Monday morning, militants bombed a school bus in Peshawar – the fifth bombing in a week. Is it only coincidence that we have witnessed attacks increasing in frequency during Muharram? CCPO Fayyaz Laghari has said that as many as 5,700 policemen will be required to secure the mourning processions of Muharram 8, 9 and 10.
Jihadi sympathizers and their useful idiots who peddle conspiracy theories that distract us from our own interests say that al Qaeda does not exist, that it is a figment of the American imagination or possibly a CIA operation. But al Qaeda is real enough to threaten our own military, and they are working hand in hand with TTP and other militant groups here.
According to well informed sources in the Pakistani security establishment, Saif Al Adal, one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, has been dispatched to North Waziristan by bin Laden’s No 2, Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, with the prime objective of boosting al-Qaeda’s military might against the Pakistani security forces in Waziristan and stepping up cross-border ambushes against the US-led allied forces in Afghanistan. Saif was set free by Iran in October 2010 after spending nine years under house arrest, and that too in exchange for the release of Heshmatollah Attarzadeh, a senior Iranian diplomat who was kidnapped by the Taliban in Pakistan in 2008. Saif has been dispatched to North Waziristan amidst reports that the Pakistani authorities have already given a commitment to the Obama administration to launch a full-scale military action in the area to uproot the Haqqani militant network led by veteran Afghan leader commander Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani.
Once again it is clear to all who will see it. These attacks have nothing to do with American policy or drone attacks. Rather, it is the strategy of militant groups to divide and conquer. They attack shia processions to create suspicion and resentment, dividing our own citizens against each other. They attack our own troops to weaken our resolve and create distrust and suspicion between our military and the American military with the ultimate goal of undermining the security of our Western border so they can control the tribal areas themselves. Never forget that these jihadis were always against the creation of Pakistan.
The lesson we should be learning is that the hydra-headed monster of lashkars and jihadis is that the deals that some people thought would give us ‘strategic depth’ will actually be our strategic undoing if we don’t cut off the head first.
S Iftikhar Murshed says it perfectly:
It is time for Pakistan to come to terms with the problems that it confronts. The challenges are internal and the foremost among these is the threat to the country’s survival from terrorist violence. Furthermore the state has yet to fully reclaim its writ in the tribal region. This cannot be achieved so long as foreign militants and groups including those from Afghanistan remain in the area.
They should be asked to leave or face military action. It should be made clear to the Afghan groups including the Haqqani network that the road to Kabul is not from the tribal areas of Pakistan but through participating in President Karzai’s reconciliation initiative.
The question is will we act in our own defense before it is too late?