NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Terror infests Pakistan

By Hari Sud

Toronto, ON, Canada, — Terror has become a daily affair in Pakistan, which has hit civilians the most due to suicide bombers mingling with them. Such attacks are sometimes a result of the Pashtun tribesmen’s pique at the Pakistani government; other times they are interfaith rivalries between the Sunni and Shiite communities. In addition, they are also “bomb battles” between rival political party activists in big cities.

This all began when Pakistan started training terrorists for attacks in Indian-controlled Kashmir. When this met with immediate success, terror activities were expanded to cover the rest of India. The last attack took place in Mumbai in November 2008.

With every successful explosion terrorists have become more sophisticated, with some using bombs to settle their local grievances. In October last year a Sunni resistance group reportedly carried out a suicide bomb attack on Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards that killed several top commanders.

Pakistani authorities never anticipated that terrorists would turn against them. In 2009, some 6,000 Pakistanis died in terror attacks, making it one of the bloodiest years of domestic violence. Half of those killed were security personnel.

Terror attacks declined considerably in India’s Kashmir region in 2009, partly due to mounting international pressure on Pakistan and partly due to the vigil mounted by Indian security forces. Deaths from terrorist attacks included 55 civilians and 76 security personnel.

Until 2001, Pakistan was untouched by India’s accusations that it was responsible for acts of violence in India. However, the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States changed that. Pakistani security services, although not directly responsible for 9/11, had acted as facilitators to the terror masters in Afghanistan.
This became common knowledge, and the United States mounted pressure on Pakistan to dismantle its terror business completely, offering aid and military hardware in return. But the campaign never succeeded. The Pakistanis pleaded ignorance of terrorist activities, while winking at their organizations and training facilities on their territory.

While Pakistan seemed unconcerned with terror elsewhere, trouble began brewing at home as al-Qaida and the Taliban made the frontier region of Pakistan their new home. That brought the United States into the picture, with its successful drone attacks to eliminate leaders of terrorist groups.

The U.S. action caught al-Qaida and the Taliban by surprise. They pushed the local Pashtun tribes to rebel against the Pakistani government. Some of them did, resulting in the present impasse in Pakistan.

Now the same terrorists are biting the hand that fed them. The United States managed to convince the Pakistani army to go after the terrorists, which was easier said than done. As the Pakistani army entered terror-infested areas in 2009, they suffered heavy causalities. Besides, terrorists relocated themselves to different areas of Pakistan, making the army’s task doubly difficult.

Will terror ever relent in Pakistan? It is highly unlikely. First the United States will have to withdraw from Afghanistan, but even if it does, al-Qaida and the Afghani Taliban will find excuses to continue fighting. Second, no efforts have been made to reform the Pakistani intelligence services that head various terror organizations.

The United States has been on the wrong foot all along in dealing with Pakistan. Prior to 2001, the U.S. and British intelligence services encouraged religious elements within the Pakistani security apparatus. They did it to defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and later encouraged the religious elements to maintain law and order after the Soviets withdrew from the region.

The United States did not realize that it had created a monster in the form of the Taliban. The monster would be unleashed if the Taliban again grabs power in Kabul and invites al-Qaida into its midst.
It was the United States that created Pakistan’s intelligence services, from 1980 to 1988. In addition, the Pakistani army was pampered with modern weapons and even allowed to steal nuclear weapon technology from Europe and the United States. When caught, Pakistani agents were let off lightly. Since 2001 more new weapons were offered in the name of fighting terror. The Pakistanis took the weapons but did nothing to help the United States in return.

The present Afghani Taliban, after its demolition by the United States in 2001, was created by Pakistan from 2002 to 2007. The Pakistani army provided weapons and training in civilian garb. Their fundraising has been based on drug smuggling and through Pakistanis living in the Middle East.
All sanctuaries for rest and recreation for the Taliban are in Pakistan. There is a silver lining though – the Pakistanis are not helping the Arab, Uighur and Chechen elements of al-Qaida. They are on their own and suffer the most during U.S.-led drone attacks.

What made the loyal Pashtuns rebel against Pakistan? Pashtuns in the Northwest frontier region are loyal to Pakistan, although their loyalty is under severe test today. The situation changed when convoys escorted by Pakistani security forces came under attack and army personnel were killed. Later, deeply religious Mullahs in the frontier region vowed to expel Pakistanis from the region. They even captured a few districts there to make their point. This led to a larger conflict with the army.

The situation is at an impasse, with the Pashtun loyalty factor under severe strain. Although the Afghani Taliban is not encouraging the Pakistani chapter, it seems both are increasingly driven by a common goal – to drive out the United States and Pakistan from Afghanistan and the frontier region. This may be the beginning of the formation of Pashtunistan, a homeland for Pashtuns. This demand has been in cold storage for a while but can be revived with ease.

What makes Pakistanis confront India so diligently? Kashmir is the face of the Muslim desire to rule over India. Today, they are fighting over Kashmir – it that is resolved they will think of something else. It is their relentless pursuit to rule from New Delhi, which is the crux of the problem.

The British took away power from the Muslims in 1857 and slowly handed it back to the majority Hindus. By 1947, Hindus were ready to rule and had learned to pick up the sword again. When Pakistan invaded Kashmir in 1948, it was beaten. Again in 1965 and in 1971 it was beaten. The Pakistani army’s surrender in 1971 in Dhaka has not sat well with them for the last 40 years. They wish to avenge it and tried in 1998 in Kargil, but lost heavily. Still, they want to keep trying.

Presently, the Pakistani army is being trained to counter India in war. Soldiers are told that one Pakistani soldier equals 30 Indian soldiers, although facts prove otherwise. India with its bigger economy and resources is doing a fine job in keeping its enemies out of its territory. If Pakistan starts a conflict, it could be driven back within 94 hours.

With no way to beat its favorite enemy India, Pakistan has turned to jihadism. It did not count on al-Qaida succeeding spectacularly in its 9/11 attacks. Also, when it encouraged the Afghani Taliban, it did not expect the emergence of the Pakistani Taliban.

Today Pakistan is in a worse shape than it was ten years back. There is no end in sight to its internal fighting. India, for sure, is now beyond its reach.
(Hari Sud is a retired vice president of C-I-L Inc., a former investment strategies analyst and international relations manager. A graduate of Punjab University and the University of Missouri, he has lived in Canada for the past 34 years. ©Copyright Hari Sud.)

No comments:

Post a Comment