They are upset about bin Laden’s death. We blame the Pakistani military for enabling his stay in Pakistan, and they apparently blame the military for outing him.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Friday for suicide attacks on a military training facility in the nation’s northwest, saying they were in retaliation for the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden.
The twin suicide bombings killed at least 80 people, nearly all of them military recruits who had just completed their training, said Bashir Ahmad Bilour, a senior provincial minister. About 140 others were injured.
“Pakistani and the U.S. forces should be ready for more attacks,” said Ihsan Ullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, who accused the Pakistani military of telling the United States where bin Laden was.
“Osama was our great leader and the killers of Osama will have to pay its price,” he said.
Three of Osama bin Laden’s widows have been interviewed by U.S. intelligence officers under the supervision of Pakistani’s intelligence service, according to sources in both governments.
The women — who were all interviewed together this week — were “hostile” toward the Americans, according to a senior Pakistani government official with direct knowledge of the post-bin Laden investigation and two senior U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the matter. The eldest of the three widows spoke for the group.
Members of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence were in the room along with the U.S. intelligence officers, the officials said. The Americans had wanted to question the women separately to figure out inconsistencies in their stories.
Let’s all take a moment this morning to thank our Creator. We were not born in Pakistan, and what a gift that is. If we are female, we need to spend a bit longer thanking the Lord that we were not born female in Pakistan.
As the death of Osama bin Laden reverberates around the world, the root causes of extremism are apparently largely being ignored.
But the goals that need to be achieved in Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to turn people away from the lure of al Qaeda extremism will take time.
“The U.S. presence is acting as a rallying cry for these people,” said political analyst Aasiya Riaz. “You’ll talk to many people who say things will not change in the region until the United States picks up and leaves.”
Riaz, a member of the Pakistan Institute for Political Development and Transparency — an Islamabad-based think tank — said violent jihad has also been injected into this region’s culture and is viewed as an effective strategy against oppression.
Ironically, it was the U.S. that paid for and supported extremist militants during the 1980s Afghan jihad against the Soviet invasion.
The U.S. now rejects those extremists, but many suspect Pakistan’s spy agencies still maintain links to Islamist militants and plan to use those links to hold sway in Afghanistan once U.S. troops pull out.
Pakistan denies this, but skeptics say Islamabad’s deeds do not match its words.
Tahira Abdullah, a human rights activist in Islamabad, said extremist ideology in Pakistan and Afghanistan is made possible by the crushing poverty, and governments which have failed to provide the most basic human needs, like shelter, security and a basic education.
“It’s the lack of democracy,” Abdullah said. “It’s the lack of development. It’s the lack of opportunities.”
Studies by the United Nations’ aid agencies show nearly half of the adult population in Pakistan is illiterate and earns less than $2 a day.
Terrorism experts and sociologists have long rejected poverty and bad governance as the sole prerequisites to religious extremism.
They cite countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh as examples of developing Muslim countries that are not facing widespread religious extremism.
So what makes Pakistan and Afghanistan different?
Analysts say in Pakistan and Afghanistan there is also the powerful perception that the U.S. is waging war with Islam. The perception is intensified by almost 10 years of U.S.-led military occupation in Afghanistan, where thousands of civilians — who had little to do with al Qaeda or the Taliban — have been killed.
Yadda, yadda, yadda.