Since the 1980s, patronized by the security establishment, the religious right has gained political ground in Pakistan. The goal is to grab political power and impose a harsh version of Islam on a country founded in the name of the religion.
ISLAMABAD -- For years, the refrain of "fear of blowback" kept the government from going after the Taliban in certain regions. But the slaughter of children in Peshawar was the last straw. Especially after the recent bombing of women and children in a park -- the softest of targets, many of us in Pakistan believe that the terrorists' depravity is fueled by the desperation of knowing that their space is shrinking.
A key lesson for Pakistan's elites is that short-term military action and executions, important as they are, are no substitute for structural reforms, especially of school curricula and religious institutions that breed intolerance and Islamic nationalism.
A faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing.
A faction of the Pakistani Taliban called Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack that killed at least 65 people.
Scores of people, mostly women and children, were killed in a blast at a public park.
The insurgents that the Pakistani and U.S. forces are battling are various fronts of poor, largely uneducated men doing what their ancestors have done for centuries: defending the Pashtun way.