Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Talibanization of Pakistan's biggest city

Pro Taliban marchers in Karachi - back in 2001
It's worse now.

This is how the Taliban do it, how they move into an area, subdue the local populace and then take over.
The conflict has chased them out of the tribal region and they are landing in major Pakistan cities, like Karachi. And...

If Karachi is being ‘Talibanized,’ Pakistan is in real trouble, and so is everyone else.

In the back of a jeep driving through Karachi, a sign on the wall of the city’s famous "Village Restaurant" caught my eye. It was just a little piece of frayed white paper plastered next to the restaurant’s much bigger logo, tempting customers to "Experience the Exotic of Traditional Dining."

But the printed sign expressed an increasingly urgent plea in this teeming port city, once Pakistan’s capital: "Save your city from Talibanization," it said in English.

But could the Taliban really be taking over Karachi? Karachi is Pakistan’s biggest city, far from the lawless tribal hinterland along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Out there, Taliban and al-Qaida militants have carved out an independent state. In the mountains, militants have their own courts and even issue licenses to local business. Last week in the tribal area, the Taliban publicly executed a group accused of murders. In another village square, they flogged several butchers for allegedly selling the meat of sick animals.

That is Taliban justice.

Read it all.