In avoiding any responsibility for dealing with the growing threat of militants within our borders, many analysts both amateur and professional turn to the excuse that militant groups are not aligned and different groups fight for different causes. They point to LeT’s focus on Kashmir, LeJ’s focus on ethnic cleansing of Shia, etc etc etc. The supposedly ‘unrelated’ existence of domestic militant groups is proven a lie, however, by their common cause in supporting the Taliban’s fight to take over Afghanistan.
Earlier this year a Senior Lashkar-e-Taiba commander was captured in Ghazni, and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have been carrying out attacks on Afghan Shia for years. According to a new report in The Washington Post, dozens of domestic militant groups are building training camps in Punjab and planning for a massive civil war in Afghanistan after Western forces leave next year.
“Before, they were keeping a low profile. But just in the last two or three years hundreds have been coming from Punjab,” said Mehsud. “Everyone knows that when NATO and the American troops leave Afghanistan there will be fighting between Pashtuns and non-Pashtuns.”
And the Punjabi militants will side with the Afghan Taliban, who are mostly Pashtun, Afghanistan’s dominant ethnic group and the majority ethnic group in Pakistan’s northwest region that borders Afghanistan. Like many in the Taliban, the Punjabi militants share a radical and regressive interpretation of Islam.
“We will go to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban as we have done in the past,” said a senior member of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a militant Sunni Muslim group, who goes by a nom de guerre, Ahmed Zia Siddiqui.
In an interview with The Associated Press in Pakistan, he said the Taliban haven’t yet requested help, but when asked whether Punjab-based militants were preparing for war in Afghanistan after the foreign withdrawal, he replied: “Absolutely.”
A militant army is organizing in Punjab to replace the government of Afghanistan, however problematic it may be, with extremist Taliban rulers. We must ask ourselves why our ‘national security’ forces are sleeping while this army is rising up, and if we truly believe that allowing this army to exist within our own borders is a threat only to our neighbors, of if it is actually we who are the keystone to their ultimate plans, and the real war is still to come…