The Taliban Movement of Pakistan launched another bombing in Peshawar on Saturday, killing 12 and wounding 30. The bomb-laden vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint by a vigilant policeman intent on stopping it from approaching sensitive sites, and the driver then detonated his payload. The policeman was killed, but he likely stopped a much larger tragedy. The Pakistani Taliban claimed that they carried out the attack, which followed on a massive bombing Friday of the provincial HQ of the Inter-Services Intelligence. They said the attacks would continue as long as the central government continued its campaign against them in South Waziristan.
Aljazeera English has video:
The S. Waziristan campaign continued Friday-Saturday, leaving 7 guerrillas dead along with 4 Pakistani soldiers. Army Chief of Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani met with internally displaced persons chased from their homes by the fighting and pledged army help in returning them to their homes. Last spring-summer, the campaign in the Swat Valley displaced 2 million temporarily, but almost all have returned to their homes by now– though the villages are worse for the wear, with schools and other facilities damaged. The Obama administration has pledged funds for rebuilding and resettlement, but Pakistani politicians complain that the monies have still not arrived.
The Tablighi Jama’at is a Muslim revivalist movement begun in Delhi in 1924, which preaches mainly to other Muslims and tries to influence them toward the practice of a fundamentalist form of Islam. They are largely apolitical, but some observers have accused them or their offshoots of a connection to terrorism. Interestingly, this year the mood of the Tablighi Jama’at members gathered at Raiwind near Lahore is virulently anti-Taliban. I don’t know if they are over-compensating with this Dawn journalist for the suspicions many observers have that they have ties to militants, or whether they, like most Pakistanis, are simply appalled at the mindless and destructive bombing campaign against other Pakistanis launched this summer and fall by the Pakistani Taliban. But it could be that the Taliban are showing where some kinds of fundamentalist revivalism leads, and the Tablighi Jama’at is pulling back in horror.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Durand Line, problems of corruption in the Afghan government continue, according to CBS.
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