ANALYSING TERRORISM IN PAKISTAN

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

By:Khan Zia  

Is it really possible for an organisation like al-Quaida to exist, let aside operate, in the present environment where every letter, telephone call, e-mail, passport, visa, airline ticket, credit card transaction, bank transfer; aircraft, ship and boat movement, etc. in every corner of the world is being constantly monitored? Prior to the neo-cons miraculously discovering it as an excuse for attacking Afghanistan no one had even heard of al-Quaida. Pakistan’s Minister of Interior at the time, General Haider, admitted as much. The erstwhile British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is on record having stated that al-Quaida was the title of a CIA data file with particulars of Arab volunteers in the war against the Soviets.

Is it realistically possible for a man afflicted with terminal kidney disease and in constant need of dialysis to create, organise and continue to operate from the caves of Afghanistan an omnipotent hydra, capable of striking anywhere in the world at any time, at the drop of a hat? What kind of fools does Hilary Clinton think we are when she implies that Pakistan may still be protecting bin Laden and when her own officials have testified to his probable demise in December 2001?

In testifying before the Congress recently, the US Defence Secretary, head of CIA as well as General Petraeus admitted that there were only fifty or so al-Quaida members left. Are the western intelligence and security agencies really so dismally inept that they have not been able to root these out in ten years? Does NATO need to deploy 140,000 troops in Afghanistan indefinitely to control this many fugitives?

Coming to Taliban in Afghanistan, theirs was the friendliest government Pakistan ever had in that country and this can’t be a cause for complaint. What they did internally was their business; we were not obliged to follow suit. There is also no evidence of any kind that the Afghan Taliban had anything to do with 9 / 11 or intended any harm to the US. It is quite wrong to say that the attack was planned in Afghanistan; it was planned in Hamburg, Germany.

 

It is illogical that the Afghan Taliban should be Pakistan’s enemies. They need the latter to survive now and in the future. But there are parties that would dearly like to sell the idea that the war against Taliban is also Pakistan’s war. That being the case, would they not try to create situations to support this proposition?

 

It is naïve to blame Taliban for all the acts of terrorism in Pakistan regardless of the claims that are made. We can never be sure of who makes these. There are all kinds of elements involved. Anyone can purchase a suicide bomber or two for a price these days. True, some of them may well be in it for revenge for their near and dear ones killed by the Pakistan Army in an operation in Waziristan that was wholly uncalled for.

 

Even after the occupation of Afghanistan there was no trouble of any kind in FATA and no cause for any military action in the area (please see the then Corps Commander Gen. Ali Jan Orakzai’s statement in this video:http://www.pkmirror.com/2010/01/28/islamabad-tonight-28-jan-10/

If there was no trouble, why was the Pakistan army deployed in the region and, more significantly, why did it undertake such heavy-handed operations in civilian areas that resulted in the indiscriminate deaths of our own innocent citizens? Apart from the dead, there are reportedly over two million displaced persons today. To call it ‘acceptable collateral damage’ is heartless or worse. It is a crime against humanity as per the Geneva Conventions Part IV of Protocol I, chapters 1 – 5, articles 48 – 59.

 

It is naive to think that people will not react in some way if they are attacked, their homes destroyed and their kith and kin killed for no reason. Did we not know that the Pathans will avenge the deaths of those killed by the army? Whichever way you look at it, there is no one to blame but us for inflicting this heartless and shameful tragedy on our own people.

We knowingly chose to fight and kill them, for reasons that had nothing to do with the victims, and now protest because those closer to us are being hurt as a consequence. The time to protest was when the army was deployed and totally innocent civilians began to die in Waziristan. If the intention was simply to apprehend some accused persons, was this the professional and right way of going about it?

 

If that was in the past what is the answer now? Stop the endless war and the killing that is both meaningless and mindless. Apart from anything else we cannot afford it. The defence budget has increased four-fold and the country is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy because of it. Sit down at the negotiating table and make amends for all the wrongs we have done. There is no shame in it for these are our own people. There is no reason whatsoever to tie it to the situation in Afghanistan. If anything, it will help expedite resolution of the latter.

 

It might also save Pakistan for the future generations. The alternative is disintegration of the nation, destruction of the economy, demoralisation and subversion of discipline in the armed forces. Just think, instead of facing imminent food shortages and economic collapse, how many hydro-electric dams, schools, hospitals, universities, roads, railways, etc. could have been built with the seventy billion dollars or more that were blown away fighting a war that we provoked and that had nothing to do with us?

(The writer is a retired Pakistan Navy officer now living in Canada. Spend much time reading and writing mostly on history and geo-politics. Two recent books are titled Muslims and the West: A Muslim Perspective and Pakistan: Roots, Perspective and Genesis).

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Comments

  • Nadeem  On April 12, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Very sane assessment of the Pakistan situation vis-a-vis Taliban, Afghanistan and the ongoing war against terror. Our leadership, both military and civilian, should reassess its priorities and bearings. Pakistan is heading for an abyss it will not be able to recover from, if the slide is unchecked.

    We should circulate and discuss this and other similar sane proposals with our friends and acquintences who are in positions of power. It is high time we pursue peace rather than war. That may be the only way to salvage whatever is left of our motherland.

    Nadeem Kausar

  • Parvez Amin  On April 12, 2011 at 6:10 am

    This is perhaps the most credible analysis I have read of the terror attacks in Pakistan. We must immediately sit and negotiatiate a settlement with those we have hurt, damaged and insulted… they are our own and will understand.

  • S U Turkman  On April 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

    My comments are inserted below.
    ———-

    By:Khan Zia

    Is it really possible for an organisation like al-Quaida to exist, let aside operate, in the present environment where every letter, telephone call, e-mail, passport, visa, airline ticket, credit card transaction, bank transfer; aircraft, ship and boat movement, etc. in every corner of the world is being constantly monitored?

    TURKMAN: Is it really? Who told you this? If this is so, why there are so many JehaaDi Websites on Internet that is owned by USA?
    ————
    Prior to the neo-cons miraculously discovering it as an excuse for attacking Afghanistan no one had even heard of al-Quaida.

    TURKMAN: But almost every Pakistani knew Osama since 1996, when ISI had posted his Life Size Posters everywhere in Pakistan. ISI had sent his such Poster to all Moslim Countries also to make him become a Hero. Don’t you remember that? Was it not ISI that had made a very reluctant Mollaa Omar to agree on providing Sanctuary to Osama after asking him out of Sudan?
    ———-
    Pakistan’s Minister of Interior at the time, General Haider, admitted as much. The erstwhile British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is on record having stated that al-Quaida was the title of a CIA data file with particulars of Arab volunteers in the war against the Soviets.

    TURKMAN: Had he seen that file himself? Are you saying Osama had not named his organization Al Qaeda? Then, why the sign on his residence in 1994 Sudan said ‘Al Qaeda’? Do you need a picture of that?
    ———-
    Is it realistically possible for a man afflicted with terminal kidney disease and in constant need of dialysis to create, organise and continue to operate from the caves of Afghanistan an omnipotent hydra, capable of striking anywhere in the world at any time, at the drop of a hat?

    TURKMAN: Yes, just like a Terminally Ill TB Patient Mr. Jinnah, who could hardly live another 2 years could get you Pakistan by drop of his Hat.
    =———
    What kind of fools does Hilary Clinton think we are when she implies that Pakistan may still be protecting bin Laden and when her own officials have testified to his probable demise in December 2001?

    TURKMAN: Nobody has testified that they had seen him dead. No Evidence has been found. Would you believe me if I testified you were dead?
    ————–
    In testifying before the Congress recently, the US Defence Secretary, head of CIA as well as General Petraeus admitted that there were only fifty or so al-Quaida members left.

    TURKMAN: But did he say, he was sure of it and had evidence to prove it?
    ————
    Are the western intelligence and security agencies really so dismally inept that they have not been able to root these out in ten years?

    TURKMAN: Yes because they have not been able to figure out that Pak Army has been backstabbing USA for the last 10 years either.
    ———
    Does NATO need to deploy 140,000 troops in Afghanistan indefinitely to control this many fugitives?

    TURKMAN: Taliban are not Fugitives. They live in Pakistan under protection of your Army just like Osama and Mollaa Omar.
    ———
    Coming to Taliban in Afghanistan, theirs was the friendliest government Pakistan ever had in that country and this can’t be a cause for complaint.

    TURKMAN: How could they not be when Mollaa Omar was signing every Letter of Credit for only 2% Cash so, you Army People could import everything you wanted without Tariff and other Pak Taxes and sell those things in Pakistan under Afghan Transit Trade Agreement? How could he ask for more money, when one Division of Pak Army with Tanks and a lot of Heavy Weapons had been on his Head since 1996 disguised as his Taliban?
    ——–
    What they did internally was their business; we were not obliged to follow suit.

    TURKMAN: Then, why your ISI Chief had to send $ 100,000 to Mohammad Ata, the Ring Leader of 9/11 Hijacker’s Bank Account in USA? Where from could the poverty-stricken famous Indian Air Line Hijacker get that money to Dubai Money Changer unless that ISI General that used to visit him in those days had done that in his name? Why was that Hijacker, living in ISI protection was suddenly assassinated after USA had found out that he had sent that money?
    ———-
    There is also no evidence of any kind that the Afghan Taliban had anything to do with 9 / 11 or intended any harm to the US. It is quite wrong to say that the attack was planned in Afghanistan; it was planned in Hamburg, Germany.
    It is illogical that the Afghan Taliban should be Pakistan’s enemies.

    TURKMAN: When the hell were Taliban, Afghans? Why were they called Foreigners or ‘Khaarjiaan’ by Afghans if they were? Why are they still called the same?
    ————
    They need the latter to survive now and in the future. But there are parties that would dearly like to sell the idea that the war against Taliban is also Pakistan’s war. That being the case, would they not try to create situations to support this proposition?

    TURKMAN: How the hell have Taliban survived without any jobs and money for last 10 years if they are not on Pak Army’s Pay Roll and getting Weapons from Pak Army? Who taught Taliban to build IEDs and IUDs if not Pak Army? Who is providing them C 4 explosives if not Pak Army? Who has provided them with Night Vision Goggles? Who is paying Blood Money, when they die? Who has been paying Bounty for every Foreigner they kill in Afghanistan? Not Pak Army? Are Pakistani PushToons, who have leaked out all this, blind or what?
    ———–
    It is naïve to blame Taliban for all the acts of terrorism in Pakistan regardless of the claims that are made. We can never be sure of who makes these. There are all kinds of elements involved. Anyone can purchase a suicide bomber or two for a price these days. True, some of them may well be in it for revenge for their near and dear ones killed by the Pakistan Army in an operation in Waziristan that was wholly uncalled for.

    TURKMAN: I know, Taliban are pious saintly Social Workers. Evil USA’s Agents pretending to be Taliban have been claiming responsibility of all the Terrorists Acts in both countries, right?
    ———
    Even after the occupation of Afghanistan there was no trouble of any kind in FATA and no cause for any military action in the area (please see the then Corps Commander Gen. Ali Jan Orakzai’s statement in this video:http://www.pkmirror.com/2010/01/28/islamabad-tonight-28-jan-10/
    If there was no trouble, why was the Pakistan army deployed in the region and, more significantly, why did it undertake such heavy-handed operations in civilian areas that resulted in the indiscriminate deaths of our own innocent citizens? Apart from the dead, there are reportedly over two million displaced persons today. To call it ‘acceptable collateral damage’ is heartless or worse. It is a crime against humanity as per the Geneva Conventions Part IV of Protocol I, chapters 1 – 5, articles 48 – 59.

    TURKMAN: When was Pak Army killing Taliban? Pak Army has been only killing PushToons, who oppose Taliban and they have been telling all this to USA, sir.
    —————
    It is naive to think that people will not react in some way if they are attacked, their homes destroyed and their kith and kin killed for no reason. Did we not know that the Pathans will avenge the deaths of those killed by the army? Whichever way you look at it, there is no one to blame but us for inflicting this heartless and shameful tragedy on our own people.

    TURKMAN: Which PushToons have been blaming USA for killing their people? They are happy Drone Attacks have been killing your Taliban, their Enemies. PushToons are same nation on both sides of border and they hate you and your Taliban, sir. If Afghans love your Taliban or Taliban are really Afghans, why not a single Talib has won from anywhere in Afghanistan in last 2 Elections? I am not reading rest of your B.S. because its just the repeat. Good Bye.

    Death to Taliban and Pakistani Birth Enemies of Afghanistan …!
    Death to Taliban and Pakistani Savages the Enemies of Afghans …!
    Leave Afghans alone Animals …!

  • Zahid Karamat  On April 12, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Ms Ali,

    This is a well written piece by someone who seems well qualified to write on the subject. What disturbs me, however, is that too many people provide comment from the secure realms of “outside the country”. I find it difficult to take seriously those who have migrated to foreign lands. Do we not have any who actually live in this country who might be in a better position to provide more accurate information and analysis ?

    Zahid Kramet

    • S U Turkman  On April 12, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      But Mr. Karamat, how can the victims of Taliban and Pak
      Army can open their mouths, when they are being shot dead by your Army and Taliban?
      Now you want to kill their voice rebounding from overseas also?
      Who would speak for them if not their cousins and brothers free of tyranny of Taliban and Pak Army that can not kill them overseas?
      ‘Death to Savage Pakistani Enemies of Afghans …!’
      ‘Death to Savage Pakistani Enemies of Afghanistan …!’
      ‘Death to incompetent Savage Pakistani Enemies of Pak and Afghan Moslim, who kill 20 of them before they kill one American …!’
      ‘Death to Mercenaries of almost all Punjabi Army of Pakistan, the biggest killer of Moslims in South Asia, the killer of Bengalis, PushToons, Sindhis, Afghans, Balochis, Saraikis, Kashmiris, Baltistanis and Gilgitis …!’
      ‘Death to killers of millions of Moslims in the name of Islam, that they do not practice right themself …!’

  • Agha Gul  On April 12, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I strongly believe that your hypothesis is correct, but it is incomplete. I wish to suggest the following as complementary parts:

    The stated aims of the US are Al Quaida, Osama and Mulla Omar, etc etc. The events have however, shown that the politico-military aims being pursued are totally different. US wants presence in the hub of Afghanistan to breathe down the necks of Russia, China, CAR, Iran and Pak. The huge energy reservoirs of CAR are known to them, political influence on CAR is best acquired by physical presence. Iran, too defiant, trying to become nuclear, a regime change and non-prolifreration is the aim. Pak, is special target of US. US has set the ball rolling to economically destroy Pak, 18th Amdt has turned the Federation into Confederation. HEC is being done away with. Fissiparous tendencies are being encouraged. Insurgencies in FATA, Swat and Baluchistan have been fomented and paid for. Next step will be the provinces fighting amongst them, that is when the UN under duress from US would act, and announce actions like Libya, and under threat of “bombing into stone-age” de-nuclearise Pak. Democracy, the revenge, will survive, atb the cost of Pakistan, the Lone Islamic nuclear state.
    This, I feel is complete hypothesis.
    Now, what is the defensive maneuver? The only defensive maneuver is, booting out democracy for a while and teaching lesson to those who agreed to play this game.
    Regards,

    • S U Turkman  On April 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      You are doing a good job as representative of ISI on this forum Gul.

  • Bajwa  On April 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    OIC like African Union should intervene in this matter.

    Let us talk of policy prescriptions.

    We had enough of this journalistic hullahbello.

    A.Bajwa

  • Syed Ghouse  On April 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    “Formerly no one was allowed to think freely; now it is permitted, but no one is capable of it any more. Now people want to think only what they are supposed to think, and this they consider freedom.”: Oswald Spengler – (1880-1936) Source: The Decline of the West, 1926

    “We allow the most atrocious lies uttered by moral prostitutes to go unchallenged. These lies are endlessly recycled by their stooges until they become ingrained in the public conscience as truth. Worse than burying our heads in the sand, we bury them up our collective ass. How do you like the view?” : Charles Sullivan

  • Inam Khan  On April 14, 2011 at 1:33 am

    1.0 When usurpers take over the government,the populace has to pray for their crimes.
    2.0 The attack on the World Center Twin Towers was carried out by Russians to avenge their earlier defeat in Afghanistan and not Al-Qaida as generally believed.
    ……………………Inam Khan

    • Syed Wajahat  On April 14, 2011 at 1:34 am

      Please take a closer look. Who in the world benefitted from 9/11 incident.
      This is reality not an emotional battle.

      Syed Wajahat Hussain

      • S U Turkman  On April 14, 2011 at 1:57 am

        Wajahat, Pakistan has benefited from 9/11 more than any country and Afghanistan is 2nd.
        .
        Here is comparison of Pakistan before and after 9/11.
        .
        * Before:
        .
        1. USA pushing for Democracy and asking for the date, when Army would go back to its Barracks.
        2. UN Sanctions, no Membership in Commonwealth, Exports reducing.
        3. Economy defaulting, Joblessness rising.
        4. IMF giving hard time and not granting enough Loans, no Charity of Aid.
        5. Per Capita Income $ 500.
        6. Foreign Exchange Reserves below $ 100 million.
        .
        After:
        .
        1. USA no more pushing for Democracy.
        2. UN Sanctions lifted, Commonwealth Membership restored, US Provided export concessions from whole world causing tremendous increase in exports that doubled 5 years later.
        3. Economy growing fastest in the world, millions of new jobs created because of increase in export.
        4. IMF granting loans again freely, Charity of Aid Flooded the Country.
        5. Per Capita Income started growing and doubled 5 years later to $ 1000.
        6. Foreign Exchange Reserves started rising and reached record high of the history of Pakistan to $ 17 billion …

        … but thankless Pakistanis listened to Pak Army paid propaganda Machine created hate of USA instead and kept backstabbing USA in Afghanistan through its Mercenaries, the Taliban.
        Allaho Akbar …!

    • S U Turkman  On April 14, 2011 at 2:00 am

      This is new one Inam. I had heard, CIA, Israel, Zionists etc before. Could you please tell us, how did Russia had made ISI Chief to send money to Mohammad Atta, the Leader of 9/11 Hijacker’s Bank Account in USA?
      Did he work for Russia?

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