There are few things that are constant. Two of them are that each day the sun rises and sets, and each day the West is concerned about Muslim countries with nuclear weapons. This obsession has made us very suspicious of the West’s intentions toward our nuclear assets, which in turn results in another very strange obsession, which is our need to justify what is already reality, as if the sun itself needed to be convinced to rise every morning. These justifications, however, do raise in some interesting, if unintended points. For example former Ambassador to the UN Munir Akram argues that we need to do a better job of explaining the Indian threat to the world. Only, in his attempt to do so, he actually leaves one crucial question unanswered.
The Foreign Office gave a briefing that appeared to be cleverly designed to provide the illusion that the state was putting actions behind its words about ‘zero tolerance’ policy against militant groups. Media dutifully reported that govt had imposed a ‘ban’ on Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Haqqani Group, but journalist Salman Masood and many others were quick to note that the Foreign Office’s statement was actually hollow. Never mind, though, because Jamaat-ud-Dawa released its own statement almost immediately afterwards saying that the state’s threats were meaningless and they will continue to operate without interruption regardless of what the state says or does.
JuD’s statement has far-reaching implications for the ‘writ of state’. If the state is unwilling or unable to back up its words with actions against JuD, every other militant group will receive the clear message that Pakistan has become an effective ‘free zone’ for terrorists.
Hafiz Saeed is at his usual antics, holding rallies to spread imperialist ideology and instigate war with India under the banner of his so-called ‘charity’. In a response on Twitter, one person commented that “Sooner rather than later his mask was going to slip”. The truth is, however, that Hafiz Saeed’s mask has been off since long. It is only our blindfold that remains firmly in place.
Sunday’s attack at Wagah border killed over 50 people and injured hundreds. It was the worst attack since months in Pakistan, and serves as a terrible warning of the direction the country is headed if the existing national security strategy is not radically changed.
It was only two months ago that Beijing summoned Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif to Beijing to discuss the growing problem of jihadi terrorism seeping over the border into China. While meeting with China’s Secretary of Central Politics and Law Commission Meng Jianzhu, Gen Raheel assured the Chinese that Pakistan would ‘do more’ to crack down on militants that were training and supplying jihadis in China. His latest visit “came in the immediate backdrop of recent multiple bomb attacks in Xinjiang’s provincial capital Urumqi in which 43 people were killed 94 injured”. COAS Gen Raheel may be summoned back to China, however, as jihadi terrorists continue to carry out attacks against Chinese innocents, the most recent occurring only days ago and killing over 100.
Masked militants attacked civilians, police and officials last week in China’s far western region of Xinjiang leading to almost 100 deaths, the government said on Sunday, giving fresh details on one of the worst incidents of unrest in years.
Despite official statements claiming that Zarb-i-Azb operation is Pakistan’s final blow to terrorists, Chairman Senate Defence Committee Mushahid Hussain recently suggested that military operations in North Waziristan are actually due to pressurisation from China.
ISPR can release all of the statements that it wants to claiming that terrorists are ‘on the run‘, but it is unlikely that China is interested in empty boxes of sweet meats. It is more likely that if Pakistan is unable or unwilling to root out jihadi militants, China will increase the pressure to levels that Pakistan is unable to withstand.