Lahore

In Pakistan, and Afghanistan, the struggle for gender equality is the campaign against totalitarianism.

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Earlier today, officials in Pakistan announced that a U.S. drone strike had killed Badar Mansoor, one of the highest-ranking al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan. Mansoor, who allegedly organized several suicide attacks, as well as an assault in Lahore that killed nearly 100 people in 2010, joins the ranks of other high-profile militants, such as Anwar al-Awlaki and Ilyas Kashmiri, who have been killed by drones.

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Hero or Zero?

Pakistan’s democratic institutions—a president, a parliament, a prickly judiciary—generally struggle for recognition and relevance. But not at the moment. The country recently saw three major campaign rallies just days apart. (Elections are slated for 2013, though they could be moved up.) First, Shahbaz Sharif—the chief minister of Punjab and brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif—led his party, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), in an impassioned rally.

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I wish it would be historically possible—that is, historically honest—for Israel to be omitted from the long list of target countries that have been the victims of terrorism. Alas, it is not. But President Obama has a habit of making such lists, and he always fails to include Israel (or anyplace within its borders) as a target of this distinctive and most vicious form of warfare.  Still, the fact is that, as early as the 1970s, Palestinian liberationists had begun to perfect the careful tactics of random battle against Israelis. If not precisely Israelis, then some other Jews. Why not?

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This is about the etiology of the "bombings at (the) Pakistani shrine." Apparently no-one in the Obama administration can stand the thought that the killers are Muslims motivated by Islam.  That's the president's view and, as I wrote last week, also the view of his attorney general Eric Holder. No, this editorial in the Boston Globe is not actually a guest article by Holder. But it might as well have been. At Root Is Fanaticism, Not Islam THE SUICIDE bombings at a Sufi Muslim shrine Thursday in the Pakistani city of Lahore, which killed at least 42 people and injured dozens more, hold a useful

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It was a suicide attack by three killers, one a 15-year-old boy. Staged at the shrine of a Sufi saint in Lahore, the explosions were specially engineered to wreak the greatest havoc to life. According to Asia News, “investigators believe the explosives contained metal balls and shrapnel for a more violent impact.” June was the first month in two years without such extravagant explosions. On May 29, however, 93 people were killed in a double attack, also in Lahore, on the minority Ahmadiyya mosque, place of worship of another heresy. Who considers these folks heretics?

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This was in Baghdad. I am sure that it does not please Allah. Yet it goes on without hesitation. Of course, it pleases his servants. Also yesterday, but in one of the busiest markets in Lahore, Pakistan, two bombs, 54 murdered, at least 150 maimed. And don't think these are just occasional skirmishes. News from another front, this time east Asia: An article by Duncan McCargo, alas, also yesterday, in the Beirut Daily Star: "Thailand's Muslim separatists wage a much ignored war." Keep your eye on the ball, which, of course, is Palestine.

From Bloomberg: “Al-Qaeda has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002,” Clinton told a group of editors in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore. “I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to. Maybe that’s the case; maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know.” That seems like a pretty obvious statement of fact, but I'm surprised Clinton made it in public given the Pakistanis' sensitivities. After all, this is a country where the announcement of a $7.5 billion U.S. aid package actually set off anti-American protests.

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A bit of unexpected good news from Pakistan, and a step which could prevent new holdups for a stalled-out U.S. foreign aid bill: ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A two-member panel of the Lahore High Court ruled Wednesday to reinstate travel restrictions on Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist who has confessed to running the world’s largest nuclear proliferation network. The restrictions on Mr. Khan, who is widely revered in Pakistan as the founder of the country’s nuclear program, had been lifted in a ruling on Friday. The federal government appealed.

Counterfactuals are the inventions of logic or misery. The interest in an altered world is not born of contentment. But when the imagined improvement turns out also to be real—well, here is the most unlikely true story about Jews in modernity that I ever heard. It was told to me many years ago by a Jew, an American judge, who grew up in the Jewish community of Goa, in India. It happened during the partition riots in 1947. He related that rampaging gangs sometimes broke into his family’s house, armed with pistols and axes and torches, and of course with anger.

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