Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | War on Terrorism | taliban | Pakistan | western | schoolchildren

Husain Haqqani: School Attack Reflects Taliban 'Mindset'

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 01:04 PM

The 100-plus children killed in an attack at a Peshawar, Pakistan, school on Tuesday were ages 5 to 15 and attending a public school for children of army members, says Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States.

Haqqani, who was a guest Tuesday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV, said that children at the school are taught in English and wear neckties to school, similar to many schools in Western nations.

"It is in many ways one of the biggest tragedies in Pakistan's recent history, even though Pakistan has had many, many terrorist attacks over the last 10 years," Haqqani said.

Story continues below video.


Note: Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349 and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system –
Click Here Now

The Taliban, a violent Islamic militant group, has claimed responsibility.

"We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females," Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani said. "We want them to feel the pain."

According to Haqqani, the Taliban said they were targeting only "senior children (ages 14 and 15), which of course is no excuse."

"They say that they are avenging the Pakistan military's operation in North Waziristan, but that of course is just utter nonsense," he said. "The Taliban have killed children, attacked schools before.

"They represent a certain mindset, a certain world view. They basically want to overrun Pakistan or the parts of Pakistan that they can overrun."

At least 126 children, a number of soldiers, and all of the gunmen were killed, Haqqani said.

The Taliban argues that it is the only true form of the Islamic religion.

"They consider anyone adopting Western ways or modern education as unacceptable," Haqqani said. "There has been a lot of ambivalence in Pakistani policy towards this group for a long time, which has allowed them to flourish.

"If you remember, they attacked Malala Yousafzai's school in Swat when they took control of that area. They don't want little girls to study, and they don't want young boys to study what they consider to be Western ways.

"In this particular instance, the school was the Army public school where the children of a lot of military officers attend, and one of the reasons why they wanted to target it was to make the point that we will make the cities of Pakistan unsafe for the children and family members of Pakistani military."

Haqqani said he hopes Pakistan’s leaders will see this killing as the wake-up call they need to stand up against homegrown terror. But he isn’t hopeful that will happen.

"Leaders have often deluded themselves with conspiracy theories," he said.

"We are already hearing them on Pakistani media, people trying to blame India, Israel, other so-called enemies of Pakistan instead of recognizing that this is a problem that comes from within Pakistan and therefore must be dealt with by Pakistan."

While the U.S. would like to see Pakistan become a stable, modern democracy instead of a safe haven for terrorists and extremists, Pakistan’s leaders are only concerned about competition with and animosity toward India, according to Haqqani.

Pakistan sees American foreign aid, more than $40 billion over the past 50 years, as an entitlement.

"It would be in Pakistan's interest to have peaceful relations with Afghanistan, good relations with India, and normalcy, higher education rate, more economic productivity," he said. "But instead, our leaders have pursued nuclear weapons, a much larger army than our economy can support, and try to use the United States by saying, you know what, wherever you need us, we'll be there for you.

But Pakistan is not there "for the U.S. completely, which is why there is so much distrust between the two countries," Haqqani said.

Related Stories:

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsmax-Tv
The 100-plus children killed in an attack at a Peshawar, Pakistan, school on Tuesday were ages 5 to 15 and attending a public school for children of army members, says Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States.
taliban, Pakistan, western, schoolchildren
772
2014-04-16
Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 01:04 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved