The taliban are on the attack as the government continues to formulate its security policy to combat terrorism
A media house issuing adverse reports on the Taliban is attacked and three employees were killed
The Pakistani Taliban, a brutal and bloody organisation, has accelerated its attacks in different parts of the country. During the last four days from January 15, a total of 52 people have been killed in suicide attacks and targeted shootings. Their targets were members of the armed forces, media house employees and students, both girls and boys. In their arrogance they have found a new bravery and in the latest attack the place selected for the shooting was just meters away from the military headquarters. They had previously attacked the general headquarters of the army, offices of the intelligence agencies and sensitive installations of the air force and navy. Encouraged by the lack of response from the government due to its appeasement policy they have now asserted themselves and are making increasingly bolder attacks throughout the country.
On Sunday January 19, the Taliban carried out a suicide bombing on a Frontier Corp (FC) convoy killing 25 soldiers. The entire administration was asleep at the time and the Taliban immediately claimed responsibility.
After some hours of the attack the Taliban then killed 13 persons, including six security personnel, in another suicide attack in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, the twin city of Islamabad. This incident happened only meters away from military head quarters where security should have been at its highest. A total of 17 people including three school children were also wounded in the blast. The attack occurred when children were going to school. The initial assessment is that the bomber was possibly on a bicycle and he then approached the target on foot.
On Saturday, January 18 an independent and vocal media house, The Express News came under attack. In the recent attack between the night of January 17 and 18 the Taliban attacked an Express News van and killed three of the channel’s staff because of its reporting on the Taliban. This is the third attack on the channel in the last six months. It is said that five to six persons, riding on a motor bike, attacked the van and shot dead the employees. The cameraman was sleeping on the rear seat and, miraculously, he was unharmed by the shooting. A technician, driver and a security guard were killed when the van was attacked in the western part of the port city.
The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for these killings and said in future they will attack and kill any media house and its employees who are involved in “propaganda” against the Taliban. Talking to Express News and AFP, a Taliban spokesperson said, “We claim the responsibility… The reason of the attack is that in the war of ideologies all media channels including Express News are acting as propagandist and as rival party”…..We will attack all the media houses that are involved in carrying out propaganda against us,” he said.
The journalists and other staff affiliated with media houses are the most vulnerable in the country that does not have protection from the authorities. It also looks as if the authorities are also happy to see the attacks on media houses as it helps in squeezing the freedom of expression and the media and the media houses will ultimately take help from the government for their protection.
In the month of August, 2013, there were two attacks in one day on the same channel and in December the Taliban carried out a shooting at the office of the channel injuring two staff. Besides these attacks the news channel remains under threat from the Taliban who are demanding that they change their ant-Taliban stance. These were all duly informed to higher officials of the government and even to the chief of armed forces. However, no help was provided to the staff and the offices of the Express News.
Media rights watchdog, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said last month that Pakistan was among the world’s five deadliest countries for the media in its annual round-up of press freedom violations. During these four days the Taliban have conducted four suicide attacks and revealed that they are not afraid to do so at any location. The government’s state of confusion is evident in that it repeatedly announces that it will enter into dialogue with the terrorists but have still not initiated any talks. The government has said that it is busy formulating its security policy. For the last six months spokespersons have said that it will enter into dialogue with terrorists and religious military organisations it but it appears that they have given the Taliban a free hand to kill at will.
The government is still in the policy of appeasement and is reluctant to take action against the terrorist attacks and Taliban. On the other hand it is evident that the government welcomes the attacks as a blessing in disguise to perpetuate their undemocratic actions to curb the freedom of expression and the freedom of the media.
The apathy of the government is evidence as it has totally ignored the heroic acts of bravery by children such as Aitezaz Hassan who sacrificed himself in an effort to save his fellow school children. Now the people have no option but to sacrifice themselves in order to stop this evil.
As the government of Pakistan is least interested in curbing the violence against the citizens of the country the problems falls to the international community and the UN to provide protection to the people of Pakistan who are attacked on the one hand by the Taliban and religious extremists and on the other hand by the government and military who are supposed to be protecting them but instead, show their humbleness to the militants.
It look very much as if the Taliban will take over the country in the coming says due to the inability, seeming laziness and fear of the government.