab countries and Central Asia. Saudi Arabia provided financial support.
The Taliban and their allies committed massacres against Afghan civilians, denied UN food supplies to 160,000 starving civilians and conducted a policy of scorched earth, burning vast areas of fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes during their rule from 1996 to 2001. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee to United Front-controlled territory, Pakistan, and Iran.
Pakistan stands accused of allowing that support to continue. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly said Pakistan trains militants and sends them across the border. In May 2006, the British chief of staff for southern Afghanistan told the Guardian, "The thinking piece of the Taliban is out of Quetta in Pakistan. It's the major headquarters." Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in September 2006, then-president Pervez Musharraf responded to such accusations, saying, "It is the most ridiculous thought that the Taliban headquarters can be in Quetta."
Nevertheless, experts generally suspect Pakistan still provides some support to the Taliban, though probably not to the extent it did in the past. "If they're giving them support, it's access back and forth [to Afghanistan] and the ability to find safe haven," says Kathy Gannon, who covered the region for decades for the Associated Press. Gannon adds that the Afghan Taliban needs Pakistan even less as a safe haven now "because [it has] gained control of more territory inside Afghanistan."
Obviously not aware of the early history and source of support for the Taliban from Pakistani ISI.
widely alleged by the international community to have provided support to the Taliban. Their connections are possibly through Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a terrorist group founded by Sami ul Haq. Pakistan is accused by many international officials…
originally posted by: intrptr
The history of Paki complicity and ally status with the US goes back to before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. They supported US insurgency (Mujhadeen) during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. I guess they would be singled out now too, by the Taliban in that capacity. Otherwise why do the Pakis and Taliban fight?
The Taliban—from the Arabic word for student, “taleb”—are fundamentalist Sunni Muslims, mostly from Afghanistan’s Pashtun tribes. The Taliban dominates large swaths of Afghanistan and a large part of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The Taliban seek to establish a puritanical caliphate that neither recognizes nor tolerates forms of Islam divergent from their own. They scorn democracy or any secular or pluralistic political process as an offense against Islam. The Taliban’s Islam, however, a close kin of Saudi Arabian Wahhabism, is far more perversion than interpretation. The Taliban’s version of Islamic law, or Sharia, is historically inaccurate, contradictory, self-serving and fundamentally deviant from prevailing interpretations of Islamic law and practice.
originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: SLAYER69
I thought the Taliban at large are the bastard child of the US, born of the clandestine support effort and subsequent abandonment of the Mujahideen during and after the Soviet Occupation?
originally posted by: Answer
Something tells me that none of the terrorist leaders ever read Art of War.
There's a useful anecdote in there about what happens when you enrage and embolden your enemies that these idiots never seem to grasp… no matter how many times it bites them in the ass.
The attack was in retaliation for an ongoing Pakistan Army operation against the TTP and its allies in the North Waziristan tribal area, Khorasani said.
The TTP said many of their family members had been killed in the campaign, and said the attack on the school was in revenge for those deaths.
One chief reason is that such extremist groups have long acted as proxies in Pakistan’s rivalry with India, an issue that trumps all others for Pakistan’s security leaders and that has long been seen as a far greater threat than Islamist militants. Terrorist attacks are routinely decried as the work of unknown foreign hands.
Pakistan’s civilian leaders, for their part, have long deferred to the army in security and foreign policy, and they have also been reluctant to act against Islamist violence, for fear of alienating the nation’s deeply religious Muslim masses and organized groups.
“Despite this national tragedy, I don’t see any chance of the nation as a whole building an anti-terrorism narrative,” said Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, a veteran Pakistani legislator from the northwest. He noted that a variety of religious and political leaders have “deep sympathy” for the militants. “For now they may tone down their support,” he said, but in time they will “start showing their true colors again.” www.washingtonpost.com...