No, nobody’s guilty. The bombs planted themselves, and the guns fired themselves. This story blames lack of training and a “dysfunctional” legal system, but those two factors are not nearly the whole story. At best, there is an attitude of complacency and lack of political will to overcome the “dysfunction”: for many within the Pakistani government, dysfunction and corruption have served them well. At worst, and all too often, there is outright sympathy for the cause of the jihadists at appallingly high levels of government. “Pakistan: Lack of terror convictions hurts fight,” by Sebastian Abbot for the Associated Press, August 20:
ISLAMABAD – Pakistani courts have yet to convict a single person in any of the country’s biggest terrorist attacks of the past three years, a symptom of a dysfunctional legal system that’s hurting the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida at a critical time.
Police without basic investigative skills such as the ability to lift fingerprints, and prosecutors who lack training to try terror cases, are some of the main reasons cited. Another daunting challenge: Judges and witnesses often are subject to intimidation that affects the ability to convict.
How about outright sympathizers?
The legal system’s failure to attack terrorism is critical because it robs Pakistan of a chance to enforce a sense of law and order, which militants have set out to destroy.
Not only to destroy what remains of Pakistan’s civil society, but to impose Sharia and then crow that they were, therefore, the only ones who could “bring law and order.”
It has “caused a sense of terror and insecurity amongst the members of society,” said one of the country’s top judges, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Mohammad Sharif.
The legal failures also call into question the government’s ability to fight terrorism in any way except by using the army in military offensives or — human rights groups alleged — through targeted extra-judicial killings.
The United States has said repeatedly that its success in Afghanistan and throughout the troubled region depends on strong help from Pakistan against militants. […]
Old military adage: “Hope is not a method.”
An Associated Press review found no convictions in the 20 largest and most high-profile terror attacks of the last three years.
Many of the Pakistani court cases connected to those attacks — which have killed nearly 1,100 people_ have dragged on for years, or have yet to make it even past the investigation stage and into the courts.
The handful of cases that have been decided have all resulted in acquittals — though many of these defendants remain in custody while they are investigated in other cases, court officials said.
By contrast, 89 percent of terrorism cases in the United States have resulted in convictions since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, according to a report this year by the Center on Law and Security at the New York University School of Law.
The recent acquittals of suspects in two of the most high-profile attacks — the 2008 truck bombing outside the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad and last year’s commando-style raid on a police academy in Lahore_ have highlighted the problems plaguing the system.
The verdict in the Lahore police academy attack seemed to defy explanation….
Or does it?