Those supporting the cause of terrorists are enemies of the State

14 Sep

APCThe common perception that Pakistani politicians have surrendered to the terrorists is not without a reason. No country has so far tackled the problem of terrorism with olive branch. The very recent example of Sri Lanka’s fight against Tamil terrorists, and their victory, proves that the only way to talk to terrorists is through the barrel of guns. If the State is clear about its objectives, it can tell the spoilers, media, courts, and human rights activists, to go to hell.

Pakistani politicians defending the decision to extend olive branch to anti-Pakistan terrorists largely consist of greedy and coward; those who have no political agenda but they simply do not want to fight and risk their lives. If they have any agenda, it can be summed up very clearly; they simply want to rule, loot and plunder in peace, even if they have to cede a piece of this country to the terrorists. The other type of politicians is religious band of a particular hue. They are supporting the cause of terrorists with a clear objective; they want to finish the unfinished agenda of their spiritual forefathers to undo Pakistan which their forefathers, the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind (JUH) and Deoband had so vehemently opposed. They want to do it through defeating the vision of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding father. The Taliban of all hues are foot soldiers of Deoband’s war against Pakistan.

They hate Jinnah because he was a direct threat to the religious hegemony of clergy which they were enjoying in the Sub-Continent since the age of Muslim monarchs of nearly all dynasties. For them, the corrupt Moghul era was a model for enforcing their type of religious system. The State of Pakistan, to which they lay their claim to rule, was a secular democratic state which they despised. The clergy under JUH was resisting the idea of Pakistan and was an ally of Congress which stood for an undivided India after departure of British rulers. In Jinnah, they saw a hurdle to their rule as he had declared in clear terms that Pakistan would not be a theocratic state. They all, except for an honorable minority under Maulana Thanwi, declared creation of Pakistan as a sin. They still have not accepted Pakistan and their ideological descendants, the TTP, has unleashed their revenge on Quaid’s Pakistan through acts of terror.

What TTP is doing today is, in fact, what their religious forefathers did at the time of creation of Pakistan. The father of Pakistani Taliban, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman had once declared proudly, “Thanks God that we were not partners in the commission of the sin of making of Pakistan”. It is irony of history that the very same anti-Pakistan Mullah now dreams, and can sell his soul to the devil, to become prime minister of the very same Pakistan his forefathers so vehemently opposed.

The TTP terrorists are criminals and not the enemies of the society alone; they are enemies of the State. They are worst that extortionist, target-killers, land-grabbers, bombers and arsonist who the State is fighting in Karachi. These murders have killed, in cold blood, nearly 70,000 Pakistanis. They have the audacity to attack defense personnel and installations and destroy those precious military assets which are a cause of concern to the enemies. Their reasoning and justification for attacking Pakistan are very interesting. They claim they are against the US and drone strikes and attack Pakistan to hurt the Americans. They can find any justification to kill and destroy and yet get away with it, thanks to their sympathizers and active supporters in Pakistani politicians.

People understand, unlike their politicians, that supporter of terrorists are worst enemies of the State.

At this point in time, Pakistan has only one stakeholder, its establishment including the civil and military bureaucracy and intelligence agencies. The Establishment knows fully well that the TTP terrorists are fighting Pakistan at the behest of its enemies in India, Afghanistan and elsewhere. But unfortunately, the Establishment has been reduced to a passive spectator. They have failed to convince the opportunist politicians that the only way to fight terrorists is with full might of the State.

The careless attitude of politicians about fighting this crucial war brings home another sad fact; Pakistan is not in safe hands. Be it the ruling party or the playboy-turned-philanthropist-turned-politicians or the terrorists’ religious proxy in politics, everyone has his own agenda which is in direct conflict with national interests. The threat perception is further strengthened by the silence of those who enjoy the trust of the nation and who have a responsibility to protect the country from internal and external threats.

 

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September 6, 1965: The war as fought by Inayatullah, Noor Jehan and Dr. Rashid Anwar

5 Sep

inayatullahnoorWhile on this auspicious day of September 6, we remember our valiant soldiers who sacrificed their present for nation’s future, we should not forget to remember, and pay our tributes to, the Queen of Melody Madam Noor Jehan, poet par excellence Dr. Rasheed Anwar and writer Inayatullah. These three personalities made enormous and lasting contributions in that 17-days’s long war which enabled Pakistanis to discover their forgotten nationhood.

Noor Jehan was an actress and a singer and was a heart-throb, like any other of her ilk in entertainment industry. Her voice and her physical attributes, like her general reputation, only excited the animal instinct of her admirers. But with the break of hostilities, she became a revered celebrity overnight. Her songs, merya dhol sipahya, ahe puttar hattan te nain vickdey and many others fuelled the fire of patriotism all over the country from Karachi to Chittagong. She was especially a favorite of those busy fighting on the battle front. In recognition of her services, she was bestowed the honor of Malika-i-Trannum (The Melody Queen) by the whole nation unanimously. She is still remembered with this title most respectfully.

Dr Rasheed Anwar was a homeopathic physician and a poet of Punjabi language. Unknown heretofore, and down-to-earth, he immortalized his poetry and himself with his song, jang khed nain hondi zananian di. Those of us who remember the war would recall his single war song and would have a strange feeling of national pride in his blood. May God bless his soul. He must be remembered by all of us while we are celebrating the Defence of Pakistan Day.

Inayatullah was known as a short-story writer, a fiction writer and an editor of Monthly Sayyara Digest of Lahore before the war. He had a few radio and TV dramas to his credit. But he rose to fame and glory with the advent of war. The valiant deeds and gallantry of ordinary soldiers and ingenious war tactics authored by the military leadership on the front transformed this short-story writer into a war correspondent, military analyst and impressive narrator. His initial books BRB Behti Rehegi (BRB canal will keep flowing), Lahore ki dehleez par and Badar se Batapore tak made him an instant national celebrity all over the country and abroad. His accounts of war are still considered authentic wherever there is an interest in 1965 war. And his novels on the war are no less than authentic accounts. He wrote dozens of books on the subject, founded his own Monthly Hikayat and dedicated all his works to the defense of Pakistan. After the fall of Dacca, his also launched a Movement for Unification of Pakistan (Tehreek-e-Takmeel-e-Pakistan) which was later hijacked by some politicians.

While we remember the 1965 war, we owe a debt of gratitude to these three personalities for, without them the memories of those days will remain incomplete.

Mounting pressure on Pakistan has nothing to do with Cross-LOC firing

14 Aug

LoC-BSF-ReutersSinking of a submarine, docked in the home port, due to any reason is a very dear loss to any navy because subs are very expensive platforms. Everyone is clear that sinking of Indian sub, INS Sindhurakshak, was due to fire but the statement of an ex-chief of Indian Navy making a vague reference to sabotage rings the alarm bells. If this comes out as a reason for sinking of the sub and killing of officers and sailors on board, this could be used as a ploy to blame Pakistan yet again. This is not skepticism; the developments rapidly taking place between India and Pakistan during the last two weeks suggest that Indians are seeking an occasion to escalate the tension.

First it was Indian Army Chief, Gen Bikram Singh, accusing Pakistan for killing of five soldiers by Pakistan’s elite SSG commandos. The soldiers were stated to be on night patrol on the Line of Control (LOC) between the two countries when they were allegedly ambushed and killed. Indian government made a statement in the parliament that the soldiers were killed by terrorists donning Pakistan Army’s uniform.  There was uproar in the parliament by the opposition parties demanding to accuse Pakistan Army and ISI and suspending dialogue between the two countries. The pressure was mounted to such a scale that the government had to cave in and revise its statement and accuse Pakistan’s SSG commandos. Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi was attacked; bus service stopped by goons threatening Pakistani passengers and offices of Pakistan’s airline also attacked.

The dispassionate analysts watching the developments were not convinced. They were appalled at the level of dis-information. They were asking questions; the soldiers have clear instruction to wear bullet-proof vests while on patrol but three of the five killed had gunshots on their chests. This clearly meant that the soldiers were not on patrol and were in their resting place. Previous pattern of fighting among the soldiers suggested that they might have fought amongst themselves and killed each other and the Indian Army distorted facts to cover up the incident.

Ever since the killing on LOC, there have been numerous incidents of cross-border firing, each country blaming the other for cease-fire violation. Pakistani government under Nawaz Sharif has demonstrated remarkable restraint issuing no statement that could complicate the matter. However, New Delhi has not reciprocated the gesture because of fear of backlash from media and opposition parties. Anti-Pakistan rhetoric wins political parties massive support and Indian elections are around the corner. The ruling Congress government knows that any mis-step at this juncture could result in political cost. The politicians in both the countries are not known for maturity and statesmanship; they can do literally anything to grab votes.

Elections are not the only reason for Indian brinkmanship; Pakistan is passing through the deadliest period of its 66 years and it is time that India could add to Pakistan’s miseries through threats of war. There has been record number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan by TTP and BLA. Both these terrorists’ outfits are funded by Indian RAW and operate from Afghanistan where India has established more than 15 consulates. Having no real consular work, these are used as conduits to transfer funds and weapons to these terrorists.

With 2014 approaching fast and NATO troops leaving Afghanistan, the pro-Indian government of president Karzai may not survive pro-Pakistan Taliban fighters. India is desperate to have its share of influence in Afghanistan but it has not so far succeeded. It wants to squeeze Pakistan from within through the terrorist organizations broadly perceived to be its proxy and from LOC to weaken it to such a scale the Pakistan could not have a say in the matters of Afghanistan. Taliban are expected to be the next rulers of Afghanistan and it would be wonderful if their sole supported, Pakistan is kept under pressure.

The cross-LOC firing incidents are not random; these are prelude to something more sinister. Indians are hell-bent to escalate tensions for political and strategic reasons. But the escalation may spiral out of control as no one would be able to stop Pakistan from exercising the option of first use of nuclear weapons if Indians did not stop here.

Courts and media should be made to understand that Pakistan is at war

10 Aug

NSPakistan is in the grip of terrorism of unprecedentedly escalated proportion. The fundamental objective of escalated activities of the terrorists is to arm-twist the political leadership to bring them to negotiating table and enforce the conditions of their choice. The political leadership is so confused that it has not even outlined the draft of a Counter-terrorism Strategy. Two of the three political parties ruling Pakistan are known for their sympathies for the terrorists being oblivious of the fact that TTP, LeJ and BLA are operating against the state of Pakistan from their bases in Afghanistan and funded and aided by India and anti-Pakistan international establishment.

Terrorism in Pakistan is not new of its kind; we have seen terrorism in South Asian region and the way it was fought and eliminated. The most brilliant example is that of Sri Lanka which fought Tamil terrorists, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or Tamil Tigers (LTTE) for a decade. Originally belonging to India’s Tamil Nadu state, Tamils were brought to Sri Lanka by the British as expatriate workers and were a minority against the Sinhala majority. While Sinhala professed Buddhism, Tamils were predominantly Hindus. The Tamil insurgency was originally sponsored by Indian establishment but when it withdrew support, Tamils killed Rajiv Gandhi in a suicide attack.

By all standards, LTTE insurgency was massive keeping in view the size of security forces of Sri Lanka. But the way Sri Lanka countered it with matching response; we have yet to see in Pakistan. Sri Lankan armed forces are no match to those of Pakistan both in professional excellence, equipment, commitment and size. Yet, Pakistan has not been able to control terrorism because political governments lacked the courage to and are constantly busy in undermining the security establishment rather than strengthening them.

The military and political analyses of success of Sri Lanka in eliminating the menace of terrorism, carried out by various think tanks, converge on focusing the attention of fighting it heads-on. Pakistan can learn a lesson or two when it has started thinking about formulating a National Security Strategy.

The first lesson is that military action against the enemies of the state should be focused and all criticism of clergy, HR activists and the populist courts playing to the galleries should be ignored, if not out rightly rejected. Sri Lanka adopted the strategy of telling domestic and international critics to go to hell and concentrated on the job of completely eradicating the terrorism.

No respectable government will ever enter into peace negotiations with criminals and those fighting against the state. The befitting response is negotiations through the barrel of the gun the nation buys through hard-earned income of tax payers. This is the easiest way of dealing with the insurgents and terrorists but it also amounts to ceding the space to the criminals. Negotiations and cease-fire in fact provide terrorists a golden opportunity to regroup and strengthen themselves. One of the success factors of Sri Lankan counter-terrorism was, and a lesson for Pakistan is, the policy of no-negotiations and no cease-fire.

Mass media is an effective weapon used by enemies and, particularly the terrorists, to defeat the armies. This is fourth generation warfare (4GW) and if media of the country starts building negative perception about own army and positively project the terrorists’ viewpoint, no country can win war against terrorists. This is exactly what’s happening in Pakistan. Everyone knows that BLA terrorists are operating under the sponsorship of a neighboring country but a section of Pakistani media projects them as disgruntled youth against “atrocities” of Pakistan army. The terrorists get public approval through media and Sri Lankan government was mindful of this fact. They muzzled the media in the best national interest and properly regulated it so that misdeeds of the terrorists do not get glorified. In order to fight against militancy, state institutions need to keep a check on the media to see their source of funding and their connections. Proper regulation of media is the third best lesson Pakistan can learn from Sri Lanka.

Fighting enemies of the state is the domain of armies in every country. When a country is at war, its armed forces should have total operational freedom and their conduct of war should not be allowed to be hampered by courts and politicians. This is a golden lesson that Pakistan should learn from Sri Lanka.

 

 

Who rules KPK; Terrorists or PTI?

30 Jul

DIKThe shameless politicians of Pakistan have the audacity to blame intelligence agencies for their own failures. This was evident in the classic case of attack on DI Khan jail where the police virtually facilitated the attack yet the chief minister is adamant that his hands are clear and neither he nor his government was responsible in what could be termed as one of the worst jailbreaks in the history of the world.

According to various news sources, TTP terrorists attacked the Central Jail in Dera Ismail Khan on Monday night and freed more than 200 terrorists besides killing a handful of prisoners and security staff. DI Khan is a major city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province and is close to South Waziristan Agency. The attackers sixty in number, who moved and charged unnoticed by the local police, overpowered security personnel deployed at the prison who did not even make an effort to offer resistance. According to initial investigations, the first prison gate was destroyed by the attackers equipped with hand grenades and automatic weapons, but the other two gates were let open by security personnel. The police personnel who were responsible for security of the prison’s outside building were not present at the time of attack and arrived there four-and-a-half hours later. It seems that the first and second defence lines of the jail offered no resistance leaving no room for the army to engage the attackers to protect the prison.

This is a clear example of collapse of governance in a province which is ruled by Imran Khan’s PTI who is perceived to be a sympathizer of the terrorists. The fact that intelligence agencies had forewarned the government of the imminent attack and there was no preparation to meet it head-on only substantiates the fact that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa administration was totally incompetent. As usual, the Chief Minister, Pervez Khattak attributed his government’s failure to intelligence agencies. This is a poor case of passing the buck on.

This could be an inside help provided to the attackers which would suggest that terrorists have not only ingress in the political hierarchy, but also the lowest level of administration. This would indeed, be very dangerous and would amount to ceding the entire province to the terrorists.

Related stories:

ALLVOICESDI Khan jail break shows governance in KPK of Pakistan has totally collapsed

Why everyone is out to claim responsibility for Sukkur ISI attack?

25 Jul

SukkurIn a brilliant move to distract the public attention from the real perpetrators of Sukkur suicide attack on ISI office, various terrorist organizations have been tasked to claim responsibility and further confuse the public opinion on who could have done it. Social media is abuzz with the theory that the real target of the attack was some major of ISI identified as Zeeshan who is said to be in possession of some sensitive documents containing evidence of involvement of foreign intelligence agencies in terrorism in Pakistan. The terrorists, as per this theory, wanted to destroy the evidence. Major Zeeshan was killed in the attack.

There was no immediate call to take the responsibility after the attack as is the norm in such cases. Interestingly, various people called media houses a day after the attack to claim that they were the actual perpetrators. A Taliban commander told The Express Tribune on Thursday that the deadly attack was orchestrated by the elements of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) based in Mohmand tribal region and the Taliban faction in Punjab. It was their joint venture. The commander disputed the claim by a splinter faction of the Taliban, which also claimed responsibility for the same attack.

Separately, a man named Ahmed Marwat, who introduced himself as the spokesperson for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Jundullah Group) had called various media persons to claim responsibility for the attack. Marwat had claimed that the attack was revenge for the death of TTP deputy chief Wali-ur-Rehman Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan tribal region in May. He said the group had sent four bombers to “achieve the target.”

Now there is a conflict of claims between two outfits, Jundullah, Pakistan and TTP. The Jundullah group had earlier claimed responsibility for the attack on security forces but TTP former spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, denied the association of Jundullah group with the Taliban.

Now this is an interesting development. First the stated motive of the attack is highly questionable, if not laughable. The terrorists claim that the attack was in retaliation of the death of Wali-ur-Rehman Mehsud in a US drone attack. Everyone knows that ISI does not operate drones and is, in fact, against the drone strikes. How can militants take revenge from ISI for an act which was perpetrated by the mighty Americans? Then there are rumors that the coordinates of the whereabouts of Mehsud were given to the Americans by the hard core TTP themselves to have Mehsud, another contender to the slot of TTP head, eliminated. This is frivolous excuse and points the finger to Pakistan’s enemies who have perpetrated this and every attack on civilians and security forces.

But the conflict of the claim is even more interesting. Jundullah or BLA or even TTP and all its factions are being directed by one coordinator sitting somewhere in Afghanistan. Pakistani authorities should exactly know the center of gravity of Pakistan-specific terrorism. The evidence available so far points out that India is spearheading the campaign to destabilize Pakistan through attacking security forces, innocent civilians and through the game of perception using media houses and funding them with generous handouts.

 

Sukkur Attack should be the last eye-opener for security agencies

24 Jul

SukkurBlast-police-isi_7-24-2013_110825_lPakistan’s establishment and its security agencies are under three-pronged attack from Pakistan’s enemies; from India, Afghanistan and their allies in fourth generation warfare (4GW), from international establishment through international media in connivance with some elements of the local media and from Pakistan’s emerging power center, the apex judiciary. The attack from the third front only reinforces the attacks from other two sides but is only either under pressure from the media or to reassert its authority and occupy the space ceded by the establishment in the last five years. The media has helped built up the image of this new power center and any pressure from this side is too hard to resist.

It is now no secret that after Pakistan becoming a nuclear power, there is no chance for an all-out war as demonstrated in the past; the Kargil conflict, the Indian parliament attack and Mumbai attacks. The last two events have received a renewed limelight and there are questions as to who was the real perpetrator of these attacks. In view of the possibility of a nuclear conflict, India has already drawn the battle lines to keep Pakistan under pressure of terrorists’ attacks on its innocent civilians and military facilities to break the resolve of security agencies to fight. The media, now fully exposed to be recipient of generous funding from India, is unleashed simultaneously to attack the security agencies to establish that Pakistan’s security apparatus is not capable of defending the country.

Terrorist attacks on Pakistan’s soil are planned and war-gamed in Afghanistan where pro-India regime notwithstanding, India has not been able to secure a foothold in post-2014 era. The Kunar province of Afghanistan is the actual epicenter of terrorism against Pakistan. Pakistani authorities are in possession of incontrovertible evidence that India arms and funds anti-Pakistan TTP operating from Afghanistan with a nod from CIA. The separatist movement in Balochistan has clear stamp of Indian involvement. The major resistance to crush anti-Pakistan elements comes from a particular media house and opportunist politicians.

The latest attack on ISI center in Sukkur clearly suggests that the terrorists of India-funded Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have deeply penetrated into the heretofore peaceful province of Sindh in Pakistan. The Rural Sindh, home to countless saints and peace-loving populace, was peaceful so far in the wake of terror attacks in the rest of country but the Wednesday evening bomb attack on ISI office and other administration buildings in a heavily guarded compound in Sukkur indicates that the terrorists can strike any target anywhere with impunity.

According to reports, a least five terrorists attacked the ISI office, adjacent to the Rangers office, Commissioner’s House and office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, soon after Iftar. One ISI official and an employee of the Commissioner House were killed in the attack. Sources said that a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of ISI office while two others detonated explosives rigged with their bodies inside the office. A suspected bomber has reportedly been arrested following the explosions, which damaged several vehicles and buildings and left a deep crater near the ISI office. According to a Rangers spokesman, two militants blew themselves up while three were shot dead by forces. He added that several security personnel sustained injuries during the operation against attackers. According to police sources, the city headquarters of the ISI was the main target of the terrorists.

This latest attack should be the last eye-opener for the security agencies. The time to look towards nincompoop political leadership for direction is now over. It is the time that army and other security agencies reject political meddling and media influence and take action indiscriminately against terrorists of all hues including those under the shelter of political and religious parties. TTP, BLA and LeJ terrorists are Pakistan’s enemies and should be dealt with accordingly.