Blast At Peshawar Bazaar Kills 105

The story of the gigantic car bombing of the area between Meena and Kochi bazaars in Peshawar, which killed at least 105 persons, is especially heartbreaking. Muslim extremists in Darra Adam Khel appear to have planned and carried out the attack, done by remote-controlled car bomb. They had threatened the markets with retribution if they did not forbid women to shop there. Pakistani extremists often preach ‘char divari’ or the immuring of women– keeping them within the four walls of their homes and forbidding them to go out at all. This idea, typical of Taliban sorts of thinking, is not Islamic and is contradicted by what we know of early Muslim history, in which women played an active and public role.

In any case, the extremists then bombed the area around these markets, since Kochi is a women’s market. At least 70 of the victims were women and children.

Darra Adam Khel is an Afridi Pashtun village in the North-West Frontier Province between Peshawar and the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Kohat (which itself witnessed a big bombing last week). Darra Adam Khel is notorious as a center for arms and munition production, using artisanal techniques. Adam Khel tribesmen can reproduce virtually any rifle or other weapon with which they are presented.

Of course, a further context for the attack is the ongoing Pakistani military campaign against the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan in South Waziristan.

Aljazeera English has video of the Peshawar tragedy:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke in Islamabad after the attack. ITN has video:

Clinton pledged the Pakistanis American aid in increasing and making more reliable their electricity production. Pakistan has been plagued by brown-outs, referred to in India and Pakistan as ‘load-shedding.’ These electricity outages are more than mere annoyances. You cannot run a factory if the electricity keeps going off. Details of the energy aid plan are here.

The USG Open Source Center translates from Jang for Weds. October 28:

“Pakistan is facing stern energy crises. The industrial, trading, and domestic consumers are affected so severely that approximately 24000000 workers will face unemployment only in the textile sector because of energy crisis. These crises will badly affect the textile sector and other sectors also. During the past week, the Standing Committee of Senate on Petroleum has been informed that the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) is facing problems in producing 300 MMCFD (millions of cubic feet per day) gas and 7000 liters of oil daily and there are cases filed in several courts, while 250 stay orders are there in this regard.”

The aid of which Clinton spoke, assuming it is efficiently delivered and used, could therefore be key in preventing a big rise in unemployment, and thus could help forestall disturbances deriving from bitter and unemployed workers (who are more numerous and more potentially disruptive than mere rural Taliban). Pakistan will grow a little over 3% this year, though to tell you the truth, that is their population growth, as well. So their net collective increase in gross deomestic product will be . . . zero.

Clinton’s press conference was overshadowed by the bombings, and most channels put her on a split screen with the bombing aftermath, rather undermining her message of reconstruction.

End/ (Not Continued)

5 Responses

  1. A fine example of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy. What historical Islam did or did not do is not really relevant, because historical Islam isn't what's driving the extremists now. They are acting in what they perceive to be true Islamic beliefs; it is the job of those leaders of Islam who reject these beliefs to stand up and speak against them. Then by counting we will be able to see which set of beliefs is representative of Islam as currently constituted.

  2. ref : “the [full] story of the gigantic car bombing of the area between Meena and Kochi bazaars in Peshawar, which killed at least 105 persons, is especially heartbreaking: Pakistani extremists often preach 'char divari' or the immuring of women… It is this kind of nuanced informed comment, professor, that distinguishes your reportage. We (here) now know that this was not some "random act of violence" for the insane sake of terrorism, itself; nor was it "all about US" = just because Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (ironically not simply Western, but also a woman) was scheduled to visit Pakistan ~ though the timing clearly exhibited a political tinge. No. This horrific act was borne of extreme misogyny — sadly, a feature not exclusive to any particular fundamentalist = perverse interpretation of otherwise spiritually uplifting sacred scriptures.

  3. Message implied by split screen of Clinton and bombing: Look at what this woman has brought to our country.

    And such a message would be correct as it's US policy that is greatly destabilizing Pakistan by initiating what amounts to a Civil War.

    And just where does/did the extremist Islamic tenets being used by the Taliban and its kin come from? Saudi Arabia, in the form of Wahhabism–Wahhabiyyah–which is never mentioned, and is a very cruel dis-service to people trying to understand just what's going on in AfPak. The spotlight must be shined on this fundamental fact with the goal of humiliating the Saudis and thus pressuring them to reject what is considered by most musilims to be Islam's version of extreme Puritanism and a fundamental affront to believers in the first tenet of Human Rights–that ALL humans are equal. This will be difficult as Wahhabism is one of the methods the Saudis use to keep their own populace under control in what is very close to a totalitarian country.

    So, I would aver that the Saudis and the USA are directly responsible for the recent bombings and for all the horrors and gore being created in the whole of AfPak, which includes Kashmir and has already spilt over into India. What is happening in Pakistan can easilly escalate out of control very rapidly, potentially killing many more than the 3-5 millions killed by the USA in Southeast Asia. The US military is incapable of solving the problems it has created in AfPak and must be removed from the region before any return to normalcy can begin.

  4. quote:

    The Taliban and al-Qaeda have distanced themselves from Wednesday's deadly market blast in Peshawar that claimed 105 lives, saying "their main targets are the security forces, and not innocent civilians".

    The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a statement sent to the media on Thursday, condemned the car bomb attack that tore through a crowded market and denied any involvement in the explosion.

    However, Pakistani government officials have said the attack was in revenge for the army's offensive against Taliban fighters in South Waziristan, and that the military campaign would go on.

    read the whole story here:
    link to english.aljazeera.net

    mauisurfer

  5. Juan, you say:

    "Muslim extremists in Darra Adam Khel appear to have planned and carried out the attack"

    Can I ask how you reached this conclusion? As the previous poster has correctly noted, both TTP and al-Qaeda have denied involvement. In speaking of context, you appear to overlook the tit-for-tat attacks across the border in which Afghan government installations are attacked and soon after there are unclaimed terrorist incidents in Pakistan. None of the Pakistani militant groups is shy about killing civilians when targeting the military or state installations, so it doesn't make much sense for them to deny invovlement if they were indeed behind this.

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