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Old 07-06-2007, 01:05 PM   #31
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Originally posted by deep

It does fit the definition for me

If one has a "fixation" on the "middle east" and therefore, mistakenly associates "radical Muslims" with that location regardless of where they were located.

That's exactly what I was trying to say upthread, but you are much more eloquent.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:40 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep


for what it's worth


It does fit the definition for me

If one has a "fixation" on the "middle east" and therefore, mistakenly associates "radical Muslims" with that location regardless of where they were located.

Very true...
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:03 PM   #33
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As bad as these events in Pakistan are,
I do not think the Government will fall.


I think Musharraf is maintaining his relationship with and tight grip on the military.

We could have a turn to "Marshall Law" with the military moving quickly and harshly to contain any serious descent.

We just won't hear much talk about Democracy.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:05 PM   #34
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and now there is this

Quote:
Gunshots Heard As Musharraf's Aircraft Was In Air

7/6/2007 6:23:25 AM Friday, gunshots were heard near a place not far away from a military air base when the official aircraft of Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf was in the air, Pakistani officials said.

However, the top army spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad denied some local news reports that a rocket fire targeted the president's plane.

A police official and two security officials speaking on conditions of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the press, said that police found two anti-aircraft guns on a rooftop near Chaklala Air Base in Rawalpindi, a garrison city near the capital, Islamabad.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:22 PM   #35
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Lets just hope that he isnt killed before the Pakistanis get a chance to vote in their new kleptocrats.

I'm serious about that. Musharraf is bad news. The folks wanting to replace him are bad news. But if the country goes up in flames before elections can happen, then God help us if the fanatics get hold of the bombs. Some say the scenario is implausible, but what do they know. 9/11 was implausible too.
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:05 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
We could have a turn to "Marshall Law" with the military moving quickly and harshly to contain any serious descent.
Granted, that could have been done much sooner in the case of Lal Masjid--though not necessarily to Musharraf's advantage, as Judah pointed out. And other parts of the political spectrum might prove easier to crack down on--though actually the leverage of the main opposition party, the PPP, is looking pretty good *at the moment*, and that's where much of the 'power-sharing' speculation is trending. But have you been following the events in Waziristan and Balochistan (which are quite relevant to the Lal Masjid standoff since most of the students, as well as the Ghazi brothers, come from that region and support the Taliban fighters there)? You really have the impression that Musharraf is capable of 'containing' that 'dissent'? I think the Chaudhry scandal was a turning point and has permanently weakened him, no matter what political tricks he still has left up his sleeve (and I don't doubt he has quite a few). He certainly could declare martial law as a last resort, but at this point, I'm doubtful whether he could 'contain' the consequences of doing so for long.
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:07 PM   #37
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Democracy in Pakistan? Dream on............
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Old 07-09-2007, 11:46 PM   #38
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Pakistani's Storm Mosque

Source: BBC

Quote:
Troops in Pakistan's city of Islamabad have stormed the Red Mosque, after talks with radicals broke down.

"It is a final push to clear the place of armed militants," said military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad.

The army said 20 militants were killed in the operation, as loud explosions and gunfire were heard.

Three soldiers were killed and 15 injured, the army said. Twenty children escaped from the mosque, where women are also being held.

Students at the Red Mosque and its attached religious schools have been defying the authorities for several months in their campaign for Sharia law in the capital.

'Tough resistance'

The military operation began at about 0400 (2300 GMT Monday).

The troops - attacking from three directions - entered the compound and exchanged fire with the militants holed up inside.

"There are 20 militants dead and 15 to 20 wounded," Gen Arshad said.

The army says it has taken over the building's roof, but is meeting "tough resistance" from militants in the basement.

Those inside the mosque are using hand grenades, light machine guns, petrol bombs and other weapons, and the army says it expects the operation will last another four hours, the BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan reports.

Ambulances are waiting nearby to help any wounded.

It is not clear exactly how many people were left inside the mosque when the assault began.

Mosque leader Abdul Rashid Ghazi earlier told Geo TV that his mother had been wounded by gunshot.

"The government is using full force. This is naked aggression. My martyrdom is certain now," Mr Ghazi said.

'Very disappointed'

The talks aimed at resolving the crisis peacefully reportedly broke down over the militants' demand for an amnesty for all inside the mosque.

The government wants to detain a number of people on a wanted list, and also a number of foreigners whom it says are inside.

"I am returning very disappointed," said former PM Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, after talks conducted by loudspeaker and mobile phone with Mr Ghazi.

"We offered him a lot, but he wasn't ready to come on our terms," said Mr Hussain.

Security forces began their siege of the mosque a week ago, not long after students there abducted seven Chinese workers they accused of running a brothel.

On Monday, three Chinese workers were killed in Peshawar in an attack said to be linked to the unrest in Islamabad.

There is speculation that Islamic militants may be targeting Chinese people in Pakistan.

Women and children

Religious affairs minister Ejaz-ul-Haq, one of the negotiators who tried to reach an agreement, has described those in charge at the mosque as "hardened terrorists".

At least 21 people have died since fighting erupted when the army surrounded the mosque last Tuesday, including an army commander shot dead inside the mosque on Sunday.

Mr ul-Haq said women and children had been locked up on two floors of the Jamia Hafsa religious school, which is attached to the mosque.

As many as five "hardcore terrorists" were inside the mosque, he added, saying that one person killed on the first day of the siege belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammad, an outlawed radical Muslim organisation which has been linked to al-Qaeda.

Mr Ghazi has denied the presence of any banned extremist groups.

He says those inside are students of his religious school and he is in charge.

He has said as many as 1,800 followers remained in the mosque, although this cannot be verified.

Earlier, Mr ul-Haq said up to 250 militants - including foreign radicals - were leading the fighting.

More than 1,000 supporters left last week under mounting pressure from security forces, although only about 20 have left since Friday.
I really appreciate Mr. Musharraf for going after this mosque and curbing the fanatacism that is trying to take place and escalate in his country. Pakistan is very important to the war in Afghanistan, but also to the war against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups as well. It is important to show that the Pakistan army is not afraid to handle these Islamic militants and show that they will take care of them if necessary.

So, hats off to Mr. Musharraf.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:14 AM   #39
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well i thought this was significant. i guess no one else feels it was. ultimately this is a win for the government of pakistan telling the islamist terrorists that reside there that the government is much stronger than they are in a nut shell.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:15 AM   #40
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well i thought this was significant. i guess no one else feels it was.
It's been like a half hour.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:23 AM   #41
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yes........and the rest of my statement says what after that.......
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:42 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by struckpx
well i thought this was significant. i guess no one else feels it was. ultimately this is a win for the government of pakistan telling the islamist terrorists that reside there that the government is much stronger than they are in a nut shell.
I thought the preceding pages of the thread made it clear that several posters, at least, have been following this story and found it worth discussing...the siege isn't over yet, though.

You aren't troubled by the fact that the government did nothing, and let the occupation of the mosque run on, for 6 months in the first place?
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:56 AM   #43
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Originally posted by yolland

I thought the preceding pages of the thread made it clear that several posters, at least, have been following this story and found it worth discussing...the siege isn't over yet, though.

You aren't troubled by the fact that the government did nothing, and let the occupation of the mosque run on, for 6 months in the first place?
Well, you must remember that it is a mosque, which is regarded as a very sensible area for the government to go near with guns and tanks, just as a church is here. They also tried negotiations, which is what a proper government should do, which takes time. I don't think the government viewed this group as a potential threat. Pakistan has an extremely good intelligence service, way better than the US's CIA, so they were quite aware of the movement operating it and its potential. Ultimately, as we saw w/ today's events, it was not very strong.

Ultimately, when the leader said the talks had failed they had had enough. I hope that there wasn't much damage done to the mosque, for that could hurt the government's image, but I applaud them for going after these radicals.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:51 AM   #44
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Muslim radicals?
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:10 PM   #45
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You'd need a pretty minimal definition of 'threat' to argue that Islamabad had no reason to see the Ghazi brothers and their students as one--granted, they weren't shooting people in the streets (yet), but since January they'd effectively been running a vigilante state-within-a-state out of Lal Masjid...forcibly occupying a children's library; ransacking and looting local stores selling 'un-Islamic' materials; abducting and 're-educating' suspected 'prostitutes,' as well as policemen who then tried to arrest the abductors; issuing a fatwa against a female tourism minister for allowing her male instructor to give her a congratulatory pat after a charity parachute jump; and repeatedly threatening to launch suicide attacks if the government tried to evict them...all of which the government turned a blind eye to. (Until, that is, they proved imprudent enough to abduct a group of Chinese nationals for their next 're-education' campaign.) In the years before, they'd forcibly resisted government attempts to enter the mosque compound and question some of its occupants concerning the London subway bombings; issued an edict that Pakistani soldiers fighting Taliban militants in Waziristan must be denied proper Muslim funerals; instigated a riot in Islamabad following the assassination of a radical Sunni leader; and been charged with masterminding terrorist attacks on government installations (which, like all other charges against them up until now, wound up being mysteriously dropped). And yes, the ISI (intelligence service) were most definitely "aware" of them, but that wouldn't have taken much competence: they went way back with the Ghazi brothers' family--their father, the first cleric of the (government-funded and managed) Lal Masjid, located just a stone's throw from all the major government buildings and long a popular gathering place for the ISI, supported the ISI back in its pre-'GWOT' days, delivering fiery sermons urging young men to join the mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan and Kashmir. (Remember, the Taliban got their start through the joint efforts of the CIA and the ISI who trained and armed them, with the Saudis supplying "matching funds," clerical and 'other' support--after all, we were doing them a favor by first baiting the Soviets into Afghanistan, then bogging them down there for 10 years, so as to keep them away from the Middle East and its oil.) Naturally, when Musharraf did his 2001 about-face and turned on the Taliban, the Ghazi brothers' relations with the ISI soured, but it's implausible to argue that they and their various 'allies' around the country retain no sympathy from any quarters of the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment.

Anyhow, as far as the siege goes, it's clearly Game Over at this point; and considering the big picture of everything that led up to it, it probably has ended about as well for Musharraf as it could have. But what will come next remains very uncertain.
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