Sultan M Hali
AFTER the recent surrender of Ehsan Ullah Ehsan, a spokesperson of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), his confessional video has made startling disclosures for Pakistan as well as the international community. Ehsan has admitted responsibility for at least ten large-scale terrorist activities conducted against Pakistanis on behalf of JuA. He revealed he was a former college student but joined TTP in 2008 after getting motivated by the religious propaganda of the militant organization. However, the myth of a Jihad soon proved false when he found the leadership fighting for petty and self-centered interests. Mullah Fazlullah’s appointment through lucky draw and getting support from Afghan intelligence and Indian R&AW made Ehsan dejected.
The disgruntled Ehsan witnessed the Pakistan Army flushing out TTP and its allied groups from FATA and rest of Pakistan and their seeking refuge in Afghanistan. He divulges that Indian R&AW and Afghan NDS facilitated their movement in Afghanistan through providing them identity documents. He disclosed that JuA was provided money, weapons, explosives and targets in Pakistan by the Indian and Afghan intelligence. Pakistan has been crying hoarse that Indian and Afghan security agencies the RAW and NDS have been aiding and abetting TTP in its heinous plots of carrying out terrorist attacks in Pakistan but the world has been ignoring Pakistan’s cries of anguish. India finds it opportune to use the TTP to destabilize Pakistan while the NDS is but a hand maiden of RAW.
Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has been visiting Afghanistan and surreptitiously meeting with IS as well as Taliban leadership. The thrust of his tête-à-tête has been to foment trouble for Pakistan with a series of terror attacks so that reeling under the onslaught, Pakistan comes to its knees or breaks up into fragments. It is ironic that Ehsan Ullah Ehsan may be dejected and convinced of Indian and Afghan involvement with JuA but US, UK, France and Sweden are not. These countries opposed naming India and Afghanistan as supporters of JuA when Pakistan moved a resolution in UNSC sanction committee against JuA and its sponsors. Eleven other UNSC countries agreed to the Pakistani stance. However, these four countries have asked Pakistan not to politicize the issue and restrict to sanctions against JuA only.
This duplicitous move exposes the double standards of the quartet in their dealing with Pakistan. Last year the US, UK and France cosponsored Indian proposal to list Masood Azhar with serious negative remarks against Pakistan and its state institutions without concrete proof. Pakistan was on the verge of receiving severe reprimand but was bailed out by its all weather friend and strategic ally China. On the contrary, the case of JuA is a stark reality and totally different from the malicious Indian Proposal. Pakistan has all the evidence and the world is well aware of the large scale terror activities being conducted by JuA and its sponsors. More than seventy thousand Pakistanis including five thousand members of the law enforcing agencies have been killed owing to terror attacks. Pakistan has suffered a loss of more than ten billion dollars in revenues or losses due to the terror attacks.
JuA has been specifically targeting minorities in Pakistan, especially the members of the Shia community. US led western coalition has been raising questions on rights of minorities in Pakistan and has condemned terrorist activities against minorities but refuses to take action against the JUA. Thousands of members of the minority community have been mercilessly slaughtered by the TTP. However, by not adopting the move against JuA and its backers, these countries are practically causing harm to the minorities in Pakistan. This harsh reality needs to be taken cognizance of by the minorities as well as by independent thinkers.
The people of Pakistan have seen the real face of terrorism and can no longer be fooled through hollow mantras. Pakistan is very serious in its fight against terrorism and its people expect same seriousness from the leading powers of the world. Selective and twisted policies may prove to be counterproductive in overall universal fight against terrorism. There is another harsh reality that JuA is an affiliate organization of the Islamic State (IS), which is posing serious threat to peace in Afghanistan-Pakistan region and US has vowed to fight the threat. Recent use of Mother of All Bombs against IS in Nangarhar indicates the seriousness of US to tackle the threat. On similar lines, US is also expected to block the support to such organizations.
Unfortunately, the war in Afghanistan is slowly morphing into a turf war between US led and Russian led camps. The US needs to realize that the people of the region have suffered enough. For peace to return in Afghanistan proxies have to be given up and genuine peace efforts need to be pursued. The recent move by Russia, China and Pakistan to hold peace talks must be welcomed as it is a genuine attempt to restore peace in conflict torn Afghanistan. Unfortunately, instead of supporting this recent peace initiative, the US not only spurned the invitation by Moscow to join the peace process, but levelled false charges against Russia that it was providing arms to the Afghan Taliban. Regional effort with Sino-Russian initiatives can be a useful platform for pursuing the elusive peace in Afghanistan. Chances of success of such peace proposal will increase manifold if US were to shed its tunnel vision and also join hands in the pursuit of peace. The narrow nationalism of the Occident is causing irreparable damage and the rot needs to be stemmed.
—The writer is retired PAF Group Captain and a TV talk show host.