Aren't we already a 'state sponsor of terrorism'?

Designating the Haqqani network a 'terrorist organisation' won't change anything for Pakistan.

Ali Mehdi September 05, 2012
Last week, major media outlets reported that the Obama administration was considering designating the Haqqani network a “terrorist organisation”. The New York Times, meanwhile, pointed out that the United States was considering the decision’s impact on its relationship with Pakistan.

The article added that “such a move would seem to bring Pakistan a step closer to being designated as a state sponsor of terrorism”.

Let’s address the issue of Pakistan being declared a “state sponsor of terrorism”.

On the list of terrorist organisations available on the US State Department’s website are familiar names like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkatul Mujahideen, Jundallah and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Most of these groups have also been declared banned organisations in Pakistan. However, people like Hafiz Saeed (founder of the LeT and considered to be the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks) and Malik Ishaq (founder of the LeJ) have been repeatedly taken into custody and released by Pakistani courts.

The TTP, of course, needs no introduction. It has made a name for itself by attacking security installations and executing Shia Muslims. So, how can we still be considered a civilised state as opposed to one that “sponsors terrorism”, if we are home to these organisations? The official designation for the Haqqani network will not change anything. Patriots may point out that being home to the cream of terrorist organisations in the world does not mean that we’re state sponsors of terror.

However, that argument is hard to make when the Lahore High Court releases extremists and the Pakistan Army needs all kinds of persuasion from national and international entities to launch an offensive against fundamentalist camps. Our security agencies have themselves admitted that they are in contact with the Haqqanis but carefully added that they are in no way supporting them.

The Haqqanis have been credited with well-executed attacks in Afghanistan in recent years, and they will have a say in the so-called ‘endgame’ in Afghanistan, unless the US manages to obliterate every last Haqqani through drone strikes.

The designation is supposed to make it difficult for the group to gather funds but since these organisations are principally funded by wealthy monarchs in the Middle East and by desperate families whose loved ones they kidnap for ransom, it would all amount to a publicity stunt at best.

Read more by Ali here.
Ali Mehdi A sub-editor for the Karachi pages at The Express Tribune.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Hassan | 11 years ago | Reply Asalam-o-Alykum Mostly peoples blame on Musharaf for terrorism in Pakistan, but the fact is terrorism started in Pakistan in the Zia Govt. with the help of Pakistan’s Intelligence Agencies. Sipah e Sahaba created in Zia Govt. with govt sponsor. To killed Shia Muslims in Pakistan to impose their own thoughts. And Look at all these so call Jehadi groups they all are “Wahabi”, I am not asking that all wahabis are like that but I am telling a fact that if you read all that groups they belong to “wahabi” . In Pakistan Saudi govt. spend lots of money to permute wahabiisam in Pakistan, make their madrasaah and regularly funding them. And these Wahabi Jehadi fight against USSR in Afghan War, i always wonder when any one call it Jehad-e-Afganistan because what kind of this jehad where non muslims funded, trained, and give them all kind of latest weapons. and there is also lots of elements in our Army and in our Agencies who have Links and Soft Corner for these terrioest groups. it is true because these terrioest groups killed innocents make video and uploaded on the web on there website on facebook and on the youtube and also promoting their agenda on the net. Especially Killing of Shia Muslims. A very simple net user like me knew that by I.P address we can trace location so why our agencies not tracing them??? And if any one arrest them courts freed you can serch on google more then 400 terrioest freed by the courts including Malik Ishaq, Chief of Lashkar e Jhangvi. So all above circumstances every thing clears that who is sponsoring these elements.
Critics | 11 years ago | Reply Unfortunate of Pakistan that LEJ leader will be released again and same things will come back in to cycle. But Pakistan will be gone slowly and steadily! Hatred will take Pakistan down!
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