Terrorism & Pakistan: Understanding the unholy nexus


Terrorism & Pakistan: Understanding the unholy nexus

Subhasish Das | March 30, 2019 16:57 hrs

The reprehensible attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in J&K on the 14th of February was claimed by Pak-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad. A similar attack with the same modus operandi on members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards the previous day in Sistan-Balochistan province was claimed by another Pak-based militant group Jaish-Al-Adl. The twin attacks yet again diverted the global community's attention towards the epicentre of terrorism, i.e. Pakistan. This nuclear-armed nation has, for years, supported, adopted and implemented terrorism as a state policy and is a major threat not just to the countries within its vicinity, but to the world at large.

It is interesting to know how Pakistan drifted towards terrorism that began to shape its state policy. The genesis of this unholy nexus lies in former President Muhammad Zia Ul Haq’s controversial Islamization policies of the 1980s that was used as a means to create an army of irregulars to fight against the Soviet forces deployed in Afghanistan. The later years, as the war progressed, witnessed an influx of ideologically driven Muslims (mujahideen/jihadist) from various parts of the world to this war. Support and encouragement from the US, the Pakistan Army, the ISI, the CIA, Saudi Arabia etc coupled with easy availability of arms was a major incentive for these ever-increasing highly radical forces. Interestingly, most of these jihadis were never disarmed either by the US or Pakistan military/ISI even after the war had ended in Afghanistan. Little did they realize that these radicals would slowly but surely build a spooky institution that would one day decimate the very democratic structure and values its constitution had promised to its populace and transform the country into a safe haven and breeding ground of terrorists spewing venom all across.

Pakistani Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in a candid speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2018, had officially endorsed Pakistan's support to terror groups. He propagated the theory of “good” and “bad” terrorists that sounded crazy and confounded everyone. He admitted Pakistan’s support for “good” terrorism if it’s against a country like India who they consider oppressors against the Kashmiris whereas implying terrorism originating from Afghanistan as “bad” and played the victim card. Those they support are “good” while those who attack them are “bad.” The Pakistani army chief further warned world leaders in the forum that terrorism would not be eliminated from their soil in any near timeframe. He stated that a large number of people in the country had been radicalized, armed and empowered politically and ideologically and it would be difficult to wish them away now just because everybody wanted to get rid of them.

What the world needs to look at and understand is that only Pakistani nationals form the core of terror groups in the entire region. The Pakistan-based terror groups India battles everyday mostly comprise their nationals. The terror groups based in Afghanistan that target Pakistan too comprise nationals from their own country whom their army has estranged. Even the responsibility of the suicide attack on Iran Revolutionary Guards was taken by a Pak-based terror group. Similarly, the Baloch Liberation Front members are again their own nationals. Thus, the whole region is engulfed by terror groups, whose members belong to one nation alone - Pakistan.

Albeit unlikely, any serious commitment from Pakistan to eliminate terror groups inside their country demands immediate closure of the terror factories in the form of Madrassas that promote and cultivate terrorists thereby indoctrinating them for life. Unless this is done, the country will continue to produce brainwashed terrorists every single day. Second would be to desist from recruiting social discards, local thieves and disgruntled Kashmiris and use them as cannon fodder in their proxy war against India. The present lot operating in Jammu & Kashmir are just that.

Harbouring and nurturing terror groups can never ever settle disputes. The sooner Pakistan understands this, the better. India will never commence dialogues under constant security threats from terror attacks especially under the Narendra Modi government. Moreover, Pakistan cannot bleed India to the level it desires nor would there ever be a Kashmiri uprising like it happened in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. On the contrary, the only country which has and would continue to suffer is Pakistan itself as the monsters they’ve created could invariably turn inwards and become hostile to their masters if the pressure from international community increases and coerces the administration to act tough against them.

It’s a well-known fact now that the so-called democratically elected civilian government in Pakistan is only a façade behind which the army and the ISI pull the strings and run the whole show. And this exactly is the disparity when the state policies are controlled by the army instead of an actual civilian government. Whereas a civilian government with a complete free hand would strive towards peace, reforms, stability and development, a crippled one covertly run by the military generals from behind would logically follow a policy of internal suppression and external aggression as generals only “know to fight, not develop nations.”

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