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A Deadly Taliban Attack On A Pakistani School46:49
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With guest host Michel Martin.

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren.  We ask why there, why now.

Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The death toll at the school in northern Pakistan continues to rise ; nearly all the casualties are children. As the country mourns, condolences come from around the world, from the US, and Turkey and  rival India. The Pakistani Taliban claims responsibility  and now Pakistan’s government vows, at long last, to work with neighboring Afghanistan to stamp out  the Taliban for good.  But Pakistan itself helped create this monster, and stamping it out won’t be easy.  And add this to the mix:  the US is getting ready to pull out of Afghanistan and leave a major power vacuum. This hour, On Point: Pakistan confronts the Taliban.
-- Michel Martin

Guests

Taha Siddiqui, Pakistan correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. (@tahassiddiqui)

Adil Najam, dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. Former vice chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences. (@adilnajam)

Carlotta Gall, Pulitzer Prize-winning North Africa bureau chief for the New York Times. Former Afghanistan and Pakistan reporter. Author of "The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014." (@carlottagall)

Daniel Markey, senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. Former member of the US Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff, from 2003 to 2007. Author of "No Exit From Pakistan." (@markeydaniel)

From The Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Taliban Militants Attack Pakistan School -- "Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan and killed at least 141 people, methodically shooting schoolchildren in the head and setting fire to some victims, according to witnesses and officials. In one of the militant group’s deadliest attacks, many children had remained trapped in the Peshawar school as hostages, officials said, with the attack continuing for some nine hours until the military declared it had regained control."

Christian Science Monitor: Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan are targeting children of the elite — "In Tuesday’s attack in Peshawar, the target was the Pakistani military, which almost exclusively sets the nation’s security and foreign policies. The military is a state unto itself, and its members’ children are served by a separate school system that tends to be better run and equipped than civilian schools, particularly in scruffy outposts like PeshawarIt was one of these [Army] schools that militants attacked, killing at least 132 students and nine staff. Many of the school's teachers and students are the wives and children of officers with military housing adjacent to the school."

New York Times: How the Pakistani Taliban Became a Deadly Force — "The Pakistani Taliban and affiliated militant groups have mounted a long series of devastating attacks in Pakistan’s cities over the years. One of their most significant attacks in 2014 was an audacious siege of the Karachi international airport in June. The attack, in which a group of 10 attackers fought security forces for hours and killed 13 people, represented the final straw for Pakistan’s military. Within days, an extensive military air and ground assault began against Taliban leaders headquartered in North Waziristan. It is that offensive that a Taliban spokesman said led to theretaliatory militant attack in Peshawar on Dec. 16 that killed dozens of Pakistani schoolchildren and teachers."

This program aired on December 17, 2014.

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