Dr Muhammad Khan
Three sequential terrorist attacks in Peshawar, Bannu and Mastung have put the Pakistani nation in a shocking situation. These attacks altogether caused deaths of over 160 people besides injuring 500 individuals. All these attacks targeted the politicians, while they were carrying out their election campaigns. The deadliest attack was in Mastung, which killed 135 people including Nawab Siraj Raisani, the young Baloch leader of Balochistan Awami Party. This brave son of soil lost his very young son, in 2011, in a grenade attack on his car. Indeed, he was the target of this attack, but survived, losing his very dear son.
After the death of his son, Siraj Raisani reiterated his political will for the cause of Pakistan. He said at that time, “I will continue to raise the Slogan of Pakistan”. He was a great lover of Pakistan and decided to create group to counter the sub-nationalist forces. The nation salutes him and his cause. Similarly, the young Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour, killed in Peshawar terrorist attack, while attending a corner meeting of his election campaign was very determined and diehard Pakistani. Haroon Bilour too lost his father, Bashir Bilour in 2012. Bashir Bilour was very respected leader within ANP and throughout Pakistani political circle. As a mark of respect for the martyrs of all these attacks, the Government of Pakistan has announced to observe “one day official mourning throughout the country” on Sunday (July 15, 2018) with National flag flying at half-mast.
After having described the gloomy occurrences of three terrorist attacks, it is pertinent to analyse the motives of these attacks. The first and foremost reality, Pakistani nation has to understand that, terrorism has not ended from Pakistan and the terrorists are present in Pakistan in a hide. It was the major combating of terrorism by Pakistani security forces, which killed them in a huge number. In the process of military operations, besides those killed, many terrorists fled to neighbouring Afghanistan and some went into hiding within Pakistan. The sporadic terrorist’s attacks, carried out since 2015 have either conducted by these two groups. While being in Afghanistan, the main terrorist group; Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is administered, financed, trained and harboured by Afghan spying network, NDS in collaboration with RAW and some international spying networks.
According to Lieutenant General John W Nicholson, Commander of US Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan since March 2016, a sizable part of TTP has joined the Daesh (IS Khorasan Chapter). He said, “These IS-K (Islamic State-Khorasan) fighters are primarily Pakistani Pashtun (TTP). They have another segment of Islamic Movement Uzbekistan. And then there’s probably 10 percent that’s from a variety of sources around the world.” Being the longest-serving commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan, General Nicholson has the insight of Afghan problems and he was frank to share this information in front of US Armed Services Committee. Today, the TTP hard-core terrorists constitute the nucleus of Daesh in Afghanistan and they have taken the responsibility of Mastung attack, besides other terrorist networks.
It is pertinent to mention here that, Hamid Karazai, the former Afghan President has alerted Pakistan and few other neighbours of Afghanistan that, “In my view, under the full (United States) presence, surveillance, military, political, intelligence, Daesh has emerged”. Karzai said, US is colluding with Islamic State group in Afghanistan in order to allow the terrorist group to thrive in the war-torn country. “And for two years, the Afghan people came, cried loud about their suffering, of violations. Nothing was done”. Indeed, US forces in Afghanistan are directly involved in the training of Daesh (IS) and this deadly group of terrorist will be used to destabilize all regional countries, hitting Pakistan and Afghanistan the most.
The element of Daesh has now started pouring into Pakistani territories to destabilise it internally. This is being done through former TTP people, now constituting the core of Daesh. They are well aware of Pakistani areas and soft targets. Besides, the TTP itself is active and its elements present in Afghanistan or Pakistan are otherwise carrying out attacks on border posts and soft targets within Pakistan. While TTP operates with the help of NDS and RAW, the Daesh (IS-K) operates directly under US forces in Afghanistan and CIA. Both aims to weaken Pakistan internally through; terrorist’s attacks, promoting sub-nationalism, sectarian strife, ethnic and provincial divide and political upheavals.
The people of Pakistan must understand that, the security forces and intelligence agencies of Pakistan are countering multiple terrorist networks which are; well-orchestrated well entrenched, supported regionally and internationally in all respects. All aimed to make Pakistan bleed internally, entangled into internal discord like Libya, Iraq, Syria, finally ending into Yemen like situation. The brave and determined Armed Forces of Pakistan have done immensely well in countering, combating and retreating the terrorism, orchestrated by these transnational spying networks. Rather appreciating the armed forces and intelligence agencies, a few misled and politically motivated people are campaigning against this great national institution.
Indeed, after having failed to shatter Pakistan through an overt terrorism, the above mentioned forces have developed new narratives for the defaming of armed forces of Pakistan and its premium intelligence setup (ISI) through betrayed class. But, the Pakistani nation is well aware of these conspiracies and the strategies, being used against Pakistan. Let’s defeat all these regional and international conspiracies through a renewed vigour of Unity, Faith and Discipline.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.