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Pak Tea House » Terrorism » Playing all sides of the fence

Playing all sides of the fence

By Saad Hafiz:

There is nothing new in the
pattern of condemnations and wake up calls after the recent assassination of Bashir Bilour by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Similar views were expressed after the murders of Benazir Bhutto, Salmaan Taseer and other notable terrorism victims. A consensus on a concerted strategy to combat the existential threat posed by terrorism continues to elude the country despite the thousands of military and civilian casualties in the war on terror.

The military and the politicians prevaricate comfortably in passing the buck on to the other. The other key social influencers — the clergy, the intelligentsia and the media — seem pleased in obfuscating the terrorism issue. The TTP’s brazen confidence grows as they casually accept responsibility for their various acts of murder and mayhem. Their immediate objective is to consolidate a permanent footprint in FATA, which will bring them a step closer to their main objective of an Islamic emirate in a nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Few so-called national leaders have the gumption to make a categorical statement about terrorism as the one made by the grieving Ghulam Ahmed Bilour. Bilour said, “There stands no distinction between good or bad Taliban. There is nothing like good or bad about Taliban. They are terrorists who challenge the writ of the government. They are not ready to accept our constitution and even our country. They have to mend their ways. And those who mend their ways and pledge allegiance to the state can be reconciled but the rest have to be taken out. That is the only solution to terrorism.” Bilour makes a good case for eliminating terrorism rather than containing it, as Pakistan has been attempting to do so far.

The answer to the ‘soft’ corner for militancy in Pakistan may lie in the complex contemporary relationship between these terrorist groups and the state, as well as between religious and political organisations. It cannot be denied that there are varying levels of support for militancy within both the Pakistani public and the military and intelligence agencies. The TTP can easily mobilise the religious constituency in the country around their homespun Islamic jihadi message. Many Pakistanis glorify the TTP as gallant ‘resistance fighters’ and not as the murdering terrorists they have proved to be.

The other factor is that the government battles former proxies who have turned their guns — and suicide vests — on the Pakistani state and their former patrons. Pakistan may have publicly abandoned militancy as a tool of foreign policy but its strategic residue remains firmly in place. A security establishment enamoured with the use of irregular troops since 1948 may not want to alienate or rule out the use of these troops if conditions require it in the future. No lessons seem to have been learnt from the backing of militants in Afghanistan and Kashmir in the 1980s and 1990s, as past policies have boomeranged with devastating effect. The country faces spreading radicalisation, accelerated by easy availability of weapons and a plethora of militant organisations, which have seeped into the country’s urban core.

The other sensitive ideological and ethnic factors at play that contribute to Pakistan’s ambivalent posture toward the fight against terrorism are often the least discussed. Firstly, Pakistan’s descent into an ideological Islamic state makes it a natural and thriving sanctuary for ideological non-state actors like the TTP and others of their ilk. Secondly, Pakistan, which is controlled by an ethnic Punjabi-Pathan oligarchy, is reluctant to wholeheartedly turn its guns on fellow Punjabis and Pathans. No such compulsion held back the ease with which overwhelming state firepower was turned on other ethnicities like the Bengalis and Baloch for far lesser ‘offences’.

As a worst-case scenario, the international community could abandon the optimism that Pakistan can or will change course and should prepare for increasing Islamist violence in the region and beyond. Violent Islamists with a variety of domestic, Afghan, Kashmiri, and millenarian agendas will continue to undermine the Pakistani state, endanger its citizens, and threaten its neighbours. The best outcome, which is looking increasingly unlikely, is that Pakistan will find the collective will to defeat the forces of extremism and to direct its resources toward pressing domestic issues such as education, rule of law, poverty, and population growth. The US is profoundly affected by Pakistan’s turmoil. First, and most obviously, it is now even more completely reliant on the cooperation of a few key security elites in Islamabad in containing al Qaeda and the Taliban. Second, the limited influence that the US enjoys in Pakistan could encourage voices in the United States calling for the introduction of special forces and airpower into Pakistan’s northwest to destroy terrorist safe havens. The unimaginable consequences of a US-Pakistan military confrontation will likely be a huge setback in the global war on terror.

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72 Responses to "Playing all sides of the fence"

  1. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Allah has divided his followers to hanafis, wahabis, shias,ismailis ahmediyas, sunnis, syeds, arzals, pathans, deobandis, barelvis and has given right to allege the other group to be kuffar and nobody is equal……

    Hindu gods are already divided, society too, which claims it is divided and unequal……

    Such hypocrisy……………

  2. heavy_petting United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Yes, Allah has divided his people in all those communities and asked them to kill each other too. Kuffar cannot be trusted, must be killed and eliminated, and the Sunnis and the Shias have been killing each other right from the year 632. This too was Allah’s will and so in Pakistan 93 mostly Shias were killed yesterday. Everything is unto Allah, so if a Shia Muslim’s brother (or mother, father, sister, son, or daughter) was killed yesterday he has no reason to complain. Cry Babies!

  3. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Allah the merciful………..

    Its more like making giving shape to ones own imaginations.

    Hindus are better at least they rely on emancipation and accept Karma……

    My namesake should have left it for Ali and there should not have been any Karballah war…..

  4. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    These are definitely not good times for living. Where can one hide from the killing machines, fully manned or unmanned. We are being googled everywhere with the help of lap taps or mobile phones, wlan or glass cables or small gadgets being planted on wild animals or innocent childrens under the pretext of a polio program. There is no escape from the reality nor a paranoia. I have registered myself for a month time to fast in a closter in the forrest land preferably in the mountain area.
    I guess this is only way to survive in the killig season.

    Rex Minor

  5. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Allah takes care of every one the most benevolent and merciful allows his sunni sons to kill shia step sons in the holiest land………..

  6. Mohan United Arab Emirates Safari iPad says:

    Rex says. ‘ The one who tells lies to deceive others is either sick or likely to get a fatal cancer desease. ‘

    If this is true than few of the regulars here on this blig will very soon get fatal cancer.

  7. Milestogo United States Safari iPhone says:

    Allah created all as Sunnis – some decided to become Shias out of free will…it’s not allah’s fault-

    Allah’s does not control every life every second – if that was the case then Arabs would not have been zahil in the first place…

  8. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    It was Allah’s will to have Shias ( you see nothing happens without his will)

  9. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Mohan has doubts about my statement on deception. There is a very simple method to check this phenomina. For less than three hundred dollars the individual can have his blood examined in a laboratory in terms of DNA and can have the confirmation or denial of what I have stated. Alternatively, Mohan could ask Colin Powel if he was suffering from cancer when he made his elaborate presentation to UNO on Iraq so called weapons of mass destruction or did he get the desease afterwards. There are others including former Gen Petros and so on. Besides I am not a medical expert!

    Rex Minor

  10. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    MTG and others,

    The constructor of the Porsche car controls every second of the car’s life in as much as it has provided the users manual to the owner, how to maintain its smooth running during its service life time. The holy scriptures serve the same purpose and people whose systems do not function properly should read the scriptures. Once in a life time each muslim is also required to perform a so called Haj in Mecca, provided he has no debts or other incompleted obligations, tells us that the source of energy to overhaul human system is in Arabia and is available to those who tap it as people or Ummah collectively and not individualy.

    Rex Minor

  11. Milestogo United States Safari iPhone says:

    Hajj is a pagan practice, it is haram.

  12. yazid United States Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Ziyarat to mazars is haram too, you should not pray at a grave. But many do.. blame it on the Hindus…..

  13. MilesToGo United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Muhammed did not implement the full message. All stones should have been destroyed.

  14. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    mtg,i told u kuffar will finish soon,

    Meerut: Police in Meerut have detained an engineer for allegedly killing his 23-year-old daughter. The man, who is said to have nursed a grievance about not having a son, allegedly strangled his daughter, a college student, on Friday. The immediate provocation for the crime is yet unknown.

    The accused, along with his wife and older daughter, reportedly took his daughter to the hospital, but she was declared dead on arrival. Police say he fled from the hospital thereafter and was detained at a relative’s house. A friend of the girl’s sister has also been detained for questioning.

    The mother of the girl, who filed the FIR, alleges that her husband forced her daughter to write a suicide note – claiming that she was responsible for her death – before killing her

  15. Maggu India Safari iPad says:

    Hajj was meant to facilitate trade since profet mo was a trader. It became a worship ritual for blind followers who now bow to a stone.

  16. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Blessed are those who see light in the night darkness and poor and unfortunate are the sceptics who like blinds refuse to experience the energy oozing out from several sources in this world. Besides Mecca the most powerful energy source, there are others such as Madina and Al Aqsa in the middle east, Lourdes in France, Fätima in Portugal and Stonehenge in England and ofcourse mount everest in the Himalayas besides many others for a smaller number of congregatio. Faith is what one must have to be able to receive the cosmic energy.

    Rex Minor

  17. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    rex thanks…. tajender

  18. Milestogo United States Safari iPhone says:

    Allah ordered muhammed to destroy all idols. Muhammed destroyed but kept his family idols. Unless islam’s full message is implemented, Allah will not be happy.

  19. MilesToGo United States Safari Mac OS says:


    I am aware of those divine energy sources. There is a group of scientists that is actively researching on those. In latest attempts scientists have been able to connect to those energy sources by very simple techniques that anyone could do. Fortunately I know a key scientist and was able to find out that technique. That’s how I am able to relay Allah’s messages on this website.

    One of the latest message I got was “Andaz Apna Apna” – I am still working to decipher that but it could be noise.

    These energy fields keep shifting in location and level of power, so some noise is unavoidable.

  20. saad Canada Internet Explorer Windows says:

    kaalchakra says:
    January 11, 2013 at 3:06 am
    Saad bhai, have we fallen so low as to quote a certified homosexual to each other?

    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
    -Oscar Wilde

  21. Romain United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Kaal / Saad sb,

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars”

    Apt and brilliant for its aptness. I take it you two are well read. :)

  22. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    rex woman university at riyadh where 50000 girls are studying http:…………………………………………………………..//

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