Wednesday 30 January 2013

Car rally planned for S. Wazirstan - are you serious?

I think I must be dreaming. According to The Guardian the Pakistan Army has announced that a car rally will take place along a 130-km route in South Waziristan in the last week of March. It will start outside the tribal agency and pass through Kotkai, a former Taliban-controlled town where militants once trained child suicide bombers.
Organisers hope about 50 cars and their back-up vehicles will take part in the race. I can just imagine it, can't you?
Yes, and they're lining up for the off!
In pole position, driving a Toyota technical, complete with 50mm machine gun mounting, is Hakimullah 'Hot Rod' Mahsud, with co-driver Waliur Rahman.
Sorry! Last-minute change - Rahman is a late entry in his own car, a camouflaged Humvee. "Of course we are not rivals," says Mr Rahman. "This is just good old fashioned competition. I have no doubt I will win in the long run."
"It's a long time since I've been in this part of the country," said Hakimullah. "I'm not sure I will remember the route." He denied that he would not be on board his car for certain parts of the journey: "Any suggestion that I will not travel through those bits of the rally route that pass near the Ahmedzai Wazir areas are completely untrue. We are like brothers," he protested. "Anyway, who painted that large cross on the top of my car?"

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