What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Taliban in Lahore?

Well, no, not really, I think. Here's what made me ask the question, from the Daily Times.
"By Shafiq Sharif
LAHORE: Investigation into the Iqbal Town suicide blast took a new turn on Monday, when it was established that the Iqbal Town station house officer (SHO) had received threatening calls from an alleged militant a few hours before the explosion.
SHO Riaz Abbas confirmed that he had received threatening calls from the Taliban. He said that he did not file any complaint to senior policemen, but had referred to the incident in the daily diary of the police station.
A police official said that on August 13, Iqbal Town SHO Riaz Abbas was giving a lecture to his subordinates on the importance of law and order in the Iqbal Town area and the responsibilities of police officials on Independence Day when he received a threatening call on his mobile phone from a number (93-707-323394).
He said that the caller identified himself as Abdul Rehman alias Munna, a member of the Taliban, and suggested that the SHO stop investigating the Garden Town money exchange robbery case and release the accused. He said that the caller also threatened to kill the SHO and his team if the accused were not released. The caller also told the SHO that he was aware of the details and whereabouts of his (SHO’s) family."
A must-read if you're interested about the subject of petty things done in the name of the Taliban: Extortion, Mobile Phones and Fund-Raising by Ghosts of Alexander.
Although the story in this particular case is made a bit more complicated by the detail of the Afghan telephone number mentioned, the one starting with +93, not to mention the suicide bombing that apparently occurred, with someone on a motorcycle delivering the deadly payload.
Otherwise, that some people may verbally make the Taliban multiply (if that's what happened in this case), is in fact not such a rarity. I just listened to coverage on the Télé 5 and they have claimed that half of Afghanistan is under the Taliban's control. Ten French soldiers were killed today, that's why they gave attention to the country.

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