The Taliban’s Massacre of Innocents in Pakistan

The Pakistani Taliban’s attack on a Peshawar school should prompt the country to reconsider its approach to the insurgency that is threatening its survival.

Comments: 196

  1. Hopefully, this tragedy targeted specifically at the children of the Pakistan military will be a galvanizing moment for the Pakistan leadership. This is certainly a revenge attack for the pivot of Pakistan from support for terrorist organizations on the Afghan border to attacks on their leadership and bases.

    Changing the Pakistan government attitude toward groups like the Haqqani terrorist organization is key to the future of Afghanistan. Ending double dealing will be a very positive step for both countries and their relationship with the greater world.

  2. There is not a single instance in Pakistan's sordid (and mercifully short) history of people coming together to do the right thing; they have, nevertheless, come together to do all the wrong things (declare wars, exploit the poor, criminalize being a woman, or a non-Muslim, test nukes, call for Sharia law).

    All sociopaths are surrounded by well meaning, optimistic people. Good on you.

  3. Yes, this incident will do for Pakistan's government what Sandy Hook did for ours: nothing.

  4. When evil meets evil, innocents die.

    The Pakistani military made deals with the devil, now their children are paying for it.
    The U.S. helped the Taliban become an armed force to get the Russians out of Pakistan, and created a far more dangerous opponent.

    The last time I made this remark, someone criticized me, they claimed the Russians were worse. Our anti communist phobia, resulted in Afghanistan being taken over by the Taliban, and the creation of Al Qaeda. The Russians wanted domination over a country, but could be made to bargain with. The Taliban will not make bargains they have to keep.

    They will have to be wiped out.

  5. Not getting feedback, did not have the box checked, so this will let me find my comment again.

  6. I think u meant to say that the U.S. helped Taliban become an armed force to get the Russians out of Afghanistan.

  7. It's always the fault of the United States, isn't it? Perhaps religion had something to do with this. Or lack of social freedoms. An oppressive culture. Why do we always have to blame ourselves for the ills of the world? We live in an exceptional country, with its own faults and mistakes, but, jeez, let us be grateful we live in our own creation, one of the most accepting cultures on the planet.

  8. A long succession of American administrations has been doing business with a long succession of Pakistani dictatorships and feckless elected governments whose leaders can't control their armies, their secret service or their lunatic jihadists. We keep convincing ourselves that we can't do without these people either because of Afghanistan or Iran or India. In point of fact every problem we've had in Southwest Asia has been enabled or inflamed by our "friends" in Pakistan. They need us a good deal more than we need them and it's high time we cut them loose.

  9. "feckless elected governments whose leaders can't control their armies, their secret service or their lunatic jihadists."

    Let's not forget that they cannot control themselves, either.

  10. Stu
    Cutting them lose is not the answer, It is time we tell our allies to not fund these terroristic activities of the Nawaz Government. You do know that Nawaz Sharif is known in Saudi Arabia as their man in Pakistan. If you go in depth it is a very dangerous situation in the offing specially after a Nuclear deal with Iran. It is necessary that we work with other political parties and have a plan 'B' for any eventuality.
    BTW in the last 67 years of Pakistan's existence they have made progress only under military rule - politicians who have been elected are always too busy collecting thier share and depositing in Western Banks for safekeeping. Most of them have no desire to live or work their forget about doing anything for Pakistan.

  11. "its high time we cut them loose" ... you may be right, but if we cut them loose, where will they go? Its a simple answer, but it might have frightening consequences.

  12. This latest horror ought to cause the government and army of Pakistan to reconsider their methods.

    However, American methods have failed everywhere they have been tried, except the Sunni Awakening which coopted and is exactly opposite of what this urges on Pakistan.

    Pakistan, if it draws lessons, would draw the lesson that the American way does not work and has led to this disaster.

    Furthermore, India IS the mortal enemy of Pakistan. The insurgency is a problem too, but that does not change the nature of relations with India. That is inconvenient to the US, but reality does not change to accomodate the convenience of the US.

    This editorial denies all reality, and calls for them to do more of what hasn't worked.

    Certainly, many prior disasters ought to have led them to do something every different, and this one again, but not what this recommends.

  13. In what way is India the mortal enemy of Pakistan? Every war fought between India and Pakistan has been initiated by Pakistan. It is Pakistan who sponsors terrorists in Kashmir and other parts of India; India doesn't have any such program or nefarious intent towards Pakistan. If the Pakistan Army and ISI stopped funding terrorism and Islamic extremism, and stopped being paranoid (one can dream!), the two countries would rapidly reach a state of peace. Your positing of a moral equivalence between the two countries is absurd, and is probably the result of ignorance; I doubt you know anything about the history and geopolitics of South Asia beyond the soundbites you hear in the mainstream media.

  14. " ... India IS the mortal enemy of Pakistan" ... says someone from "Clawson, WI". Do you have any idea of what you are saying or why your empty assertions are even remotely plausible?

    Commenting is cheap; understanding and offering a thoughtful response is not.

  15. Can you please explain why India IS mortal enemy of Pakistan? Even after India suffering 11/26? Any reasonable rationale here?

  16. To think the problem of both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban was, largely, the work of an American Commander in Chief who was a guy cheerleader, who dodged going to war himself.
    And it ain't Boy George Bush.
    Nope, it was republican saint Reagan, Eureka College guy cheerleader, WW II dodger, playing the tough guy. It was Hollywood Ronnie who armed the Afghan fundamentalists who changed the team name to Taliban. It was Reagan who invited the Saudi's into Afghanistan, where they promptly built the Wahabbi madrasas that indoctrinated the death worshippers on fundamentalist, eternal, jihad.
    Andover prep school guy cheerleader, Viet Nam dodger, Boy George just made everything worse, first by allowing bin Laden and the AQ leadership to saunter, unmolested out of Tora Bora, then leading The Charge of The Fools Brigade into Iraq. Promptly giving AQ another battlefield and another crusade to fight.
    Running for office a fifth time, Cranbrook prep school guy cheerleader, Viet Nam dodger Willard Mitty has promised his own unrelenting jihad against Iran.

  17. You know there is nothing wrong with guys being cheerleaders, right?

  18. It's far too simplistic to attribute these major problems to one person. If Reagan had responsibility, he had the Pentagon, and wealthy industrialists, and compliant congressmen pushing him along. And who elected those congressmen?

  19. BG,
    Of course nothing wrong with guys being cheerleaders.
    But, add war dodging coward, playing tough guy with the lives of other people's children, this Viet Nam veteran, a volunteer, objects to.

  20. The Pakistani government seriously needs to get its head out of its you-know-where, sign a peace treaty with India and start normalised relations, and then focus its military on the REAL enemy - the extremist cancers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda that are eating the country from within. And cancers they are, basing their actions on their own interpretations of the Koran - that you can make an agreement with infidels but do not have to adhere to it, and can keep waging violent jihad against them. To these people, an 'infidel' is ANYONE who disagrees with them in ANY way - and that includes millions of innocent fellow Muslims, who've made up the vast majority of their victims. What good is an army that doesn't even seem to recognise the enemy, let alone protect its nation's own citizens from it?

  21. The Pakistani Army needs to take the fight to the Taliban.

    Sitting at their desks has not be a viable military tactic.

    Time to man up, Islamabad!

  22. I recall the column in the Times a few weeks ago by a Pakastani commentator complaining about the depiction of Pakistan and Pakastani life on the TV show Homeland and how it is an unrealistic portrayal her country.
    The barbarism shown by these terrorists completely eclipses anything shown on that show and the two-faced depiction of the Pakastan government on the show is nothing compared to reality.

    I would love to see Bina Shah's commentary regarding this attack and her explanation as to how Hollywood and by extension the US public misunderstands her country. Please let us know.

  23. How appalling that a religion that produced a Rumi could also bring forth the Taliban who destroyed centuries old Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. They have become demented and fearful that the West may use its science and reason to overthrow their God and prophets. Has anyone seen Zeus making an appearance lately? While despising their disgusting and barbarous slaying of innocent children, Pakistan's leaders must deal with the root cause. That is the fear of losing their beliefs. Arthur C. Clarke explored this notion in his "Childhood' s End."

  24. There is more truth in a work of fiction than all the newspapers in the world combined.

  25. Thanks for sharing what you think Pakistan should do. From your mouth to His ears.

    My tears, and your words will amount to not a white for here is what Pakistan will do:

    First, the perpetrators will be identified as foreigners, first implicitly and then explicitly tied to the CIA. It is not Pakistan's fault, you see. It was India, Israel, CIA and other enemies of Islam. They will agree that Malala had something to do with this, even if she is not entirely responsible.

    Second, the intelligentsia will start with the obfuscation of the following genre: "You can't say for sure. Maybe the victims were complicit; maybe they were killed before the Taliban even got there. Some eyewitnesses saw foreign guys rushing off from the place before the Taliban got there and found the dead. It is America's fault - for sure.

    Third, there will be widespread call for immediate embrace of Sharia in the strictest form (first in Pakistan, and then in the entire world), for Sharif to step down, and for the military to take over. Being a woman will be declared a crime.

    In other words, I expect Pakistan to do what any deranged member of a cult of sociopaths would do. No more, no less.

    I expect our foreign policy to continue treating the military complex of this sociopath terrorist state as allies, and give them aid and comfort. How can we expect others to be rational, when we are not?


  26. I feel sorry for the families of the victims but the Pakistan's military, politicians, and the majority of the citizens who support Jihadist are responsible for the terrorism within and outside Pakistan carried out by their brethren. They are all enablers of Taliban , Al Qaeda, and other domestic terrorist organizations.
    The root cause of prevalent Islamists and their extremism is anti-India sentiments and financing of Madrassas by the Saudis. Why do we fight Muslim terrorism on one hand and let the Saudis get away with murder is a mystery.
    If the killings continue in Pakistan, the Mullah backed military will take over the country, and then only God can save us.

  27. Except there is no engagement of God in this activity. If in fact he created the world, we cannot hold him responsible for its undoing.

  28. Couldn't agree more with the editorial. Nevertheless, it misses out a fundamental issue: the idea of Pakistan. The state was formed at the urging of its founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah who put forth the notion that "Islam is in danger" under a Hindu majority in undivided India.

    After independence, the definition of a Muslim got narrower by the day. At first, the Ahmediyas were deemed as non-Muslims, followed by the marginalizing of other sects including the largest minority, Shias. It wasn't long before even amongst Sunnis, the majority sect, a race to the bottom began where those who adhered to a primeval and largely imaginary austere Islam asserted theirs as the original Islam. Today, that is the Taliban. Tomorrow, it will be an even more virulent form. Jinnah's utopian notion for a state never came to pass and never will.

  29. School massacres are almost routine in the United States; perhaps on a smaller scale but cumulatively the numbers of dead children are very similar. It's the macho gun culture.

  30. there is no comparison, rudy. equally tragic in the result, but the US cases are lone mentally ill people. these are organized groups.

  31. To say that Pakistan needs responsible governance to defeat extremists, is to say that extremism cannot be defeated in the foreseeable future there. The only hope is that the military and ISI ratchet down their support of the extremists out of a self-preservation instinct. Perhaps it is time for the western countries to only provide non-military aid to Pakistan, and concentrate on ways to secure their nuclear weapons.

  32. One can only hope that this cold-blooded murder of children will serve as the death knell for the Taliban.

  33. Taliban is more than a group of people: Talibanism (or extreme radicalism) is a concept - a way of living - that dangerously involves killing of innocents. Pakistan's military and political establishment has used this ideology for their advantage in past; however, the devil is now not in their control.
    How do you defeat/kill an idea? The only way out is establishing a proper education system for the masses that will involve renouncing the current one that promotes Talibanism.

  34. Pakistan took a calculated risk - support Islamic militants covertly first to secure military and financial aid from he US in the fight against the Soviets; secondly, to fight a proxy war against India in Kashmir in retaliation for India's role in the secession of Bangladesh; and lastly, as a tactical measure to maintain its control over the largely lawless North West Frontier Provinces and Baluchistan. The strategy worked surprisingly well for decades, largely owing to the indulgence of the US. 9/11 was a turning point in US-Pakistan relations, and the latter country still hasn't figured out how to reposition itself. Pakistan will ultimately see the advantages of committing itself to civilized norms , but not any time soon, and not without wrenching changes.

  35. I'm sure that there are many who can voice countless geo-political reasons why the United States should be involved with countries in the Middle East. The wholesale slaughter of school children demonstrates that we are in way over our heads with a very different type of enemy.
    Russia was wise to withdraw and we should do the same as soon as possible. There is nothing to gain by maintaining a presence there except more casualties.

  36. "The wholesale slaughter of school children demonstrates that we are in way over our heads with a very different type of enemy."

    You mean, as we are right here in the United States against the NRA?

  37. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. This stunning success led to the physical destruction of Japan and the end of its military dictatorship.
    Al Queda knocked down the World Trade center. This achievement led to the continuing massacre of their top management.
    Now the Taliban attacks the government that supports and protects it. Big mistake.

  38. It seems as though each year, maybe each month, a threshold of what was forbidden is breached.


    School shootings

    The gang-rape in India

    Syria's murder of children

    Isis beheadings

    Pakistan's massacre

    Only ten or twenty years ago such things were unthinkable and now are common.

    I have grieved and wept for the loss of the children, especially, and those who have been victims in all these, and other crimes against humanity.

    But what is a crime against humanity?

    It is a moral wound, as well as the loss of lives, that leaves a permanent and indelible scar on the conscience and consciousness of all people.

    I pray that these crimes will never be forgotten, and I fear for our species.

    The loss of innocence and loss of decency is just too great.

  39. The violence today is the violence of war. One the world has been in for a while. We are in the midst of World War III and no one wants to call it what it is.

  40. Beautifully written.

  41. Add to that list:
    Torture by the U.S. government

  42. A tragedy beyond words. The pictures of these children, dads, mums and family members is so very heartbreaking.

    When are the average folks in Pakistan going to stand up and say enough?
    When is their government/military going to listen to them?
    Where are the Pakistani elites - in Pakistan and outside the country - on this?
    Hiding behind 10 foot high walls in Clifton and Defence in Karachi and sending your kids to Karachi Grammar School to get them the h*** out of there (and into the best institutions abroad) is just not enough.

    When are the people of Pakistan going to hold their military accountable for tolerating and/or turning a blind eye to these savages?

  43. Pakistan is a completely dysfunctional state. The percentage of their GDP to support a military whose mystical aim is to defend the state against India and at the same time promote their commercial interests that touch every aspect of life in Pakistan. There is no money or support for secular education for the masses of poor children. Only the rich can afford a functional education for their children.
    The military see Afghanistan as the last redoubt from which they will regroup and drive back the invaders from India. So their intelligence service has fostered, protected and armed the Taliban in the border regions to serve this nonsensical strategy.
    So now the military pays the price of their folly. Poor children sacrificed for their father's sins.

  44. What "invaders from India"? When did such an invasion occur?

  45. The Pakistani “military’s offensive against militants in the North Waziristan” for the past several months has been seriously hurting the Pakistani Taliban. This dastardly attack on the children of military families in a Peshawar school was the Pakistani Taliban’s sick idea of revenge.

    One wonders where Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) figures in all of these events, as it has been known to support the Afghan Taliban and is also suspected to have kept Al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, hidden in plain sight, as they say, in the military garrison town of Abbottabad for several years until US special forces took him out in May 2011.

    It was thus in October 2011 that former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton framed Pakistan’s dilemma in the most apt way, when she said, “You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors.” It is apparent that the ISI nurtured some pretty poisonous snakes that are now dealing venomous blows inside Pakistan to its own citizens, including innocent women and children.

    It is therefore imperative that the Pakistani military, the ISI, the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people – all come together and unite in their fight to “defeat the extremists.” Pakistan’s future, nay, it’s very survival, depends on coalescing behind this single-minded purpose.

  46. The blood is on the hands of the pakistani military, american leadership that created and fostered this monster. Both of them are liars, they cant even arrest Hafeez Saeed, the leader of the terrorist org LeT, who lives openly and leads rallies for more terrorism.

    This will be another opportunity for the Pakistani military to go to Washington DC, hat in hand, for another dole out. No opportunity is missed.

  47. and no opportunity is missed for our US military industrial complex, as they are always looking for the next arms deal = profit for the "shareholders." Morality be damned.

  48. Pakistan is imploding. The country is "managed" by the Almighty Army, which allows a few feudal families to sporadically come to power. During these times the country follows all the rules of kleptocracy and nepotism. Pakistan has survived on handouts from the Westrn countries and have not hesitated to play a double game with its benefator. No game lasts for ever. It is xutain time for a xountry called Pakistan.

  49. It is so difficult to fight these vicious insurgents without death to civilians. Very sad.

  50. It's truly sad that Pakistan has not taken the direction of peace and development. Given its resources and talent, it could have been a wealthy country contributing to local and global trade and commerce and perhaps even assisting it's neighbors Afghanistan and Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Instead, it has fallen into the deep trap of fighting endless battles with a multitude of real and imagined enemies. They haven't realized that these are endless battles in an war that does not really exist, except perhaps in the minds of their generals and ISI chiefs.

    This editorials line:

    "Wedded to an outmoded vision of India as the mortal enemy, the army has long played a double-game, taking American aid while supporting and exploiting various Taliban groups as a hedge against India and Afghanistan, and ignoring the peril that the militants have come to pose to Pakistan itself."

    sums up perfectly one of the main reasons why Pakistan lags behind and remains dangerously unstable.

    Very well said, Times editors. This short essay identifies every major issue in today's Pakistan. It will be critically important for Pakistan to start moving in the direction of a responsibly governed state with an army and intelligence arm that keeps out of politics. But given their delicate state and fractious politics, I don't really see who is going to be able to deliver on this or how they will do it.

  51. " has fallen into the deep trap of fighting endless battles with a multitude of real and imagined enemies. They haven't realized that these are endless battles in an war that does not really exist, except perhaps in the minds of their generals and...."
    Oh, I thought you were talking about the United States for a second...

  52. Pakistan has fewer of it's citizens in prison than "the land of the free and the home of the brave" America which has 25% of the world prison population with 5% of the world population.

    Only China, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and North Korea execute more of their citizens than America.

    America spends more than three times as much as China and 10 times as much as Russia on it's military-industrial complex along with more than the next six additional nations combined.

    Pakistan has not invaded and occupied any other nation or people's land on ethnic sectarian supremacist grounds.

    America was for the Taliban and Pakistani dictators before it was against them.

  53. The ISI, armed forces, and the government of Pakistan are reaping the whirlwind of over 25 years of misbegotten attitudes about their fundamentalists, and nearly 70 years of trauma over India. What an outrageous shame and disaster that the children of the country are the ones paying such a hideous price.

  54. This event fills me with so much fury I really can't think straight. If this isn't affecting the majority of Pakistan's population the same way, and if they can't see the pattern of the last couple of decades of building inhuman attacks on random people... then I can't understand them at all.

    Please Pakistan, how can this be stopped? You know these people the best, how do we stop them? Most of the world would be glad to help if we can. We can't stand to see children gunned down either.

  55. Perhaps Pakistan will withdraw some its 1/2 million troops on the India/Kashmir border to better secure the citizens of Pakistan. It seems very unlikely India seeks even a square meter of Pakistan, it was after all, India which ceded land to create Pakistan in the first place.

  56. Believers again embarrassing (one hopes) the gods they represent.

  57. Why has this scum not been eradicated?

  58. It is not that simple that one would blame the Military to play double game, General Raheel Sharif was recently visiting the US and all indications are that the Pakistan Army is committed to fighting all the terrorist factions in and around Pakistan. Our Secretary of State have also acknowledged this fact.

    The current problem in Pakistan goes back to the days of General Zia who was eliminated in a plane (C-130) crash where we also lost General Wassom and Ambassador Raphel. Gen Zia along with Taliban wanted Pakistan to be his Emirate and he is the one who pushed a young man to come in politics; and that is current Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif. He is being bank roiled by among others Saudi Arabia, who recently gave him $1.5 Billion. A lot of foreign money comes in Pakistan for various nefarious reasons. If one wants to fix the security situation in Pakistan a few things must happen:

    1. Stop all terror funding from overseas (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Iran)
    2. Cleanup the Madrassa culture in Pakistan, recently a Madrasa near Islamabad hoisted an ISIS flag and announced its support and allegiance to it. Demolish this Madrasa as a starter.
    3. Have an Army operation in Punjab and eliminate all safe havens as is being done in Karachi.
    4. It is the PMLN government along with Imran Khan that has to publicly stand behind the Army for the job to be completed.

    Without the above the violence and killing would continue.

  59. Mr. Wizarat of Moorestown, NJ Pakistani army is playing a double /triple
    or whatever game. Just a few days ago the organization Jamaat-Ud-Dawa
    (JuD) formerly known as Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (banned by US, India and
    others for their role in Mumbai attacks) held a convention in the heart of
    Lahore, Pakistan attended reportedly by thousands of blood thirsty
    supporters. I quote from an article in a pakistani website
    "JuD’s strategy of not turning its guns against the Pakistani state and
    re-inventing itself as a politico-religious party helped it become the most
    favoured jihadist organisation of the Pakistani military. This status
    particularly helped it grow into a huge jihadist machine. ".

  60. JUD is based in Punjab, Please see item 3.
    It would be appropriate if instead of blaming the Army for what just happened in Peshawar because of their actions against the terrorists of all colors you would support the Army so that the terrorist are totally decimated. One more thing that you and your colleagues could do is to close the Mother of all extremist ideology the Madressa Darul Uloom Deoband, India. This extremist interpretation of Islam is the back bone of the Saudi Wahhabi movement, the ISIL, Al-Nusrah, TTP, LeJ, and Al-Qaeda groups.

  61. You wrote: "The attack should help the army see the terrorist threat more clearly and strengthen its efforts to confront it or at least end support for militants in the region. But there is reason for skepticism."

    Ya, sure, youbetcha there's reason for skeptcism.

    Pakistan has refused to deal with extremism for decades. This is not news. That the Taliban is slaughtering children is not news either. But unless Pakistan is going to denounce radical Islam and steer their nations toward the 21st century, they are lost to the modern world.

    What are the odds? Slim to none. They cannot give up the Evil India meme and they are not going to be forthright with their own people about the root cause of the Taliban attacks. Instead, they will find a way to blame India, Israel, and America, thereby fueling the jihadist cause. The cannot vacillate on matter of the Taliban and its presence in their country.

    If anyone thinks We, the People should position ourselves in the middle of this, they need to have another think coming real soon. The US cannot, must not step into this fray. We cannot afford it from neither a military nor an economic viewpoint.

    Pakistan must figure out who they are and what version of Islam they are going to support. The lives of their children depend on it.

  62. States that attempt to adhere to the strictures of a single religion are a curse to the modern world.

    In the years leading up to Pakistani and Indian independence, Gandhi offered a radically different vision - the brotherhood of all humanity, regardless of race, creed, class or caste.

    It's not to late for the sectarians to admit that he was right, both for his time and for ours.

  63. Today's typo: the last paragraph should have begun "It's not too late".

  64. It's not too late, but as always, priests and potentates will combine to see that nothing comes of the sentiment.

  65. "Insurgency, that is threatening its' survival"?! This state is surviving?! I pay attention to these things, and every time I've heard or read about Pakistan in the last fifty years or so, has sounded like a state, that despite its' (oy vey!) nuclear arsenal, is hardly surviving, and barely viable! Maybe they should look to their neighbor, India, as a role model! Imagine, India, a role model?! I expect to see more Pakistanis along Coney Island Avenue, north, in the coming months!!!

  66. Keep in mind that Pakistan, the country, is a construct of departing imperialists--much like the mess that we call the Middle East. As one frustrated TV intelligence character spluttered--'it's not a country, it's an acronym." Some of the names contributing to the acronym are: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Iran, Sindh, Tukharistan..." And we expect peace?

  67. While your comment is well taken, I pretty much disagree with "the country, is a construct of departing imperialists". No, it's a construct of two historic faiths who wouldn't get along, at the time of Independence! Thus, you got, India and Pakistan! And that's an historic fact, and another reason why Brooklyn is the promised land, where we ALL, essentially get along, quite well!!!

  68. Any young man who still thinks that these radical Moslem groups are involved in an ennobling, liberating war against "the West" needs to rethink everything that he believes. Islam doesn't condone the kinds of barbaric actions these groups carry out. You will be nothing but a cog in a wheel for those who don't value your life or any life and certainly God gets no glory in these revolting actions.

    Indeed, the reputations of both God and Mohammed have been dragged through the mud. Moslems in Pakistan and elsewhere had days of riots because they felt "insulted" by a political cartoon about Mohammed. What, if anything, will they do as a consequence of this attack? Is this not an insult of an even higher order? The murder of even one child cannot justify or elevate a movement whose stated goal is to,liberate man's soul and redeem the world for God. This is not an ennobling jihad or struggle. This is simply murder by crazies using religion as a front. They have brought low and dragged in the mud the reputation of one the world's largest religions. This is a cause, these are people you want to fight for and with? Only a madman can see a good purpose or end in these actions; the rest of the world sees it for the evil heart it is.

  69. People are hoping this was a galvanizing moment for Pakistan.

    But was it for us, at Sandy Hook?

  70. Excellent point. People are very selective in their reactions.

    Farther away, the IRA killed many with bomb and bullet, in 1970s and 1980s Northern Ireland, the Republic, and GB. Yet some US politicians wore their support for the killers like a badge of honor. Some of those politicians have no problem demonizing the entire Muslim-American population. Some of us woke each morning wondering if our post office or our bank was next to be robbed by armed men, or if a business dinner would be disrupted by a bomb threat.

  71. Pakistani Governments / ruling establishment's policy of Hunting with the Hare and running with the Hound has proved deadly for its people.
    The deadly mix of Religion / Jingoism and hatred for India has led Pakistan to a cul-de-sac from which it now finds itself unable to come out. It has painted itself into a corner and does not know what to do.
    It cannot jettision the anti-India rhetoric as that would then questions its basic identity and existential justification.
    The old proverb goes - As you sow so shall you reap is apt in case of Pakistan

  72. Whenever Pakistan Government sponsored terrorists attacked and killed Indians in India the Pakistan Government condemned the terrorist acts without hesitation. All right thinking nations will condemn terrorism. India and the world condemns this attack on innocents and children.

    As Hillary Clinton said to Pakistan when she was Secretary of State, if you raise snakes to attack the neighbours, they may bite you. The US used Islamic fundamentalism to destroy the evil of communism in Afghanistan and later was bitten by the same snakes.

  73. Another legacy of Reagan.

  74. It's hard for me to stomach a Taliban spokesman freely airing Taliban propaganda. The man should be jailed and made to disclose what he knows about his Taliban handlers. The Taliban isn't a political or religious party, it's a terrorist organization bent on destroying civilization and replacing it with barbarism and the rule of the gun.

  75. Pakistan cannot eradicate the cancer of terrorism until it modernises the traditional system of its education. Taliban in Pakistan is not Al-Qaida. It is invisibly working within the establishment. Even many Pakistanis do share Taliban's ideology despite deadly attack on school. Military end has its limitations. Pakistan needs a total reform right from top to exist as a vibrant, modern state.

  76. December 17, 2014

    Theoretic is not for the immediate action by the nation of Pakistan.
    All out infiltration of the pockets of organized agendas are now on notice - for they are ground zero - by and for the highest elite ruling class. As for the divine order - disorder all is best on notice the lightning strikes of the authoritarianism is now the order for the foreseeable times. Every nation must lead and more so when the wound is in to its future - for killing of youths in school or by order of terrorist will be held to account by rule of reason and necessity....

  77. The situation is not going to change until or unless the youth of Pakistan rise and take ownership of their country.

    A powerful democracy is the only way Pakistan can survive.

    US, EU should put sanctions on all ISI assets outside the country. England needs to reign in on holdings of dictators and corrupt politicians.

  78. Dec 16th, 1971, was the day on which half of the country was lost and became Bangladesh. The same date, Dec 16th, in 2014 marks the second most shameful moment in the country's history. If this is not a "failed state," I don't know what else is.

    Pakistanis are very fond of blaming the Americans for all their problems. They need to take ownership of their home front and get their politicians, army, and public to straighten their acts. Upcoming leader, Imran Khan, is a Taliban sympathizer who has repeatedly been calling for dialogue with the Taliban instead of wiping them out. This only gives them more breathing room to regroup and create more havoc later.

    The army, of course, with its dual policy of supporting some extremists while killing others, is not always in a pick and choose position.

    The public is also to blame because they give refuge to such extremists who reside among them and justify such acts in the name of God. If there is a God, and I believe there is, He must be appalled by people misusing His name to take a shortcut to supposed heaven.

    The entire nation must stand united and say No to anyone covertly or overtly sympathizing, let alone supporting, any form of terrorism.

  79. It is not a failed state. Somalia was a failed state after 1991 and continues a very long road out of that absence of legitimate governance.

    Pakistan's government has failed to do many things it should to maintain safety. But the government is still functioning, however inadequately at times. I appreciate the rest of your points, but I think that declaring that state dead is untrue and potentially demoralizing for Pakistani people now, when the government must act and the people must unite to assure it does. And the "action" is actually many, and they require wise leadership.

    O Pakistan, the world weeps with you.

  80. The today Editorial in the New york times on the carnage in Peshawar is quite pertinent and the editorial board has aptly referred to the various loopholes in Pakistan,which are making the issue of terrorism more and more intensive not only in the world,but particularly in Pukhtun Khwa Pakistan.This is such an incident which one can not describe in words. I think that terrorist is terrorist, where ever he is promoting his nefarious designs.

  81. Religions have sharp, cutting edges. They may be hidden within soft rhetorical dogma or kept in abeyance by the moral restrictions of the societies in which they exist, but those finely honed edges always are there. They are created by the absolutes that distinguish religions from one another and from the non-religious. They are the omnipotence of god and the threat of hell and eternal damnation. They are the concept of evil and the sin of heresy.

    Islam's edges are flashing now, cutting down the sinners and the unrepentant and carving the world into the image their god demands. But all religions have sharp, cutting edges that have been used before or will be used someday, or both.

    Seven billion people cannot fashion the world into all of the shapes that all of their gods demand without killing seven billion people.

  82. what will it take for us to face the reality of this threat? the possible solutions are all horrible to contemplate. but we must begin to contemplate them, to stiffen our resolve to protect what WE believe.

  83. As horrific as this vile act was, it pales in comparison to the mother-of-nightmares scenario in which the religious crazies get their hands on one of Pakistan's nukes and use it. Given both the incompetence of the Pakistani military and the Taliban's willingness to die and take as many as possible with them, along with the reluctance of the war-weary west to get involved in more than a token way and the cowardice of the surrounding Islamic states that could help battle this evil but look only to their short-term self-interest and do nothing, and it's not a question of if this ultimate horror will occur but when.

  84. Please do not refer to the former international cricketer, Imran Khan, as 'dangerously disruptive'. I do not expect the Times to use such anti democratic
    phrases for people who try and challenge the established order.
    Kahn founded a cancer hospital and has raised money for the needy. You may not like some of his policies, but he is a democratic and not a corrupt politician or military strongman, which is what Pakistan usually gets.

  85. For the powers that be in Pakistan (aka military leadership, ISI, Politicians etc.) the choice is clear: "Is your irrational, delusional and self serving hatred of India more powerful and important than your (supposed) love for Pakistan?

    Think carefully and answer this question because the survival of Pakistan as a nation state depends on your answer. And once you have the answer, you'll also know what you need to do to pull your country back from the brink.

  86. "Imran Khan, the dangerously disruptive politician whose party controls the province where the massacre took place, was wise to postpone countrywide protests that are part of his push to bring down Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. But he should also drop his demand that the government negotiate with the militants rather than fight them. That has been tried and failed."

    The Pakistani government, "intelligence" services, and people, are locked in an eye-for-an-eye death spiral with the militants and extremists. But it is Imran Khan who is dangerous for demanding negotiations?

  87. This terrible tragedy in a far away place brings sympathy from everyone.

    In Europe though, our governments are trying their best to bring such tragedies to us. No one knows why, it is just seems to be an inevitable and mysterious force of life.

    Sectarian warfare is already on our streets and it is only going to get worse until we turn off the running tap of young distorted minds. Sadly "freedom" of "religion"[1] comes before all else.

    We bow before it and hope for mercy.

    [1] Islam is a means of military conquest dressed in the trappings of a religion.

  88. I totally agree with you, and Europe is insane to ignore a very real threat in their own land.

  89. Right now I'm searching for the entry in the Koran where it's OK to shoot Muslim children in the name of Allah and the furtherance of Islam.

    The murder of children elevates depravity and heresy to a level which is hard to conceive. It's a combination of homicidal psychopathy and deeply flawed religious intellectualism. As such it is an Islamic hybrid and is unlikely to survive.

    Pakistan's problems are unlikely to be solved by a former world-class cricketer - nor is the Pakistani Government likely or able to make the fundamental changes needed to tackle this intractable conflict. Both the Government and Military have been infiltrated and compromised - with the end result being nobody knows whom to trust.

    US Foreign Policy continues adherence to Domino Theory. It failed in S. E. Asia - and is destined for a similar fate in the Hindu Kush. The conflicts in these regions are tribal, territorial and religious.

    Establishing democracy there is a western conceit. They don't like it. They don't want it.

    Westerners cannot calm this Islamic earthquake - only Muslims can.

    We can and should provide humanitarian and non-military technical aid. Our wisest option is to take a step back, keep our military strong and focus on Homeland Security and the well-being of all our citizens.

    Hopefully there's more chance of that than there is locating the passage in the Koran where the murder of Muslim children is an instruction from Allah via Mohammed.

  90. humanitarian aid presumably includes vaccinations. Oh yes, they resist that too-- for their children they claim to love.

  91. The Taliban Pakistan leader continued:
    We did not take this mission lightly. Prior to instigation we consulted with an Iman to determine the propriety of such an undertaking.

    We found an Iman who determined such an attack was consistent with the teachings of the Prophet.

    According to a fatwa from Juhan al Hue our actions are consistent with the Koran.

  92. Evil, no other way to explain what happened.

  93. Pakistan is a failed nuclear armed state - we better watch out for the crazies! US $$ aid is the Xanax to the ruling class that is keeping in a way some sanity on the nuclear trigger.

    Having said that, Pakistani children have paid the price of its nation's and US foreign policy decisions over the course of decades. Ramifications and unintended consequences of the "cold war" with USSR and the "hot war" in Iraq has arisen forces that we civilized folks cannot control.

  94. I am afraid there aren't any good options on the table to vanquish the Taliban. Poverty-driven illiterate youths are easily brainwashed and sent to commit atrocities. The Taliban can easily buy weapons using opium money (Afghanistan just had a record breaking harvest of opium). Pakistani Army aids "Good Taliban" groups as long as they attack Afghanistan while terrorists like Hafeez Saeed roam freely in Pakistan. There is zero coherence in Pakistani policy for tackling terrorism.

  95. Sad part of the whole tragedy is that Pakistan never learn lesson from the past mistake that there is no good or bad Taliban and all are terrorists : This is the problem that haunted them :
    Hard core inhuman Fanatics opposing Afghan government and India are good in their military books and get encouraged and create menace in south Asia .US is helpless while giving money and arms , it is being used against india and vital american interest in the region . When Pakistan Military understands wrongs : no one knows :

  96. Pakistan's military Chief of Pakistan Army just left for Kabul with evidence in hand of Pakistan Taliban hand in the massacre of 132 children. He is going to ask to hand over Taliban Chief and get rid of sanctuaries otherwise he will tell them that Pakistan will go after them across the border.
    I can tell you right now that Afghan and the ISAF will not hand-over or destroy their sanctuaries.
    Unlike what Americans are fed by the media to believe in their own country, US is also playing it out right dirty.
    Pakistan will not hand-over Mullah Omer ...never will .... because when Americans leave and he is back in power guess who will go after the sanctuaries and these monsters?

  97. What really needs to happen is that the violent verses in the koran have to be deleted.

    Come think of it, maybe the violent verses in all holy books have to be deleted. They may have been appropriate 1000 years ago but are not appropriate now!

    The only other option is for Pakistan to merge back into India & adopt Hinduism.

    Just wishing,just hoping.

  98. All fundamentalists as in ultra-conservative religions, no matter where, no matter what, have these characteristics: violence (at different levels)self-described 'specialness,' whether it be as God's chosen people, or a 'master race' (as an ideology); misogyny, racial hatred, hatred of more liberal, progressive forms of life, e.g. more democratic states and cultures; the need for an enemy, (without or within or both) willful ignorance, disrespect of knowledge, and those who bring it. We in this country are at risk, as I write.

  99. Why would you think that Indians or Hindus will take them. I see no change in the attitudes of Pakistani elected officials or the military towards India. As long as the regilious fanatics have control, I am afraid to say, nothing will change in Pakistan.

  100. When will the civil society in the Middle East rise up and condemn this violence perpetrated by radical Islamists? When will the rest of the world call this violence what it truly is: It is done in the name of their religious beliefs. We can no longer deny the truth.

    The other day, the Australian PM said ISIS isn't Islamic. Really? They don't believe that. They are violent in name of Islam. Inextricably linked.

  101. Please get your facts straight before imparting your ignorant remarks as if you actually know something about Islam, Islamic history or Muslim countries. Pakistan is not the Middle East!

  102. There are no words to adequately describe the horror in Peshawar but I am glad to see the Times call these murderers "terrorists." If it would only do the same wherever and whenever civilians are intentionally targeted, I would give more credence to the editor's opinion.

  103. Quite agree - as yet some political leaders of Pakistan are not willing to call the extremists terrorists. Until this mindset changes, the support for "good" taliban versus "bad, will continue. The war being fought by the armed forces should without exception, pursue them all. Equally, the justice system, and support from the citizens of the country. The last has been visible, the people of Pakistan are sick of the brutality and madness running a mock. The new army chief has made known his repulsion of the taliban, this horrific massacre seems to have united the country, all are repulsed by these brutes - words can not describe the horror. Perhaps this has been the last straw, I for one would give anything to see these fanatics face justice asap, and the country return to its cultural/historic roots of tolerance...

  104. One thought: Pakistan is a nuclear country and it takes little imagination to envision what could transpire if the extremist nuts in the world gain control of a nuclear arsenal.

  105. Terrorism its a deadly virus and also spreads . The approach to eradicate it is to be handled very carefully. This virus can't be removed by killing it. Govts all across the world should realise it before it is too late. Ahimsa or Non violence is the best solution. The approach should based on non violence. Just killing is not an intelligent way of handling this delicate problem which is growing as big threat to the world at large. Anger breeds Anger. Violence breeds violence. This is nature. No one can go against nature in order to get rid of it

  106. Why are we willing to bring these people into the political process in Afghanistan? They have no intention of changing and becoming part of a peaceful government in Afghanistan.

  107. I was wondering when someone would say this--it had been on my mind for some time when thinking about that country. RD Sultan's point above is well taken as well.
    The next middle eastern country to experience this I am afraid will be Turkey, as their leader has been pushing this former 'secular Islamic state,' freed from the slavery of militant Islam by Mustafa Kemal over a century ago.

  108. It is well-established that the Pakistan army trains/nurtures militant groups to fight proxy wars in Afghanistan and Indian-Administered Kashmir.

    So far as I know, there is no method to burn down your neighbors house that doesn't involve risk to your own house.

  109. This latest demonstration of, "inhuman behavior", isn't! It is abhorrent to most, but not new and not unique. This species has and continues to massacre its own. Today we can immediately be informed of the latest pocket of "the ends justify the means" behavior. We even get to watch! We even call it "news" and profit from informing the masses. This "sickness" extends way beyond the horrific acts of "The Taliban". "The ends justify the means", is behavior being modeled at every level of human behavior.

    Intentionally killing school children, kidnapping school girls, wiping out entire communities, ......... pretending torturing people is O.K., targeting drone strikes in Afghanistan from who knows where and killing who knows whom.

    Pakistan isn't the only example of dysfunctional political and economic decision making.

  110. What is needed here is a "disproportionate" response. Pakistan shouldn't worry. Only Israel is criticized for those.

  111. India & Pakistan - Two countries with similar cultures, created as independent countries in 1947. One chose to be a secular nation while the other went in as an Islamic nation. Looking at the mushrooming global conflicts and terrorism, it is obvious that such religion-based societies are governed by medieval thinking opposed to modernism. Now India, with its secular principles based on the tolerant, non-proselytizing Dharmic principles is for it's existence is naturally promoting Hindutva as a natural antidote to the scourge of Islamic extremism! While I hope that all Islamic countries will band together without any reservations to eliminate these psychopathic extremists, all nations must see the religion-based countries to what they are - societies bent on making themselves separate from the rest of the world!

  112. The leadership in Pakistan will come together and rapidly conclude that only more American aid in dollars can solve this problem.

  113. There is no question that the goal of this attack was to send a clear and frightening message: we can get to you. They chose children, since they represent the future and they knew the pain that it would cause.
    This article states:
    "The massacre by the Pakistani Taliban, which has carried out increasingly deadly attacks in recent years, should prompt the country’s military and political leaders to reconsider their conflicted approach to the insurgency that is threatening the state’s survival." Should being the operative word.
    I suspect that this attack is much more about redefining the Pakistani state? The attack shows support, from within. Those who feel disenfranchised or whose religious beliefs warrant any action to achieve their goal.
    As someone commented, did the massacre of children at Sandy Hook change anything here?

  114. It's more like they want to stay in the dark ages if you ask me. It seems that all across the middle and far east there is an effort going on to stop education.

  115. Once you are riding on the back of the tiger you can't get off. Pakistan has put itself in this position and their children suffer. As ye sow so shall ye reap.

  116. As we sow, so shall we reap.

    Let's take the beam out of our own eye.

    For example, that there is even a serious discussion that it might be good to commit torture . . . .

  117. "...the army has long played a double-game, taking American aid while supporting and exploiting various Taliban groups as a hedge against India and Afghanistan..."

    I can't imagine any scenario in which USA involvement -- whether thru money or drones -- does anything but spread the conflagration.

  118. US involvement? Active intelligence on the ground and secure the nuclear weapon launch sites when it looks like takeover is imminent!

  119. Pakistan is a country created on contradictions. Just like Pepsi was branded as not-Coke, 7UP was branded as not-cola, and Snapple was branded as non-carbonated, Pakistan was branded as not-India. That premise is wrong because Pakistani culture is essentially Indian culture.
    The other premise was that of a safe country for Muslims. But the largest Muslim part of East Pakistan broke away to become Bangladesh. And modern day India has more Muslims than Pakistan, and they live more peacefully. So that premise has also proven to be wrong.
    In a desperate attempt to be not-India, the third premise was that Pakistan shares a heritage and culture with Arabs. But the land of the Indus Valley civilation has nothing in common with the culture of nomadic camel herders who suddenly and luckily struck oil. This premise has led them to import Wahabi Islam to their detriment.
    What Pakistan needs us a makeover and a rebranding. Will they do it? Not as long as the military uses India as a bogeyman to retain control.

  120. It could not be said more perfectly. Pakistan needs to rise above its inferior sibling complex. As I read somewhere, if someone hates me, then it is that person's problem, not mine. Pakistan needs to realize that their hatered of India is eating them alive.

  121. Venti you nailed it! Democracy if holds true for at least 10-20 years with religion out of the picture things can change dramatically - questions are, a) is the ruling class willing to allow this to take place? and b) are the moderates and liberals in Pakistan willing to assume the mantle and responsibility of governing and not succumbing to what you have stated so eloquently?

  122. This is magical thinking run amok. Whether it's healing with magnets or Scientology or heaven as a reward for jihad. We have lost our way while refusing to evolve intellectually, hold onto 2nd century beliefs while aiming 21st century weapons. We all need to wake up and embrace science. There is no "god's will" ... It's just us, hurling through space on a rock.

  123. What is the scientific response to men murderously attempting to exact power over others.

  124. When the Taliban first came to power in Afghanistan they were aided and supported by Pakistani intelligence aka Inter Service Intelligence and the Haqqani Group with the implicit, if not explicit, approval of America.

    Mullah Omar and the men who would morph into the Taliban were one of the groups armed, trained and financed by the CIA to fight against the Soviet Union after it invaded and occupied Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden, Ahmad Shah Massoud and the men who would become al Qaeda and the Northern Alliance were also part of that insurgent resistance. After the Soviets were defeated America abandoned Afghanistan to Pakistan and it's military dictator. Until the morning of 9/11/01.

    The roots of both the Afghanistan and Pakistan insurgent ethnic civil war lie buried deeply in the midst of the aspirations of 50 million ethnic Pashtun. The Taliban is all or mostly Pashtun. But not all Pashtun are Taliban. About 42% of Afghans are Pashtun. But most Pashtun live in Pakistan where they are only 15% of the population. Pashtuns celebrate and acknowledge their ethnic unity before their nationality. There is no military solution to this ethnic sectarian war. Malala is Pashtun.

    Killing innocents and civilians particularly children is always immoral and can never be justified. All such innocents should be equal in our compassion and concern. All of their killers should be equally evil and deserving of our condemnation. Palestinian, Iraqi, Afghan kids were killed by who?

  125. I am so saddened & shocked by this unbelievable atrocity on innocent children committed by these heartless, evil monsters. How could any human being bring this level of brutality on kids, whatever their grievances might be? I had felt disgust and anger about the gruesome beheadings, and didn't think things could get any worse. But the killing of those precious kids, leaving their parents and loved ones with empty homes, empty hearts and unimaginable grief for the rest of their lives seems even worse. I hope the entire world will come together to eliminate this cancer from the civilized world. In the meantime, my prayers are with the angels who are now with God and their grieving families on earth.

  126. Imagine how America would feel if, the day after the unimaginably brutal murder of more than 100 of our children, the press in other countries chastised us about our handling of our enemies instead of mourning with us. Maybe they did, after Sandy Hook. And maybe that's when I would've realized how vast the gulf is between us. Save this for another day.

  127. We do both. We morn the loss of 145 children. We are left speechless and horrified by an act of brutality no one can measure. And at the same time we know that the government of Pakistan has played both ends of the street, indeed taking money from the American government (and people) while elements of the Pakistani military and security forces continue to support the Afghani Taliban, which should be an enemy to all of us. The morning of every death takes place within the contact of its occurrence. The children of Sandy Hook were murdered by an insane man. The children of the Pakistani school were murdered by an enemy of the state of Pakistan. There is more than a world of difference here. The children in both cases are innocents. The murderers in both cases can never be punished enough.

  128. Everyone mourns for these victims and their families. But this is a completely different situation. Sandy Hook was a lone maniac supported by no one. These atrocities were committed by an organized group with throngs of supporters. An organized group that the Pakistan goverment itself continues to support, even as the group attempts to overthrow that goverment.

  129. Yes, it is a tragedy when innocents are murdered. We can all empathize and sympathize with the families, I think. It's just that when people who have condoned similar acts of horror done to others by people they harbor with a seeming indifference it's hard not to see that they created the circumstances which led to this appalling event.

  130. Islamic extremists, terrorists, causing havoc and sorrow in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Sudan, Gaza, Israel, Syria, Iraq, among other places. Why are we still so tolerant of the intolerant?

  131. We ain't, but this is not our war.

  132. You going to lead the invasion?

  133. Better question - why is the Muslim world so tolerant of the intolerant? In this article we learn that the Pakistan government, who's children were just massacred at school, is still on the fence because they want to continue supporting some Taliban groups as a hedge against India and Afganistan. I still beleive that anywhere you go in the world, the vast majority just want to live in peace, work hard to support their families, and raise their children. So why can't the good people in the Muslim world organize and mobilize for peace? I suspect they are busy blaming each other for the horrors, when they should be collectively rejecting their leadership, on both sides of these various conflicts.

  134. On the 14th we marked another anniversary of the senseless murders at Sandy Hook. Like so many that preceeded it, Those were the homicidal acts of a deranged mind of a single young man. The frustraton of knowing that it will happen again in this gunned up society of ours is overwhelming. But we retreat into the delusin that these are the acts of individuals rather than a result of our societal dementa about guns.

    Now comes the Taliban of Pakistan and their organized murder of 145 innocents. These murderous zealots are not dead. They walk the earth and we watch in horror, but watch is all we do. This is the face of evil and watch is all we do. We seem not to have learned the lessons of history. But then we never do.

  135. "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction." - Blaise Pascal

  136. Maybe they should torture a few of the people they capture to find out what is the next plan. Maybe save 150 kids' lives. Oh wait, that would be wrong.

  137. If "they" torture people, it isn't necessarily our concern. When Americans do the torturing, whether or not it's wrong, they violate our laws, damage our institutions (including the CIA), expose other Americans to torture, hurt American standing in the world, and foreclose possibly better ways to get information from targets. So perhaps best if "yeah, let's torture them" isn't the first response, even if it feels good to say it.

  138. We should abstain from this carnage, this is reckoning time for muslims only.
    We have seen enough american flags burning, i wouldn't blink until i see them burning the black battle flag of the taliban or ISIL.

  139. "We should abstain from this carnage, this is reckoning time for muslims only."

    This carnage would not be happening if we had abstained.

    For 1400 years, Muslims did not do this. Only now, only after we tried to remake the Middle East by neocon wars.

  140. Mark, absolutly no.
    The US made mistakes, but there had been enough leeway for the Taliban and ISIL to choose a more peaceful path.
    After all, the US left them on their own for a long time, and they granted us 9/11.

  141. Normally, I'd agree but Pakistan has a trove of nuclear weapons and whatever group takes over the government whether by election or by force, also gets the bounty of nukes plus delivery systems. Seems in everyone's interest to keep these infernal devices out of the hands of those who think nothing of slaughtering children.

  142. The one salient observation, so obviously lacking in the comments here, is that this terror is the product of Islamic extremists, once again.

    Only Islam has produced such terror in the world today!

  143. "Only Islam has produced such terror in the world today!"

    Islam certainly suffers terror in the world today far more than anyone else.

    But Islam itself did not "produce" that terror on its own. It did not suffer that terror until the neocon wars swept through the Middle East and "remade" the place. This is all new, so Islam itself does not suffice to explain it all. For 1400 years, Islam did NOT produce this terror. Only now, only when others remade it for their own purposes.

  144. At least you acknowledge the obvious, which many will not.

    But the neocons made them do it? And don't forget, bad neighborhoods, income inequality, bad mothers, and a few others...

  145. "Only Islam has produced such terror in the world today!"

    Islamic terrorism is the face of an humiliated Islamic people.
    What have we done for (to) Islamic populations this past fifty
    years other than 1) standing by the most outrageous actions
    of their most hated enemy as it translates its contempt into
    policy; 2) allowing corporate greed for oil drive foreign policy
    to the extent that we invade and destroy a sovereign nation;
    3) allowing greed for oil to translate into military/economic
    support for every repressive right-wing dictator in the region.

    And - BTW - people acting in the name of a Loving Christian
    God have been responsible for countless years of repression,
    torture, and slaughter in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia,
    North America, Australia - and now the Middle East ever since
    Jesus was born. Islamic terrorism is chicken feed when placed
    alongside that.
    R. : That is "The one salient observation, so obviously lacking in
    your comments above." They are a poster child for that history.

  146. We sponsored groups such as this to oppose the Soviets in Afghanistan, only to find out to our sorrow that those groups take on a life of their own and do not simply serve as agents of our foreign policy. The situation for Pakistan is even worse as many organs of the state are thoroughly penetrated by the Taliban and their fellow travelers. At some point, Pakistan's fostering of terrorist groups has resulted in the terrorists becoming an integral part of its society and governance.

    Will this shock lead ISI to stop supporting the groups who have long attacked us in Afghanistan? Will the dozens of soldiers' dead children lead to a change of heart? But then again, how many of Pakistan's security forces are secretly in sympathy with the terrorists anyway?

    In the news coverage, I was surprised by those quoted who see the Taliban as a counterbalance to the United States, as if the US is an existential threat to Pakistan that must be countered in this fashion. And that someone could look at the deliberate massacre of children and still think in those terms does not lend confidence to the notion that Pakistan will rise to meet this challenge, as opposed to continue to wallow in its strategic paranoia and destabilizing dysfunction.

    And how comforting is it to contemplate that this most dysfunctional state is the proud possessor of nuclear weapons?

  147. Having Taliban present ensures the steady flow of American Aid to Pakistan. Nothing will change after the candle light vigils are done. Life is cheap in this part of the World. American Aid will steadily line the pockets of people in power in Pakistan who will promptly spend it on real-estate in Europe.

  148. Follow the news in Pakistan and it is difficult to be optimistic. Overall their views on the Taliban are ambivalent (or confused - good Taliban vs bad Taliban). Many in the media (and on the streets) associate the worst outrages with the destabilising influence of "the foreign hand" (usually thought to be any combination of India/Israel/Western nexus). Malala Yousafzai who is rightly lionised for her campaigning work elsewhere is not generally liked, in Pakistan, her home country. Literacy rates are low and the persecution of minorities widespread. Summary lynching of anyone accused of Blasphemy by the "mob" occurs all to often, with perpetrators rarely caught let alone punished. In short, if your looking for change, don't hold your breath.

  149. While the editorial board has righteous indignation at this massacre, there is no information about the government massacres in the tribal lands. When a corrupt, infantile government claims they killed 1,800 militants, we can assume that they slaughtered many more innocents and those 1,800 were surely not all the priced targets of the action.
    And I am equally sure that now after the killing of 145, 10 times or 100 times that number of humans will be killed in revenge. In order to conquer and rule the tribal lands, Pakistan has to employ Roman tactics: Kill every tenth man and repeat until there is peace. In light of that the school massacre is tiny.

  150. This needs to be ended at some point because man can not play with the existence of life on this planet. Lets imagine what happens if these child killer gets control over nuclear war heads on Pakistan. Also we should not forget the fact that they have already crossed the line on arms race with India. Now they have enough ingredient to drive the whole world inro a bed of fire.
    Pakistani army was hiding Bin laden near its camp while US army was bombing Torabora searching for him. Not only that the very same moment it was getting billions of dollar in grant assistance to Capture Laden and fight terrorism.

  151. "To defeat the extremists, Pakistan will need more than a military strategy. It will need responsible governance and an acknowledgment by top leaders that they cannot contain attacks from one terrorist group while enabling another one."

    You said it, NYT. Even the United States have historically always tried to hedge one group against another. The latest being the call by some members of our own Congress to arm one of the Syrian rebel group against Assad. In the end, we remain their ultimate enemy, in part because of our meddling and their own ethnic disputes, and in part this is the default world view of some extremist Muslims -- anything not their version of Islam is their enemy. After all, Pakistan is mostly Islamic, their women wear head scarf. For the like of Talibans and ISIS, the Paskitani are not pure enough Muslims for them.

    Until the majority of Muslims stand up and denounce this version of Islam, their Allah and prophet will continue to be used as an instrument for killing, even of children.

  152. Murdered school children. I wonder if the Pakistanis forget as quickly as we do.

  153. I do not know what the Pakistanis should do. The last time the United States tried to stop terrorists, the political opposition claimed the measures used constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

  154. Then perhaps they should start doing it right, Southern Boy.

  155. Your editorial is quick to jump on the Pakistani government. Why don't you offer a more critical perspective? Why don't you ask questions about our role in creating haven for Taliban in Pakistan. We armed Taliban to fight the Soviets. This was a short-sighted and largely misguided policy. And now we try to put the entire blame on others. We and our foreign policy are also responsible for what is happening in Pakistan. So, stop pointing fingers exclusively at others.

  156. Not exactly. The USA, under Reagan, armed and funded anti-Soviet warlords, because their jihad was against our enemy. After the Soviets left, the warlords destroyed much of the country, each one trying to come out on top. The Taliban, essentially the creation of ISI, got wide support, at least in the beginning, for being an alternative to the chaos and violence of the warlords. Only after the Taliban became the big dogs did (most of) the warlords get on their bandwagon.

    The USA did, and deserves blame for, much that was short-sighted and even stupid, for domestic political gain, but not for supporting the Taliban, or for the machinations of ISI. The Pakistani military, essentially in control of the state, maintains its power by maintaining the myth of India as the mortal enemy. If Pakistan didn't have that myth, it would have to face its own problems - poverty, corruption, feudalism, and internal political violence.

    I suspect that hatred for India is the only unifying force keeping Pakistan from dissolving into chaos.

  157. I agree with your comments. The Pakistan army and ISI should stop playing double games. They should stop supporting these killers to fight proxy war in India and Afghanistan. Unless ISI breaks completely from these terrorists , these attaacks will happen again.If army and ISI really love their homeland , they should stop and dismantle this plague or it will destroy Palistan someday in future.
    Work with Indians to make this region economically strong and prosper.

  158. Homeland, still the best show on TV, depicts ISI/Taliban collusion at its most creepy. The TV character that plays the Pakistani Taliban leader is called Haqqani, and the CIA is hot to eliminate him, while the ISI attempts to protect him. Haqqani infiltrates the US embassy in Islamabad, murders and blows things up. The TV US president orders the evacuation of the embassy while one CIA rogue refuses to leave, attempting to assassinate Haqqani on his own. This where the show left off Sunday.

    The prescience of this show is both uncanny and scary.

    Pakistan has a Sophie's Choice to make. It's govt has used the fear of India to rally its populace while, at the same time, empowering the "snakes in the backyard" to bite their neighbors. Possibly this is the wake up call for such heinous duplicity. And, yes, once again the CIA is in the thick of it. Same as it ever was.

  159. I couldn't agree more, Chris!

  160. "Wedded to an outmoded vision of India as the mortal enemy, the army has long played a double-game"
    I cannot agree more, one good example.
    Despite a $10 million U.S. reward offer, terror suspect Lashkar e-Toiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed enjoys free movement, and even official patronage, in Pakistan. this is the guy who masterminded the 2008 Mumbai attack that left 166 people dead, six of them Americans. Despite being wanted by India and the U.S., Saeed is today not only a free man but a prominent one, a situation which India says is a reflection of Pakistan’s double standards on terrorism. In a lengthy Urdu statement posted on the website of his ostensibly charitable Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) organization, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed said Islam was a “religion of peace".
    Sayeed founded the Lashkar e-Toiba (LeT), in the late 1980s – with the backing of Pakistan’s (ISI) agency to fight Indian rule in Kashmir. Under pressure from India and the U.S., Pakistan did place Saeed under house arrest after the Mumbai attack but refused to indict or extradite him. Courts later ordered his release, and in May 2011, Saeed led protest rallies in Lahore over the death of Osama bin Laden. He called the dead terrorist a martyr and demanded that Pakistan sever ties with Washington. Despite being wanted by India and the U.S.. This is beyond belief.
    Is Pakistan really serious about terrorism? Why is he not in jail?.

  161. Such heartache. I can only hope that now, Pakistan, its people, its army, its government will realize that the US is not a mortal threat to Pakistan, that India is not a mortal threat to Pakistan, that the only mortal threat Pakistan faces are these fanatical militants within their midst who so callously murder children and Polio vaccination workers. Pakistan, please stand united at last and confront and root out this evil!

  162. The problem has been and always will be the problem in this country and in Pakistan as long as inhumane ideology has sway. Did the massacre of children at Sandy Hook have any effect on regulation of guns here? The ideology of gun ownership held by the NRA seems to be more important than human life. The same is true in Pakistan. The ideology of a murderous Islamic group is more important than the lives of children. Until the lives of children are more important than deadly ideology to all of us the terror will continue no matter how many are killed in retaliation. Far from optimistic, but human nature and our beliefs are often toxic.

  163. True that the Pakistani military plays a double-game with the Taliban, but that should not surprise or offend us. The US does this all the time. Sadly, even under president Obama who has often failed to uphold his own standards when it comes to dealing with villains who kill women, children and innocent civilians. Look at Bashar Al Asad, who crossed many "red lines" and is now benefiting from US airstrikes on Isis. Look at all the dictators and monarchs who crush opposition in their countries but receive US support. It is not easy to stand on principle, is it?

  164. It is very unfortunate that people die in a war especially people that are not involved, any war! . It is more horrific when the people fighting go out of their way to kill women and children for the sake of revenge and political expediency. It is unimportant if they are Jihadists, Nazis, Fascists Mexican governors and drug cartel sadists, FARC's, Communists, Boko Haram et al. In this case, part of the problem was the Pakistani government who for years played both sides of the fence supporting jihadists it was politically beneficial and fighting them when the benefits disappeared. The slaughter of innocents can be directly laid at the feet of the Pakistani Government. But that will not bring the children back in fact, until the world does something about these sub humans nut cases and lunatics, and until Pakistan closes the madrasas which preach and teach the hate, as do the Arab governments (Saudis), until the Islamic newspapers stop calling the west the infidels, there will be a continuing slaughter of innocents. Face it, the Taliban are no different than Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, and every other murderous splinter group using Islam as the basis of its justification for murder. This cancer will spread.. be assured. one incident at a time. We can fight the rebels over there off our soil or wait until it comes home to roost. Our current government does not have the will to fight this. Maybe the next one will or we will fight here in America on our soil.

  165. I hope we are sensible enough to elect as our next President a person who recognizes that this is not our fight.

  166. Will this horrendous tragedy prompt introspection and reconsideration within Pakistan? I am not optimistic. Guess who was seen "helping out" on the site of the massacre? - Hafiz Sayeed, the architect of the 2008 Mumbai massacre of hundreds of innocent women and children. This man, on whose head the US government has placed a $10 million bounty, lives in a large villa in Lahore city guarded and protected by Pakistani police. Recently, he organized a large rally in the heart of Lahore city, and the Pakistani government ran special trains to ferry people to this rally. There, he promised to wage a holy war against India and to recreate Mumbai in all of India, to the fervent cries of "Jihad!" . As long as Pakistan maintains its schizophrenia between "good" and "bad" terrorists, there is little hope for the future of Pakistan.

  167. There is nothing worse than losing a child. The man cannot understand why the people who shot his kid were the same people that trained him and his son, paid money to them and took care of them. So he goes out to seek revenge. He gets a gun, puts on a suicide vest and goes to kill the kids of the people who killed his kid. He understands that the death of his family was never televised, so he won't get the sympathy that his victims will get. But revenge for the death of his child is necessary, because his god is watching. This is the story of this region, nothing anyone outside can do except watch.

  168. For years Pakistan has abetted terrorist attacks on Indian soil. Case in the point is the terrorist attack in Mumbai few years ago that killed more than 150 civilians. The planners of those attacks roam scot-free in Pakistan today because the establishment has turned a blind eye. The massacre of school children is deplorable no matter which countries's passport you hold. However, the Pakistani army and the government have to realize that at some point the snake they feed will come to bite them.

  169. There is no doubt that Pakistan is a failed state, any state founded on religious beliefs will go that way, Israel is fast becoming such a state as well.Muslims are better off in India where at least they are not persecuted.

    The US should reconsider all aid to Pakistan, Israel, and any other state that describes itself as confessional.

    That would be true to Jeffersonian principles, remember he endowed and established the first university in the US that had no chapel.

  170. Terrorists that were once used as a weapon to brutalize and control Afghanistan and promote attacks against India are now destroying Pakistan from inside. Putting these horrible attacks aside, there have been over 100,000 deaths / wounded in the past few years and an acceleration in crimes against religious minorities. Hopefully this will trigger the Pakistani people (who ironically don't mind when terrorists attack Western/Indian civilians) to realize that the world wishes them prosperity. Although there was a sad cry following the attacks, as one of the top twitter trend in Pakistan following the attack was #IndiasupporotsTTP. Obviously, an utter and baseless nonsense. But the vacuum following such attacks is filled by hawks promoting war on traditional enemies (e.g. West and India) rather than war on extremism.

  171. With the idea of reinstatement of the death penalty in Pakistan, let us hope the European nations who oppose the death penalty will voice their continuing displeasure. The same way they have cut off the drug used in lethal injections in American prisons. Perhaps a boycott would be in order to focus world attention on the issue.

  172. And to think the CIA water boarded these extremest, how could we be so cruel. It is probably our bad example which lead to this atrocity. I think we need a congressional investigation to see the root cause behind this event. Certainly the US needs to become more tolerant and accepting of other cultures. If we don't stop and examine our behavior the extremest will do this to Americans. They already did? We must have deserved it.

  173. The Taliban must have lost millions of supporters by this attack, unprecedented in its savage barbarity and heartlessness.

  174. The US presence their exacerbates the situation as it does everywhere the US goes. Get out of there and leave these people alone, for once.

  175. Pakistan is thinking to use nuclear weapons against India in case of conflict. It also thinks to be a force to for the democracy in Kashmir and Afghanistan. In stead, they should focus how to bring peace and religious harmony. If Pakistan thinks to destroy another country (India) to take past revenge for the past deed they should rethink of their image and perception to the world. It is a rogue country with no value to humanity. This should give them some lessons:
    1) Peace with India at any cost and joint forces to eliminate any kind of insurgency
    2) Mobilize all military forces from Indian border to the internal insurgency
    3) root out religious/militancy sympathizers from ISI
    I know the pain of 1971 war crime Pakistan did against innocent humans. Now instead of government, Pakistan government's internal enemies are doing it - radical thinking is required quickly before another carnage happens.

  176. Pakistan has multiple, powerful agencies, all vying for control, and each with its own agenda. There is the elected government, the military, the ISI, and most likely others that I don't know about. They are all playing both ends against the middle. They all have conflicting interests and clients.

    The place is like a three ring circus with three lion tamers operating without a cage, and the lions do what they want half the time. This includes eating the lion tamers.

    They use the terrorists for their own gain when desired. Then the terrorists use them. If you thought Iraq was a mess, take a look at Pakistan.

    Follow the money to understand who does what and why. By 2010, we pumped $18 billion into Pakistan but only about $8 billion went into the treasury. Where did that other $10 billion go? So long as these various factions are cleaning up and making a fortune by perpetuating these many layered conflicts, Pakistan will never be able to mount a coordinated effort to wipe out the Taliban.

    Corruption, greed, lack of central control, no respect for individual rights by all parties, no respect for life itself through wholesale acts of terror and military violence, all combine for one the biggest problems on the planet...and they have atomic weapons.

  177. The Taliban is funded by the Saudis, and backed by the ISI, Pakistan's secret police and intelligence service. Those involved in providing such support should be held responsible for the massacre, hunted down, and dealt with as the vile criminals that they are. For the United States government to regard such people as our "friends," and reward them (in the case of the ISI) with billions of dollars of the American taxpayers' money, is a scandal that surpasses the human capacity for disgust.

  178. A few points.

    Pakistan can not ignore India completely. After the Taliban was toppled India opened 5 consulates near the Pakistan border. I don't think they were opened to issue Visas. Nationalist (non Islamist) terror activity in the province of Baluchistan has been increasing over the last 13 years.

    Also in Pakistan there is no debate over the fact that the Pakistani Taliban have to be dealt with. The military, the elected government and most of the people are united in this. The issue in Pakistan has been about what to do with monsters Pakistan helped to create , namely the Afghan Taliban,the Haqqani network. The issue for Pakistan is they do not want to open up another front.

    Overall there are some positive signs. For the first time Pakistan and America seem to be working together. Now that Karzai is gone relationship between Pakistan an Afghanistan has improved. Pakistan may actually go after the Haqqani network now.

    I think we need to give Pakistan some time. We have a mind set that other people should fix their issues immediately. There are enough issues we need to fix here and are not able to do it. Pakistan is well on the way to fixing their issues. Overall the number of attacks by Islamists is down and this was likely an act of desperation.

  179. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering going on with the families of the slain children. I doubt the god of Islam condones the killing of innocent children for any reason.

    It is time that the world stop calling these animals Muslim and recognize them for what they are murders plain and simple. They should be hunted down tried and executed.

    They have hidden behind religion for too long, the veil needs to be lifted. This has nothing to do with god but rather power. It is time for every Muslim religious group to stand up and condemn these acts for just what they are. Their followers need to know when they die hell is their only destination.

  180. How is it possible to to find peace during this holy time without acknowledging the victims of violence (Peshawar, Iguala, Guantanamo, Dehli, Ferguson, Cleveland, Staten Island, Sydney, and many others). My prayers go out to the victims and victims/families.

  181. There have been stories for years about the covert support of the Taliban and Al Queda among elements of the Pakistani military and intelligence service. The infiltration of radical jihadists into these institutions has made the Pakistanis less than full allies in the war against terrorists.

    It was no coincidence that Ben Laden lived unmolested near a Pakistan military base. And the lines of supply for the Taliban in Afghanistan run through Pakistan without hindrance. That's why the Afghan branch of the Taliban is trying to distance themselves from the Pakistani Taliban.

    The deliberate and planned murder of these children is an example of how far from normal human emotions and empathy the radical Islamist theology is. Nothing drives pathological violence worse than extreme religious fervor, no matter what the religion.

    For all the Pakistanis military and intelligence people who turned a blind eye to the Taliban and Al Queda or shared their beliefs, this is a comeuppance as the radical chickens come home to roost.

  182. One does have to wonder how much Obama's withdrawal of American influence in the area has encouraged the Taliban to attempt to regain what they have lost.

    I would suggest that the effects more than minimal.

  183. So much suffering. It is horrific and sad. In order to reach a new dimension of consciousness and evolution of the mind, out of suffering and terror, the world needs vipassana meditation and compassion, loving kindness, dhamma, which cuts through/across all religions.

  184. "Wedded to an outmoded vision of India as the mortal enemy, the army has long played a double-game, taking American aid while supporting and exploiting various Taliban groups as a hedge against India and Afghanistan"

    Knowing this USA still continues to finance Pakistan and pour arms and ammunation in the area.

    Can we not have a better strategy.

  185. When I heard of this horrible attack against innocence, I recalled the doctor with whom I was working at the time telling me he had just heard on the radio of the Sandy Point killings., and the intensity of his distress. He was a Muslim from Pakistan.

    There is an element of denial in comments that state that "only Islam" produces such horror. We need to be reminded, for example, that on April 19, 1995, two white, "Christian" Americans, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, killed 168 people, many of them children. Our first knee-jerk reaction was to look for Muslims.

    Enough. It is not Muslims, it is humans, including Muslims, Christians, all of us, who commit evil.

  186. Islamic terrorism is a 30 year issue. Humans have been committing atrocities for centuries using a variety of justifications. It is true Muslims have mad contributions prior to the 30 years. So have others including Christians who colonized large parts of the world, killing and enslaving innocents; and yes this was done in the name of religion.

  187. This PC talking point actually hurts Muslims by not recognizing the threat. Yes we have murderous lunatics. And sometimes they succeed. But do you know why they'll never take grow into an armed movement that could take over? Because we don't let them. Muslims need to wake up and do the same.

  188. Pakistan, for decades, has played both sides against the middle and now has to pay the check for duplicity and toleration of fanatic killers based on its soil. Let's try to remember that Pakistan provides a safe haven and, for years, hid Bin Laden.

  189. Most of the attacks inside Pakistan originate from US controlled Afghanistan. Does that mean America is playing both sides.
    The issues are quite complex and there is mistrust based on history. Pakistan feels it was let down after the Afghan war.
    Pakistan is also recovering from the legacy of America's great friend general Zia. At the time he was described a a modern day Cromwell by some conservatives. He was nothing of the sort. Pakistan has been suffering from dysfunction since General Zia dragged Pakistan into the fight against the Soviets.
    Although no one knows for sure it does appear that the leaders in Pakistan did not know about the location of Bin Laden.

  190. Your editorial weakly attempts to confine this terroristic horror to Pakistan. Terrorists know no boundaries. They kill children en masse, behead journalists, bomb marketplaces, down jumbo airliners, down NYC skyscrapers at rush hour to get the maximum effect in promoting their causes. Do not think for a minute that going forward they will not attempt to pull off the same kind of massacre in any Western country, including and most notably this one. Your overreaction to such comparative trivialities as the Senate CIA interrogation report last week and the supposed racial brutality in our law enforcement system is brought into sharper focus as yesterday's events become clearer. Some perspective is required, even for so called progressives who cannot seem to get their eyes off their navels and see the real world for what it really is.

  191. Pakistan would not have witnessed his tragedy if Musharraf, the former dictator had not succumbed to american pressure and started a war with the Pathan tribes. This is a heinous crime and has nothing to do with Islam or islamic teachings. The TTP is a mad and rabid organization which should be obliterated. The despicable person, Mullah Fazullah who ordered this heinous attack on children is hiding in Afghanistan, guarded and helped by the Afghan intelligence, clients of US. And let us not forget that US is mainly responsible in stoking the fires in Afghanistan and in the tribal regions of Pakistan. The constant drone attacks,night time raids, desecration of Quran, abuse of prisoners and other egregious actions are equivalent to pouring gas on the fire . And Pakistan has to suffer the consequences. Being on the side of US or even the perception of being on the side of US is a kiss of death in the muslim world. And this tragedy proves it.

  192. @Syed Abdulhaq, "Blame America" for everything that's broken in the nations that call themselves Islamic is part of the familiar pathology. Conspiracy theories have become the stable diet in Middle-East and other Islamic countries.

    Sure, America's foreign policy has been myopic and screwed up (more often than not) and there's some truth to your critique of American policies, but you seem to absolve Pakistan (and Muslim world) completely for what ails them.

  193. The world should recognize that Taliban was the creation of Pakistan ISI and they were used by the ISI to attack Afghanistan and other neighbors. They have now turned against some segments of Pakistan. The real problem in Pakistan is that their civilian Government is inept and ISI is the ultimate power. Unless they join the civilized world as a civilian controlled system, these incidents will continue. It is not only Pakistanis that suffer, their neighbors are also victims of this system. Of course one cannot ignore the fact that Islam is used as an excuse by all terrorists of today.

  194. Sunni theocracies, including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, long ago embraced the cradle to grave brainwashing of their people to link religious salvation with the slaughter of innocents. Military intervention by civilized countries will not undo the cultural motivation of people who allow their clergies and their governments to use terror as their means of foreign and religious police as their agents of domestic policy.

    The murder of schoolchildren by the Taliban is not so different than the "honor killings" of women by their families; the only difference is scale.

    For too long civilized countries have deemed the terrorist actions of the Taliban, Al Qaeda et al as aberrations of Sunni Islam. The more those actions persist, the more they appear to be consistent with the mainstream beliefs of the middle eastern Sunni theocracies and endorsed by enough of the mainstream population to sustain recruitment by ISIS et al.

    Let the Muslims have the middle east to do with it what they want. If there is a god, god will have his vengeance on a people who believe in the slaughter of children.

    Whether or not god exists, the response of civilized countries should be containment and quarantine of Sunni theocratic states.

  195. It is irrelevant whether the Taliban, or ISIS, or other terrorist groups call themselves Muslims, or claim any meaningful connection with Islam. Acts of horror such as those clearly demonstrate that they don't live up to the loving nature of the faith. As such, the media and the public must de-emphasize these linkages and appropriately portray them as what they are: irrational murderers who need to be stopped by a joined effort between the West and the true Islamic people, those affected by terrorist acts. A rhetoric that polarizes the world according to their religious beliefs fosters intolerance, resentment and discrimination – powerful ingredients for violent actions. Moreover, it neglects the efforts made by the Muslim community around to globe to combat extremists. It's imperative that the media helps de-legitimize these groups as Islamic in order to curb their popularity and growth among deprived Muslim youth in order to accelerate their defeat.

  196. Was Sandy Hook blamed on a "security lapse"? Why are the terrorists targeting Pakistan Army and its assets if the Army is not doing anything to combat them as this article claims?