Pakistan is yet another country on the brink of God knows what. Believed to be the temporary home of Taliban insurgents who fled Afghanistan this large country as many problems. Religion just adds to Pakistan's woes.
This morning 16 people have been killed in a bomb attack. The bomb went off in a crowded market place. The target is believed to have been an office used by some of those who are opposing the Taliban.
Today's bombing was in Darra Adam Khel's, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A spokesperson for the province said,"It was a suicide attack and the target was the local peace committee."
The exact number of casualties and number of anti Taliban militia hit is not clear. Initial reports have the death toll as 16 and injured at around 30. As the incident happened in a crowded public area some are believed to have been civilians. As yet no group has claimed responsibility for this suicide attack but in this area the Taliban have launched similar attacks in the past.
It has been a turbulent week in Pakistan with a young school girl being targeted. 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai had dared to speak out. In Pakistan Women and girls are still often treat as second class or non existent citizens. Malala wanted an education. She was soon seen as inspirational voicing the concerns of others. For that she has paid a terrible price.
Malala was singled out and shot in the head. Her condition remains critical. People around the World and in Pakistan have condemned the shooting. To the Taliban it is nothing excessive which shows how far from reality they are. A reward of $US100,000 ($A97,928) has been offered for the capture of the shooter.
The latest news on Malala is that "(The) health condition of Malala continues to remain satisfactory. Her vitals are okay and she is still on ventilator," A board of doctors is continuously monitoring her condition."
Although Malala was the gunman's target two other school children were injured in the attack. Malala is being cared for at a military hospital.
Opinion: Pakistan is a country on the brink of who knows what. US drone attacks will do nothing to make the region safer. They will in fact breed more misguided terrorists. We in the West are appalled trhat Iran may soon have a nuclera arsenal yet Pakistan already has such weapons.
RIP and thoughts to Malala and her loved ones.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani no longer occupies the role of PM. Why? Has there been an election? No. PM Gilani was arrested, charged and promptly found guilty of contempt of court.
It was alleged that he had failed to pursue corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari. He was tried by the country's Supreme Court in April 2012. Found guilty initially he received a token sentence. One that was barely worth a mention.However he did not raise an appeal against that sentence and now he has been banned from resuming the office of Prime Minister. Today June 19, 2012, Gilani has been disqualified from parliament and office.
In the aftermath of the original court hearing in April Gilani refused to resign. Today a packed court room was told by
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry that, "Since no appeal was filed [against the 26 April conviction]... therefore Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani stands disqualified as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora [parliament]." He added: "He has also ceased to be the prime minister of Pakistan... the office of the prime minister stands vacant."
This must surely leave the volatile regions of Pakistan in a pickle. The judgemnet has been backdated to April 26, 2012. So are any decisions and rulings made bu Gilani since that date still binding? It would seem that they may not be.
According to the BBC, "Senior leaders of the governing Pakistan People's Party (PPP) are in emergency session with Mr Gilani and President Zardari."Currently no-one seems quite sure whether an election will follow, the government fall or what may happen. It is safe to say though that Pakistan is one place where a political power vacuum or coup would be terrible news. Local politicians are trying to resolve the issue quickly but that may not be easy.
The US have utilised unmanned drones to take out possible insurgents in Pakistan. The US may insist that these people are known insurgents but on more than one occasion civilians have been killed. With such supposedly superior intelligence reports one wonders how come these drones can end up so off target.
The latest news is that "unfriendly" nations now also have unmanned drones. This could prove troublesome for US authorities. Whilst Defense Chief Panetta many point out that the US will continue to take whatever measures necessary to protect its citizens that surely cannot be the case.
Those targeted have not been caught and tried for offences related to terrorism. They have been identified by US intelligence as potential threats and have been rapidly dispatched to the next life.
This "kill" program shockingly has the backing of US President Obama. In a war office type of room he meets with those involved in managing the drone attacks and duly signs the death warrant for people in foreign lands. He and others may say that he simply signs the authority to carry out the drone attacks but it is a kill mission. There is never any other purpose than to kill a person or persons viewed by US intelligence as a potential threat to homeland security..
Now that other countries have similar drones the US is going to find itself in a sticky position. It is getting more difficult each day for the US to expect people to behave like children and "do as I say and not as I do". US authorities are now giving some careful consideration to how they should respond should a country not allied to the US begin a drone campaign in a US friendly country.
Drones of course are used as valuable tools by countries such as the US. They provide maximum damage on the ground with minimum damage to military personnel. In real terms of course they damage the reputation of the Force deploying the Drones and help breed more terrorists. Hate fuels many things include reciprocated violence.
Apparently US personnel are now looking at how they could respond should another country start a drone campaign elsewhere. They will no doubt look at how to carefully word a propaganda statement. After all how can they berate another country for following their lead? It seems the US is well aware of this up coming problem but will carry on with its killing campaign.
As they continue to issue strong words about regimes such as that in Syria the blatant hypocrisy of the US administration is almost laughable. In truth though it is a sad reflection on that country.
So many times we have written these words " As you sow so shall you reap" with regards to US policy. Once again the situation is a joke. That is it would be if it were not so tragic and damaging.Drone information here
One year ago today, Osama Bin Laden was captured and unceremoniously killed. His death brought closure for some, especially the loved ones of the people killed in the 9/11 bombings.It is hard to think that some will have mourned Osama but of course they will. His loved ones and no doubt his followers.
The West still has large numbers of military personnel fighting in Afghanistan because of 9/11. The civilians of that country have had more than 10 years of occupation. Whilst we in the west are good at choosing to forget the man, woman and child on the streets of Afghanistan you just have to ask yourself one question. If the UK or the US had Afghan troops stationed on our streets, trying to impose their laws upon us, how would we react? Add to this rogue incidents such as US troops urinating on dead Taliban, careless handing of the Koran and 17 civilians being killed by supposedly one US solider and it not hard to guess how the people feel. Excuses just do not wash any more.
The way that Bin Laden was captured, killed and disposed of though has led the way to many conspiracy theories. Is he really dead? Did the US kill him this way to shut him up? And on it goes. Many people still believe that in some way the US authorities were involved or complicit in 9/11, and those believers will not be easily convinced otherwise.
After the death of Bin Laden this blogger tried to write some of her thoughts on his death and how it made her feel. This is what she wrote on Hubpages,
within a few weeks of his death:
"The media has been full of questions and articles about Bin Laden and his death. It seems that having wanted Bin Laden dead for such a long time many such people cannot believe the news.
Conspiracy theories abound and will probably do so for many years to come. How do I feel about Bin Laden's death? Well I am not really sure. Having seen the question though I thought I would try to understand and acknowledge my feelings on the matter, so here goes.
On that fateful day, 9/11, my husband was ill and we were home wiaiting a doctor's appointement. As the UK 24 hours news service flashed the images of the first strike we were shocked to the core.
Was it an accident? If it was why was the plane so low? If it was a terrorist attck it would not have passengers on board, right?
As we sat transfixed the day's events began to play out in real time. Initially the media showed people choosing to jump to their death rather than take thier chances in the fire. Can you blame them? It must have took great courage but to stay was to be certain death for so many.
The second plane hit leaving no doubt that it was an act of terrorism.
News began pouring of the other would be attacks and it seemed the world was on the brink of war.
People wherever you went, even in the UK, talked of little else for days. Speaking with a more informed family member I learned the name Osama Bin Laden and that he was no stranger to terrorism. These days words like the Taliban and Al Qaeda trip of the tongue easily, but then they were unfamiliar to many people, including myself.
No-one could watch the footage of that day and not be moved. In the West it brought sorrow and pain. In some parts of the East it brought jubilation, causing more hate.
Working in a hospital I encounter people from all countries on a daily basis. One thing that struck me at the time is how quickly people's perceptions can change. One trainee doctor from abroad, who wore a turban, began to be verbally abused. Not directly of course but by the coward's way of being underhand and whispering. Subtle changes.
This guy had worked with us for quite some time, was caring, good at his job, polite, friendly and fun so what had changed? He had not.
Perhaps all of this is what helped form my eventual feelings when I heard of the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Having never stood trial for the crimes he is supposed to have committed, he went to his death an innocent man. NO, I hear you say, he was guilty. However, he was never proved guilty of anything, so what else could he be?
He may have claimed responsibilty for some acts of terrorism, but that could just have been the rantings of a madman. Having never stood trial there will always be rumours and a feeling of unfinished business.
I had thought that I and others may sleep easier in our beds once Bin Laden had departed this planet, but we probably will not.
Justice was not been served but rather a lynch mob did what it felt it needed to do. You can argue the toss until you are blue in the face but to all intents and purposes that is what it was.
Terror and terroists have no place on earth but we must fight them, not murder them and break international laws to meet our ends. If we do so we are not much better than them, are we?
I know this will be emotive but remember I am answering a question and this is my personal answer.
So how did I feel.
Glad in one way but not happy nor jubilant. Wary in another way, of what might follow. Hopeful in that at last our troops may be able to return home, from places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Happy for the relatives of those who have died in these terrorist attacks, as they may now have some closure. Sorry that the US felt the need to exclude the Pakistan authorities and illegally enter another country.
The more I think about it perhaps the killing of Bin laden prompted a multitude of feelings not least, anxiety. Will the Taliban reciprocate? Will we see an increase in terrorist attacks? Who will suffer the most? Is global conflict coming?
On 13th May 2011 two suicide bombers in Pakistan killed 80 people The death toll included, mainly, raw police recruits but also a handful of citizens. The Taliban were quick to call the media and claim responsibility for the attack. It was a reprisal for the death of Osama Bin Laden.
So where do we go from here? Heaven only knows."
Eleven months on is the world a safer and better place? Is Afghanistan returning to normal life? Are our military home? Is the Middle East a better place to live, even if you are a woman? Has terrorism ended in Pakistan?President Obama has added the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden to his election campaign. It may prove a positive for him in the US. It would not for me. The nature and circumstances surrounding the death would not sit well. Nor would the ongoing drone attacks countries such as Pakistan have experienced. Yet in my heart I am an Obama fan and hope he will secure another term in the White House. He may not be perfect but he is the better option for the US and the World right now. You may disagree, as is your prerogative.As for Bin Laden he is one of many who sadly do not treasure live on this earth nor hold any liberal thoughts. Too may in the West, including some Western politicians appear not to either.Tages: Osama Bin laden, death of Bin Laden, Barack Obama, Afghanistan, Pakistan drone attacks, terrorism