Tuesday, December 8, 2009


1. After a series of attacks in crowded market places, hospitals, mosques and offices in Multan, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar - targetting innocent people and security forces including the all powerful army - will Pakistan even begin to understand the pain and agony of India bleeding for over two decades ?

2. After the attack on the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and the attempted attack on the naval headquarters, will Pakistan understand the pain and agony of the attack on the Kaluchak military station ?

3. Will Pakistan now understand the pain and agony of the attacks on Raghunath temple, Sankatmochan temple, Akshardham temple and the Amarnath Yatris. `Not even safe in God's home,' wept a headline in a Pakistani newspaper - the day after the Parade Ground mosque attack.

Trained by elements in the ISI and the Pakistan army to attack markets, hospitals, temples and the army in India, the terrorists having mastered the `art of mayhem' are now unleashing terror inside Pakistan. The Pakistan army and ISI trained them to kill innocent civilians - unsuspecting shoppers and worshippers - the terrorists are doing just that. Except now instead of India they are doing it inside Pakistan.

India - I speak for a large cross section of people I have been interacting with - feels the pain of the people of Pakistan. I have also been speaking to friends on the other side of the border - they realise how Indians suffered for over two decades - and continue to do so - live with fear - of a sudden blast - a terror attack. Who is responsible for this - perhaps General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Pakistan's chief of the army staff and his trusted director general of inter services intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Shuja Pasha need to actually do some soul searching.

On Friday, December 4, armed terrorists opened fire and hurled grenades inside the Parade Ground Mosque, next to the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

One Major General (Umar Bilal), director general of Pakistan's mechanised forces, one brigadier general, two lieutenant colonels and two majors were among 40 killed. Lieutenant General Masood Aslam, a top commander overlooking Waziristan operations lost his son. In all 17 children were killed in the terrorist attack.

And this is what General Kayani said: ``The nation, including the army, stands united in sharing their grief. Pakistan is our motherland. It is the bastion of Islam and we live for the glory of Islam and Pakistan. Our faith, resolve and pride in our religion and in our country is an asset, which is further reinforced after each terrorist incident.''

Terror attacks, anywhere in the world are painful. The pictures of wailing families, tears, pain and coffins are all too familiar. India has been hurt so often and by the same set of people who are now attacking Pakistan; and more importantly their military establishment.

But the 1.5 billion dollar a year question is will it jolt Pakistan finally to cut that umblical cord which funds, feeds, trains and arms the terrorist organisations. It is not without reason that Pakistan is called the terror epicentre of the world and former US secretary of state madeline albright felt Pakistan has all the ingredients to give the world an international migrane.

Now that migrane is cancerous. That cancer is eating Pakistan from within. Even as I write there are reports of another terrorist attack inside Pakistan. The ISI office in Multan was targetted killing 10 people including the two bombers. On November 13 too the ISI office in Peshawar was attacked. Clearly, the Frankenstien's monster is striking with alarming frequency.


Mosques are increasingly coming under attack in Pakistan. Terrorists slamming explosive laden vehicles and suicide bombers have killed more than 350 Pakistanis in 2009. More than 900 have been injured, according to figures released by Pakistan's ministry of interior. This is the favourite style of attack used by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

The December 4, 2009 armed attack targeting the parade ground mosque in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, which killed 44 people including 17 children, was the latest in the series. In one of the worst incidents of terrorism in recent years, a group of six fidayeen attackers belonging to the Tehrik-e-Taliban stormed the crowded Parade Land Askari Mosque close to the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army during Friday prayers and sprayed gunfire at worshippers besides throwing hand grenades. A serving major general of the Pakistan Army, a brigadier, two lieutenant colonels, a major and a number of soldiers were among those killed in a multi-pronged attack which was carried out in cold blood while violating the sanctity of a mosque by those who claim to be fighting for the glory of Islam. The blood-spattered episode eventually came to an end after two suicide bombers blew themselves up.

For the terrorists - claiming to fight a jihad for Islam, nothing is sacred, not even the home of God! Even the people of Pakistan, I am sure realise, this so called jihad is just a sham - for the terrorists and their handlers it is an industry, a business, an occupation.


Despite repeated attacks on the Pakistan army and the ISI, powerful elements within the Pakistan security establishment continue to support the terrorists. Why would they continue to sleep with the enemy ? Two reasons - the strategic depth in Afghanistan and to bleed India.

Al Qaeda, Taliban and Pakistan realise they only have to lie low for the next 18 months. As soon as US president Barack Obama begins withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, the battle will be won. For 9 long years, Pakistan and Al Qaeda took on the US and allied forces in the firm belief that US and Europe do not have a strong belly to take body bags and sooner than later they will run. Barack Obama while announcing the surge, also gave a date for Al Qaeda to slowly start re-asserting itself. 18 months from January 2010.

Pakistan will once again prop a dummy Taliban like government in Afghanistan and win back its strategic depth.

Under pressure from the US Pakistan is fighting terror, though half-heartedly. It wants to shift focus once again on the Indian border; the perceived enemy.


The civil society of Pakistan we are told appreciates terror is the enemy and not India. Lawyers, students and journalists - the real people's strength of Pakistan should start a movement. A people's movement so that the message to the army is loud and clear - Fight terror the real enemy and not India an imagined enemy.

The first step can easily be to dismantle the terror infrastructure aimed at India, arrest and prosecute terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammad's Masood Azhar. Take action against the likes of terrorist commander Ilyas Kashmiri.

Pakistan may be a bastion of Islam, as their chief of army staff claims, but it is for the people of Pakistan and the army to ensure it does not remain a bastion of terror.

1 comment:

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