By ILPS Philippines
As Filipinos observe Easter Sunday, a Taliban Jamaat-ul-Ahrar attack at Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore killed at least 65 people and injured more than 280, mostly women and children.
The Philippines Chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Phils) mourns for the innocent lives lost and condemns this act of terror.
They are victims of a “long war” that the United States leads and intensifies in the region. This is not a war between Christians and Muslims.
The US-led war in Afghanistan (2001-2014) removed the Taliban from power. NATO troops were allowed to remain but in February 2015 the headquarters element of the US 7th Infantry Division began to deploy to Afghanistan. US military bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad remained open allegedly to fight the Taliban. In January 2016, the US government sent a directive to the Pentagon which granted new legal authority for the US military to go on an offensive.
Meanwhile, Chinese officials have declared that Afghan stability affects separatist movements in the region, including in China’s West as well as the security of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and military are widely alleged by the international community to have provided support to the Taliban during their founding and time in power, and of continuing to support the Taliban during the insurgency.
Pakistan is a major non-NATO ally providing intelligence and logistical support for the United States.
Between 2002–2010, Pakistan received approximately $18 billion in military and economic aid from the United States. In February 2010, the Obama administration requested an additional $3 billion, for a total of $20.7 billion.
On February 11, 2016, US government proposed US $860 million in aid for Pakistan during the 2016-17 fiscal year, including $265 million for military hardware in addition to counterinsurgency funds. This is aside from the series of drone strikes and direct military intervention of the US inside Pakistan.
As a people wanting to chart their own future, we stand in solidarity with the Pakistani people, Christians and Muslims alike.