Those who attacked Kamra were not American, they are from among us

Published: August 19, 2012

The author is Director, Policy & Programmes Jinnah Institute, Islamabad. The views expressed are his own

Two days after Pakistan’s powerful army chief made some startling observations in his address to the Pakistan Military Academy, the militants attacked a key strategic installation — the Kamra airbase. That the attack took place on the revered night of 27th of Ramazan is not without symbolism. For the brand of ‘Islam’ practised by the militants of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) violence precedes other imperatives of faith. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani took a bold public position in his address by saying: “Any person who believes his opinion to be the final verdict, is an extremist…. A human claim to be the final word in judging right from wrong, is tantamount to a claim to divine attributes”. The lethal by-products of our strategic ‘games’ — the TTP — are not amenable to such a worldview. In Kamra, they battled the military for more than five hours. The foreign media highlighted the nebulous connection between the airbase and the country’s nuclear assets; but both the Pakistani and American authorities later affirmed that Pakistan’s nuclear programme was safe.

Much has been said about the impending operation by the Pakistani military in North Waziristan. The attack on Kamra has been construed as a reaction to the military’s resolve to clean up North Waziristan ostensibly under mounting US pressure. But there is a need to pause and re-read what General Kayani told his colleagues on Independence Day: “The war against extremism and terrorism is not only the army’s war, but that of the whole nation. We as a nation must stand united against this threat. The army’s success is dependent on the will and support of the people”. While an admission by Pakistan’s most powerful official of the ‘threat’ is welcome on the day when we celebrate our nationhood and Islamic republic status, perhaps it might be coming a bit late in the day.

For the past decade — and this is a long-term period — our domestic policy discourse has been the opposite. While hundreds of army soldiers have been killed by militants and thousands of civilians killed in terror attacks across the country, we continue to say that this is not our war. Public opinion constructed by the vernacular press, the religious lobbies and even the political parties has been critical of the overstated threat that General Kayani has clearly articulated. Pakistan’s strategy of ‘measured’ support to the US and Nato involvement in Afghanistan and drumming up of anti-Americanism has been counterproductive. A more creative approach could have been to oppose US excesses but not deny the home-grown militant outfits and arrest their direct and indirect patronage.

A recent (local) poll, notwithstanding its methodological limitations, says that 49 per cent of Pakistanis consider America an enemy while 26 per cent think India is the enemy. Slowly, the tables have turned since we constructed our faux identity as ‘not Indian’. This healthy view of the subcontinent by Pakistanis comes as a refreshing development but creates a bigger dilemma. The global construction of US as an enemy of Muslims by al Qaeda is gaining traction especially in the urban middle classes, the youth (which are the biggest segment of our population). Where would this lead us? By no means we should continue our policy to be US’s chief lackey in the region or be dependent on the civil-military handouts, but is drumming up hysteria against a global power a wise approach in our own interest?

Such has been the level of indoctrination that many Pakistanis are unwilling to accept that Muslims can kill Muslims or that we have internal enemies. The first reaction of otherwise sensible people to a terror attack is that Blackwater and other US contractors have hired the assassins killing Pakistanis. The material evidence on the other hand negates this impression. But no one wishes to hear ‘facts’ as they challenge the ideological fortress of denial that we have built around us. The perennial fear of India has been replaced by the US machinations to destroy us by taking our nukes out. The attackers of GHQ, PNS Mehran and Kamra were not American, Indian or Israeli agents but jihadists ostensibly working in league with radical elements within the state.

Perhaps the most dangerous kind of militancy concerns the growth and consolidation of the anti-Shia extremist groups, which reportedly are in league with the TTP. A few hours after the Kamra incident, two separate incidents of killings of Shias took place. One attack happened in Naran where at least 20 Shia passengers were dragged out of buses and killed on the spot. In Quetta, on the same day, three Hazara Shias were also killed. These are not stand-alone attacks. In recent years, hundreds of Shias have been killed and the murderers remain at large, too powerful to be nabbed by the executive or the judiciary. The chilling video circulated after the Naran incident showed terrorists chanting “Shia Kafir,” as if this were a horrific bloodletting ritual. This is nothing but genocide unfolding before us. The latest Pew poll indicates that nearly half the Sunni population thinks that Shias are not Muslim. The accuracy of this poll is debatable, but even if the numbers were lower, the Wahabisation project initiated by General Ziaul Haq is now becoming an existential danger. And this radicalisation has not been imposed by anyone, despite the Saudi influence, but a cynical and disastrous choice by Pakistan’s military junta in the 1980s and later. Political parties will need another decade of hard core reform consensus to fix the education system and other drivers of extremist ideology.

Is it the case that Pakistan’s strategic assets of yore are no longer under the control of the state? Or General Kayani’s policy statement is still a top-level diplomatic pronouncement not filtering down to the ranks of intelligence agencies, which have disastrously nurtured the jihadi groups and turned them into our mortal liabilities? The civilian governments — federal and provincial — appear to be clueless and devoid of the political will to counter these trends. Pakistan’s political elites will have to work together to reverse the state patronage to extremists and their networks.

If we have to resist US ‘hegemony’ or the Indian influence in the region, it will not be done through oiling the jihad industry, sloganeering, media twists, and Friday rallies. For Pakistan’s sovereignty, substantial strides have to be made. By reforming our taxation structure, creating jobs, undertaking a massive education reform and building trade ties with the regional powers we could perhaps move towards becoming a strong ‘nation’. Before everything, we need to reset the narrative and explore what ails us. In the absence of such reflection and policy debate, Pakistan’s future remains murky and uncertain.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (121)

  • observer
    Aug 19, 2012 - 10:40PM

    A recent (local) poll, notwithstanding its methodological limitations, says that 49 per cent of Pakistanis consider America an enemy while 26 per cent think India is the enemy. Slowly, the tables have turned since we constructed our faux identity as ‘not Indian’.

    Looks like Pakistan has travelled from,

    Quaid’s Pakistan—We are NOT India

    To

    Qaeda’s Pakistan—– America is the Enemy of Islam.

    Great Going.Recommend

  • ParvezM
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:00PM

    Don’t you know that Pakistan air surveillance capability is a serious threat to PTT navy and air force…..

    Recommend

  • syed nasim
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:04PM

    What has not been mentioned in the article is the fact that as to who is guiding these militants to target high value assets such as airborne early warning aircraft and air to air refueler, which are certainly of strategic importance. The pattern is similar to the attack on PNS MEHRAN and involvement of RAW/CIA cannot be ruled out. Perhaps, it is a prelude to things to come in the future.

    Recommend

  • Enlightened
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:06PM

    Raza Sahib, you have hit the bull’s eye with your analysis. I sincerely hope that majority of Pakistanis realize the real danger facing the country which Gen Kayani spoke without mincing any words.

    Recommend

  • Not of your tribe
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:18PM

    Sir how can this be our war when the Army still considers them their strategic assets? The Army needs to show the terrorists that their old friendship may no longer be tenable simply by submitting themselves to the dictates of civilian authority. This would also relieve them of the burden of their previous commitments to their old buddies. And sincerity is the key. Those of the Army officers who want to remain attached to their business outfits may be left to flourish in their businesses by converting FWO, and NLC type entities into corporations and thus ridding the army of a huge hangover. Army budgets may be subject to parliamentary scrutiny for making it look like funds well deserved. They should resist their temptation to act like saviors. In this way everything would fall in line. And as a starter, this would make this war at least our war for the reps of people.

    Recommend

  • Karella
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:20PM

    Well raised points in this article. There seems to have been a systematic attempt to create the mindset that believes that all our internal terrorist attacks are planned and executed through foreign powers. Too many people now believe in this, so any anti-radicalization policy (once we actually have one) will take years to be implemented, maybe even a generation. However long it takes, we do need to start down this road, and the sooner the better. This included review of and changes in our curriculum, bringing madrassas into the mainstream education system, anti hate speech laws, better intelligence on extremists, total disconnect from previous ‘national assets’ and equal treatment of all citizens in the eyes of the law.
    Baby steps in this direction, and my kids will live in a peaceful Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • suraj
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:26PM

    “Those who attacked in Kamra were not American, they are from among us”
    – who care about this..All are in denial mode looking for something spicy conspiracy…

    Recommend

  • Aug 19, 2012 - 11:27PM

    High time that Pakistanis should understand who their real enemies are before its too late!

    Recommend

  • sick of this nonsense
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:33PM

    agreed with the article but whats the point in writing all this in Express Tribune. Why not in the Urdu dailies whose readers actually do live in lala land. Most of tribune readers know for a fact that all this mess is our doing and they probably make up 5% of the population.

    Recommend

  • GoodQuestion
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:44PM

    Awesome piece!

    Recommend

  • maestro
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:46PM

    Glad to see more and more people with a voice are waking up finally to the biggest threat to Pakistaniyat (if that word exists anymore) – Wahabiism perpetrated openly by the biggest hypocritical regimes of Saudi and other Gulf states! This one word – wahabi – sucks even the strongest minds into what they believe to the path of heaven. Gen. Zia (he knows where he rests now) destroyed the potential of a country loaded not with weapons, but with talent, tolerance, and understanding. Now we are at the opposite and unfortunate end of that social and religious fabric. All Pakistan needed was one or two men or women of leadership that showed resilience in the face of these cowards who harp on about the values and teachings of Islam but actually know nothing about it! Yet each one of them succumbed to the pressure of oil money and personal wealth at the expense of their nation. There was a reason why Jinnah envisioned a secular Pakistan! The very reason for the creation of this country – i.e., protection of minorities, has potentially become the noose around our neck! May God save Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Mujhe hay hukm e azaan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:47PM

    We want people of Waziristan to suffer in silence the illegal and merciless drone attacks. If they retaliate against an army which is ally of those drone attackers then these people are terrorists and our enemy.
    We are fighting americAn’s war and it’s pity

    Recommend

  • san
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:48PM

    don’t expect any expectations from people of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. They will never accept these facts in next 100 years. They will always remain in state of denial.

    Recommend

  • Nadir
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:49PM

    Since nothing can ever be ruled out, best we play the victim and believe that everyone is out to get us. Better to believe that RAW-CIA-Mossad have nothing better to do than to work together and destabilise us as if we are not doing a very good job of it already, than to believe that a group of thugs who have taken over large swaths of the country, and have allies across society are adding to our body count.

    Its a shame that Pakistanis would rather see the body count rise and then jump on the opportunity to search for links with the US and India, than to place blame on the Taliban.

    The ironic thing here is that, if we go with the argument that the Taliban are RAW-CIA tools, then why do we want to sit and negotiate with them? Give peace a chance to these thugs? Total confusion!!!

    Recommend

  • Aryabhat
    Aug 20, 2012 - 12:34AM

    Good article!

    I on the otherhand wish Taliban to succeed – as “silent” majority of Pakistan anyway want it. I want Taliban to get the Nukes and even use a few against US or Indians.

    That is the only way to allow complete destruction of Taliban – as retaliation would be…………..

    Other option – voluntery renounciation of Jihadi culture is something Pakistan is just not ready to accept – so I guess……….

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Aug 20, 2012 - 12:38AM

    @syed nasim:
    Please expand upon your comment that “involvement of RAW/CIA cannot be ruled out”! Just don’t stop there, give us FACTS to back up your Conspiracy Theory!
    Do you think that all the worlds major powers get up every day thinking “What can we do to screw with Pakistan today”??? Are you sure that the involvement of the ISI cannot be ruled out?

    Recommend

  • Nisar Malik
    Aug 20, 2012 - 12:49AM

    Its now official..the news are out of ex PAF officer and two brother’s of suicide bomber, Faisal Shahzad are arrested from Taxila. Where is Munawar Hassan who said indian are involved.

    Recommend

  • Lala Gee
    Aug 20, 2012 - 1:17AM

    @Author:

    “The first reaction of otherwise sensible people to a terror attack is that Blackwater and other US contractors have hired the assassins killing Pakistanis. The material evidence on the other hand negates this impression. But no one wishes to hear ‘facts’ as they challenge the ideological fortress of denial that we have built around us.”

    Which facts you are talking about? What proof do you have that these assassins are not hired by CIA/Blackwater/RAW. Who else could have the motives, resources, and technology to support these terrorist in their most sophisticated attacks on Mehran and now Kamra air bases. These kind of attacks need great deal of information and up to the minute updates along with a network of handlers providing arms and logistics. All this cannot be expected from an organization which is in hiding and besieged. It is extreme naivety to think that such terrorists organizations like TTP and BLA can be sustained for so long without state level support and plan and carry these kinds of missions by themselves.

    “The perennial fear of India has been replaced by the US machinations to destroy us by taking our nukes out. The attackers of GHQ, PNS Mehran and Kamra were not American, Indian or Israeli agents but jihadists ostensibly working in league with radical elements within the state.”

    Isn’t this the whole game for nukes? Iranian president might be insane, but then why don’t you ask USA to officially recognize Pakistan as a ‘Nuclear State’ to end all this mistrust. You know the answer. If they are not after our nukes then whats the harm in officially recognizing our capabilities. I am sure you have enough knowledge to know that after wining the cold war against socialist block, Muslim world is the current enemy of imperialists (see whats happening in the Islamic world and also recall the term ‘Islamic Bomb’) while China is the next in line (see the regional realignments).

    Recommend

  • Lala Gee
    Aug 20, 2012 - 1:32AM

    @ParvezM:

    “Don’t you know that Pakistan air surveillance capability is a serious threat to PTT navy and air force”

    Your one and a half liner comment said all that which otherwise needed several pages long narrative.

    Recommend

  • Mujib
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:08AM

    @Lala Gee:

    Your assertions are based on two assumptions, that we have the best and the most professional military in the world which requires the CIA/RAW and Mossad all working together to be able to hit at our key installations; Secondly, TTP and AlQaeda have no supporters/sympathisers in our army/navy ad airforce, and that any successfull attack on our key installations is not possible without the support of the CIA/RAW and Mossad. The fact is that our military’s performance throughout the several wars and campaigns (recall 1971, Siachin, Cargil etc.) belies the first assumption, and the second assumption was busted by the slain journalist, Salim Shahzad, after the Mehran Base attack. He certainly wasn’t killed by the CIA/RAW or Mossad.

    Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:21AM

    Sir, You have really hit it on the nail ! Congrets from the heart. Dil Se !
    Its rather late here in UK, but i will comment further in morning.

    Recommend

  • What's in a name ?
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:36AM

    “Any person who believes his opinion to be the final verdict, is an extremist…. A human claim to be the final word in judging right from wrong, is tantamount to a claim to divine attributes”

    I dare you to file a contempt of court on this one Mr. Iftikhar Chaudhry.Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:41AM

    How gullible we can be. Every word issued from the lips of an American is the truth, every sentence uttered by an American official a command to be never questioned. We are convinced that Americans are not involved in killing Pakistanis – despite thousands of poor and innocent women and children being slaughtered by Americans regularly – because Americans say so.

    Good going.

    Recommend

  • Yehonala
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:56AM

    In order to debunk this entire article one needs to do no more than post 2 URLs that show the United States has already admitted to backing the TTP. I hope ET will not censor the URLs due to its arbitrary editorial policy:

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/412931/the-issue-of-border-attacks/
    http://indrus.in/articles/2012/06/28/bringemonustellspakistan16081.html

    Mr. Raza Rumi should have done his research before penning this article.

    Recommend

  • Arifq
    Aug 20, 2012 - 4:14AM

    Well said Rumi Sahib, state policy post 9/11 was protecting strategic assets by denying their involvement in terrorist attacks within Pakistan. How quickly we have forgotten that the first suicide attack on Musharraf was in 2002/2003, US consulate in Karachi was hit by a suicide bomber in 2002 whereas the first drone strike took place in 2004. Rumi Sahib, we have a weird relationship with the Americans; since ou country came into being we have been a received their aid and weaponry; when Wahabi extremists forcibly occupy Haram Sharif in Mecca we burn the American embassy in Islamabad and if their homeland is attacked by Islamic extremists we blame their president for orchestrating such an attack. I totally agree with your recommendations, we must eliminate these extremists from our ranks, then only can we find peace.

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Aug 20, 2012 - 6:28AM

    @Lala Gee:
    AND what facts are YOU talking about? What PROOF do you have that these assassins ARE hired by CIA/blackwater/RAW ??? You speak of a “sophisticated attack”! WOW, how “sophisticated” is it to sneak over a wall at night AND GET INTERCEPTED BY THE BASE SECURITY TEAMS, WHO THEN KILLS ALL THE ATTACKERS!

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Aug 20, 2012 - 6:35AM

    @kaalchakra:
    Please tell us what YOU BELIEVE when the TTP takes credit for each major terrorist attack INSIDE PAKISTAN! AND WHO has killed the near 40,000 Pakistanis slaughtered in terrorist attacks INSIDE PAKISTAN over the last decade???

    Recommend

  • Mahakaalchakra
    Aug 20, 2012 - 6:58AM

    @Lala Gee:

    Lala, could you respond to Nisar Malik’s post just above your comments.

    Do you know better than those in position of power or authority? What about the speech of Kayani at Kakul? Do you think he was also lying?

    Recommend

  • Iron hand
    Aug 20, 2012 - 6:59AM

    @Yehonala: your links do not back up your assertions.

    Recommend

  • Moon
    Aug 20, 2012 - 7:38AM

    Raza Sahib since inception of Pakistan, urban ppl are influenced by the right wing media. so there trend of hate, internally and internationally is set by the so called national media. when they, in the line of powerful circles, called India an enemy urban class followed and now they are calling America as number one enemy urban ppl are following that line. so there is also need of some progressive ppl write in Urdu not in English.Recommend

  • ID
    Aug 20, 2012 - 9:01AM

    @Riaz Khan:

    It is the Americans. The dog is still in the well. Till the dog is removed from the well there is no peace in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • P
    Aug 20, 2012 - 9:14AM

    Stop giving NATO supplies for war in Afghanistan

    It is the cause of all violence in the region

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Aug 20, 2012 - 10:20AM

    If 49% of pakistanis think US is enemy no 1 and 26 % think India is enemy no 2, then put together 75% will think that any killing/attack in pakistan is by USA/India. what is surprising about this.?

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Aug 20, 2012 - 10:23AM

    @Yehonala: I read the urls you posted. They do not state that Americans back TTP. All they say is that they no longer go after the TTP with the same vehemence as before since Pakistan on its part provides safe havens to Haqqanis and Afghan Taliban. This is why what they proposed is – we will go after TTP in Afghanistan if you go after Haqqanis in NWA.

    Please stop misleading…

    Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Aug 20, 2012 - 11:06AM

    I have a new conspiracy theory – Why not blame swedish SAAB itself. Since its auto unit has gone bankrupt, maybe they planned to destroy AWACs sold to Pakistan in hope that they would procure new ones and hence boosting the balance sheet of the company. ANY TAKERS?

    Recommend

  • Great Thinker
    Aug 20, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Good Article. I sincerely wish the tribe of sane people increase in Pakistan.

    To all Conspiracy Theorists:

    Do you think CIA/ RAW/Mossad need to capture Nukes to destroy Pakistan. Pakistan itself is doing that job. You guys are deluding yourself and giving yourself unnecessary self-importance. On the other hand, your true well-wishers and that includes, to your surprise, India, want you to steer away from that path of self-destruction. Just introspect sincerely, with plain available facts and you may see the light.

    Recommend

  • Polpot
    Aug 20, 2012 - 12:21PM

    The kind of issues that the author discusses are sure proof that Pakistan has regressed deeply into meaninglessness.

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Aug 20, 2012 - 12:40PM

    @Yehonala:
    In order to debunk your comment, one needs only to click on the links you provided;
    The first will lead you to an article written by Imtiaz Gul that was criticized in the comments for being a conspiracy theorey all its own. NOWHERE IN THAT ARTICLE DOES THE US ADMIT BACKING THE TTP!
    The second link leads to an “article not found” on the webpage, which then redirects one to the Russia news webpage in English.
    Mr Rumi did his research.

    Recommend

  • Tahir Ali
    Aug 20, 2012 - 12:57PM

    As per the author, “The latest Pew poll indicates that nearly half the Sunni population thinks that Shias are not Muslim”, whereas, what is actually written in the quoted survey is, “in predominantly Sunni Pakistan, 41% of Muslims believe Shias are not true Muslims”, an example of how facts are distorted.
    Personally, barring a small percentage of ‘madrassa educated students’, which could be 2-3% of the population, the Shias are considered Muslims and treated as such.
    In my view, the reason for killing of Shias is that the Taliban and their supporters in Pakistan feel that that they were let down by mostly Shia groups who had joined hands with the Americans to oust them from power in Afghanistan and still conniving with the Americans.

    Recommend

  • Freeman
    Aug 20, 2012 - 1:14PM

    who is guiding them and who is providing with these weapons? are these radicals advanced enough to make these advanced weapons by themseleves? and how many times US embassy vehicles caught in peshawar with illegal weapons? why? what were they doing Peshwar? Come on ..it is not that simple Recommend

  • Meekal A Ahmed
    Aug 20, 2012 - 1:43PM

    Excellent, Raza.

    Recommend

  • Khurram
    Aug 20, 2012 - 2:04PM

    But Raza sahib, religious parties like Jamat-i-Islami are not even willing to listen to logic.

    Recommend

  • wonderer
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:08PM

    `This very good piece by Raza Rumi.Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:28PM

    No no noo…. they were Martians. Angry at Curiosity landing on their territory, And following the great tradition set by Pakistan, decided to blow some planes at Kamra.!!!

    Recommend

  • KT
    Aug 20, 2012 - 5:17PM

    For the Minhas attack,
    2nd time in a row perimeter security of a military installation has been breached. Its not rocket science to detect perimeter intrusion and no you dont need CCTVs for that. In fact CCTVs are the least useful in proactive intrusion detection. Yes some technology is required and it can be as simple as a battery, some wires and some bulbs. Actually the barbed wires they cut to gain access can double as wires. I will let a high school science student design this system as a physics practical.

    Recommend

  • bala
    Aug 20, 2012 - 6:00PM

    @vasan

    Fellow indian here ..dude you need brush up maths. Technically 49% and 26 % may become 75%…but did it ever occur to you that same people may hate both America and India?

    Just for fun dude :) I am getting bored of these messages (same themes from indians and pakistanis) …the point that indians (including me) dont get is — pakistanis are wide awake but act like sleeping..no amount of debating is going to make them accept that their problems are their own making and that they need to sort out the mess.

    But then we indians dont get tired of yelling this from the roof-tops..don’t we? I wonder why :)

    Recommend

  • mohsin
    Aug 20, 2012 - 6:58PM

    certainly they are not americans they are just backed by america.

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Aug 20, 2012 - 7:25PM

    Anti American blather is common in Pakistan and you never let facts or even common sense get in the way of bias. In case you haven’t noticed it the American’s have provided Billions of dollars to Pakistan to fight the same people who have openly accepted responsibility for these attacks. The attackers aren’t using high tech American weapons – there not flying in on stealth helicopters – they walk up to your base carrying AK’s and RPG’s attacking weak points known by most of the soldiers/airman working on the base.

    Recommend

  • Fed Up Baloch
    Aug 20, 2012 - 7:39PM

    Mr Rumi forgets. These are US Proxies … Paid for and abetted by our greatest frienemy …

    Recommend

  • Ashvinn
    Aug 20, 2012 - 8:00PM

    @bala:
    Well dear answer is umeeid pe Dunya khayam hai

    Recommend

  • Nand
    Aug 20, 2012 - 8:09PM

    Have lost generations and will loose more with conspiracy theories Please keep it up.

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Aug 20, 2012 - 8:20PM

    bala : I think u missed the survey itself. When asked “Who is No 1 enemy of Pakistan”, 49% voted US and 26% voted India. There is no ranking of enemies. Therefore puttogether, 75% people think either US or India is Pak’s enemy. Regarding yelling from roof tops, my reasoning is this
    1. It is fairly new way of communicating
    2. May be one day, this yelling will rectify distorted history lessons of the Pakistani schools
    3. It is fun to hear from the other side
    4. Many authors are not 100% right. They have their own bias, depending on their background. You get to read much better content in the comments countering the author.

    One suggestion to ET. In my reply, can I simply opt to get subscribed for the comments of others instead of commenting and to get subscribed only if my comment is published.

    Recommend

  • asim
    Aug 20, 2012 - 8:33PM

    Attacking PAF strategic assets and breaching agencies network is not a child’s play.
    Catching the mastermind is the real task.

    Recommend

  • Ghassan Khan
    Aug 20, 2012 - 10:36PM

    @observer:
    Nicely put Sir.Recommend

  • Yunus jamal
    Aug 21, 2012 - 12:00AM

    True! But It is very difficult to stop until the time of Imam Mehdi (radi-ul-lahita’alaneho)!.

    Recommend

  • GimmeAbreak
    Aug 21, 2012 - 12:56AM

    Many assumptions here..

    First up, why on earth should we care who the FINAL GUYS (ie those who physically carry out these attacks) against Pakistan’s security apparatus are? These guys do not matter. The HANDS BEHIND these guys matter! ONLY THEY DO!!

    Now, the writer seems to be obsessed with the Rehman Malik school of thought, that never goes beyond the useless “..they are killing us in the name of Islam..” rhetoric! What utter nonsense! NOTHING, I say, can be farther from the truth. If this terrorism-tool TTP, the so-called planners of these attacks, had ANYTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Islam, their approach would have been totally different from what we witness it to be! It takes no rocket science to figure that out. But let me spell out the simple reasons anyway. Consider the following:
    1. Had they being (the so called misled) Muslims, who want to avenge the pro-US stance of the Pak Govt and Pak armed forces, they would have carried out at least an equal number of attacks against the corrupt, pro-US Pakistan leaders, who have a multitude of other evils associated with them as well, which even an average Pakistani knows. Not only are they worse than the armed forces, they are MUCH EASIER targets to hit!! TTP doesn’t harm them. WHY??
    2. Why does this TTP never attack what they should consider the so many highly un-Islamic places across the country..night clubs, casinos/gambling clubs, fashion events, music concerts, TV channels’ HQs etc etc?
    3. Importantly, we know the day the NATO supply was re-opened, the TTP attacked an army unit. WHY ON EARTH DO THEY NOT ATTACK THE CONTAINERS THEMSELVES?? Those are big, and heavy, and slow, and pass through hundreds of miles of barren land without security!??
    4. MOST IMPORTANTLY (and you can check this from wiki too, under TTP) why do they not respond to the call/request of the real (Afghan) Taliban leader (Mullah Muhammad Umer) to join hands with the Afghan Taliban in their struggle against the foreign occupation? ABSURD!!

    Look friends, we know many of us do not like the Afghan Taliban for their stance. But lets not allow our feelings get the better of us here!
    TTP has nothing to do with the real (Afghan) Taliban. TTP is hardly even an organization by most definition of the word! Its nothing but a terrorism tool- conceived by anti-Pakistan elements, and controlled through their agencies in Afghanistan, and helped by a very heavily paid support and intel network in FATA. Also, the choice of the name is very interesting: the Tehrik-e-TALIBAN always accepts responsibility for the most condemned attacks in Pakistan. This instigates and incites hate for the word (and hence the people) Taliban, the real Taliban. TTP is no Taliban by any definition of the word.
    You still wanna go ahead with your Rehman Malik school of thought? Still wanna think this is the way to go? If yes, then I see FAILURE written very clear on the wall for you! (I mean by know even you should be beginning to see it.. NO?)

    Recommend

  • Tahir Ali
    Aug 21, 2012 - 1:38AM

    @Cautious: Don’t you get curious as to why the terrorists should be interested in destroying airborne early warning systems.

    Recommend

  • Aug 21, 2012 - 4:45AM

    @Tahir Ali:

    In my view, the reason for killing of Shias is that the Taliban and their supporters in Pakistan feel that that they were let down by mostly Shia groups who had joined hands with the Americans to oust them from power in Afghanistan and still conniving with the Americans.

    And this justifies massacres and killings of innocents? Sorry, but this is a Taliban terrorist apologist sympathizer’s view, not unlike Hamid Gul. When it has an anti-Shia prejudiced twist, it kind of nulls your own previous distorted made up claim that only 2-3% Sunni Muslims from Madressas have bigoted views. The Pew survey seems a lot closer to the truth.

    Taliban are steeped in Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni extremist backgrounds which are inherently anti-Shia ideologies. Considering the Afghan Taliban pre-2001 had massacred the Shia Hazaras and had oppressed religious Shia activities in Afghanistan, they somehow are depicted to have ‘brotherly’ feelings and are ‘let down’? Seriously? Its an insane claim.

    Conniving? Note the bias and bigoted connotations. In case you haven’t realized, there were Sunni Uzbeks, Tajiks and Pashtuns who were fed up with these psychos as well and ‘connived’ against them with or without the Americans, and deservedly so.

    Recommend

  • Aug 21, 2012 - 4:46AM

    Thanks to all the readers who left comments here. I am much encouraged that we have a large number of people (at least in the English reading world) who can challenge conspiracy theories and reflect on our internal dynamics.

    The title of this column was decided by the editors (as they have the discretion). The real intent of the piece was to let Pakistanis focus on the enemy ‘within’ – the forces of intolerance and violence that want to undermine our centuries’ old culture of tolerance and pluralism. Despite their efforts, Pakistanis will continue to resist bigotry. We have to stay the course and strive for a country which is peaceful, prosperous and politically progressive.

    Thanks again.

    Recommend

  • Paki
    Aug 21, 2012 - 8:02AM

    you r right

    Recommend

  • Arya
    Aug 21, 2012 - 9:49AM

    “For whom does the bell toll” “who will bell the cat” these are the questions that comes to my mind whenever I read such a sensible article. Most of the Pakistani commentators too agree with the author, but next what? Even if 100% of English press and its readers pass a resolution on the above, nothing will change. Now it seems even the chief of army himself has thrown his hands on the issue. The issue is not whose war this is, but whether it is war at all in the first place. It is basically nercosis of an ideology slowly spreading. Since, it is a disease it has to be cured but since it is also an ideology, it can not be cured.

    Recommend

  • Zeeshan Haider
    Aug 21, 2012 - 11:06AM

    It’s not so simple and black and white as the author is making it appear. Please study how foreign intelligence agencies work. The executors are always locals. The question is who is sponsoring and planning the attacks. Here’s an alternative viewpoint worth a read:

    http://www.thepakistaninationalist.blogspot.com/2012/08/ttp-attacking-pakistanai-strategic.html

    Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 21, 2012 - 11:31AM

    “A recent (local) poll, notwithstanding its methodological limitations, says that 49 per cent of Pakistanis consider America an enemy while 26 per cent think India is the enemy. Thanks for bringing India down to 26% but is is really necessary to have an enemy.

    Recommend

  • Cyma Khan
    Aug 21, 2012 - 11:35AM
  • Cyma Khan
    Aug 21, 2012 - 12:50PM

    The author is a simpleton and very gullible. All is not what the eyes see. The TTP is merely a front.

    Recommend

  • Ameer
    Aug 21, 2012 - 12:58PM

    O Bhai, why would the TTP want to attack airborne early warning aircraft? Does the TTP have an air force? Why would the TTP want to attack maritime surveillance aircraft? Does the TTP have a navy? Why would the TTP want to attack air refuelers? Does the PAF use them to reach FATA?

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Aug 21, 2012 - 1:45PM

    The people responsible for making the mess must now clean it up ? There really seems to be no other option.

    Recommend

  • Aug 21, 2012 - 3:19PM

    Ameer: Please be direct and clear. I don’t get these riddles. Other readers will also benefit.

    Cyma: If you have evidence please share. I the gullible one shall be a enlightened.

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 21, 2012 - 3:26PM

    @ID:
    Please refer to official TTP spokesman categorical mission statement that there aim is Islamization of Pakistan (by brutal means) and it wont be hampered by USA withdrawal. Wake up for GOD’s sake.

    Recommend

  • Aug 21, 2012 - 3:30PM

    LAHORE: The mastermind of the Kamra Airbase attack has been arrested. The suspect is believed to have provided financial and logistical support for the airbase attack, DawnNews reported.

    http://dawn.com/2012/08/20/mastermind-of-kamra-airbase-attack-arrested/

    AND

    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/08/19/news/national/two-brothers-of-kamra-suicide-bomber-retired-paf-official-arrested/

    Recommend

  • Cyma Khan
    Aug 21, 2012 - 6:13PM

    @Raza Rumi:
    Do you have evidence that a foreign intelligence agency did NOT sponsor this? If so, please share.

    By pointing to the local face and the arrest of locals, you’re missing the point? Of course the locals are used as fronts (no one is even disputing that). The issue is who is BEHIND them.

    And do you really think that Pakistani police is so competent that it would arrest the real culprits so soon? Please don’t fall into another trap.

    Recommend

  • Indian
    Aug 21, 2012 - 6:17PM

    The chilling video circulated after the Naran incident showed terrorists chanting “Shia Kafir,” as if this were a horrific bloodletting ritual. This is nothing but genocide unfolding before us.
    I would request all my Pakistani friends over here to read the above statement by the author over and over again…. Unless Pakistanis want to have a situation where the last few Pakistanis left alive say – “Oh! This guy does not look like my mirror image and therefore he is not a ‘Pure’ human being and hence is a ‘Kafir’” and sets out to kill the others left….. Snap out of this before it is too late…..Recommend

  • Minto
    Aug 21, 2012 - 6:18PM

    Dear Mr. Rumi, please understand the great game that is being played in this region by various powers with various vested interests. Some of the terrorism in Pakistan is local but some of it is foreign-sponsored. By turning this into a issue of mere religious fanatism extremism you are turning a blind eye towards the reality.

    Recommend

  • Aug 21, 2012 - 7:04PM

    Our media and our writers are in the habit of sensationalizing and distorting the facts to suit to their theme. While reading the post above, I was amazed to find writer’s assertion that’ as per a survey, “nearly half the Sunni population thinks that Shias are not Muslim.”

    Being a Sunni myself, this is the first such thing I come across in years. In fact the link to the survey given gives altogether a different opinion: It says “Conversely, in predominantly Sunni Pakistan, 41% of Muslims believe Shias are not true Muslims.” There is a difference between not being Muslims and nor being true Muslims.

    So this how we distort facts, and those who do not trace back the links, would take the writer’s words to be true.

    It is just like the Kamara attack was sensationalized as the nuclear base and made headlines the world over – whereas everyone knows, with a little intelligence, that bases are never nuclear, it is the aircraft which are nuclear capable, and become nuclear when duly armed. No fool would keep the nuclear bombs on aircraft and leave these in the open.Recommend

  • not impressed
    Aug 21, 2012 - 7:50PM

    Political parties will need another decade of hard core reform consensus to fix the education system and other drivers of extremist ideology.
    if only!!

    Recommend

  • gp65
    Aug 21, 2012 - 7:55PM

    @Cyma Khan: “@Raza Rumi:
    Do you have evidence that a foreign intelligence agency did NOT sponsor this? If so, please share.”

    No one can prove what did not happen. You can only prove what DID happen. IF you believe there are foreign agencies behind this, the burden of proof is on you. How can Raza prove what you are asking him to?

    Recommend

  • farhan
    Aug 21, 2012 - 7:55PM

    US is putting us in close street by attacking us through drones,paid millitants,Bikao media, Bikao Politicians, Bikao anchors and Bikao paid Ngos.Bikao secular mindset Fake liberals
    The real culprits and the real guns behind TTP who know the strategic importance of places(Mehran.Kamra etc) are CIA RAW and Mossad.
    SHame to those who speak in favor of Western interest against Pakistan Army and Pakistani institutions
    Pakistan is blessing of Allah and will remain forever inshallah

    Recommend

  • observer
    Aug 21, 2012 - 8:30PM

    @Cyma Khan

    Do you have evidence that a foreign intelligence agency did NOT sponsor this?

    We ordinary mortals can only prove ‘What Is’. We leave proving ‘What is Not’ to super beings like you.

    Now, do you have any evidence that you are NOT an agent of a foreign intelligence agency? If Yes, please give.

    GO AHEAD, I am waiting.Recommend

  • gp65
    Aug 21, 2012 - 8:35PM

    @Ameer :”O Bhai, why would the TTP want to attack airborne early warning aircraft? Does the TTP have an air force? Why would the TTP want to attack maritime surveillance aircraft? Does the TTP have a navy? Why would the TTP want to attack air refuelers? Does the PAF use them to reach FATA?”

    You are somehow implying that India is behind TTP and hence they attacked the early warning system. There might have been some merit to this conspiracy, if India had EVEN ONCE attacked Pakistan. The truth is that every war between India and Pakistan was started by Pakistan.

    Secondly assuming that it IS RAW who is doing that, even so, what can you do except catch their “tools” within Pakistan? After all, it is now openly acknowledged that Pakistan sent tens of thousands of paid mercenaries to India throughout the 1990s. We Indians believe that ISI was also behind 26/11. What can we do? With both countries being nuclear an overt war is out of the question. What Idia can do and has done is invest in its intelligence apparatus to prevent such attacks and also disrupt communication systems of terror networks to reduce the number of terror attacks. This is exactly what Pakistan can also do. No more and no less.

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Aug 21, 2012 - 11:05PM

    @Cyma Khan:
    AND Do YOU HAVE ANY EVIDENCE that a foreign intelligence agency DID sponsor this (attack)? Please give us some FACTS!
    Please expand upon YOUR simpleton comment that “the TTP is merely a front”! Do you think that the only the local police, and not the State Security Teams, were investigating this event???? In an event like this, EVERYBODY was called in!

    Recommend

  • Aug 22, 2012 - 1:17AM

    Mr Minto: May I request you to please enlighten me about the ‘great game’ and if it is about US hegemony then why did Pakistan Army/government become an ally of the US and continue to be so? I am sure that they know about national interest better.
    If there are concrete facts and observation, I am open to suggestion and correction but conspiracies fail to impress me. There are too many that I have grown up with in Pakistan and if I were to believe in half of them then the world is out to get us. Such a state of fear and paranoia is unhealthy. If we are rational we can determine our national interest better and succeed.

    Jalal H Bhatti: And how do we judge who is a ‘true Muslim’. We cannot. Only God Almighty can. Amazing you have no issues people judging others as not ‘true’ Muslims. The Pew poll is not the final word but shows the kind of indoctrination that takes place against the Shias. Denying it would not be wise. Check the youtube and see yourself the extent of hate material. Or visit a few bookshops and see the kind of literature on sale.

    @Cyma – once again you are reaching conclusions without sufficient evidence discarding what is available in front of us i.e. arrests made and the case of PNS Mehran where low-level insiders may have been helping the attackers. Let us not delude ourselves. If the government of Pakistan/military has collected evidence of foreign involvement, I would be the first one to acknowledge that. I am not rigid but not given to blaming everything on external enemies. We have spend six decades indulging in this luxury and even lost half the country.

    Recommend

  • ParvezM
    Aug 22, 2012 - 2:09AM

    @gp65: The first Pakistani surveillance plane attack was around 1999 and shot down in Pakistani border territory and 16 airmen were killed. Now you can claim that it was also PTT. It won’t cost anything, lies are free.
    The funniest is blaming Pakistan for all the killings in Assom and resulting tensions between loving Indian brothers of various hues. East Indians could not wait to leave town, no matter how good the jobs they had or how comfortable the homes they had built.

    What is going to happen if good Taliban show up, then most of Indian population would be seeking protection in good old Assom?

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Aug 22, 2012 - 2:34AM

    @Minto:
    WOW, so you accept that “mere religious fanaticism and extremism” is responsible for ONLY SOME 40,000 SLAIN PAKISTANIS!!! How many more Pakistanis have to be slaughtered by the likes of the TTP before you ACCEPT REALITY???

    Recommend

  • Mujhe hay hukm e azaan
    Aug 22, 2012 - 6:21AM

    With this column and your name I would not visit Gilgit

    Recommend

  • Freeman
    Aug 22, 2012 - 7:02AM

    @observer:

    You need to check this video and the links

    http://www.zemtv.com/2012/08/15/balochistan-is-used-by-world-powers-russian-media-report/

    http://orientalreview.org/2012/05/31/balochistan-crossroads-of-proxy-war/comment-page-1/

    These people are not Pkaistans’i who are thinking and seeing the truth.

    Recommend

  • Freeman
    Aug 22, 2012 - 7:13AM

    All those are off course Paksitani’s then what???. For money anybody can do anything for any country or spy agency.

    Why they have attacked on our suviellence Plans????? A big questions?????

    Who will get benefit?

    Who is behind of this?

    Why it was very planed and who helped them to plan?

    Why the other group last year in Karachi naval base targetted only our spy Planes???

    These questions comes in mind and and are very much concerning. TTP DO NOT HAVE ANY BOUNDARIES so why they will destroy our spy plans????

    Recommend

  • KSU
    Aug 22, 2012 - 7:40AM

    We often forget Saudi/USA are same same but different. Both have very similar and aligned strategic interests in the region. WIth regards to Syria, Bharain, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan the alliance between the house of Saud and Washington is stronger than ever.. Both want us to make sure Iran does not indulge in any hanky-panky with the gulf “kingdoms”.
    Both countries are interested in Pakistan mainly for that reason and are pushing their weight around befriending, cajoling, bribing, bullying and threatening.

    Both countries are very discreet about their relationship but keep working to strengthen it.If you ask most (average) Americans today they probably think the 9/11 gang were Pakistanis. While few will be able to point to their true nationalities, overwhelmingly Saudi. How did this happen???

    Killings of Shias in Pakistan is not just the work of fanatics but part of the greater game. Afghanistan, Iraq and Afpak is just a side show …the real stage is Iran….However folks you will have to wait another few years for that drama to unfold. Bahrain and Syria are part of this game….sorry just another typical Pakistani paranoid conspiracy theory.

    Mr. Rumi don’t forget the Suadi/US presence in Pakistan is a combo package. You cant have one without the other. Wahabism is a by product.

    Recommend

  • V. C. Bhutani
    Aug 22, 2012 - 9:22AM

    We remember a phrase which we coined in the early stages of the establishment of fundamentalism in Pakistan. The phrase was that Pakistan was riding a tiger which it would find difficult to dismount later on.
    As I said above, it is a charitable interpretation to say that Pakistan’s terrorists, Islamists, and fundamentalists are no longer in the control of the Pakistan government and army. Perhaps the current phase also is piece of acting and pretence. One doesn’t know.
    V. C. Bhutani, Delhi, India, 22 Aug 2012, 0950 IST

    Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Aug 22, 2012 - 10:18AM

    “Those who attacked kamra were not American they are from among us”
    Yes absolutely true but would you like to explain honestly,sincerely and truly with complete exact details before the nation without concealing/camouflaging any informations that who coerced them to do so or who created the grounds/reasons for them to do so and why?????

    Recommend

  • Imad Uddin
    Aug 22, 2012 - 10:52AM

    Wonderful article but I have a few major reservations:
    “The first reaction of otherwise sensible people to a terror attack is that Blackwater and other US contractors have hired the assassins killing Pakistanis. The material evidence on the other hand negates this impression.”
    What material evidence negates the very assertion that the assassins have not been hired? Do you still believe that even the farthest thought in the mind of those knowledgeable among them could be that they are doing that for the sake of Islam. Impossible. There is not a single fatwa on the face of this earth that allows their acts. They kidnap for ransom, is that also for Islam? They are nothing but sheer hypocrites. If you pay them a few crores they would do whatever you ask them.
    And you missed the most significant point….they have been persistently attacking our aircraft which are not used in tribal areas. And THIS is called CLEAR evidence to the contrary.
    Yes but increasing extremism among illiterate or dupe people is a real concern

    Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Aug 22, 2012 - 11:38AM

    @Lala Gee
    The truth is TTP wanted to make a point that they can strike anywhere any time and they made it. Let’s look at the facts. The officers who joined Gen Zia’s time were all fed with Islamic ideology. All of a sudden you change tack. These officers are now in senior positions. They don’t like it and give support to TTP. With this inside support TTP is able to strike.
    Solution : Purge the elements in defense forces who support extremist ideology. Blaming India/USA/Israel will not help

    Recommend

  • Imad Uddin
    Aug 22, 2012 - 1:24PM

    I agree with you on almost all the points including that TTP is our enemy, they are a cause of harm to our national interest, we have to fight with them. But I get surprised when you try to break the link saying: “They can not be hired”
    Indeed most of the acts they do is not because they have been instructed by a foreign force, BUT on the other hand we must acknowledge that they can be hired.
    In a discussion with shahzaib khanzada on express after kamra attack, even Pervaiz Musharraf heavily doubted that it is plotted by a foreign hand.
    America is not a cause of terrorism and extremism, but the war in Afghanistan is.
    America is not the cause of terrorism, but it CAN fuel it in certain directions.
    America is not a cause of terrorism and extremism, but we should not have blind faith on raymond davises roaming in Pakistan.
    And yes why we only suspect America…..there can be other forces and a range of possibilities.

    We know that Baluchistan has not been given its due right, and this creates a risk that India can hit this vulnerability just as they hit the vulnerability in East Pakistan

    We know that TTP is our enemy but if we hastened to launch an operation in North Waziristan we would be gripped by our neck there, and wont be in a position to meet other challenges.

    US want to play end game, but we can not afford to loose our Queen to take their bishop.

    Recommend

  • nrmr44
    Aug 22, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Two questions:

    If TTP are “strategic” assets why is it that the military budget is gobbled up by the Pak Army? Or is the latter stilled deemed a strategic “asset” even though it has discontinued going into action?
    ” …… we need to …….. explore what ails us …. ” Yet again? I thought that is what the author was supposed to have done in this eloquent piece!
    Recommend

  • Alpha
    Aug 22, 2012 - 2:33PM

    Care to explain how they got hold of night vision goggles? or are they freely available in the village shop in waziristan?

    Recommend

  • Aug 22, 2012 - 2:42PM

    @KSU: Thanks for the comment. I do take your point that Wahabisation is a by-product or I would call it a political project. Iran’s influence etc is a threat to Saudi Arabia given the 15% population there which is Shia as well as Bahrain where 70% of the pop is Shia and being controlled by a Saudi-backed monarchy with Pak and expat ‘security’ apparatus. Having said that why can’t we decided what is in our interest instead of being servile to KSA and USA? Points to ponder..

    Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 22, 2012 - 4:27PM
  • observer
    Aug 22, 2012 - 4:36PM

    @Cyma Khan

    Ejaz Haider’s take on this:

    Wow! This is even better than the best. Ejaz Haider points out that PMA staged another ‘unneccesary’ parade for the benefit of the COAS. Parades have to be rehearsed at the cost of training time. And then Mr Haider delivers this, “And training time is a life-saver, given that we are at war.”

    So it would appear that the COAS, knowingly cut intoa ‘life-saver’. So who benefits, India perhaps.

    Mr Haider further propounds,The state is not responding well at any level: motivation, clarity of purpose, operational capabilities, effective intelligence and pre-emption.

    So, who benefits from the state not responding well? India again.

    Going by your theory, the COAS and the State of Pakistan both appear to be agents of foreign powers.

    Great going indeed.Recommend

  • Baseer Agha
    Aug 22, 2012 - 4:38PM

    The so called WAR on Terror, do some one believe its our own war,

    Pakistan is facing the worst times, no one could have imagined in 70s, Still we are having such an hypocrite Parliament, all of them are feudal class, infidels, They are not even aware about what to happen next in Pakistan, all they know right now is the upcoming elections,

    let me tell you, who ever know something about Pashtoons tribal system, he may agree with this, that there are as much as one Million Armed Men inside FATA, ammunition is culture, a person without a gun on his back is chanted as (Namurd) and the extremists, as you Mentioned correctly as lethal by-product of Pakistans war games, are around 5000, by reliable sources, the impending Operation and Drones, and then killing of Innocents as Declared by Pentagon’s Spokesmen themselves that around 99% killings by drones are the part collateral damage, due to which these One million armed Men’s sentiments, as a result of these innocent killings is increasing day by day with these Militants, due to Faux and temporory policies,

    This Whole scenario needs to be understood, the Operations by Military should be beyond the war fought with Guns and Bullets, they should rather think on the consequences and should make long term policies, and should not take dictation from others, think in the best of National Interest. Increase the Education and sports budgets, etc, before its too late….

    Recommend

  • SZ
    Aug 22, 2012 - 4:45PM

    Give more visas through Pakistan Embassy in US. Thankyou Mr. Hussain Haqqani

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 22, 2012 - 5:47PM

    @syed nasim:
    @Ahmer Ali:
    @Cyma Khan:
    All of you and other doubters and apologists have one thing in common. They do not overtly support Taliban (maybe subconsiously but no one can peep in their minds). They claim that TTP is funded / sponsored / guided / hired etc by anti Pakistan forces / nations and agencies. LETS ACCEPT THEIR VIEWPOINT UNCONDITIONALY AND MOVE ON.

    My innocent question is what’s stopping you to advocate ruthless elimination of these foot soldiers / hired guns / misguided elements instead of concentrating on their pay masters only (if any).

    Next time there is a robbery attempt in your house, your family is threatened, all furniture is ransacked, please do not resist the intruders. Think on a higher level and go out of the back door looking to find out the Sardar of robbers and teach him a lesson.

    It is the height of intellectual bankrupcy / dishonesty that we keep getting such hopeless comments from Taliban apologists. As for the GOOD TALIBAN, show me a single statement by any Taliban office holder.disowning and condemning acts of mayhem / slaughter. If the USA hired TTP spokeman is always jumping to own such attacks including killing of minorities, why we never hear of any good Taliban condemning them. Maybe they dont have mobile / satellite phones or dont know the telephones of news agencies.

    Recommend

  • ali.sindhi
    Aug 22, 2012 - 6:38PM

    in pakistan there is a state within state called punjab who produced the great zia ul haq is past and at present a so called leader called shaikh rashid who openly said mula omer as amir ul momaneen and the new savior called imran khan whose only power base is punjab. other day i was watching his show as he claimed in the land of pure that pk had nothing to do with 9/11 its usa war and at the same time the most wanted men got killed in punjab when u say pakistan do say except sindhis and balochs and to sum extend pathans we are not part of your dirty ideology

    Recommend

  • Kamal
    Aug 22, 2012 - 7:09PM

    I haven’t seen any article written by you against Drone attacks done by America.

    Recommend

  • nrmr44
    Aug 22, 2012 - 7:48PM

    @observer:

    “So it would appear that the COAS, knowingly cut into a ‘life-saver’. So who benefits, India perhaps……”
    ” …….. So,who benefits from the state not responding well? India again …… ”
    “….the COAS and the State of Pakistan both appear to be agents of foreign powers …. “.

    Poor observer! With India on your brain you still couldn’t bring yourself to say
    “….the COAS and the State of Pakistan both appear to be agents of India …. “.

    And haven’t you figured it out yet? The TTP are agents of India!

    Recommend

  • observer
    Aug 22, 2012 - 10:23PM

    @nrmr44

    In your hurry you missed out Going by your theory,. Do I need to explain this to you?

    Recommend

  • Aug 23, 2012 - 12:48AM

    What is surprising is that even after several arrests and open acceptance of the total responsibility of the attack by the TTP some still cannot refrain from blaming the United States or various other agencies around the world. Conspiracy theorists not only give credence to these attackers but they also belittle the sacrifices of the people who lose their lives or are injured in these attacks. Please do not forget that Pakistanis have lost over 40,000 of their countrymen, including innocent women and children, to terrorist attacks. This war is “their war” as well and whoever gives even an iota of support to these terrorists are just plain unjust to the people who have lost their loved ones at the hands of these cowardly attackers.

    Time is now to unite against these terrorists and completely destroy them! Otherwise we will keep seeing innocents die and Pakistan being attacked by them.

    Capt. Joseph Kreidel
    DET-United States Central Command
    http://www.centcom.mil/ur

    Recommend

  • Tahir Ali
    Aug 23, 2012 - 10:55AM

    @bigsaf: Please open your mind. I am not justifying killing of innocent Shias. I have given my view point on what could be one of the reasons behind the ongoing madness. In case you have forgotten hundreds of hundreds of Taliban or Mujahideen prisoners died in containers due to suffocation, while being carried to the prisons in 2001. That was also a massacre.
    I would once again reiterate that there is no Shia-Sunni issue in Pakistan. Only, 2-3% fanatics subscribe to the extreme view point. For them, 97-98% of remaining are ‘not true Muslims, that includes me also. However, there is a difference between ‘not true Muslims’ and ‘non-Muslims.

    You are trying to justify connivance of oppressed minority with outside powers to invade its own country. In 40′s the ‘black Americans” were extremely oppressed but they fought gallantly for their new found motherland instead of conniving with the Germans.

    Recommend

  • Tahir Ali
    Aug 23, 2012 - 11:04AM

    @US CENTCOM: Surely, this is Pakistan’s war also and we can fight it together. How about you clean up and stop sponsoring the Pakistani terrorist sitting across in Afghanistan and undertaking activities to destabilize Pakistan and we clean up those hurting you in Afghanistan. But the problem is “can we trust each other due to divergence of perceived national interests”.

    Recommend

  • Aug 24, 2012 - 1:06AM

    @Tahir Ali:
    Defending Taliban, is defending their terrorism. It includes Shia Muslim massacres. The reason and claim is insane and false. Unfortunate you believe in it. This claim of ‘connivance’, is a sectarian bigoted conspiratorial charged accusation putting the onus on all Shias, even though they themselves aren’t fond of Americans and most did not ‘connive’ with them, as I even pointed to Sunni Uzbeks, Tajiks and Pashtuns, who make the bulk of the non-Taliban opposition, being in the same boat, or the majority of the Afghan govt, including the top, are Sunni – but apparently they are not ‘conniving’ and unacknowledged. Notice the bias? You reiterate your own made up figures for your denialist viewpoint. Evidence grows proving a prevalent Shia-Sunni issue, and anti-Shia prejudice among a Sunni majority.

    HR abuse in 2001 of prisoners by warlords is a deflection excuse. It does not defend the violence and oppression meted out on civilians, minorities, prisoners and non-prisoners, by the Taliban pre or post 2001, like their terrorist activities to reclaim political power today. The WWII false analogy is ridiculous due to different dynamics. Germany, itself anti-black and genocidal against minorities, invaded others and itself invaded, as US was dragged in by Japan, still not as totalitarian as the Taliban in the 40′s. There’s no minority connivance, a majority of Afghans are fed up with the insane Taliban, who you’re trying to justify because of your hate of the US and belief of Taliban being ‘mujahids’ despite their aggression. Afghanistan was invaded because the Taliban stupidly refused to give up Osama Bin Laden, who already admitted to be the terrorist behind the Kenyan embassy bombing, to the US. Ahmed Masood Shah, a Tajik Sunni opposition fighter, had begged the US many times to come in and intervene, but they weren’t interested until 9/11 happened. Not this anti-Shiite revisionist conspiracy you shamefully believe. Its offensive, irrationally untrue and bigotry propagated by haters and militants to justify their twisted views and actions.

    Recommend

  • Tahir Ali
    Aug 24, 2012 - 6:23PM

    @ bigsaf : I would once again advice you to open up your mind. I am neither defending Taliban nor I hate USA as you have conveniently assumed. You write well but you must refrain from assumptions and try to see the other side of the picture. Secondly, you write under the code name of ‘bigsaf’ and your origin, or for that matter religion, are not known while I write under my own name and, as such, with conviction. I write Ali with my name, ask some Muslim, if you are not, what it means. So forget about the Shia-Sunni crap. We are all Muslims, the division is only amongst handful of extremists on both sides. I have no love lost for the terrorists who have virtually destroyed my country and while you are giving ‘agenda based’ views, I would be the last man to defend TTP as I have lost one of my very close relatives at their hands. But despite that I try to be objective in my writings. If you care to re-read what I had written initially, “Taliban and many of their supporters feel”, it never implied that I was included in that or ‘supporters were many’. Their perception may also be ill-founded and I never endorsed it. If you are getting bugged about my writing “Taliban or Mujahideen” for those who were ousted from power in 2001, read books and find out what Senior Bush used to call them. When they were serving US interests, they were Mujahideen and now when they are fighting Americans, they are terrorists. I assure you and mark my words, in the next five – six years, they will again be Mujahideen serving US agenda of ‘containment of China’ in our region. Secondly, to a ‘scholar’ like you the justification on difference may breed ‘naturally’, for those fighting in Afghanistan both are considered aggressors – the Soviet forces in the eighties and the US forces now.
    Again, with your bigoted mind, you have labelled me as somebody who hates USA. That is not the case but then, I have no inhibitions in calling a spade, a spade. I endorse what good they do for humanity and criticise what, in my perception’ is wrong doing. By the way, “They were dragged into WW II by Japan”, who dragged them into WW I and what about the pretext of presence of WMD for invading Iraq?
    ‘bigsaf’ ! you have served your masters well, now move on.Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 24, 2012 - 10:07PM

    @Tahir Ali: \
    I appreciate your viewpoint and feelings. You seem like a sensible / moderate person. However you did make a fundamental mistake in the end of your original post (otherwise an excellent piece) i.e referring to a viewpoint which sees this killings as some sort of revenge by Taliban. Even if you dont agree with this thinking, mere reference is most unfortunate / insensitive / irresponsible and will certainly give ammunition to TTP sympathizers which you are not. Let me be blunt. Shias are being killed simply for being Shia. This is a premeditated ideologically based massacre. Revenge has nothing to do with it.
    Even a blind person can see that. Lets oppose it unconditionally irrespective of our sectarian identity because ultimately as you said yourself, 98% will be targeted or brow beaten. You want that to happen?

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 24, 2012 - 10:09PM

    @mohsin:
    “certainly they are not americans they are just backed by america”

    So should I presume that you favor their ruthless elimination, you do not consider them true Muslims, you consider them Wajib-ul-Qatal for spreading Fasaad, you consider all their supporters, facilitators and sympathizers as state enemies or its only USA that matters. People like you and me can support TTP and get away with it?
    Put your left hand on Quran and type your answer with right hand. I am eagerly awaiting. But please no beating about the bush like Hamid Gul / Qazi Munawwar / IK etc. DO YOU HAVE THE MORAL COURAGE TO SAY YES?

    Editor ET: Why you refuse to publish my comment. I demand an answer if you have any decency.

    Recommend

  • Cyma Khan
    Aug 26, 2012 - 12:54PM

    @Hasan Mehmood:
    I’m in favour of the elimination of all TTP footsoldiers, commanders, controllers, sponsors, et all. My simple point was that we should also pay attention to who is planning and sponsoring all this. A also like scrambled eggs. Doesn’t mean I have to mention that in my comments.

    Recommend

  • Cyma Khan
    Aug 26, 2012 - 1:02PM

    @US CENTCOM:
    Firstly, nobody here blamed the United States. Why are you even defending yourself unless you feel guilty? Do you know something that we don’t? Also, you’re missing the point completely. TTP is backed by foreign intelligence agencies. Arresting local TTP people doesn’t overrule foreign involvement because they use local proxies to exectute the actual terrorism. All intelligence agencies of the world have a history of using proxies.

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 26, 2012 - 3:43PM

    @Cyma Khan:
    {I’m in favour of the elimination of all TTP footsoldiers, commanders, controllers, sponsors, et all}

    Thanks for the clarification. These words are music to my ears and the strongest ever uttered by the conspiracy brigade. However I would quote (with thanks) a bloggers comment on my letter as under: {However, we are responsible for 80% of the problem and externalizing the issue trivializes it} For reading my letter and my supplementary comments please go to http://tribune.com.pk/story/425705/the-hypocrisy-of-taliban-apologists/

    Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 26, 2012 - 6:04PM

    @Hasan Mehmood: I do not know if Cyma Khan read your link but i did i quote from it ” Look at Indians. Inspite of our repeated pleas at all levels, they refuse to forgive / forget and move beyond 26/11″. I am in the mitti pao group, i have 4 Pakistani friends on FB (i even tried to get a job for one from Lahore with another from Muscat) . I met some of the businessmen who came for the Pakistani trade fair in Chandigarh , i liked them they seemed to be good guys.I brought home two Pakistanis for lunch on the fifth day of the test(the one Kamran saved with a century) i liked them they seemed to be good humans. But i always have a lurking feeling is my trust misplaced ? Do my friends really matter in the larger scheme of things ? I get these doubts when i see that there has NO MOVEMENT in the investigations about 26/11 on the Pakistani side of the border, that the attempts to push militants across the LOC are still going on, that the terror camps on your side are still functional, that counterfeit currency is still being pushed into India from Pakistan(the going rate in Amritsar is 40000 for 1 lac). I know for sure that the perpetrators of 26/11 will never be brought to book , you can hang the non-state actors but what will you do with the state actors when the non-state guys spill the beans . I trust the moderate Pakistanis and am even gullible enough to trust some of your politicians (after all we have a equally bad lot), but your army and the ISI is a no no they still have their ideas firmly entrenched in the “strategic assets ” mind sets. Since every one knows who calls the shot in Pakistan is it difficult to comprehend why India can not move beyond 26/11 ? ET please do post this message as i type with one finger and this has taken a long time.

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 27, 2012 - 12:10AM

    @jagjit sidhoo:
    You took one sentence (from another blog) out of context and wrote a thesis on an unrelated blog. You sure have lot of time on your hand. Have a nice day and rest your finger.

    Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 27, 2012 - 7:37AM

    @Hasan Mehmood: Yes i do have lot of time on my hand , I worked hard when i was young made my bucks, gave my son a good education and habits like hard work etc, he is well set (a banker with a private bank) so now i have loads of time do what i want to do play golf, dabble in the stock market(F&O) and surf the net. I also have the time and resources to send feelers/ messages across the border to try in my own very small way to try and improve relations between our countries, why because it is common sense to be friendly to your neighbors. I hope that settles the issue about my time. What about you Mr Hasan? You write a article ,you post about a dozen comments someone reads them and asks a few questions what is your response slick humor.Next time you wonder why Indians are not ready to move on after 26/11 just think about the points i raised.By the way when you write an article or a comment do you have the limited aim of reading your own words and feeling happy to see them in print or is it that the only response acceptable to you is “Yes Sir”. Thanks for the concern and sympathy for my finger. I will have a nice day the US market was up on Friday so i should get a good exit in the morning and the sun is out so golf in the evening oh yes looks like it will be a good day thanks for the wishes.

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 27, 2012 - 11:48AM

    @jagjit sidhoo: Dear Mr Sidhoo I really feel honored by such a detailed personnel reply. Its deeply appreciated. I am a middle aged working professional in private sector and so does not have the same luxury of time on my hand. I think your comment on my dislike of replies is not fair. Please see this very post and the link I provided to see my vigorous / articulated responses. Coming back to 26/11 (although out of context for this blog but in deference to your feelings)please refer to http://tribune.com.pk/story/409952/the-great-india-pakistan-tamasha/ wherein I have single handedly responded to the Indian troll brigade who mercilessly lynched the Pakistani author who innocently suggested closure of 26/11. Since you have time you can go thru the entire blog to which I can add nothing except the following.
    You except us to take revenge or book the perpetrators of 26/11 in a hostile neighboring country when most of us do not even acknowledge the mini 26/11′s happening almost daily in our country, forget any sort of revenge. Hey man we are not moved even when football is played with the severed heads of our Army men. Your only hope is to strengthen the hands of anti militant / democratic / liberal lobby in Pakistan and not to put them off so lets agree to disagree and part amicably. We can still be friends.

    Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 27, 2012 - 4:28PM

    @Hasan Mehmood: There is no need to “lets agree to disagree” as we are more or less on the same page . I read the link you had given but i am afraid you were defending SC who is to put it mildly a wolf in sheep clothing . You would not have such a problem if you were trying to defend Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy or Hassan Nissar because these are gents who call a spade a spade. One has heard or read these gents sometimes criticize India and more often than not they have been right .In the link that you gave there are two comments of mine (1) To all my Indian and Pakistani brothers CEASEFIRE (2)@Aizaz: After all the hot air in the two articles and the comments that followed finally someone talking of moving forward . Prior to 26/11 the composite dialogue was moving slowly but it was moving. 26/11 has derailed the composite dialogue. 26/11 was a major tragedy and without its closure that satisfies both countries to expect and movement on the composite dialogue, trade or cricket ties will be naive. Now with the ATC rejecting the report of the Pakistani judicial commission we seem to be back to square one.If we want to move ahead we have to think out of the box.The ATC will not accept any evidence till the defendants have had an opportunity to cross examine the witnesses. India will not Kasab & Abu Jundal (as they do not trust the Pakistan will send them back).I feel allowing the accused to cross examine the witness in Mumbai from the trail court in Rawalpindi via video conferencing is the best option. Special situations demand special solutions. A representative from Pakistan High Commission (New Dehli) can submit an affidavit certifying the identity of the prosecution witnesses by being physically present on the other side.If the govts accord priority and a fast tract court is constituted closure that satisfies both countries can be achieved.
    I hope these comments at least prove that i am not a hawk.Now about 26/11 i know to expect closure is hoping for too much but would it be sensible on India’s part to move forward without sensing a change of heart in the state actors who were behind the event.
    My heart felt condolences to the families of the Army men i am a old solider and of the battle field we have a bond irrespective of the uniform one wears.
    The way forward for our countries is the India China model” India and China are not friends but there is a lot of trade which ensures that there is a strong lobby for peace today and maybe friendship one day . That is the way forward for us , trade creates business opportunities which creates jobs and revenue for both govts thereby creating a lobby for peace which will keep the hot heads on both sides in check.

    Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Aug 27, 2012 - 10:19PM

    @jagjit sidhoo

    OK OK I agree in principle with your comments if that makes you happy.
    Regarding your comment No.2 on a previous blog i.e {Now with the ATC rejecting the report of the Pakistani judicial commission we seem to be back to square one—————————————————————–A representative from Pakistan High Commission (New Dehli) can submit an affidavit certifying the identity of the prosecution witnesses by being physically present on the other side}

    That comment you lifted from my previous comment in another blog so if you acknowledge your mistake like Fareed Zakeria, I wont press charges.Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 28, 2012 - 6:47AM

    @Hasan Mehmood: What makes me happy is not that you agree with my comments but that we are in the same camp (the pro peace one). Regarding my lifting your comment of course it was your idea (thanks for agreeing to not press charges because whatever i have is hard earned
    and tax paid ).However i give an idea you add to it and we come to a final draft is that not the way negotiations should be conducted. My ideas for Indo- Pak relations are best summed up by these two lines “Ranjish Hii Sahii Dil Hii Dukhaane Ke Liye Aa” & “Sitaron se aage jahan aur bhi hain”. I hope there is no need to give the references as everyone knows the poets who wrote those lines in any case i do not think anyone will be so gullible as to think i with my limited abilities could write those lines. For lessor mortals like us it is enough if we learn from them.

    Recommend

More in Opinion