3 news items that don’t make sense when read together
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3 news items that don’t make sense when read together

The first is the report of gruesome violence in the north west today, following two other major attacks in Peshawar this past week:

PESHAWAR: At least 55 people were killed Friday in violence in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern tribal region of Kyhber, which borders Afghanistan, local officials said.

Twenty-two people were killed in a suicide attack targeting a mosque after Friday prayers in the Tirah valley, while at least 10 soldiers and 23 militants died in an earlier clash around 10 kilometres away (six miles).

Fifteen militants were also killed when Pakistan fighter jets blitzed various suspected militant hideouts in the Orakzai Agency.

The second is the report on Ahmedis not being allowed to enter a mosque because local residents would rather have them not do so:

RAWALPINDI: Complying with the demands of the locals, the police on Friday barred Ahmadis from entering their worship centre in Satellite Town, Rawalpindi.

Leading the locals, businessman Sharjeel Mir told The Express Tribune that three days back on a consensus, it was decided to prevent any sort of worship in the centre.

Mir said that at a meeting called by the locals which was attended by DCO Saqib Zafar, Superintendent of Police Matloob Hussain, ulemas and other officials, it was decided that the worship centre will now be used only as a residence and if their demands are not met, then they will launch a protest.

The third is the report on the PTA’s efforts to ban the internet, owing to, amongst other things, national security:

The government published a public tender last month for the “development, deployment and operation of a national-level URL filtering and blocking System.” Technology companies, academic institutions and other interested parties have until March 16 to submit proposals for the $10 million project — but anger about it has been growing both inside and outside Pakistan.

Censorship of the Web is nothing new in Pakistan, which, like other countries in the region, says it wants to uphold public morality, protect national security or prevent blasphemy. The government has blocked access to pornographic sites as well as, from time to time, mainstream services like Facebook and YouTube, Google’s video site.

Reading these reports in conjunction leads to the following propositions:

1. Sometimes suicide bombers have an easier time entering mosques than Ahmedis trying to pray.

2. Our national security is not just threatened by brutal militant groups but also by Facebook.

3. Facebook and porn are blasphemous but  forbidding people to pray in their mosques is not.

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