Let us look at the fluid dynamics of terror structure within Pakistan. On a micro –level, since situation and ground realities are changing every moment, what is true today, can be wrong tomorrow. However, on a macro level – certain truths are cast in stone.
Pakistan's Domestic Terrorists: Pakistan's domestic-based terrorist organizations fall into a number of categories.
In the first category are the Sunni (predominately Deobandi-Wahhabi) and the Shi'a groups whose initial purpose was to eliminate one another. The principal Sunni group within this area is the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (Corp of the Prophet's Companions, SSP), which has been renamed Millet-e-Islami, while within the Shi'a community; Sipahe Muhammad Pakistan (The Army of Muhammad, SMP) is the major group. These groups have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of people through various acts of terror. In this category are also the two terrorist organizations for stoking insurgency in Kashmir – the Laskhar e Taiba (under the umbrella of Jamaat Ut Dawa, now renamed Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool) and Jaish e Mohammad. Both LeT and JeM are creations of ISI to carry out warfare with Indian state, and the top members of both these outfits are not Kashmiris but ISI backed Pakistani Punjabis.
The second type of domestic terror group is the Pakistani Taliban. This group was initially fragmented (it was based on different ethnic groups and allocated in different areas along the Pakistan-Afghan border). Their members were graduates of Pakistani militant madaris who fought as mujahidin in the Afghan jihad. A prime example of such a group is the Tehreek-e-Nifaze-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law, TNSM), formed in 1989 by Sufi Muhammad following his return from the Afghan campaign. The group's purpose was the enforcement of Shari'a (Islamic law) in the Malakand district and Bajaur (in 1970, the Pakistani government revised the laws of the province, reducing the supremacy of the Shari'a).
Note: Sufi Muhammad’s spectacularly unsuccessful effort to assist the Taliban by taking 10,000 Swat youths to Afghanistan in 2001 and the decimation of this force, however, made him into a spent force. He courted arrest because he would otherwise have been lynched by the grieving parents whose children he led into Afghanistan. Also important to note is that Maulana Masood Azhar on his release by Indian government in Kandahar, got refuge by TNSM.
The third type of terror group is much more heterogeneous and difficult to define because it is made up of tribal nationalists or ethno-nationalists. This group is not uniform or united and is located along the Pakistan-Afghan border. These are motivated by a desire to maintain the status quo and defend their tribal identity and a strict tribal code (Pashtunwalli). These groups vary from province to province--there is a major difference for example between Baluch and Waziri groups--and they largely reject any form of outside influence. The most visible example of this type of group is that led by Maulvi Nazir, an Islamist (a former associate of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who is aligned with Maulana Fazlur Rahman) from the Kakakhel tribe, which is a sub-clan of the Ahmedzai Waziris (located in South Waziristan). Nazir's agenda centers on the removal of the Uzbeks from the region. Nazir and many others see the Uzbeks as foreigners, though the Uzbeks had lived in the region for many years and purchased homes and land in the region.
Note: Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who is the Taliban chief in North Waziristan, had signed a peace accord with the government on Feb 17, 2008 and was considered a pro-government militant commander as he ceased attacks on security forces and government installations.
When Baitullah Mehsud’s (Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan) TTP became a serious threat to the government, the government tried to unite other militant groups against Baitullah Mehsud, thus, bringing together Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Nazeer.
Maulvi Nazeer, who is the chief of Ahmadzai Wazir Taliban militants in South Waziristan, was until now considered a pro-government militant commander as he had led an armed campaign against the Uzbek nationals, evicting them from his soil after bloody clashes.
He later lost some of his senior commanders in attacks by unknown people, but he blamed his rival Uzbeks for it.
Nazeer also accused Baitullah Mehsud and his men of sheltering the Uzbeks on their soil but Baitullah always denied the charges. (Note: Uzbeks would largely be drawn from Dostum’s camp in Afghanistan who was with the Northern Alliance and they have not forgiven the Afghan Taliban for the atrocities they have committed on their soldiers.)
Pakistan's Foreign Terrorists
The second type of terrorist group located or that operates in Pakistan is foreign terrorist organizations. These organizations fall into two main categories.
First are the Islamist terror groups that are Afghani in nature but operate along the porous Afghan-Pakistan border. The Afghan Taliban groups emerged in the mid-1990s and despite setbacks following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, they have reemerged as a powerful force in Afghanistan. Within this category, one can identify such individuals as Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former mujahidin and a close aide of Mullah Omar. He is currently the head of the "Haqqani network." Haqqani is an Afghan but he and his "network" are located near Miramshah, North Waziristan. Another notable example is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, founder and leader of Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan (The Islamic Party of Afghanistan, HIA), who for years relied on the support of the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Bureau (ISI). These groups claim to be fighting for the establishment of an Islamic state. In other words, they have not given up on the Taliban dream.
Note: We will call the Afghan Taliban group as H2O (Hekmatyar + Haqqani + Omar). They fight only the US / Nato forces in Afghanistan and do not attack Pakistan forces. (Closest assets of ISI). Maulana Masood Azhar is being shielded by the Haqqani network – the same network that blew up the Indian embassy (under orders from ISI) in Kabul.
The second type of foreign terrorist organization is al-Qa'ida, which is composed of Muslims subscribing to the al-Qa'ida ideology. There seems to be a rise in the growing appeal of al-Qa'ida, as evidenced in the increasing number of Chechens, Uzbeks, and other Central Asian Muslims in the country (from less than 1,000 in 2001 to about 5,000 in late 2008).
The decision by President Musharraf in 2001 to support the US-led ‘global war or terror' which saw him dispatching 80,000 regular troops to Waziristan has compelled the insurgents to improve their relations and eventually led to the establishment of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Taliban Movement of Pakistan, TTP) in December 2007. The TTP is an amalgamation of 27 different Taliban groups that came together to provide a stronger and more effective challenge to the Pakistani military which is operating in the tribal belt. The movement is led by Baitullah Mehsud, a young man (he is in his thirties) who rose to prominence following the death of Nek Muhammad, a commander of a pro-Taliban group in South Waziristan. It is important to note that Mehsud is not a religious scholar but a committed jihadist who follows the Taliban (there are reports that he has pledged himself to Mullah Omar – which are contradicted from time to time). As the Taliban unites, there is increasing evidence of greater cooperation between al-Qa'ida and the indigenous Taliban groups (Pakistani and Afghani) with both al-Qa'ida and the Taliban taking the view that only through cooperation could they achieve their agenda.
Hence: The closest assets of ISI are : Lashkar e Taiba, Jaish e Mohammad, the Afghan Mujahideen network of H2O. With others they have close relations – TNSM, Lashkar e Jhangvi and few tribal militants. With Al Qaeda, ISI has a hands off approach (their closest co-operation brought about 9/11). Details of ISI and Al Qaeda links for 9/11 can be seen at : BEFORE THE NEXT 9/11 PAY THE SENATORS OFF.
Read another earlier article: TALIBAN & ISI - A PERSPECTIVE
Against the Pakistan government are: TTP of Baitullah Mehsud, Baloch rebels and a few smattering or smaller elements.
The TTP (Baitullah Mehsid) has accused some militant leaders in the tribal areas and some leaders of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT), the Harkat-ul Mujahideen and the Hizbul Mujahideen of trying to stop youngsters from fight against Pakistani forces. The Taliban have declared all these pro-Pakistan militants as their enemies.
(Note: For India, this ties in very well with its objectives in the region too. However, it will be a fallacy to think, that TTP is a friend of India. Far from it, actually. However both the short term objectives of TTP & India are the same. That is the limited point I wanted to make at this point).
It is learnt that the names of Maulvi Nazir from South Wazirastan, Hafiz Gul Bahadur from North Wazirastan, Lashkar founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, Maulana Farooq Kashmiri and Syed Salahudin of the Hizbul Mujahideen have been included on the Taliban hit-list. The Taliban have threatened some Hizbul Mujahideen leaders in Swat and Dir to leave the area soon.
Another Taliban leader in the Mehmand agency, Maulvi Omar Khalid, has threatened Lashkar militants to leave the tribal agency, because they were only interested in fighting foreign troops in Afghanistan or against India. According to Khalid, this meant they do not want an Islamic government in Pakistan.
However, in a dramatic development on 20th Feb’09, three prominent Pakistani militant commanders — Baitullah Mehsud, Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Nazeer have set aside their differences and promised to jointly fight their enemy (WHO IS THIS COMMON ENEMY??) in future.
A senior militant commander of Maulvi Nazeer group told this correspondent on condition of anonymity that all the three militant commanders, in a meeting held somewhere in the South Waziristan Agency, resolved all their differences and promised to live peacefully with each other in future.
“I am extremely excited today. It’s an Eid for us. I even danced and fired shots in the air as we succeeded in removing misunderstandings created by the Pakistan government,” remarked the Taliban commander while talking to The News from Wana by telephone.
He said senior Pakistani and Afghan Taliban commanders had played a role in resolving differences among the three militant commanders. He said a 14-member Shura was formed after their final meeting that would comprise banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Taliban commander in North Waziristan and Maulvi Nazeer, militant commander in South Waziristan. Ten other people had been drawn from Baitullah Mehsud’s tribe, Gul Bahadur’s Utmanzai Wazir tribe and Maulvi Nazeer’s Ahmadzai Wazir tribe. The Taliban commander said in an earlier meeting it was suggested to nominate Maulvi Nazeer as the new head of the organisation. However, Maulvi Nazeer expressed his unwillingness to head the organisation and left the matter to the next meeting of the Shura.
The commander said all the three militant groups pardoned each other for the previous killings of their people and material losses.
When asked whether Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Nazeer would become a part of the TTP, the commander said it would be decided in the next meeting.
With TNSM being a pro-Pakistan organization, its peace overtures with TTP has been strewn together based on family relationship. Maulana Fazlullah (FM Mullah) of TTP is the son-in-law of Maulana Sufi Mohammad, founder of the Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM). However, TTP is a far stronger and bigger organization than TNSM, hence the peace deal between TNSM & TTP will be tenuous at best and will be prone to multiple break-downs due to inherent conflicts and views.
Najmuddin Shaikh, former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan in his article in DAILY TIMES stated: One cannot see Fazlullah — a.k.a. Maulana Radio — and his new patron (or partner) Baitullah Mehsud accepting Sufi Muhammad’s leadership even if the latter’s 300-vehicle convoy is welcomed in Mingora by crowds of war-weary Swatis. Fazlullah, and more importantly Mehsud, have a vision that goes well beyond the narrow confines of Malakand Division or even the tribal areas, and will not accept any restrictions on their ability to use Swati territory for operations elsewhere.
So why did the ANP leaders in Peshawar enter into this agreement?
(BuA note: Awami National Party or ANP is a strongly secular party belonging to Frontier Gandhi, and they were voted into power by an overwhelming majority. Yet, they find themselves today, at muzzlepoint of Taliban while Pakistan Army looks askance, probably in collusion rather than in fear There are lingering doubts about two aspects: a) why is the Pakistani Army not silencing the primitive mobile FM radio of Fazlullah and b) how come Pakistan Army allowed a rag tag army of Taliban numbering 3000 to take control of SWAT - which has a population of 1.5 million - of which 1/3 were displaced due to the recent fighting.).
Najmuddin continues: "That there was nostalgia for the swift justice that was available in the days of the Wali of Swat was clear, but it was also clear that the Swatis did not want extremism, and the induction of the Nizam-e Adl under the auspices of the likes of Fazlullah could mean nothing else. Sufi Muhammad has already declared that there is no place for elections in Islam and that he is opposed to democracy.
The ANP did this perhaps because it saw that the army and law enforcement agencies were not going to be able to quell the insurgency. The army would plead that no insurgency could be vanquished without the cooperation of the locals; yet the locals prepared to fight the insurgents felt that they could not get government support.
There is now a argument that the purpose of the agreement (TNSM & TTP) was to drive a wedge between the Swat insurgency and the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan of Baitullah Mehsud. This is based on the pious but implausible belief that the TNSM wants nothing more than the imposition of Sharia in Swat while it is the TTP that has other ambitions.
Both arguments are fallacious. The time bought is time bought for the insurgents. Sufi Muhammad, as shown by his unsuccessful foray into Afghanistan, shares the TTP’s ambition to re-establish Taliban rule in Afghanistan. He may not, but Fazlullah certainly wants, like Mehsud, the rest of Pakistan Islamised."
Taliban has already burned down over 200 girls schools in SWAT. Imagine if this were to be replicated across Pakistan.
Hence killing an innocent girl of eight if found loitering outside of her home is considered "normal" yet getting 72 virgins after killing innocents is considered a "welcome gift" on reaching heaven - such is the warped teachings in Madrassas.
A report by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding has highlighted the use of young men from the two Waziristan agencies as suicide bombers: ‘Analysing the 2007 database of 26 cases of suicide attacks in Pakistan (out of a total of 61) where [the] Special Investigative Unit of Pakistan’s FIA recovered crucial evidence, [the FIA] concluded: ‘More than 80 per cent of suicide bombers belong to [the] Mehsud tribe (residing in South and North Waziristan) and were aged 15 to 20.’
Hamid Mir writes: “The Taliban have become a threat for the Pakistan army like the Mukti Bahini in then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1971.
A furious Taliban leadership has decided to send their fighters to Islamabad as a reaction to the army operations in the Swat valley on the troubled border with Afghanistan. The Taliban have already started painting walls in Islamabad with its threats, compelling the administration in the capital to erase these messages quickly.”
A Pakistani commentator writes : “Pakistan’s independence moment was based on the promise that once liberated it will run on Sharia law but after its independence, elites went back on their promise and from day one they tried to make it a secular country against the wishes of its people. Punjab, Sindh & Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), being traditionally secular societies, embraced secularisation whole heartedly but Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP), Balochistan & Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan are traditionally religious societies and religion plays a vital role in their day to day life. Stripping them of their way of life was always going to be a problem and as we saw in Iran, if the secularisation is forced on the people, revolution is the ultimate result. Pakistan is certainly not there yet but the path on which this country has started to move certainly leads to a complete change in guard and a revolution may be the ultimate result of the present upheaval.
How would any such event effect the relationship between different parts of the federation, can this country be run on the basis of one country two systems is a vital question of our age.
Is it possible that Punjab, Sindh and Azad Kashmir have democratically elected governments and governments in Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP), Balochistan & FATA are appointed by the Sunni Imams of the respected provinces given that Sufi Muhammad despises democracy and wants autocratic rule in Malakand Agency.
As a federation, Pakistan will have to alter its constitution radically to allow for Sharia law in some federal units and secular law in others.”
The Changing face of Pakistan.
A RARER SIGHT IN PAKISTAN.
A MORE COMMON SIGHT IN PAKISTAN THESE DAYS.
The growth of Islamization cannot be looked in isolation, not can one put forward the notion that ISI pushed Islamization through terror networks for its “adventurous” agenda. Pakistani society has itself changed and the secular fabric of the polity is getting changed rapidly.
A survey conducted in June 2008 by the US think-tank Terror Free Tomorrow in collaboration with the New America Foundation and the Pakistan Institute for Public Opinion indicated that Pakistanis were more amenable to not only negotiate with the Taliban (with the Pakistani Taliban the figure was 58 percent, while with the Afghan Taliban it was 48 percent), but also with al-Qa'ida (50 percent).
Pervez Hoodbhoy writes: “Extremism is breeding at a ferocious rate in public and private schools within Pakistan’s towns and cities. Left unchallenged, this education will produce a generation incapable of co-existing with anyone except strictly their own kind. The mindset it creates may eventually lead to Pakistan’s demise as a nation state.
Prayers in government departments were deemed compulsory, floggings were carried out publicly, punishments were meted out to those who did not fast in Ramadan, selection for academic posts in universities required that the candidate demonstrate a knowledge of Islamic teachings and jihad was declared essential for every Muslim. Today, government intervention is no longer needed because of a spontaneous groundswell of Islamic zeal. The notion of an Islamic state – still in an amorphous and diffused form – is more popular now than ever before as people look desperately for miracles to rescue a failing state.
In Pakistan’s lower-middle and middle classes lurks a grim and humourless Saudi-inspired revivalist movement that frowns on any and every expression of joy and pleasure.
Ironically, the same army – whose men were recruited under the banner of jihad, and which saw itself as the fighting arm of Islam – today stands accused of betrayal and is almost daily targeted by Islamist suicide bombers.
Pakistan’s self-inflicted suffering comes from an education system that, like Saudi Arabia’s system, provides an ideological foundation for violence and future jihadists.”
After 1970, participatory democracy based on universal adult franchise released pent-up frustrations of a society that veered between regional separatism and the Islamic project. Zia’s ideological engineering sharpened a pre-existing divide between two wildly contradictory impulses and made democratic governance episodic. Pakistan’s inability to secure any worthwhile consensus over its democracy added to this emotional schism.
Aware of the fissiparous tendencies that could debilitate the country, Zia initiated a unique measure. Based on his understanding that the military was the only vibrant institution left in Pakistan and convinced that the country’s destiny lay in forging an Islamic State that would be the envy of the Muslim world, he undertook the project to Islamize the military and infuse Pakistani identity with an even greater dose of faith.
Gen. Zia's son, Ijaz ul-Haq, Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs, was among the staunchest followers of Red Mosque brigade and their Taliban counterparts.
Vikram Sood, ex-head of RAW, in his recent article : Time to Detoxify as well as discipline Pakistan, writes: “Pakistan is in deep trouble. As has been said before, the trouble this time is worse than in 1971. This time there is no fall back position because in 1971 there was a West Pakistan to come home to. The retreat from the Swat Valley by the Pakistani state is a sign of the troubled times and was perhaps pre-ordained. In intelligence parlance it is called ‘blowback’ – the unintended consequences of unacknowledged actions in other peoples countries.’
Pakistan has shown progress only in one category. The Washington-based Fund for Peace now lists Pakistan at 9 in the list of failing/failed states, up from 10 two years ago. Thus we have a delinquent state that is also a failing state as our neighbour and that too a neighbour where hatred for India has been a habit. The sooner we accept this unfortunate reality the better it will be or easier, one hopes, to formulate serious long term responses and immediate pre-emption. Today, Pakistan is a metaphor for “ground zero of terrorism” or “epicentre of terrorism.”
Many Pakistani leaders have been spreading the theory that India is about to reverse the partition and gobble up Pakistan. They flatter themselves. It is also a self-serving argument that encourages the retention of a huge self-aggrandising Army and feeds a feudal system. No right minded Indian would ever dream of taking over that desolate piece of territory whose sole harvest now is jihadi terrorists and hatred towards others.
Pakistan is looking more and more like a failed joint venture of the Anglo-Americans ( who spent most of the second half of the last century investing more and more in keeping this country afloat. The Pakistani melt down looks increasingly like the Lehman Brothers collapse and this country too must go into international receivership with stern conditionalities of sustained good behaviour which, above all, must make India safe from future depredations – sub-conventional, conventional and nuclear – by that country and Kashmir is not on the table.”
David Sanger in his new book "The Inheritance" sensationally claims: "The NSA intercepted messages indicating that ISI officers were helping the Taliban in planning a big bombing attack in Afghanistan although the target was unclear. After some days, the Kandahar Jail was attacked by the Taliban and hundreds of Taliban were freed. NSA was already picking up interceptions, as the units of Pakistan army were getting ready to hit a school in the tribal areas. Someone was giving advance warning of what was coming. The book said they must have dialed 1-800-HAQQANI, said one person who was familiar with the intercepted conversation. The account of the warning sent to the school was almost comical. “It was something like that “Hey, we are going to hit your place in a few days, so if anyone important is there, you might want to tell them to scream”. The book also establishes that the Americans were in full knowledge of the facts on the ground and they started attacking territories inside Pakistan as they thought the Pakistan army and intelligence agencies were no more interested in fighting the Taliban.The book said, the US intelligence agencies knew very well that Musharraf was playing a double game with them as on the one hand he was assuring the Americans that only he could fight against the Taliban and on the other, he was backing the militancy and the militants. “Musharraf’s record of duplicity was well known.
1. While TTP is aligned against the state of Pakistan, if Pakistan were to fall to TTP, then the danger to India will have grown manifold. Imagine a Islamized society being led by a Taliban government who has nuclear weapons.
2. ISI uses terror tactics against India after weighing the military consequences, it will keep India boiling, but will ensure that the heat is not great for India to boil over. With Taliban in control, military logic will be thrown out of the window – it is pure and simple mission Jehad
3. A senior ISI officer, giving a rare interview to The Economist, says he still regrets that a “strike division”, trained to punch into India, had been posted to the north-west frontier: “Never in my lifetime will we ever have peace with India.” I agree with him. Hence Pakistan, in its current form which espouses militant Islam has to be neutered. If that means we help fissiparous regional actors achieve their aims, so be it.
4. Pakistan is also engaged in economic terrorism against India. The printing of fake currency and its entry into the economic system to weaken India is now taking epic proportions. It is time we ensure that these printing presses are rendered “useless”.
5. Mumbai carnage showed the true face of ISI menace to the “ostriches” in India. Lashkar and ISI came together with Pakistan Army. And if anybody still had doubt, both Baitullah Mehsud as well as Al Qaeda stated that they will fight together with Pakistan Army, if India attacked Pakistan.
6. Whether Pakistani society is liberal or not is no longer relevant. The guns and power are in the hands of the Army and the ISI and they have been Talibanised. Hamid Gul, typifies this relationship and India is their mortal enemy. And they will stop at nothing, but a break up of India.
7. The threats by Al Qaeda and TTP actually show the “helplessness and desperation” of Pakistan. The time to strike Pakistan should be sooner rather than later - at a time deemed favourable to us.
Al Qaeda: India should know that it will have to pay a heavy price if it attacks Pakistan," Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, believed to be al-Qaida's military commander in Afghanistan and ranked behind No 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Mujahideen will sunder your armies into the ground, like they did to the Russians in Afghanistan. They will target your economic centres and raze them to the ground."
Baitullah Mehsud announced full support to the army against archrival India if it makes any aggression against the country. “Thousands of our well-armed Mujahideen are ready to fight alongside the (Pakistan) army if any war is imposed on Pakistan. Baitullah Mahsud said, hundreds of would-be bombers were given Martyrdom jackets and explosives-laden vehicles for protection of the border in case of any aggression by the Indian forces. “Our Mujahideen would be in the vanguard if fighting broke out. Our fighters will fall on the enemy like thunder."
ISI declared Baitullah Mehsud a true patriot. Since the world is watching the ISI could not say, it considers Al Qaeda as True Patriots too!
8. Al Qaeda needs the foot soldiers of LeT and other Taliban soldiers if its mission for global jehad is to be a success. The US has decapacitated most of its networks, hence Al Qaeda requires help from LeT and other Taliban factions. One of the more effective fighting unit is known as the Lashkar al Zil, or Shadow Army. This paramilitary force is well trained and equipped, and has successfully defeated the Pakistani Army in multiple engagements. Inside Pakistan, the Shadow Army has been active in successful Taliban campaigns in North and South Waziristan, Bajaur, Peshawar, Khyber, and Swat.
9. When Pakistan did not have the nukes, India lost a golden opportunity to attack Pakistan and render it into a defanged state for ever. However, due to our cowardice, and US complicity, we could not attack. India would have far less to lose that if it were to attack today. If we do not neuter Pakistan today, and albeit get a bloody nose in the bargain, the consequences of inaction will be incalculable on our future generation. Because in future, Pakistan will have nuclear weapons in far greater numbers thanks to Chinese built reactors and a Chinese Navy guarding Pakistan from Gwadar port, making India’s blockade of Karachi port impossible. If one million Indians were to be killed today, in a future conflict, 10 million more will be killed and the state of India will not recover from the blow. Hence, Step 1: Take out the Pakistani nukes.
10. We need to take stock when ulemas from Deoband, India are found teaching the terrorists in SWAT and other regions of Pakistan. Sohail Abbas, a leading Pakistani psychologist, in his recently published study based on personal interviews of 517 mujahideen arrested in Afghanistan and later lodged in two Pakistani jails, asserts that “the figures on rural/urban jihadis become even more interesting as all the jihadis, barring just a few, belonged to the Deobandi school of thought”. Something is not quite right with the DEOBAND ....
11. The Americans knew of the Pakistani nuclear program and its proliferation yet kept quiet because of other exigencies. In fact American role is pretty dubious lately. Expect no "major" help from them.
While TTP may be aligned against the state of Pakistan, it may not be aligned against ISI. Afghan and Pakistan-based Taliban forces have integrated elements of their forces into Lashkar al Zil, "especially the Tehrik-e-Taliban and Haqqani Network," a senior US military intelligence official said. "It is considered a status symbol" for groups to be a part of the Lashkar al Zil.
Now Haqqani network is as close as one can get to ISI.The mujahideen shura (Shura Ittehad al-Mujahideen) council was formed (Feb 21st 2009) due to the personal efforts of Sirajuddin Haqqani. His network is the most resourceful and strongest component of the Taliban-led Afghan resistance, and has long-standing links to Pakistan. Other members of the council include pro-Pakistan militants such as Moulvi Nazeer and Hafiz Gul Bahadur and, importantly, Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, who has fought against Pakistani troops in the tribal areas.
The shura decided that the leaders would combine forces for a joint struggle against coalition forces in Afghanistan AND END ALL HOSTILITIES AGAINST PAKISTAN.
Meanwhile, the government has sent the first installment of a compensation package for militants in Swat worth 480 million rupees (US$6 million). It will be used to pay the families of those killed and injured by security forces and those who lost property.
BuA Analysis of this coming together: Should the newly formed Shura hold - we need to see that it was brokered by the best ISI asset - the Haqqani network. By putting Haqqani network on one side and TNSM on the other, ISI wants to refocus the attention of the TTP away from Pakistan Army. In fact the Shura decided to fight the Coalition forces in Afghanistan and NOT against the Pakistan Army. If this happens, Pakistan Army will be freed from worries on its western front. Which means its ACTIONS STATIONS INDIA & AFGHANISTAN. I do not think India is ready for the"new kind of" assault. Time to stop being reactive - India should go and TO TAKE THE FIGHT to the terrorists - and this does not mean "an all out war".
PAKISTAN - A NATION?
Any which way, one looks at it, Pakistan is fast deteriorating as a nation state. A nation needs an identity and a story that defines its members as a single people sharing a past. Pakistan has had one breakup already and even now it lacks a story of why it is a nation.
Since it is spewing terror, I see Pakistan a fit candidate to be called a TERRORISTAN. ISI is bringing together the fighting factions of Taliban together.
Why is ISI bring them all together?
All the Taliban (Talibs = students who came out from Pakistani madrassas) were connected to ISI by an umbilical cord. A few children (TTP etc) went astray as the parent started bombing on them (very reluctantly due to intense US pressure).
Now the parent (ISI) is telling the children (all factions of Taliban) why it had to do the "bad deeds" under intense pressure from US (the ultimate satan and the worst enemy of Islam. But if ISI did not listen to US then, Pakistan itself would have been bombed. Now things have changed - US is facing resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, its supply lines are cut off (which will lead to its defeat) and US is bankrupt too. Hence this is a good time to come together and I (ISI) give you SWAT to play around. Re-organize for the final assault).
What has been the three major aims of ISI - Pakistan’s military strategists have always felt that it needed the “strategic depth” that Afghanistan affords and Kashmir for its “waters”. Interesting to note that Pakistan has NO acceptable borders either with Afghanistan or with India.
Hence, every government in Islamabad, whether military or civilian, has desperately tried to reach a bilateral agreement with successive regimes in Kabul to convert the Durand Line into an international border, but without success.
What is strategic depth? Simply put, this doctrine first articulated by army chief Gen Mirza Alam Beg – calls for a dispersal of Pakistan’s military assets in Afghanistan beyond the Durand Line and well beyond the offensive capabilities of the Indian military – which would afford protection to Pakistan’s military hardware.
Pakistan’s military had three main objectives: 1) Obfuscate Durand Line, 2) Keep pliant & Pakistan friendly government at Kabul and 3) asymmetric warfare against India (specially in Kashmir). All 3 objectives gave birth to the Taliban movement under the patronage of ISI. Afghan refugees, poor and desperate, were enrolled in religious madrassas in Pakistan which gave them shelter and free food. These Sunni Deobandi madrassas were funded by Saudi Arabia, USA and Pakistan. Here these Afghan refugees rote learnt the Quran in a language they did not understand – Arabic. The teachers (clerics, aligned to ISI) gave their hardline twisted logic and indoctrinated these students for jihad. (NOTE: DEOBAND SCHOOL FROM INDIA PLAYED THE MOST IMPORTANT PART - KEEP THIS FACT IN MIND).These students, bereft of own thinking, formed the core of the Taliban movement. Much like puppets on a string - ISI playing the strings.
With Taliban coming together and the few errant ones (TTP et al) promising not to attack Pakistan Army - the core 3 objectives get a fillip. And ISI once again, takes full control of the "strings".
The way Pakistan Army stood by while Taliban took control of SWAT reeked of collusion.
The Taliban, Afghan or Pakistan, or the Pak Army will not give up their links to Al Qaeda or global jihadi groups, because they can't. Jihadis don't magically transform into 'secular' or 'political' or 'nationalist' activists because America decreess they can only attack Indians and Afghan Shias, Uzbeks and Tajiks, jihadis still remain Al Qaeda fellow travellers deriving funding from Sunni Wahabis, and ideological justification from whatever Islamist mishmash the Pak govt allows its school system and religious madrassas to propagate.
Offering to give up links with Al Qaeda does not translate into actually doing so, because those offering know that the West cannot enforce any agreement on them to give up links to Al Qaeda.
ISI - TALIBAN TANGO CONTINUES ....
And for Indian strategic thinkers - the red line has been crossed !
While my analysis points first to Talibanisation of Afghanistan and then larger attacks into India, some of the influential Pakistani commentators think that after Afghanistan, the target is Pakistan itself - i.e. Islamization of Pakistan.
Kamran Shafi writing in DAWN under the heading : No, a thousand times No writes: " The government of the Frontier, Pakhtunkhwa, call it what you will; and the Government of Pakistan, including their agencies both covert and overt, have cravenly given in to the murderous thugs who have brought so much pain and misery to Swat; who have made its once pristine rivers run red with innocent blood. They have given the mullah the proverbial inch; as said in this same space last week, just wait until he demands a thousand miles, and more.
The Taliban commanders who have united under one banner are Hafiz Gul Bahadur of North Waziristan; Maulvi Nazir of Wana, and our old friend Baitullah Mehsud of South Waziristan. According to news from Miranshah the three have declared President Barack Obama, Hamid Karzai and Asif Zardari ‘infidels’. An aside: if this is not a wake-up call, Mr President, what will be, for you to make up with the other big political party, the PML-N, and face the country’s enemies, which includes the establishment (Establishment in Pakistan = ISI) , together?
It has the brass to say that it needs “modern equipment” which would not only “enhance the efficiency of the armed forces [read Pakistan Army!], but also help reduce collateral damage”. What absolute poppycock is this, sirs? Just WHAT modern equipment are you asking for? More artillery pieces and helicopter gunships that were your favourite weapons while you were making feeble attempts to ‘fight’ the Taliban? No artillery gun or helicopter gunship that will reduce collateral damage has yet been invented.
This deal should never have been made. It is the thin end of the wedge. Punjab is already under attack: Mianwali has had two police posts blown up and that poor Polish geologist who was then duly beheaded, was taken from Attock. We will rue the day.
P.S. The same crowds would have come out on to Swat’s roads had the Frontier government moved itself and all its minions to Saidu Sharif to govern from there. What good now to distribute 30,000 rifles among the villagers?! Poppycock again."
Ashley J Tellis, Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace, a prominent think-tank told the US Senate : India “unfortunately” had become the “sponge” that was protecting America and the western liberal world from the hate unleashed by Lashkar-e-Toiba which had emerged as second only to the Al-Qaeda in being a threat to global security.
Far from semantics, this is no laughing matter indeed and we should not fail to see where this is all headed. And yes, with due apologies to Ashley Tellis, I am no sponge either !