Al-Qaeda, Taliban Recreating Afghanistan Inside Pakistan
Witnesses told Dawn that militants, who have been targeting women’s educational institutions for a couple of weeks, had planted an explosive device in the Government Girls’ High School, near the Kabal police station, which went off, damaging part of the two-story building and the wall of the adjacent Government Girls’ Primary School. According to local people, the wall of the Tehsil Mosque was also damaged.
The watchman of the high school had gone for Sehri when the blast took place. He said the blast shattered windowpanes of the buildings.
In different areas of Swat, there has been a surge in recent days in attacks on video and CD shops, hair-cutting salons, internet cafes and girls’ schools. On Sept 9, a missionary institution for women, the Sangota Public School, was closed for a week after it received threats from an organization called Janesaran-i-Islam, accusing the school administration of propagating Christianity and obscenity.The same organization also issued letters to a number of other schools asking students to wear burqa. It said that the English education system was against Islamic teachings and schools should abandon the system.
More background on the previous persistent threats to the Catholic-run girls school in Sangota from Compass Direct News
Extremists in Swat have conducted a campaign of Islamization in the district against all things deemed un-Islamic since early July, when a government crackdown on militants at the Lal Masjid mosque in Islamabad triggered violent reactions nationwide. “Due to continuous threatening letters from the Taliban directing female staff and students to wear burqas … the Executive District Officer has instructed [them] to comply with the orders,” the Daily Mashriq article stated. The order may affect Christians at the Catholic-run Public High School in Sangota. The all-girls school had already closed down for a week this month after being threatened with suicide attacks for supposedly converting students to Christianity.
It's not simply Chritianity and Christians under attack. Just as they did in Afghanistan in May 2001, the Taliban are now trying to blow up a Buddha statue in Pakistan, their relocated home. More here.
But in yet another attack with a Christian victim, late last week in Lahore, Pakistan, the Territorial Commander of the Salvation Army in Pakistan was murdered.
Colonel Bo Brekke (50), Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army's Pakistan Territory, was shot and killed on September 27 at the territorial headquarters compound in Lahore. The incident occurred shortly after the Norwegian born colonel had presided a meeting and returned alone in his office.
Information to date points to an individual act of criminality. There is nothing to suggest that this is related in any way to terrorism. Lahore police reported that a man has been arrested on possibly related charges.
The information suggests that he was killed alone inside his office, which could prove eventually to be a robbery-attempt that ended with murder. But until such information is known, it would not fall outside a clear Islamist effort - at least within Pakistan's FATA and North West Frontier Province - to attack, intimidate and kill non-Islamic persons and institutions.
If the Salvation Army commander's murder proves instead to be a targeted killing based on religious difference, the fact that it occurred in relatively distant Lahore and not in Pakistan's western tribal areas would demonstrate another measure of the expanded reach of al-Qaeda's insurgency within Pakistan.
At the very least, the Talibanizaiton of Pakistan continues wherever, however and whenever the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance can exert their plans of recreating the character and form of their lost Afghanistan haven.