Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

"Is Pakistan still a launch-pad for terrorism"

Expand Messages
  • Tarek fatah
    Is Pakistan still a launch-pad for terrorism? Editorial Daily Times, Lahore http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_18-7-2005_pg3_1 While no
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2005
      Is Pakistan still a launch-pad for terrorism?

      Daily Times, Lahore

      While no seminary in Pakistan is willing to admit that the three London
      bombers ever contacted them, intelligence personnel in Pakistan accept that
      all three came to Pakistan between November last year and February this
      year. Muhammad Siddiq Khan (30) and Shehzad Tanweer (22) are said to have
      stayed in Lahore or other cities of the Punjab. Haseeb Hussain (18), the
      youngest of the bombers, is believed to have visited Karachi. Six months
      after their return from Pakistan they committed the acts of terrorism that
      may change Europe more than the tragedy of 9/11.

      In these six months they are presumed to have learnt from an expert how to
      make explosives in accordance with the instructions in captured Al Qaeda

      The police in Pakistan have gone looking in the cities where the spoor of
      the terrorists has led them: Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh
      and Kamalia. Four men have been reportedly arrested on suspicion from the
      last three cities while at least one person has been detained in Lahore. The
      international press has moved in and is looking for stories to file. In the
      coming week, a lot of negative light will shine on Pakistan and its
      private-sector religious institutions. With India claiming to have proof of
      terrorist training camps in Pakistan, and Kabul complaining of infiltration
      by �Pakistani� Taliban warriors, Islamabad will be on the defensive.

      Worse, the 24 Taliban (three of them Uzbeks and one Sudanese) killed inside
      Pakistani territory last week by US forces have been given an emotional
      burial in North Waziristan attended by thousands of local tribesmen.
      Meanwhile, the army has once again gone into the Tribal Areas looking for
      new infiltrators, said to belong to Al Qaeda, after failing to catch
      Abdullah Mehsud, who began his killing spree in Pakistan after being
      released by the Americans from the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison last year.

      The police have gone to the cities in Punjab known for their links with Al
      Qaeda and its ancillary militias, now banned but functioning under new
      names. That all was not well with our security measures was made clear by
      President Pervez Musharraf when, addressing senior police officers last
      week, he asked them to go after the banned but still functioning �renamed�
      militias. He came across as admitting that this was something he did not
      know and had had just been briefed about. (One can�t imagine how an IG will
      approach the supreme leader of the Lashkar with handcuffs even if President
      Musharraf specifically orders him to do so, which is unlikely.)

      The truth is that at least three terrorist-jihadi organisation (whose
      members tried to kill him earlier) have functioned quite openly, and a
      usually sympathetic Urdu press has been referring to them freely after
      realising that the government did not mind such reporting too much. At least
      one leader in Lahore steadily appears on the pages of the Urdu press with
      statements condemning President Musharraf�s �pro-US and pro-India� policies.
      So powerful is his �renamed� organisation that he invites opposition
      politicians to his impressive gatherings at a new venue in the city, which
      the Punjab government has allowed him. Another �leader�, personally close to
      Osama bin Laden, has never left the comfort of his luxurious house in
      Islamabad. Although he has been �picked up� periodically, he has never been

      In the meta-history of jihad in Pakistan the big seminaries have been used
      by Islamists organising terror in the name of Islam. Although Al Qaeda is
      supposed to have stayed away from sectarianism, its allies in Pakistan have
      indulged in it, opening other jihadi �contacts� to public view. A number of
      those leading Karachi�s Darul Ulum have been killed in the sectarian tit for

      During this internal war, Karachi�s reputation as a training camp of
      international terrorists has been revealed: not only have the Indonesian
      bombers been facilitated here, but also hundreds of Pattanis of Thailand.
      The future map of Thailand was said to have been decided at Multan Road in
      Lahore by the jihadi leaders that President Musharraf presumably referred to
      while talking to the policemen.

      In Europe, the centre of Islamist extremism has been the mosque, not so much
      the seminary. The Hamburg Cell �19�, which attacked the United States in
      2001, fell under the spell of a Moroccan cleric at the city�s Al Quds
      mosque. From there they were directed to Pakistan. All of them were
      �facilitated� by Al Qaeda�s ancillary Islamists while on their way to
      Afghanistan under the tutelage of Al Qaeda�s Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the
      main planner of 9/11, who lived for many years in Karachi directing funding
      from Kuwait.

      DW (German) TV on Sunday showed a documentary by Mohamed Sifaoui, a French
      Muslim journalist, who penetrated Al Qaeda in Paris and London, revealing
      the dangerous extent to which the UK had allowed itself to become vulnerable
      to terrorism. In Paris, there were three mosques (including one dedicated to
      Pakistanis) in 2003 that spawned GIA-type terrorists. He talks of Karim
      Bourti, an Algerian who took his training in Pakistan so much to heart that
      he dressed in Pakistani clothes.

      Unfortunately, in this account, Pakistan steadily featured in the background
      as some kind of global launching pad for Al Qaeda�s projects. The three
      bombers who visited Pakistan seem to have followed a set route. One thought
      that the terror highway of Pakistan had been closed effectively after
      President Musharraf revamped the ISI and closed down the camps where jihad
      and terrorism had exploded in terrible chemistry during the 1990s.

      That is why there is bound to be public resentment at the way the world will
      pry into the Islamist interstices of an �enlightened and moderate� Pakistan.
      But that is also why it is in Pakistan�s own national interest to clean up
      the �facilitating� organisations that pretend that their project is
      spiritual when in fact it is mercenary. *
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.