Intelligence Bureau report: ‘SSP, LeJ expand reach, grow robust’

Published: May 28, 2012
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Shia Muslims shout slogans as they carry coffins of their community members during a funeral ceremony in Quetta on September 21, 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Shia Muslims shout slogans as they carry coffins of their community members during a funeral ceremony in Quetta on September 21, 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Sectarian groups in Pakistan have grown ‘stronger than ever’ and pose a grave threat to state and society, according to an assessment carried out by the country’s intelligence services.

A report of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has warned that organisations such as Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Jundallah are more powerful than in the ‘80s and ‘90s when they wreaked havoc across the country through sectarian attacks.

“Even today they pose a challenge as big as al Qaeda and they are getting more powerful. Imagine where they will be in a couple of years,” said an official who was a member of the IB team that prepared the report.

The report contains information on SSP, LeJ and associated groups and individuals outside Pakistan after monitoring their activities for several months.

Some of the contents of the report were shared with The Express Tribune, which stated that the SSP and LeJ had already extended their network outside their traditional strongholds in South Punjab, southern districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Pakhtun belt of Balochistan, including Quetta.

“Now they are everywhere…from interior Sindh to the base of the Himalayas,” added the official. The SSP and LeJ were among several outfits that were banned by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf back in 2002, but their infrastructure and manpower remained untouched.

“We went into hiding for some years but our system was very much there,” said an activist of SSP, who would give only his last name.

“That is why we are back now…with more force. Allah help us revive,” remarked Maulana Mohavia, who runs a seminary in Tokhar Niaz Baig just outside Lahore.

Amir Rana, director of independent think tank the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS) which monitors the rise and fall of such organisations, said such militant outfits had been attracting more manpower after they were joined by international players like al Qaeda in the aftermath of 9/11.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (41)

  • Abdullah
    May 28, 2012 - 10:13AM

    A biased report, not reporting anything regarding shia militant outfits

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  • Siddiqi
    May 28, 2012 - 10:19AM

    This puts my head in shame. What a disgrace to Islam; killing Muslims and innocents in the name of religions and taking pride in it… This is a slap on the face of society and in particular on our religious leaders and scholars who have failed miserably to play their due role. And shame on our security agencies and those who are at the helm of affairs.

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  • peter
    May 28, 2012 - 10:19AM

    its a pity, playing with the fire, you need to set a direction to reach destination. The direction seems totally lost.

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  • GhostRider
    May 28, 2012 - 10:25AM

    And government is just waiting for them to wreak havoc on tolerant Pakistanis.

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  • PakArmySoldier
    May 28, 2012 - 10:33AM

    I guess my question is what is IB doing about it then? How did they let these groups regenerate?

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  • Khan
    May 28, 2012 - 10:37AM

    Thats what the world was trying to tell Pakistan that its normal citizens will find it hard to live with the extremists who have an agenda to rule with world with sucide bombings. This new concept was unfortunatly started by those militants who were used by a group of countries to fight war in Afgahnistan againsts the USSR. Now, they are out of control and need a thorough surgery which may involve killings of millions.

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  • May 28, 2012 - 10:59AM

    Cancer.. Chemotherapy no where in sight.

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  • Omer
    May 28, 2012 - 11:02AM

    This is the future of Pakistan. Extremism will spread, while the liberals sit in their houses and make plans to get green cards.

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  • Umer
    May 28, 2012 - 11:26AM

    CJP, PMLN, PPP, PTI, JUI, JI, ANP, MQM, PML, all on board for fanatic expansion in the name of sects, biradaris, ethnic and whatever.

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  • vasan
    May 28, 2012 - 11:29AM

    Lej and SiS have only expanded. But LeT, JuD, AQ, TTP have taken over the govt and army, By the way why do we need Intelligence agencies to find this out. Anyone who reads the daily news papers of Pakistan knows this already.

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  • Umer Zia
    May 28, 2012 - 11:35AM

    These extremist militant groups are a greater threat for the Muslims of this world than they are to Shias,specifically.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 28, 2012 - 11:47AM

    Kindly allow me to strongly protest ET’s negative attitude as is evident in heaps in this so-called report. We have seen no reports yet on Yaum-e-Takbeer which is being celebrated enthusiastically in every corner of the country. You have managed to turn even this day of joy and pride for all into one of sadness and gloom. We expect better from you ET.

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  • Abdul Khaliq
    May 28, 2012 - 11:48AM

    We need to talk to our friends in Saudi Arabia so that foreign funding to these groups is stopped.

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  • John B
    May 28, 2012 - 12:04PM

    Not surprising to learn from other comments that these outfits are Sunni sect. In any case, it is not the sectarian interest they have in mind, primarily.

    Their target is capturing or controlling PAK government. Right now they are controlling the govt to some extent. Ironically PAK army will be the one resisting their turmoil in the future and PAK people will be rallying behind the sectarian outfits, either knowingly or unknowingly.

    Syria, Bahrain, Yemen are a few dry runs.

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  • faraz
    May 28, 2012 - 12:11PM

    @Khan: Killing of millions? Are you kidding? This is a matter of law and order and can be tackled with efficiently by proper law-making and strict enforcement of relevant laws.

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  • PakArmySoldier
    May 28, 2012 - 12:26PM

    @vasan: Contrary to your conjecture, Pak Army is very moderate. There might be a few radical elements, but the secular ones outnumber them comfortably.

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  • Zulfiqar Haider
    May 28, 2012 - 12:38PM

    A clear indication of a failed state which has been isolated from the world because of being bastion of terrorism. Not far away from imploding from within.

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  • Waqas
    May 28, 2012 - 12:47PM

    lately, observing the ‘graffiti’ through shahra-e-faisal I was wondering the same, looks like they will completely take over sooner or later

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  • SM
    May 28, 2012 - 1:35PM

    @Abdullah: a very sectarian comment

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  • AJ
    May 28, 2012 - 2:09PM

    @Abdullah:
    There is nothing to report on Shia Militancy, because there is none. Shias do not kill innocent civilians and they cannot fight against rats who hide and spray bullets on shops people going about their lives.

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  • kaffir
    May 28, 2012 - 2:25PM

    Its now or never. Pakistanis must understand that only under SECULARISM will peace and equality come. Religion will bring only violence and death. Peace.

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  • Khan
    May 28, 2012 - 2:53PM

    @All, In the paste USA, Pakistan, Saudai Arabia, Iraq were providing trainings and according to a estimate, these militants are arround half million and capable of fighting army and even any other foreign support providing to Pakistan. Afghanistan, Iraq, etc are the examples where Pakistan can reach, it is unfortunate.

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  • Khalq e Khuda
    May 28, 2012 - 3:15PM

    Much thanks to a judiciary of PCO judges who deems fit to release with honour the likes of Malik Ishaq!

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  • Abdullah
    May 28, 2012 - 3:20PM

    @SM, what about the news item ?

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  • Iron hand
    May 28, 2012 - 3:27PM

    @PakArmySoldier: Extremism is growing n every segment of Pakistani society, including the army. If you don’t act now to stem the tide, it will be too late.

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  • Parvez
    May 28, 2012 - 3:27PM

    As you sow, so shall you reap.

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  • Nadir Awan
    May 28, 2012 - 5:03PM

    Millitant groups have been motivating teens agianst rival sects since 3 decades. These have thrown Pakistan into dark age and still want to push our beloved country more. The source of this millitancy should be regulated. Websites; books and gatherings of Hate traders should be banned.

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  • Afridi
    May 28, 2012 - 5:05PM

    well the only way to handle this state of confusion is by making secular state and establishment should be asked to stop their backing to these groups like they did before

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  • Khan
    May 28, 2012 - 5:07PM

    @Abdullah, you really want to see,why shia are not militants read the history.

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  • Abdullah
    May 28, 2012 - 5:35PM

    @Khan, no need to go in to the past, stay in the present, just type ‘Syria Massacre’ on google and hit the search button.

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  • Nadeem Khan
    May 28, 2012 - 5:41PM

    @PakArmySoldier: you say
    Contrary to your conjecture, Pak Army is very moderate. There might be a few radical elements, but the secular ones outnumber them comfortably.

    If I own a poultry farm and profitably raise chicken and sell chickens, that does not make me a chicken. Pakistan Army generals may be moderate or whatever, but for their own narrow interests they cultivated militants and militias which are now coming home to roost. And the tragedy is they are not ready to shut down the poultry farm and have taken the whole nation hostage

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  • Khan
    May 28, 2012 - 5:45PM

    @Abdullah, don’t go to Syria, stay in Pakistan

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  • Munir Azad
    May 28, 2012 - 5:50PM

    Keep killing each other and keep blaming the “Jews, Hindus, American… each and everyone but….. What a way to preach Islam…

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  • Khan
    May 28, 2012 - 6:03PM

    @Munir Azad, We still believe that there are people like the enemies of Islam who are behind the killing, the list is not limited to the nations and religions you counted. The is due to reason that a common muslim can’t kill their fellow muslim, if he does that then he is no more muslim if he did it with a intention to create panic (terrorism). So Alqaeda, Talibans and other such organization doing militancy are non muslims or they have noting to do with Islam.

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  • Munir Azad
    May 28, 2012 - 6:59PM

    @Khan; please… we need to get out of this denial. These are the very Muslims who kill each other and firmly believe that this is big “sawab”. Please please don’t be so naïve as this ‘collective denial’ is one major reason of being indifferent and this issue is getting out of hand.

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  • kaalchakra
    May 28, 2012 - 7:02PM

    Will you gentlemen (and ladies, if any) quit this negativity, please! Thank you for your consideration.

    Not all these people you see in processions are murderers. So please don’t shake in your boots. And remember, there are murderers everywhere.

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  • Khan
    May 28, 2012 - 9:11PM

    @Munir Azad, I don’t kill people neither fund any terrorist group neither have sympathies for those who are in the so called Jihad war and bombing every place in pakistan if the support does not comes from there. So learn to condemn these groups if we came out of the state of denial.If you don’t know about them then I can’t help you.

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  • PakArmySoldier
    May 28, 2012 - 10:26PM

    @Nadeem Khan:
    I don’t dispute the history. I, however, take exception to the statement that Pak Army is being radicalized. I’m a Captain in Pak Army and have routine interactions with my peers, and there is no indication of that.

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  • May 29, 2012 - 4:56AM

    @PakArmySoldier:
    I have heard instances of bigotry, within ranks from serving officers, such as denying applications based on assumed religious sect names. Hoping it is not widespread, however, considering the state of Pak society and that the military draws from it’s population, it’s not a stretch to assume such prejudices persist within it’s ranks.

    The top general seems to believe he’s ideologically defending Islam in Pakistan (not unlike the SJC whose defending Pak from ‘secularism’), like a Maulana, than actual borders. Not too long ago, Hamid Gul had great support for his ‘Khilafat’ ideology and still supports the Taliban, even to the point of successfully holding large right-wing rallies, like the DPC with questionable militants, such as Osama Bin Laden well wisher Hafiz Saeed or sectarian serial killer Malik Ishaq, under the nose of Pak’s security services. What are the chances some other soldiers’ share such religiously charged right-wing conservative viewpoints?

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  • Gestapo
    May 29, 2012 - 11:49AM

    One doesn’t need to read any one-sided propaganda reports maligning some particular group for spreading extremism and intolerance in a society. Look around yourself, the walls and houses will tell you, who is trying to divide our society. Iran the so called enemy of Israel and USA keeps meddling in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Bahrain for her interests. They helped Northern Alliance to keep fighting and resisting Taliban in a Sunni majority Afghanistan. They helped America to uproot Saddam in Iraq, and bring in a Northern Alliance dominated government in Afghanistan. They are helping Assad ( a liberal ) to keep suppressing the majority Sunni population of Syria. The West and USA has never forgotten the history, so they know who could be their friend and who truly is the enemy.

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  • BSS
    Jun 2, 2012 - 3:40PM

    It all happened because of tacit support of sympathizers of these groups in the military and the intelligence agencies. These groups could have not simply survived a wholehearted and committed effort for eradication of terrorist groups. Our govt and military are essentially trying to look both way for the sake of their ‘strategic interests’.

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