Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pakistan's casual killers

Sunday Times:

THE grainy CCTV footage showing the escape of the Lahore killers has none of the drama of an action movie getaway, yet all the atmosphere of a Hitchcock film. Less than four minutes after blasting a tour by the Sri Lanka cricket team into carnage, the perpetrators are seen strolling calmly through the narrow back streets of Liberty market.

It is their nonchalance that is most chilling. One sequence shows a man arriving on a motorbike in a deserted street. Two others with guns slung over their shoulders mount the bike, which drives off. They look like men confident of not being caught.

Minutes earlier, at 8.40am on Tuesday, they had shocked the nation and the world by ambushing the Sri Lankan team bus, dealing a lethal blow to Pakistan’s national sport. Coming soon after a deal with militants that handed control of the one-time tourist haven of the Swat valley to the Taliban, the attack set off alarm bells from London to Washington about the potential collapse of the nuclear-armed country.


What it really shows is that Pakistan has been far to casual in dealing with these casual killers. They have looked the other way for too long at the groups of mass murderers for Allah because they thought they were more a threat to external enemies than to themselves. I don't think it is too late for Pakistan to get serious about the threat of the Islamic religious bigots, but deals like the one in Swat suggest they have not made that commitment yet.

The Independent on Sunday also discusses the dangers of Pakistan.

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