Out of the loop and into Global Jihad – Kamran Shafi


Once more, thank you to the writers of the Abbottabad Commission Report, every page, every para of which I have now read and every third of which lays the blame for the Abbottabad disgrace squarely on some agency or arm or institution of state or other — we don’t have to name ‘em, we KNOW ‘em!

E.g., take pages 92 and 93, which tell you that the K-P police knew hang-all about the presence of the Bali bomber Umar Patek in Abbottabad, and his subsequent arrest by “an” agency. No report was made by the police’s Special Branch to the IG. And no discussion was ever had in “coordination” meetings held in Islamabad (at an undisclosed location all the world knows) about OBL’s possible presence in Abbottabad that may have emerged as a result of Patek’s interrogation, who certainly wasn’t in Abbottabad for a holiday.

Neither did they know anything at all about the American raid into the heart of Abbottabad Cantonment. In actual fact, instead of being woken by urgent telephone calls and wireless messages about the loud military raid in sleeping Abbottabad by the DIG Hazara when it was happening, the IG police in Peshawar telephoned the DIG the next morning to watch the Breaking News on TV! By which time the Americans were breakfasting back in Jalalabad and preparing to move OBL’s body via an Osprey aircraft to an aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea — once more violating Pakistan’s airspace and therefore “sovereignty”. All the IG was told by the DIG was that the police were barred from the “crime scene” and “kept out of the loop”.

Let’s jump to page 103 and to the K-P CM’s statement: mostly mealy-mouthed mentioning the grand strategy, knowing full well that “bloody civilians” have so little to do with “affairs” of state. The one thing he got right was that Pakistan was haunted by demons of its own making: those it’s “agencies” had borne and cherished and fed during the Afghan Jihad against the Soviets with which we should have had no quarrel in the first place. Ergo, the murderous Taliban and their Ustad, al Qaeda. In Punjabi: Hoar Choopo Gannay.

Let’s go further, to page 130, and be horrified that the air chief was woken by the COAS at 0207 on May 2nd and asked to “scramble” his aircraft to shoot down the intruders “over Abbottabad”, by which time the Americans were well away and having refueled at Kala Dhaka, well on their way to Afghanistan and the protection of the dozens of fighters and AWACs which were in the air. The PAF takes no responsibility at all, taking shelter behind the fact that Pakistan was a Non-Nato Ally of the US and they perceived no danger from the western border.

And now to a new and even greater danger: the launch of the Global Jihad from this poor country which is just trying to scrape along given its moronic institutions (see above). The TTP have proudly announced (and then withdrawn their announcement as they are wont to do to keep the State destabilised) that they are soon going to be in Syria — some reports suggest they are already there — to help the Islamic (read Sunni) fighters against the Alawite (read Shia) regime of President Bashar alAssad.

I am not surprised. On April 5, 2011 I wrote in Dawn: “Let’s say it straight: why will their apologists not understand that the Taliban and their friends and associates … Al Qaeda or Hizbut Tahrir or Al-Muhajiroun or Afghan Taliban or Pakistani Taliban … are all linked … and are in the business of taking over the state of Pakistan, a first step to global jihad? And that they will kill and maim all who come in their way: innocent men and women and children; our army soldiers; our police, even their own apologists such as Maulana Fazlur Rehman simply because he too is a part of the organised state.”

On September 8, 2012, in “If only if”, published in this same space, I had said to IK when he was threatening to take 100,000 people to South Waziristan in a peace march and which ended up a damp squib before they even got to Fata:

“Does he understand that the Jihadi arms of the Deep State, nurtured and protected like favourite sons, ARE the problem? He wants to go to Waziristan with a 100,000-strong caravan to show solidarity with the ordinary, lay people there. But what about the Jihadis, many of them foreigners with only one aim: the takeover of the State of Pakistan/launching Global Jihad and setting up the Caliphate? I doubt it.”

And yet again in my piece, “Ambushes and talks” in this same space, I had written clearly that while I was being shouted down by my fellow panelists on a talk show on Dunya TV, I did manage to say that once the Americans were gone from the region, the TTP would turn its guns upon the world through Pakistan. I also refuted their Ghairatmand argument that all of the TTP were actually loyal sons of Pakistan, and said that large numbers were Uzbeks and Tajiks and Chechens and Arabs and Indonesians and Somalis; even Uighur Chinese whose agenda was the takeover of the state and the start of the Global Jihad from this hapless, helpless country.

Well, let’s see where this particular Tsunami takes us ….

P.S: Would that the Abbottabad Commission had asked the FO/MOI who issued Umar Patek a visa. Or, many years ago, Richard Reid the shoe bomber, or Jose Padilla the Dirty Bomber, both low-life, filthy criminals of no fixed abode who visited the Citadel of Islam several times each before they did their dirty work?!

The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto. Originally published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.