Monday, February 24, 2014

Playing fields of Peshawar

If the T-emirate were to rule over eastern Afghanistan and north-western Pakistan, Peshawar would probably qualify as the capital. Right now as North Waziristan and Khyber Agencies explode in violence, the extremists remain focused. It is instructive to watch the heroes of battlefield Kashmir now targeting Iranian interests, perhaps the thinking is that battles inside Pakistan are more worthy than the battles outside. That said the Chaudhury Nisar offer must not be dismissed lightly (even though the Taliban themselves are sceptical), one must give peace a (sporting) chance.

A spokesman for militant commander Mast Gul, once acclaimed in Pakistan for his role fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, has claimed responsibility of a suicide attack at Iranian consulate in Peshawar which killed two paramilitary soldiers and wounded ten others on Monday.
“We sent a suicide bomber to target the Iranian consulate and Iranians inside the building,” the spokesman told Reuters. “They unfortunately remained safe. We will continue to target Iranian installations and the Shia community everywhere,” he added.

With talks on a sticky wicket, the interior minister said Monday that cricket could offer hope.
“I have information that the Taliban keep an interest in cricket. So if this message can go through to them, we can have a cricket match with them which can have a better result,” he told reporters in Islamabad following an exhibition game. “The Taliban follow the Pakistan cricket team with keen interest so this can be a platform.”
But speaking to AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location, Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said his group would refuse to play ball. “These secular people want to distance our youth from jihad and Islamic teachings through cricket. We are strongly against cricket and dislike it,” he said.


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