Time for the Pakistani government to stop fiddling

Heavy claims have been laid at the feet of the Pakistani government over the past few days as the Taleban have increased their hold on towns across the country. Senator Hilary Clinton described the Pakistan government as ‘abdicating to the Taleban’.

Meanwhile some officials have described that the Swat Valley peace deal between the Pakistani government and the Taleban is providing a safe haven for al-Qaeda.

And Amnesty has made it clear that the Pakistani government’s decision to look away as the Taleban seizes greater control is failing to protect the country’s people.

Fiddling as the North West Frontier Province burns,” is how Amnesty described it.

I wonder then if the amount of international pressure on the Pakistani government has contributed toward the Taleban’s recent withdrawal from Buner?

As people living in Swat Valley have already seen, life under Taleban rule brings with it severe restrictions.  The militant group has banned music, ordered men to grow beards and forced all girls seven years and older to wear burkas.  As well as that, Amnesty has received reports that they have closed down Hindu and Sikh shrines.  Many Hindus and Sikhs living in the areas have told Amnesty that they know people who have fled in fear of Taleban rule.

The Pakistani government has a duty to protect and defend the rights of the Pakistani people and leaving them at the mercy of the Taleban, is surely not the way to go.

Let’s hope that today’s retreat from Buner marks the beginning of the end of Taleban control in Pakistan

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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