The Guardian reports:
A week ago baton-wielding men threw petrol bombs and torched vehicles at a mini-marathon in Gujranwala, 135 miles south of Islamabad. The race - one of the first to allow female participation - ended with police firing tear gas and making more than 50 arrests. ... "This has got to stop," said a protester, Aisha Shaukat, outside parliament yesterday. "These mullahs want us to just stay home, have children and God knows what else." She stood before a placard that read: "The obscenity is in your mind."
Others handed out leaflets saying: "We the citizens condemn this Talibanisation". Newspaper columnists and other critics have made frequent comparisons between the social agenda of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a powerful alliance of Islamic political parties spearheading the rise of the religious right in Pakistan, and the Taliban. ... "It is a battle of ideas and the fundamentalists are winning," said Talat Masood, a retired army officer and political analyst. "They can get away with anything. The government has no spine." Zilla Huma, a woman parliamentarian who ran in the Gujranwala race, said the mob had been bussed in. "Local people condemned their actions," she said.
Pakistan really seems to be going down hill — every time I turn around I see another story about extremists, thugs, and others attacking people because they fail to uphold a narrow vision of Islam. Is there any hope for this nation?