Pakistan: The jihadi jaws

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Singh, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM MONITOR---PAPER NO.514

    B.RAMAN

    On April 1,2009, a pilotless plane (Drone) of the USA's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) attacked with a missile the house of Hakimullah Mehsud in the Khadezai area of the Orakzai Agency in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. Twelve persons were killed ----- six of them followers of Hakimullah, who is the head of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Orakzai Agency, which has no common border with Afghanistan, two women and four other unidentified persons. Hakimullah himself, who was apparently one of the targets, escaped unhurt and warned of a retaliatory strike by the Taliban in Islamabad.

    2. The retaliation through a suicide bomber came within three days. Late on the evening of April 4,2009, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the barracks of a company of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), which is deployed in Islamabad on VIP security duties. At least eight members of the FC were killed by the explosion.The FC consists almost entirely of Pashtuns recruited in the NWFP, the FATA and the Pashtun majority areas of Balochistan. The FC has been in the forefront of the operations against the TTP in the Pashtun belt and one of the proposals initiated by the US Government provides for funding for upgrading the anti-terrorism capabilities of the FC.

    3. The rapidity with which the TTP planned and carried out its threatened act of retaliation speaks volumes of the number of suicide bombers at its disposal and their fierce motivation. It also speaks disturbingly of their willingness to die when called upon to strike by Baitullah Mehsud, the Amir of the TTP. The billions of dollars, which the US has already spent in the so-called war on terrorism, have not dented this motivation. It is doubtful whether the additional billions of dollars, which President Barack Obama proposes to spend for giving assistance to Pakistan, will make any dent either. What one saw in Islamabad on April 4 was not an act of desperation. It was an act of defiance

    4. Pakistan is in the process of being gobbled by a Frankenstein's Monster of its own creation. To save Pakistan from being gobbled, it requires a leader of tremendous moral courage, who is prepared to admit the Himalayan folly of past Pakistani political and military leaders in creating this monster in the hope of using it to serve the Pakistani agenda against India and in Afghanistan and has the courage to act against it and rid Pakistan of the effects of this folly. Such a leader Pakistan has not produced since its independence in 1947 and it is unlikely to produce one in the near and mid-term future.

    5. Can Pakistan be saved despite itself from the jaws of this monster? That is the question that President Barack Obama and his advisers should pose to themselves and seek an answer. The recent statements and comments of Obama himself and of his advisers and the Congressional testimonies of his officials as well as of non-governmental US experts do not give cause for hope that the Obama administration will be able to find a coherent strategy to put an end to terrorism emnanating from the Af-Pak region. Conventional and naive beliefs continue to come in the way of the formulation of such a strategy.

    6. Such beliefs are responsible for the disturbing tendency of Obama's advisers----governmental as well as non-governmental--- to rationalise Pakistan's sins of commission and omission rather than confront them head-on and have them eradicated by using the clout which the US still enjoys in Pakistan. These conventional and naive beliefs hold that somehow if Pakistan is assured of peace on the Indo-Pakistan border and the dialogue process between India and Pakistan is resumed, the Pakistani army will concentrate better on its fight against terrorism and that this will be of benefit to the entire international communuity, including India.

    7. The fallacy of this argument would be evident from the fact that between January 2004, when Pervez Musharraf and Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Indian Prime Minister, initiated the dialogue process, and November 26-29,2008, when this was discontinued after the terrorist attack in Mumbai by the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), the Neo Taliban staged its spectacular come-back in Afghanistan from sanctuaries in Pakistan, Pakistani-trained suicide bombers carried out their attacks in London in July,2005, an attempt by another group of suspects of Pakistani origin to blow up a number of US-bound flights was foiled by the British police, a group of Pakistan-trained terrorists carried out simultaneous explosions on suburban trains in Mumbai killing over 180 innocent civilians in July,2006, a cell of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was unearthed by the Spanish Police in Barcelona, there was an Inter-Services Intelligence sponsored explosion outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul in July,2008, suicide terrorism in Pakistan shot up and the ISI and the Pakistan Army avoided acting against the terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistani territory. Plans for the Mumbai terrorist strike from November 26 to 29,2008, were also drawn up by the LET during this period and the training camps for the perpetrators were organised in Pakistani territory. The Joint Counter-Terrorism mechanism which Musharraf and Dr.Manmohan Singh agreed to set up in September 2006 proved to be a cosmetic exercise due to Pakistan's unwillingness to act against the anti-India terrorist infrastructure.

    8. The significant lessening of tension on the Indo-Pakistan border during this period facilitated by the cease-fire across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the increase in people-to-people contacts between the two countries did not lead to any change in Pakistan's policy of nursing terrorist groups in its territory and using them against India and Afghanistan. Equally fallacious is the argument touted by the governmental and non-Governmental advisers of Obama that a reduction of Indian presence and activities in Afghanistan would give Pakistan a greater sense of security and encourage it to act more vigorously against terrorism emanating from its territory.

    9. Indian presence and activities in Afghanistan ceased after the fall of the Najibullah Government in April,1992. Between April 1992 and September 1996, when different Afghan Mujahideen groups were in power in Kabul and between September 1996 and October 2001, when the ISI-sponsored Taliban was in power in Kabul, there was no Indian activity in Afghanistan. There was no reason for Pakistan to feel insecure during this period. And yet, the ISI kept meddling in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, raised, trained and armed the Taliban in 1994, helped it to capture power in Kabul in September,1996, allowed Osama bin Laden to shift from the Sudan to Afghanistan in July,1996, and maintained close contacts with Al Qaeda in its sanctuaries in the Jalalabad-Kandahar region. Between April 1992 and September 2001 was the time when there was maximum Pakistani interference in Afghanistan, which became a virtual Pakistani colony. That was also the time when all the jihadi terrorist groups of the world gravitated to the Af-Pak region, which became the Mecca of jihadi terrorist groups. To say that Pakistan's reluctance to act against terrorist groups in its territory is due to its feelings of insecurity vis-a-vis India shows a total lack of understanding of Pakistan.

    10. Everytime the US makes an attempt to rationalise Pakistan's sins of commission and omission under the pretext of its feelings of insecurity vis-a-vis India, it strengthens the belief of the Pakistani leadership----political as well as military--- that so far as India is concerned it can do anything and get away with it. Many of the anti-US and anti-West terrorist groups of today such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) started as anti-India terrorists trained and armed by the ISI yesterday.

    11. Unless and until the governmental and non-governmental advisers of Obama rid their minds and policy-making of wrong ideas and pre-conceived notions about Pakistan and its military-intelligence establishment, their so-called new strategy is not going to succeed. The US through its Drone strikes may succeed in eliminating individual jihadi terrorist leaders such as Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Baitullah Mehsud, but the terrorist infrstructure set up by them in the tribal belt with the complicity of the ISI and the Pakistani Army will continue to pose threats to peace and security in the world.


    12. How to destroy those sanctuaries---- with the co-operation of Pakistan, if forthcoming, or without its co-operation, if necessary? That should be the starting point of any new strategy. It is evident that no adviser of Obama is thinking on these lines. The entire strategy as it has come out is based on the pathetic assumption that somehow Pakistan can be coaxed into acting against the terrorists despite the bitter experience to the contrary since 9/11. Without an effective coercive element, the strategy is unlikely to succeed. (5-4-09)

    http://ramanstrategicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/pakistan-jihadi-jaws.html
     
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  3. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Great article Singh sahib. Very true.

    Thanks for sharing.

    USA is being short-sighted in trusting Pakistan. It will do the right thing ultimately.....

    After trying everything else!
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    This sentence is good enough to tell what will be the Pakistan's future and that Obama cannot win this Af-Pak war.
     
  5. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    True and going bu the views of Pakistanis on various forums, the people are not ready for a change too!

    The popularity of clowns like Zaid Hamid suggests they need a much bigger shock to come out of their slumber than they have seen till now.
     
  6. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    vinod, but the 'bigger shock' will never come b'coz they are slowly getting used to violence and terrorism. the violence has been introduced to them in small doses and now it has reached its saturation, even now they are not waking up to the reality they I dont think they will ever accept this bitter truth. when even media and educated middle class support the consipiracy theories then it is very difficult to revert back. BB's assasination could have been 'bigger shock', but it wasnt.........and numerous more such terrorist incidents followed. IMO, pak has no hope unless a miracle happens.
     
  7. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I think, slowly the reality is dawning upon some of the Pakistanis (in Pakistani foras and from op-eds in Pakistani news papers) if not all, whom I have been observing for a year. The recent attacks in Lahore and elsewhere in Pakistan and the recent flogging incident of girl in swat are clearing their minds which were clogged with anti-india sentiments for everything bad that happened in Pakistan. Hope we will see much more change in Pakistanis for their own good.
     
  8. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    I agree, but those types and far and few, also they are not able to convince others about that. those who suggest consipiracy are more popular in pak than otherwise, so I am not sure. and media deserves a lot of blame here.
     
  9. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    True, they are far fewer to instill sanity in whole of Pakistan. But definitely Pakistanis are feeling the heat of attacks by Taliban. I hope they will recognize their past follies and correct them for their own survival if not betterment.

    The recent attacks in Lahore and Islamabad clearly tells us they are in the mainland Pakistan and are at our door. We hope for now Punjab and Sindh acts as buffers to Taliban attacks on India, but if in future it doesn't stop there, a major show off will be in the offing I guess.
     
  10. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    I don't think internal violence will have the effect of the "bigger shock" that I talked of. Especially if the common people are the only casualties. The ISI and PA couldn't be less bothered with that.

    It has to be either a massive covert effort that neutralizes the head of the snake every time it raises its head. Massive retaliation that target those who are sponsoring the terror could have that effect, not these targets by their internal terror groups.

    This actually helps them paint themselves as victims of terror!
     
  11. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    In fact, their media is the one that has to take the biggest blame for all this...

    At every given chance, their media is saluting the flag and hugging pictures of Jinnah that they've lost touch with reality now...

    Media's job is to be a whistle-blower for society and play a constructive role in the advancement of society. A free media is quintessential in this regard... But, their media seems to be anything but free...

    Once the media projects an image to the country, the country just follows that image and believes it to be true since the media is projecting it... There, they media projects Pakistan as the saviour of the Muslim World and the Nuclear Superpower et al ignoring the fact that the Taliban were a creation of that same country...

    Just the fact that people like Sir Zaid Hamid, GCMG play to some of the highest TRP ratings is a fact that cannot be ignored... thats why I pay special importance to the understanding of the nonsense blabbered by him... because, it is a reflection of a very sick society indeed...

    And, let us not ignore the Talibanisation of their entire military establishment which was started by Zia ul Haq by inducting and indoctrinating military officers with unnecessary jargon... Now, the problem is that these same officers who were inducted in that time are now reaching the Lt. General and General levels in the military...

    The military, being a top down structure only follows what commands are given by their higher ups and since the Lt General and General levels are giving nefarious commands, you can't expect the army to behave any better...

    Pakistan right now is caught between the devil (Taliban) and the deep blue sea (Social breakdown and civil anarchy)... let's see who consumes them first...
     
  12. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    vinod,
    wat you have said is true if we assume that taliban is independent of ISI/PA. but somehow I am not sure how taliban can have all those arms and training to fight pakistan, US and NATO combined for so long unless an organisation like ISI is helping/guiding it. after watching the pakistani circus unravel, I am coming to conclusion that this show is run by ISI which is directly under kiyani. basically, I am not really sure about the theory 'taliban is taking over pak' bcoz that would mean taliban and pak are two different entities. to me pak is/was ruled by ISI/PA and AfPak region ruled by taliban-likes, the situation hasnt changed and IMO, it wont change. the terror attacks seem to have ulterior motive, wat they are I am not sure. may be PA take over.....
     
  13. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    IMHO, I don't think army will come in at this stage... It doesn't want to be held accountable for the unenviable stage that Pak is in at the moment... they'll take their time... but increasingly, the army will surely be getting powerful as the people start losing faith in their "democratic" system....
     
  14. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    fully agree with your first para.

    mate,
    I am not sure about the second para......
    I think taliban are never going to 'take over pak' in conventional terms. wat is happening in pak is that they are just giving official sanction to taliban and its version of sharia. pak elites have given away the frontier regions to taliban in hope that they wont comes to punjab or sindh. assuming taliban is still under ISI leash, this may work except 'sporadic' blasts. infact, these blasts help the pak cause by portraying it as the victim of terror and hence deserving of MORE AID.

    anyway, regardless of all that, I think india would be in a better position to face talibani pak then the present we-dont-know-who-rules-pak. atleast, then when we take on pak, the world will sympathise with us.
     

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