Not just terrorism!

By Farooq Hameed Khan

When the DG ISI recently briefed the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, about foreign powers trying to destabilise Pakistan by sponsoring terrorist acts, the alarm bells should be ringing louder in the government corridors. Most significant was his remark that security forces were vigilantly monitoring the situation to forestall any ‘major eventuality’ that could threaten national security.

In the wake of the deteriorating internal security situation and the recent well coordinated anti-Pak army and ISI onslaught by the international media and London School of Economics, the ISI chief’s remarks reinforced the commonly held view that happenings all over Pakistan were more than just acts of terrorism.

The recent spate of target killings in Karachi is aimed to create political, ethnic and sectarian strife to weaken the country. Anti-state elements have destabilised Karachi, the country’s economic hub to an extent that both the federal and provincial governments appear helpless to control this mad killing spree.

How would one explain the reported blatant display of the provocative billboard of the Sindh Liberation Army (SLA) in Karachi? The billboard carries the picture of a SLA leader with a Kalas-hnikov, sporting a jacket and a Sindhi cap, urging people to join the movement for the liberation of so-called Sindhudesh. Is RAW up to its old mischief again in Sindh?

Quetta and interior Balochistan continue to witness attacks on Punjabi settlers and security personnel on a dangerous scale by the RAW,. CIA and RAAM funded and armed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). Articles by foreign writers circulating on the internet, debate the ‘final solution’ for Pakistan, including the envisaged carving out of an international corridor from Gwadar up north into Balochistan.

It seems the nation has forgotten the infamous Blackwater phenomenon that emerged mysteriously in our major towns and cities in the last two years or so? Operating under the new banners of Xe/Dyn Corp, these hundreds of private foreign security contractors and their secret network must now be well entrenched in Pakistan’s major cities. It cannot be dismissed as a mere coincidence that wherever these foreigners moved, that city soon got engulfed in terrorist acts that appear to instigate sectarian and ethnic violence and civil strife.

Is the Baghdad model, that involves attacks on religious shrines to provoke confrontation between different Muslim sects, being replicated in Lahore? Here the question is, does this ‘Xe network’ have links with our banned extremist organisations and ethnic groups? It is true that those who execute these violent acts appear to be well trained and brainwashed religious fanatic Pakistanis with a mix of Afghan nationals. But are the foreign contractors, with support from their friends across our eastern borders, the real masterminds of these bloody events? Even the Honourable Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court has sought a report from the Punjab government regarding any covert involvement of these shady security personnel in the ongoing terror wave in Lahore.
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A timely realisation

Finally state representatives have begun to voice the fears that many others in Pakistan have been voicing for some time now – that Afghanistan is being used to fuel terrorism and militancy in Pakistan. Now no less an authority than the DG ISI, General Pasha, has informed the Parliamentary Committee on National Security of the same fact. According to him, the drug mafia in Afghanistan is supporting the terrorists within Pakistan. But he also knows only too well that the support extends beyond the drug mafia to foreign powers like India – of which Pakistan has been stating for some time it has substantive proof. Clearly, Afghanistan has become a source for terrorism within Pakistan and the government needs to formulate a cohesive policy to deal with this threat.

The DG ISI also discussed Obama’s Afghanistan-Pakistan policy and the fallout on Pakistan and its sovereignty. The Chairman of the Committee, Raza Rabbani, in a debate on Karachi in the Senate, asserted that imperialist powers were deliberately trying to thwart the government’s efforts to bring about the required paradigm shift in its national security policy, by creating law and order problems in Pakistan through terrorist acts and violence across the country. The clear reference to the US by the use of the term “imperialist” denotes that even members of the ruling party are well aware of the US designs for Pakistan. India too has now become a neo-imperial power in the neighborhood of South Asia and that was not missed by Senator Rabbani, an astute observer of the region.

Yet the government continues to maintain a strange silence on the US problem in Pakistan – from drones to their support for India militarily in the region especially in Afghanistan, and in the nuclear field. In fact, the Interior Minister continues to be in a strange form of denial regarding the mercenary security operatives employed by the US in Pakistan, despite ample proof to the contrary. It is time for the government to seriously get down to formulating a cohesive national security policy that delinks itself from that of the US in the region, so that our indigenous roots of terrorism can be dealt with more effectively; while at the same time taking a cold hard line on the US role in Afghanistan where certain forces are fomenting terrorism within Pakistan.

Finally, it makes little sense for the Foreign Minister to now declare that the Afghan war should not spillover into Pakistan when that has already happened. Instead, he should be countering US declarations, unfounded on any evidence so far, that the Al-Qaeda leadership is in Pakistan. He should also be projecting the Pakistani concerns over drones and other issues related directly to US policies in this region. Now that officialdom is admitting to external sources of threat to Pakistan, it is time the state acts to neutralise them also.( The Nation)

Afghan soil being used against Pakistan: DG ISI

ISLAMABAD (Agencies) – Director General ISI Ahmad Shuja Pasha said on Tuesday that Afghan soil is being used for terrorist activities in Pakistan, adding that peace cannot be established in Pakistan unless infiltration from Afghan border is stopped.

Briefing Parliamentary Committee on National Security, the DG said that the drug mafia in Afghanistan is supporting terrorists who are creating unrest within Pakistan.

According to reports, the committee members believe that the Pak-Afghan border should be fenced and movement across the border should be strictly monitored.

The members also called for the need to enhance security along the Pak-Afghan border.

The committee also discussed US President Obama’s new Afghan policy’s implications and possible backlash on Pakistan’s sovereignty. Read more of this post

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