The fight against terrorism
One of Pakistan’s most wanted terrorists is apparently dead: As the Afghan Ministry of Defense announced, Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed in a US drone attack in June 2018. Fazlullah has been pronounced dead several times. He succeeded Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in November 2013. The US had only placed a $ 5 million bounty on him in March. The wanted man was the head of the Pakistani Taliban and was among other things responsible for the assassination attempt on the later Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai in 2012. He is also said to have been involved in an attack on a school. 132 children were killed in the massacre four years ago.
In view of the strengthening of the Afghan Taliban and the terrorist militia “Islamic State”, the US has been expanding its air strikes for months, particularly in eastern Afghanistan on the border with Pakistan. Both Afghan and Pakistani extremists are hiding there. The attack occurred in Kunar province in northeast Afghanistan, the ministry said, citing the US Army. In addition to Fazlullah, other Pakistanis were killed. The US armed forces in Afghanistan have so far confirmed that there had been an air strike on a “leader of a terrorist organization” in the Afghan-Pakistani border area. No information about victims was given. The Pakistani military has not commented either. Pakistan had always claimed that Fazlullah was in Afghanistan, and the Afghan government had repeatedly denied this.
After the massacre in the renowned Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, in which more than 140 people, including teachers and more than 130 young people, were shot in cold blood by Taliban suicide bombers, Pakistan found itself in a state between grief and fear, and anger. Citizens in many cities in Pakistan expressed their feelings through protests and vigils. In the course of this terrible national tragedy, Imran Khan broke off his more than four months ‘dharnas’, sit-in blocks and demonstrations against the current government in Islamabad, in order to maintain and strengthen ‘national unity’ in this very difficult situation for Pakistan.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban publicly confessed to this cruel act of violence and declared it to be an act of revenge for the military operation “Zarb-e-Azb” in the tribal areas, which has been intensified since June 2014. Since then, the spiral of violence and revenge has turned incessantly. After the school massacre, the military stepped up its crackdown on the Taliban in the tribal areas. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also ended a 2008 suspension of the death penalty for terrorists. According to the government, 500 more death sentences are expected to be carried out in the foreseeable future. National and international human rights groups sharply criticize the implementation of the death penalty.
In response to this national tragedy, all political parties have agreed on a “20-Point National Action Plan” to combat terrorism. Among other things, this anti-terrorism plan includes the establishment of military courts to deal with terrorism cases more quickly. In 1999, the Pakistani Federal Court of Justice ruled that military courts were illegal and unconstitutional. In order to avoid this dilemma, the political forces decided to adapt the constitution. The 20-point action plan also includes the fight against the “Punjabi Taliban”, a phenomenon that has been neglected up to now and which has focused the fight against terrorism on the tribal areas. Analysts see a root of terrorism in Pakistan in the extremist madressah networks in Punjab.
Politics is a family matter in Pakistan
According to ehistorylib, the brotherthe deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is to become president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Senator Sardar Yapoob Khan Nasir has been the interim president of the party since August 25, 2017. He was deployed on the instructions of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Several prominent party members had spoken out in favor of Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of the ex-prime minister. Shahbaz Sharif was seen as a candidate for the post of prime minister, but plans changed when a number of politicians opposed it because they feared “unnecessarily disrupting the current political set-up”. The fact is that Shahbaz Sharif was not a member of the National Assembly, so he was not an immediate candidate for the post of Prime Minister. In Abbasi’s interim period, Shahbaz Sharif should be elected to the National Assembly and thus qualify. After Abbasi’s election, however, Nawaz Sharif made the decision that his brother Shabaz should remain in Punjab and Abbasi should hold the office of prime minister until the next election in June 2018. The party leadership had expressed concern about Sharif’s plans, because Shabaz Sharif’s departure from Lahore would have created a power vacuum in the most populous province, where the party has a broad electoral base. 183 out of a total of 342 seats in the National Assembly are held by representatives from the Punjab – the province thus plays a decisive role in shaping the politics and future of Pakistan.
Critics condemned the power games of the Sharif family and the PML-N as dynastic and undemocratic. Opposition leader Imran Khan called politics “a form of monarchy”. His party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI), took to the streets to force an investigation into Sharif affairs. The deposition of the Prime Minister was celebrated by the PTI and its supporters.
The government will retrospectively honor the physicist and Nobel Prize winner Abdus Salam
Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad will name its National Center for Physics after the late physicist Abdus Salam, who was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize for Theoretical Physics. An international scholarship program for physicists is also to be named after Abdus Salam. This decision surprised national and international observers, because the physicist was not particularly recognized by previous governments, despite his achievements for Pakistan’s nuclear program. One of the alleged reasons could be traced back to his affiliation with the Ahmadiya denomination.
The Ahmadiya is not recognized by Orthodox Muslims and is even considered heretical. Pakistan’s constitution in 1974 declared the Ahmadiya community to be “non-Muslim”; In 1984 the practice of the faith was extremely restricted by further laws. Members of the Ahmadiya community face jail sentences if they designate their place of worship as a mosque or if they participate in general Muslim practices. The tombstone of Abdus Salam was desecrated and the reference to his Muslim faith made illegible.
Speakers of the Ahmadiya community praised this posthumous recognition, which has an indirect effect on the Ahmadiya community. Orthodox Sunni Muslims criticized the decision against it; Abdus Salam had left his homeland in protest against the anti-Ahmadiya policy, and honoring him sends the wrong message.