Peshawar Attack, Revenge and the Role of the State

Stephen M. Lyon

I am well aware that anything I might say about the attack on school children in Peshawar on 16 December, 2014 is going to be inadequate and in some ways pointless. The murder of children is horrific and wrong in every way and the Taliban have lowered themselves beyond anything I might have imagined. It would be nice to think that every Pakistani would unite in condemning the Taliban and all of the Taliban members who realise this is wrong will repudiate the attack and reject the leadership who seem to think it’s a justifiable response to the Pakistan army’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Efforts to push the blame onto foreign fighters won’t really minimise the responsibility of the Pakistani Taliban. They clearly don’t seem to care about human lives much.

The reaction of the Pakistan state has been predictable. Three days of national mourning were declared and the event has…

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