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Old 12-25-2003, 08:52 PM   #1
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Pakistan President Survives Again

Well....this is the second attempt on his life in two weeks....



If he goes....who gets their fingers on the bomb?
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Old 12-25-2003, 08:56 PM   #2
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Damn. This is scary. Who gets the government?
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Old 12-25-2003, 08:56 PM   #3
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this to me is the single scariest situation in the world today... forget iraq, saddam, palestine, mad cow, the flu, joe namath... this is huge, and it's always a side story on all the big 3 news channels...

if musharaf gets assasinated, and a radical islamic element takes control of the country... God help us all. that's just what we need... a taliban-like situation in a nuclear power.
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:29 PM   #4
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I am increasingly troubled by the total lack of press this situation has been getting. If I am not mistaken, while it is the second attempt in the past two weeks....but I believe there have been a few others in the past year as well....at least one other.
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:36 PM   #5
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[Q]14 die in suicide attempt on Musharraf
By Anwar Iqbal
UPI South Asian Affairs Analyst
Published 12/25/2003 1:37 PM
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Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf survived a second assassination attempt in less than two weeks Thursday, but 14 people, including two suicide bombers, were killed in the attack.

The latest attempt on Musharraf's life was the second in 11 days and third major attack since April 2002. He also has survived several minor attempts to kill him.

More than 40 people were injured in Thursday's attacks. The windscreen of Pakistan's military ruler's car was also damaged.

In an interview to the official Pakistan Television, Musharraf described the attack.

"I was returning home after attending a meeting in Islamabad when two suicide bombers attacked our motorcade near the place where the first attempt on my life was made (on Dec. 14)," he said. "First a car, with suicide bombers, rammed into the motorcade and exploded. When moved a little ahead, another car, also with suicide bombers, attacked the motorcade. Both cards exploded on impact.

"A lot of debris fell on us but by the grace of God I am unhurt. I am really sad that 14 innocent lives have been lost and 40 people have been injured. They lost their lives because of me, I was the target, and so our government will look after their families."

Musharraf refused to speculate who the attackers might have been.

"They were terrorist, extremists and misguided people. I do not want to pinpoint anyone," he said. "I will only say that these are misguided people who are giving a bad name not just to Pakistan but also to our religion Islam and are harming the ummah (the international Muslim community)."

Islamist fundamentalists believed to be linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network have in the past called Musharraf a traitor for siding with the United States in its war on terrorism.

The Pakistani president refused to classify the attack as a lapse in security.

Some people, he said, were calling it "a major security lapse but I do not necessarily agree with them. It is not easy to check suicide attackers. These people are like mobile bombs. They move from place to place.

"I am fully satisfied with my security guards. They are risking their lives to protect me. They are loyal to me. I cannot ever imagine that they would be involved."

Musharraf also had a message for the leaders of seven South Asian nations, including neighbor and rival India, who are scheduled to meet in Islamabad Jan. 4-6.

"This is not general terrorism or general bombing. It is specific and targeted bombing," he said. "I am the target. I may be at risk and the people traveling with me. There's no risk to our guests."

Musharraf also read out a message to his nation, pledging to carry out the war against terrorism.

"We will press ahead in our war against terrorism," he said. "Such cowardly attacks cannot deter us."

Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who chaired an emergency meeting of the federal Cabinet after the attack, also expressed the resolve to "carry out the fight against terrorism."

"We are solidly behind the president," he said. "We cannot surrender to these terrorists."

Musharraf was returning home to Rawalpindi, a city adjacent to the Pakistani capital Islamabad, when attacked. The previous attempt was also made on this route.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Pakistani military officials said they believed al-Qaida, the group believed for the Sept. 11, 2001, attack in the United States, was behind it.

"The president is fine and attended a dinner he hosted for the delegates of a science conference he held in Islamabad," Information Secretary Anwar Mahmud. "He later also recorded a message for Pakistan Television,"

Mahmud said the two attackers were killed as they rammed their explosives-packed cars into the presidential motorcade. The other victims were civilians and a policeman, he said.

In a statement read on television, Information Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed said the attackers were waiting for the presidential motorcade at two gas stations in Rawalpindi.

"As the motorcade reached a gas station in Rawalpindi's Civil Lines area, one car drove straight into it from the front, blowing up on impact," he said. "A little later, as the motorcade sped away from the first gas station, another car drove into it from another nearby gas station, also blowing up on impact."

"Fortunately, nobody in the presidential entourage was hit."

Military officials told journalists in Islamabad they believed al-Qaida was involved because of the method used. He said terrorist groups trained and raised in the Middle East are known for using explosive-filled cars in suicide attempts.

"Pakistani groups have never used such methods," said Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, the chief military spokesman for the Musharraf government.

Military officials reminded journalists that recently al-Qaida's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri had issued two messages in which he named Musharraf "an enemy" and urged his followers to "remove him."

Thursday's attack came a day after Musharraf's decision to step down as armed forces chief next year. The move could end a bitter row with Islamists and hasten Pakistan's return to the Commonwealth.

Musharraf announced Wednesday he would quit as military chief by December next year and seek a vote of confidence on his presidency, in order to end a bitter constitutional crisis.

Political commentators said Musharraf had many enemies.

"There is a lot of resentment against him," said Rasheed Khalid, who teaches politics at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University. "There are al-Qaida operatives, the Taliban, who say he betrayed them after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States when he joined the U.S.-led war against terror."

Political commentator Nasir Zaidi said Kashmiri militants, fighting for independence from India, also had reasons to target Musharraf.

"They are upset because he banned several Kashmir groups under U.S. pressure and now media reports suggest that Musharraf may try to settled the Kashmir dispute with India during the South Asian summit," Zaidi said.

India Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is also attending the summit and media reports in Pakistan have suggested that Musharraf wants to settle the 56-year old dispute, which has caused thousands of lives, in a possible meeting with Vajpayee.

Kashmiri militants are particularly upset with an offer Musharraf made to India last week, offering to give up Pakistan's demand for a plebiscite in Kashmir in return for peace.

Musharraf, the army chief who assumed power in an October 1999 coup, declared himself president 21 months later. This week he made an arrangement with opposition Islamic parties that will allow him to rule the country till 2007.

He infuriated Islamic groups by abandoning the Taliban in favor of the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks.

He not only reversed Islamabad's long support of Afghanistan's then-rulers, he allowed U.S. forces to use Pakistani intelligence, air corridors and air bases for their operation against the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Musharraf has compounded the resentment against him by seeking to curb extremism. He has outlawed 13 militant Islamic organizations since August 2001. [/Q]
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:36 PM   #6
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Well, Musharraf is partly to blame. After all, he was/is the despot who overthrew Pakistan's elected government; a country that, not too long ago, had a female prime minister even.

Does he really have control over his country? His people clearly don't like him, and you constantly read stories about Taliban and Al-Qaeda figures going into Pakistan from Afghanistan. Sooner or later, trouble is going to hit.

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Old 12-25-2003, 10:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
this to me is the single scariest situation in the world today... forget iraq, saddam, palestine, mad cow, the flu, joe namath... this is huge, and it's always a side story on all the big 3 news channels...

if musharaf gets assasinated, and a radical islamic element takes control of the country... God help us all. that's just what we need... a taliban-like situation in a nuclear power.

I agree. Pakistan scares the out of me. You're right, melon, musharaf is, in fact, part of the problem since he grabbed power, and he's pissed alot of people off. This is a nightmarish situation.
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Old 12-25-2003, 11:18 PM   #8
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What's really scary is that all the terrorists needed was probably two more explosive-laden cars and they would have been sucessful.

Supposedly, the nukes are safe if he's killed. This statement from a ruler who has no control over a large portion of his own country.
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Old 12-25-2003, 11:44 PM   #9
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Pakistan is a mess and a terrorist haven. It is a match just waiting to be lit.
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Old 12-26-2003, 05:42 PM   #10
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Pakistan is going to be the next Afghanistan.
Damn.
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Old 12-29-2003, 05:41 AM   #11
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I agree 100% with Headache & anitram.
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:25 PM   #12
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What is the problem ? This was already a issue 2 years ago when we asked Pakistan for help to change Afghanistan.
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Old 12-29-2003, 07:46 PM   #13
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What is the problem ? This was already a issue 2 years ago when we asked Pakistan for help to change Afghanistan.
Right before 9/11, Pakistan was one of three countries that recognized the Taliban government of Afghanistan, along with Saudi Arabia and........I forget the other one. After the attacks they pulled the plug on support of the Taliban. The problem is that the Taliban is still powerful in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. If Musharaf gets ousted, they take over Pakistan's n-bomb program, send every boy to a Wahhabist (fundamentalist) madrassa (school of religion), kick all of the girls out of schools and keep women out of schools, workplaces and universities.......this would suck big time.
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Old 12-29-2003, 09:27 PM   #14
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[Q]Op-ed: Fighting a mindset, not just terrorism —Ejaz Haider

Musharraf’s job is much tougher than he thinks. Until he began to change the thrust of Pakistan’s traditional national security policies, the principal contradiction was between the army and the civil society. Given the threat to his life not just from the outside but from the inside, he must realise that the principal contradiction has shifted

It is good to see General Pervez Musharraf standing firm and unruffled despite two attacks on his life within a span of eleven days. This shows the man has both courage and panache. But the issue has more to it than Musharraf’s physical courage. Given the eccentricity of the situation, Musharraf’s fall could mean major trouble for Pakistan.

Some things are obvious, including the strong possibility of an inside track in the last two attempts. Someone desperately wants to remove Musharraf from the scene and make space for elements that are very unhappy with three broad policy strands pushed by him: the about-face on Afghanistan (Musharraf’s decision to ditch the Taliban and ally Pakistan with the US effort against Al Qaeda); the peace overtures towards India (seen as a sell-out and Pakistan buckling under US-Indian pressure); finally, the damage-control measures following charges of proliferation of nuclear-weapons technology (the decision to sideline some top scientists and interrogate them is being seen in some quarters as compromising Pakistan’s nuclear security).

What binds the three strands is the string of ideology based on the notion of civilisational clash. General Musharraf has committed apostasy by leaving the Muslim brethren in the lurch and joining hands with the ‘infidel’. The slogan, ‘Pakistan-first’, does not jibe with the concept of the ummah, which looks at the state as a secondary entity. What is important are religio-ideological ties that bind the Muslims worldwide, not territorial states. The ummah is an ahistorical concept; so is the effort to purge Islam of the historical accretions (bida’) and restore it to its pristine glory and purity. It is impossible to disprove the ummah thesis on the basis of historical evidence since the concept is not situated in history.

Lurking just below the surface, Islam has always had an anarchic streak, legitimised on the basis of Amr and Nahi. Al-Ghazali tried to shift the responsibility for Amr and Nahi to the state. He argued, sensibly, that the practice of Amr and Nahi at the private level could create chaos: hence it must be the preserve of the state. But here one runs into another problem. What is the nature of the state in Islam? Does the state enjoy innate sovereignty or merely surrogates for God’s Sovereignty (Hakmiyat-e Illahiya)? If the state is not endogenously sovereign, as Islamic literature maintains, then there is a problem. What happens if a group decides that the state is not Islamic enough; or that it is seen to be militating against the interests of Islam and the Muslims? If the state loses its legitimacy as the true surrogate of Allah, the responsibility vested in it for that reason — derived rather than innate — would pass on to the individual or a group.

Of course, historically, the Muslim states have acted no differently than ‘secular’ states. This is clear from Caliph Ali’s campaigns as also the way the prophet’s (pbuh) grandson was treated (a great treatise on this and related topics is Maulana Maududi’s Khilafat ‘o Malukiat). But the idea has its conceptual roots in the way the state is juridically constituted and the manner in which Amr and Nahi are centrally placed in the life of a Muslim society.

The two concepts in tandem have proved extremely problematic in reconciling with the concept of a modern state. Internally, democracy is incompatible with an Islamic state in the presence of these two concepts — the state has to be conceived in ahistorical terms, based on eternal principles, rather than as an evolving entity. As Vali Reza Nasr wrote about Maududi’s concept of the state: “The state [is] neither democratic nor authoritarian, for it [has] no need to govern in the Western sense of the term... In a polity in which there [are] no grievances and both the government and the citizenry [abide] by the same infallible and inviolable divine law, there [can] be no problems with the democratic rights and procedures.” In other words, given the same frame of reference on both sides — state and society — defined in terms of divine law, neither would have reason to be in conflict since “Concern for that kind of government [can only be] generated by crises of governability and legitimacy.” [Nasr, “Mawdudi and the Making of Islamic Revivalism,” p-85]

Historically, such harmony has never existed in the world of Islam at any time, which has seen many dissenting or, as in the present case, millenarian movements. But the issue keeps recrudescing. This is why it is important for Musharraf to take the threat to his life very seriously. While no group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Al Qaeda signature is fairly obvious. But it is important to define Al Qaeda. The Al Qaeda inner core, the Bin Laden loyalists and confidants, may have been badly damaged because of the killing and capture of many of the group’s top leaders, but its two outer rings remain largely intact. The circle just outside the inner core comprises myriad groups inside Pakistan and across the Muslim world; most of their activists have had experience of fighting in Afghanistan and their ability to network has greatly increased over the years. There is evidence that the Al Qaeda inner core is sub-contracting operations to local groups. The outermost circle involves all those Muslims who sympathise with Bin Laden’s mission, one way or another, are anti-American, and look at the ongoing war as a war on Islam, a modern crusade. While the majority in this circle is unlikely to have the physical courage to actually commit acts of terror, many can be useful in terms of facilitating and financing operations conducted by the middle circle.

But more than this, it is the growing numbers in the outermost circle that could, potentially, turn the tide whenever Muslim societies open up enough to embrace democracy. At that point they are likely to impact the ballot in ways harmful to the spirit of democracy as reflected in constitutional liberalism. The bigger success of Al Qaeda would be to make effective use of — by creating propitious conditions — the increasing numbers of such ideologically motivated people. It will have morphed into a movement.

Musharraf’s job is much tougher than he thinks. Until he began to change the thrust of Pakistan’s traditional national security policies, the principal contradiction was between the army and the civil society. Given the threat to his life not just from the outside but from the inside, he must realise that the principal contradiction has shifted from civil-military to the liberal-reactionary divide. The liberal elements within the army and in the civil society will now have a face-off with the reactionary elements within the army and the civil society.

At a minimum, this calls for a review of Musharraf’s domestic political policies and alignments and the military’s role in politics. Musharraf has shown himself to be a brilliant tactician; he now has to deliver as a strategist.

Ejaz Haider is News Editor of The Friday Times and Foreign Editor of Daily Times
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Old 12-29-2003, 09:49 PM   #15
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The Turks busted in the Istanbul bombing case admitted being being members of Al-Qaeda trained in Afghanistan near Kabul. It is claimed by the Turkish government that at least three Al Qaeda big shots are still at large in Turkey although they also think the Istanbul cell is pretty much shot. The guy they busted talked to bin Laden twice in 2002, according to a report in the Turkish Daily News. I still happen to think this situation is very dangerous--not really in Turkey, which is a secular state, but definitely in Pakistan, where there is a strong fundamentalist presence and support from the people for the Taliban.
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