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Blame India For Karachi Terror

Posted by yourpakistan on December 29, 2009


Ahmed Quraishi

New clues emerge: Suicide attacks against Pakistani Shias in Karachi and Kashmir are unprecedented. There have been no sectarian or suicide attacks in Kashmir before. The attack in Karachi is the first major sectarian assault in five years. The attack in Karachi is the work of Indians. It cripples Pakistan’s business hub, it aims at a civil war between Pakistanis, it puts Pakistani military on the defensive, it strengthens America’s intention of invading Pakistan, it reinforces US propaganda that war is in Pakistan and not Afghanistan. The Indian role here is critical. India is responsible for poisoning the Afghan well for the Americans and for everyone else. India is the missing part in the story of how US blundered in Afghanistan.

Feeding sectarian tension is the last thing Karachi needed after the terrorist attack on a large Shia procession. But that is exactly what Interior Minister Rehman Malk unwittingly did when he quickly blamed ‘religious extremists’ for the attack, which in other words means Sunni militants. Unknown ObjectThat’s what the enraged crowds wanted to hear to bring Pakistan’s business hub to a halt.

Despite all his experience in the Federal Investigations Agency [FIA], Mr. Malik missed an important clue: In all the sectarian incidents Pakistan witnessed until 2004, none of the feuding Pakistani Shia and Sunni groups used suicide attackers against each other. This method was introduced in Pakistan a couple of years later by a shadowy group called Pakistani Taliban, whose manpower is partially Pakistani but its arms and funding are coming from powerful and organized supporters inside US-controlled Afghanistan.

The US says it’s unable to stop the support for anti-Pakistan terror from a US-controlled territory just as Pakistan is unable or unwilling to help in stopping the attacks by the Afghan Taliban against the US military in Afghanistan.

There are strong reasons why Islamabad should look at India for the terror wave inside Pakistan. It is strange why Mr. Malik won’t consider this possibility. His position becomes more untenable considering how his pro-US government has been reluctant to confront Washington and New Delhi on issues pertaining to Pakistan’s legitimate interests.

The position of Karachi’s largest political party MQM and its UK-based chief Altaf Hussain is worse. His support for the military operation against terrorists on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan should be appreciated. But Mr. Hussain has been exploiting recent terror attacks to get back at his political opponents. Mr. Hussain’s city has seen Indian-instigated terrorism over the years. But MQM chief never once criticized India for its meddling inside Pakistan, not even when Pakistani intelligence officials confronted Washington recently with evidence of Indian terrorism.

Even Mr. Zardari’s ruling PPP tried to use the attack in its own legal battle over corruption charges and its tussle with the country’s powerful military over national security issues. Several of its spokespersons claimed the attack was the work of ‘anti-democracy’ forces.

Sectarian terrorism in Pakistan is linked to Iran and Arab countries. Iran’s new rulers after 1979 began exporting the ‘revolution’ and its Arab neighbors reacted. This clash is not indigenous to Pakistan. It’s not a battle that Pakistanis owned. Both Iran and Arab countries scaled back their support for sectarian Sunni and Shia terror groups in Pakistan over the past decade. Countermeasures by Islamabad helped reduce the footprint of the sectarian groups in Pakistan in recent years.  When money from Iran and Arab countries dried up, so did their proxy Sunni-Shia war on Pakistani soil.

That’s why Pakistan saw no major sectarian attack in the past five years. The last major attack occurred in Quetta in March 2004, and it was not a suicide attack.

The Karachi attack is unique in several ways.

The attack in Karachi was preceded by a terrorist explosion two days earlier in a public area with no specific target. It was meant to spread panic and instability. Pakistan saw similar attacks during the 1980s and early 1990s.  Our investigators and intelligence analysts are familiar with this footprint. Those attacks were executed by agents working for the Indian intelligence.

But two days before Karachi, there was an attack on a Shia procession in Azad Kashmir. This attack is also of special interest to Pakistani security analysts.

There has not been a suicide attack targeting Shias in Pakistan’s Kashmir before. The region is right next to India but too far away from south Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan, the hub of suicide attackers in Pakistan.

The only other suicide attack in liberated Kashmir’s capital, Muzaffarabad, happened in June this year. It targeted a Pakistan Army truck and killed two soldiers. It is unthinkable for anyone belonging to Pakistan’s religious groups, and especially groups fighting India in the occupied part of Kashmir, to attack Pakistani soldiers stationed there to keep an eye on India.

The June 2009 suicide attack and then Sunday’s attack against the Shias in Pakistani Kashmir confirms a theory gaining currency among Pakistani security analysts. This theory goes back to 2006, when an unknown Pakistani Pashtun named Abdullah Mehsud was released from Gitmo after serving three years there. He was not handed back to Pakistan but sent back to Afghanistan. He was allowed to reenter Pakistan. Once here, he organized a militia and kidnapped Chinese engineers and attacked Chinese interests in Pakistan.  In three years, his project has expanded into a major terror operation, well funded and armed. His militia introduced suicide attackers who kill Pakistanis, civilian and military.  Former President Musharraf’s blunder of pitching the Pakistani army against its own tribesmen provided the perfect excuse for Abdullah’s terror militia to recruit gullible and poor Pakistanis to kill other Pakistanis. CIA drone attacks, which killed more than 750 innocent civilians so far, indirectly help that militia, which is called the Pakistani Taliban, to recruit suicide attackers from among the affected people and tribesmen.

The terror militia, despite being surrounded from all sides in Pakistan by Pakistani soldiers, continues to receive state of the art weapons, ammunition, fuel and funding, all from Afghanistan. When Pakistanis confronted senior US military and intelligence officers about this, their answer was that the money is coming from the drug trade controlled by the Afghan Taliban and that the advanced US-made weapons in the hands of the Pakistani Taliban, used to kill Pakistanis, were stolen from the US-trained Afghan National Army.

However, the drug trade in Afghanistan is not controlled by the Afghan Taliban but by the warlord allies of US military and intelligence in that country. These warlords are part of the US-backed government. But more interestingly, their drug trade is supported by the CIA in Afghanistan.

In October, someone in the US intelligence community, probably trying to embarrass CIA, leaked a sensitive piece of information to the New York Times. The information said that Afghan President’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, considered one of the biggest drug traffickers in Afghanistan, is on CIA payroll.  The agency’s spokespeople later tried to minimize the damage by justifying it as part of the war effort.

This was a serious leak. This is how CBS News described it, “release of this sensitive information is troublesome and potentially game-changing in a dangerous war.”

Pakistan should have taken up this matter with its US ally but the country is too destabilized right now to focus.

But the implications for Pakistan are deadly. The CIA, or at least rogue elements in the agency, is directly involved in sustaining the terror capability of the militia in south Waziristan. This militia is CIA’s asset. And it is being used to punish Pakistan and its armed forces for not fully endorsing the US plan for the region, including accepting a larger role for India at the expense of Pakistani interests.

INDIA’S ROLE

The Indian role here is critical. India is responsible for poisoning the Afghan well for the Americans and for everyone else. India is the missing part in the story of how US lost Afghanistan.

India’s intelligence officers offered their services to the Americans at the start of the occupation. Their argument was attractive. India is an expert on all things Pakistan. India played the same role with the Soviets, helping them unleash a wave of terror bombings across Pakistani cities during the 1980s.

Except the pro-US government of Mr. Asif Zardari in Islamabad and a few supporters cultivated by the US Embassy here, almost everyone else in Pakistan understands this background to the continuous acts of terror in Pakistan.

In the case of the suicide attack in the capital of Azad Kashmir, the autonomous government there concluded from the available evidence that India’s intelligence agency, RAW, was involved in that attack. Kashmir has not witnessed any sectarian attacks before. Nor has there ever been attacks on the Pakistani military there except by the Indian army across the ceasefire line.  This is an important thread that the Pakistani media ignored. But the government of Azad Kashmir didn’t. The Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir directly accused India of masterminding this terror act in Kashmir.

After the attack in Karachi, groups of people unleashed organized vandalism in the heart of the business district. After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto this week a year ago, organized groups conducted selective targeting across the province of Sindh. Those targets were carefully chosen to spark language-based riots and divide Pakistanis. On Sunday, the same day of the suicide attack in Kashmir, one of the closest friends of Mr. Zardari and a man with a record of corruption, tried to ignite those tensions again when he revealed that he and some if his colleagues were plotting the breakup of Pakistan during the riots last year and were stopped by Mr. Zardari at the last minute.

These characters have been imposed on the people of Pakistan by the United States and the United Kingdom through a ‘deal’ with Musharraf. This deal allowed Washington to execute a regime-change in Pakistan and install a puppet government without the need for a war and invasion, as in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Americans are interested in Karachi because it’s the closest fully operational seaport for the use of NATO forces in Afghanistan. But this link is incomplete without Balochistan, because of the new Gwadar port but also because of its proximity to Iran and the Gulf.

Terrorism and destabilization will continue in Pakistan. By the current standards, Pakistan is headed for serious domestic instability if the Pakistani government and the Pakistani military don’t stop the slide.

Pakistan needs to:

  1. Openly accuse the United States and its Indian ally of destabilizing Pakistan and the region.
  2. Warn India about its direct involvement in terrorism.
  3. End Pakistan’s involvement in America’s bungled war in Afghanistan.
  4. Launch direct talks between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban in order to stabilize the Pakistani tribal belt.
  5. Stop CIA drones and declare them a failure. Over 750 innocent Pakistanis, mostly women and children, were killed in the drone attacks with no first-tier al Qaeda leaders worth mentioning eliminated.
  6. Take punitive measures against India for stealing Pakistan’s water supply from the rivers of Kashmir and for supporting terrorism inside Pakistan. These punitive measures must include stopping Afghan land trade with Indian through Pakistan and the prospect of indefinitely closing Pakistani air space for Indian flights until India stops support for terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

By – Ahmed Quraishi

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3 Responses to “Blame India For Karachi Terror”

  1. Akbarnizam said

    Hate for the US is the problem of Imran Khan or his anti-Pakhtun allies. It is not the problem of the people of FATA. Their problem is occupation of their land by the international jihadi gangs. There are clear signs that the people of FATA are cooperating with the Americans in liberating their land from the jihadi occupation

    This is in response to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s recent declaration that he is ready to mediate and start negotiations with the Taliban to secure a peace agreement if the government is willing to guarantee that it would not scrap the peace deal with them under US pressure. He made this offer in an interview with Dr Moeed Pirzada on a private TV channel. By now Imran Khan stands fully exposed that he is one of the forces of darkness — the jihadi generals like Hamid Gul, the Jamaat-e-Islami and other pan-Islamists like the Deobandis, neo-Wahabis and Akhwan ideologues. Together they have given the Taliban identity to the Pakhtun and caused massacre of over three million of them on both sides of the Durand Line. They continue to destroy the Pakhtun for a great game against India and in the name of global Islamism. It is, however, the duty of all educated Pakhtuns to challenge the bizarre fabrications that Imran Khan attributed to the people of FATA to justify his offer.

    Imran Khan said one of the Taliban groups is made of tribesmen who hate the US and attack the state and society in Pakistan because they see the country in alliance with the US. This is a bizarre fantasy of Imran Khan having nothing to do with tribesmen in FATA. There are no tribesmen who are killing innocent civilians and security forces due to anti-US sentiment. The tribesmen who have joined the Taliban groups are seen as criminals by their fellow tribesmen. The tribesmen who have joined the ranks of different Taliban groups are lost to the global jihadi ideology of the al Qaeda and stand stripped of Pakhtunwali. They are no more Pakhtun! They themselves have given up their Pakhtun identity. They claim to fight for global Islam that disrespects ethnic sensitivities.

    The militants, in Imran Khan’s own words in the interview, are 15,000. Clearly not all of them are tribesmen. They include the Punjabi Taliban and foreign terrorists. There are no signs that these 15,000 or so terrorists are backed by tribal society. There has never been any grand tribal jirga in any tribal area that backed the terrorists, local or foreign. The Taliban groups in FATA are Hafiz Gul Abrader Groups, Haqqani Group, Mullah Nazeer Group, Turkistan Brittani Group, Tariq Afridi Group, Mangal Bagh Group, and Maulvi Omar Group. These terrorist groups are killing indiscriminately inside and beyond FATA. None of them had ever been backed by tribal jirgas. In fact, some of them have banned jirgas and termed them as ‘un-Islamic’ institutions. These groups have to be crushed for peace in Pakhtunkhwa and wider Pakistan. Anyone seeking dialogue with such groups is the enemy of the Pakhtun and Pakistan.

    Hate for the US is the problem of Imran Khan or his anti-Pakhtun allies. It is not the problem of the people of FATA. Their problem is occupation of their land by the international jihadi gangs. There are clear signs that the people of FATA are cooperating with the Americans in liberating their land from the jihadi occupation. The drone strikes could not have been successful in killing so many al Qaeda and Taliban leaders without the help of the people of Waziristan on the ground.

    Moreover, the Taliban kill people every single day in Waziristan on suspicion of spying for the US. They think that with terror they can deter the people of Waziristan from coordinating with the Americans. This has not been successful so far. Why is Imran Khan ever so silent over the daily slaughter of innocent people of Waziristan on charges of spying for the US? Are they not tribesmen and women and even human beings?

    The most outrageous statement he made is that the assassinated tribal leadership in Waziristan was pro-US. The leadership has been eliminated by the Taliban with state collusion according to the families of the assassinated people. I challenge Imran Khan to prove that even a single person among the assassinated 600-plus tribal leaders, religious scholars, teachers, doctors, etc., was pro-US! Were respectable tribal elders like Shah Alam Wazir, Khandan Mehsud, Mirza Alam Mehsud, Mohammad Nawaz Mehsud, and Farooq Wazir pro-US? The Taliban beheaded Mufti Sibghatullah and killed Maulana Mohammad Hussain, Imam of Godam Mosque, Tank. Does Imran Khan believe that those religious scholars were also pro-US? Imran Khan must tender an unconditional apology to the people of Waziristan, especially to the family of the assassinated people for making this bizarre statement.

    Exploiting the infamous anti-Indian stance, he argues that the government of Pakistan is pleasing India by making the soldiers of the Pakistan Army fight with the Taliban. This is the interpretation of the pro-jihadi forces in Pakistan. It is not the view of the people of FATA. This war is not about India or the US. It is about us — the citizens of Pakistan, whose lives are disrupted by the terrorists who are hell bent upon subjugating us to their version of shariah. The jihadi pursuit of our state created these terrorists and it is now the duty of the state to eliminate them if Pakistan has to survive as a modern democratic state.

    Both the PPP and the ANP have lost near and dear ones in terrorist acts of the Taliban. They must continue the fight against the Taliban and ignore the offer of Imran Khan, who is in any case not a neutral party but one of the pro-Taliban forces. In this regard I wish to refer to one of the points of the joint declaration of a grand jirga of all democratic political parties, intelligentsia and civil society organisations held in Peshawar on December 12-13, 2009. The declaration says, “All those political or non-political forces that defend the Taliban and Talibanisation in Pakistan in one way or the other like the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Tehreek-e-Insaf and other outfits are considered anti-Pakistan, anti-people and anti-Pakhtun by the people of Pakhtunkhwa.”

    The Pakistan Army must continue fighting the Taliban until their complete elimination. The military establishment must know that lack of protection of the state from the Taliban atrocities has already thrown the people of Waziristan into cooperation with the US in terms of spying for the drone attacks on the terrorists occupying the area. A time may not be far when the rest of Pakhtunkhwa will be cooperating with the US. What would become of the federation of Pakistan in such a situation? Up until now most Pakhtuns are loyal to the federation of Pakistan, but this loyalty is definitely not limitless and requires that the state must protect them and their way of life. By eliminating the Taliban, the army must prove that it stands with the Pakhtun who suffer under the Taliban. In the long run, this may be important for a constant inflow of Pakhtun loyalty with the state of Pakistan.

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