The Hindu: The shooting of 14-year-old peace activist Malala Yousafzai has triggered nation-wide anger at terrorists and their apologists. “As news broke of Malala being shot, condemnation was quick to follow from across the political spectrum with even the religious right wing parties joining in. The Jam’at-ud-Da’wah [the legitimate and charitable arm of the notorious Lashkar-e-Taiba] also condemned the shooting even as cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf came in for scathing criticism for being an apologist for terrorism and his advocacy of peace deals with terrorists instead of military action against them.”
Comment: Jay Bookman writing for AJC: The attack on a teenage activist is an unfortunate part of Pakistan’s historical trajectory. “Like the lynchings that once marred the American South, such acts of violence against helpless victims are a sign of weakness, not strength, and in the long term they will be interpreted as such. Human cultures may be wildly diverse, but some things are true in all places and times, and grown, armed men attacking young children elicits admiration in very few. It is also important to remember that the circumstances that produced her attackers also produced Malala herself.”
Analysis: Nadeem Khalid writing for the Examiner: Following the barbaric attack on a 14 year old anti-extremist activist, there is a wake-up call to the international community as to the perils of terrorism in Pakistan. “The terrorists have tried to silence an innocent voice to preserve and promote their nefarious agenda. The obscurantists, extremists and radicals have once again challenged the right of free speech and education. The fight against international terrorism is not confined to geographical locations; it is a global fight, which must be carried on to its logical conclusion.”
China Daily: Six Afghan Local Police (ALP) officers have been killed when a bomb they were defusing detonated in Helmand province. “‘The ALP found an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) or roadside bomb but as they were defusing the IED, the explosive detonated at around 7 am local time, killing six ALP policemen and injuring one,’ spokesman Ahmad Zarak told Xinhua.”
Bloomberg Businessweek: A top UN envoy has refuted recent suggestions that Afghanistan is destined for collapse following the withdrawal of US and NATO combat forces in 2014. “Fears have been looming that Afghanistan, which remains bitterly divided and where ethnic tensions still simmer, could again fracture along ethnic lines once the foreigners leave — as it did after the Soviet exit from Afghanistan in the 1990s.
‘The international community is ready to do everything possible to support Afghanistan and frankly, to help Afghanistan not lapse into these kind of doom-and-gloom scenarios that are coming from different places,’ said Kubis, the U.N. envoy to Afghanistan.”
Analysis: Bill Roggio writing for the Long War Journal: Al Qaeda and the Taliban are far more entrenched in Afghanistan than many believe. “…our government is downplaying the strength of our enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a rationale of getting us out of the longest war. We have been lulled into believing that the perils are in the past: “You’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script.’”
The New York Times: The Indian Government, in particular J&K state government, has argued that the use of media blackouts (including social media blackouts) has helped to avoid serious violence in the wake of the release of American film Innocence of Muslims. The debate about the tool’s effectiveness and ethical status continues.
DNA India: “The Indian Air Force has formed special teams to counter terrorism in the country who are specially ‘trained to react in minimum time at any specific target.’”