Pakistan must eliminate Terrorism for its own sake, starting with Jaish e Muhammad

We at New Pakistan have always stood for a stable and peaceful Pakistan at peace with its neighbors. We have always believed that Pakistan needs to eliminate terrorism, the ideology, the individuals and the groups responsible for it, from within its borders.

The recent terrorist attack at Pulwama when an Indian paramilitary force convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber belonging to the Pakistan-based jihadi group Jaish e Muhammad does not augur well for Pakistan. Every time a terror incident occurs in our neighborhood – Afghanistan, India, Iran – it always ends up being traced back to Pakistan.

According to BBC News “Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a Pakistan-based group, has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing on 14 February in Indian-administered Kashmir. At least 46 soldiers died, making it the deadliest single attack against Indian forces in the region since 1989. JeM spokesman Muhammad Hassan spoke of “dozens of [Indian] forces’ vehicles” destroyed in the attack, when the bomber rammed a convoy in a vehicle filled with explosives.”

Jaish e Muhammad (Army of Mohammad) was founded by Pakistan-based Muslim cleric Maulana Masood Azhar in 1999 soon after he and two other terrorists were set free in exchange for the crew and passengers of an Indian Airlines plane hijacked and flown to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. JeM has been responsible for many attacks in the recent past including the October 2001attack on the state assembly in Srinagar in Indian administered Kashmir, theDecember 2001 attack on the Indian parliament (along with the other Kashmiri jihadi group Lashkar e Taiba), and the 2016 attack on an airbase in Pathankot in Indian Punjab.

Pakistan may officially deny that it has anything to do with the terror attack but the fact that terror groups based inside Pakistan are able to carry out such attacks and still continue to have safe havens within Pakistan is something that it cannot escape responsibility from. As former U.S. Secretary of StateHilary Clinton stated ““You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors. You know, eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.”

The global condemnation of the terror attack inside Indian administered Kashmir including from countries that are our allies – Saudi Arabia, UAE, China- should send a message to Pakistan. As long as Pakistan allows Jaish e Muhammad to exist, Pakistan will remain a target for abuse and be increasingly isolated globally.

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