Out of the loop and into Global Jihad

Published: July 18, 2013
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The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto 
kamran.shafi@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a columnist, a former major of the Pakistan Army and served as press secretary to Benazir Bhutto kamran.shafi@tribune.com.pk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Nadir
    Jul 19, 2013 - 1:05AM

    If the Airforce says that as Non Nato Ally Pakistan has nothing to fear from the West, then why do so cold “analysts” on television keep on going on and on about NATO operations to capture Pakistani nukes? So while the rhetoric is spewed the military just allows the country to simmer in hate and conspiracies all while shaming a completely opposite policy?

    Recommend

  • K B Kale
    Jul 19, 2013 - 1:34AM

    Excellent article, Shafi sahab! Wah, Bhai, wah!

    Recommend

  • Sami
    Jul 19, 2013 - 2:01AM

    As usual, a very incisive piece, Kamran sahib. And much to ruminate on. Thank you!

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  • K B Kale
    Jul 19, 2013 - 2:58AM

    “….or other — we don’t have to name ‘em, we KNOW ‘em!” Well, Shafi sahab, that reminded me of the description of the villain in every Harry Potter novel!

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  • lalai
    Jul 19, 2013 - 4:00AM

    It is said that war is always good for business. Migration of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters to Syria suggests that that the sole purpose of US and west in Afghanistan is not to wipe them out .They are required as strategic assets to counter Iran and they have just been diverted to become a part of far greater conflict in the Muslim world, specially Middle East.

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  • Sid
    Jul 19, 2013 - 4:03AM

    Once again sir a brilliant introspection of current state of Pakistan.

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  • Razi
    Jul 19, 2013 - 4:12AM

    More of the same from Kamran Shafi. Let’s wait for the Indians to garland him.

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  • Haris Chaudhry
    Jul 19, 2013 - 4:31AM

    “Let’s say it straight: why will their
    apologists not understand that the
    Taliban and their friends and
    associates … Al Qaeda or Hizbut Tahrir
    or Al-Muhajiroun or Afghan Taliban or
    Pakistani Taliban … are all linked …
    and are in the business of taking over
    the state of Pakistan, a first step to
    global jihad?

    Without exaggeration, the day we Pakistanis understand that argument would be the day we will ‘actively’ start doing something collectively against this menace. Until that happens, we will keep digging the hole deeper and deeper.

    Having spoken to head honchos in the top echelons of governments and security apparatus, corporate leaders all the way down to maids and gardeners about the menace of taliban and the responses I have heard in response denying the issue altogether or blaming ‘external hands’ is so grave that I believe we have almost reached a point of no return.

    As a country, we have our collective heads buried so deep in sand that it will be impossible for us to extricate ourselves when the going gets tougher for all of us.

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  • Water Bottle
    Jul 19, 2013 - 5:51AM

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

    It would have carried so much more weight if you had mentioned Dawood Ibrahim as well.

    Somehow, no Pakistani ever mentions Dawood. It’s alleged by India that Dawood is in Karachi.

    It’s a well known fact that Miandad’s off-spring is married to Dawood’s off-spring.

    But, looks like ‘the agencies’ have managed to keep the mouths of everyone shut in this matter.

    No one ever mentions his name.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Jul 19, 2013 - 6:32AM

    @Razi:
    Waiting for YOU to tell us where the author was wrong in his statements, but alas all we see is you throwing rocks because you have no answers!

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  • RAW is WAR
    Jul 19, 2013 - 6:54AM

    great article.

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  • Polpot
    Jul 19, 2013 - 8:02AM

    @Razi: “More of the same from Kamran Shafi. Let’s wait for the Indians to garland him.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Do you mind if I shower him with rose petals?

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  • Mirza
    Jul 19, 2013 - 8:37AM

    Another factual and insightful Op Ed by KS, thanks ET for that. Not just the Americans came and we woke up after three hours when their job was done but we were again sleeping for hours in Salala. We had housed OBL and could not protect him even an army base! Nothing has changed since the surrender of East Pakistan and each time we don’t find any culprit on our military defeats. What a shame that all our top secret reports are published from foreign countries and never from Pakistan. Only lowly paid and ill-equipped police and elected civilians are responsible for everything wrong.

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  • Munir
    Jul 19, 2013 - 9:04AM

    An eye opener article.You mentioned that TPP is already in Syria to fight against Bashar army,American supporting operations against Syrian army so it is obvious that TPP is being supported by American.How did they managed to expatriate.

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  • Napster
    Jul 19, 2013 - 10:58AM

    If Pakistan was providing shelter to the number 1 enemy of the superpower with out their knowing we would have been immediately attacked as was Afghanistan instead of USAID programme, John Kerry and other US state officials would not be visiting us then and we would have no part in US taliban talks.
    Dear shafi Sb i don’t believe u don’t know the real story about OBL. USA and Pakistan both knew very well where OBL was residing. It was decided to take him alive and prosecute him in US courts with joint operation of US and Pak military when the timing is right(near US presidential elections maybe). It was Leon Panneta who convinced Obama to take OBL out in this fashion without informing Pak military. Taking him alive and bringing him to US courts would have opened a pandora box for CIA.Recommend

  • mahmood
    Jul 19, 2013 - 12:15PM

    The Army at this point sees no challenge to its jihad-through-non-state-actors Project. 40,000 dead? Blame it on the foreign hand, and most of the plebeians fall for it. Unfortunate state of affairs.

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  • faheema
    Jul 19, 2013 - 1:02PM

    Global Jehad is likely to be agenda of Jehadi outfits including Talibans, Question arises who will be Caliphe if, God forbid, they succeed. Will the likely Calipha be the Khadim-Harmain Sharifain ex Pirates of Arabian Peninsula, after all most of such outfits including JD, LJ, Talibans and their apologists JI, JUI (F) are funded by Khadmains. Even our C.M. Punjab loves to call himself Khadim-Aula. we ‘ll see future scenario if we remained alive.

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  • aaaaa
    Jul 19, 2013 - 1:02PM

    @Water Bottle:

    You sound like a broken record, trying to fit in Dawood Ibrahim into every story somehow. The day Indians stop meddling in Balochistan, Pakistan might start caring about Dawood Ibrahim. Seems fair to me. Christine Fair said this, not Zaid Hamid or any of the other assorted crazies. So don’t bother denying it.

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  • Parvez
    Jul 19, 2013 - 1:32PM

    My original comment was shot down………possibly for my own good. So this time I’ll say this was strong stuff and worth the read.

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  • Uza Syed
    Jul 19, 2013 - 1:37PM

    Kamran Sahaab, you certainly do a lot of reading and benefitting from your own writings; don’t you think it would help a little if you would read some of the other people’s work as well. It might help you, just a bit, to come out of this hallow of ‘narcissism’ and sense of omniscience.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Jul 19, 2013 - 2:03PM

    ” the start of the Global Jihad from this hapless, helpless country.” Add Mali and Syria to your list of countries on the receiving end of this export.

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  • Z.Khan
    Jul 19, 2013 - 2:23PM

    @Haris Chaudhry:
    You are right. Nation has reached to point of no return. Those visionaries warning about ultimate consequences are recieiving deaf ear approach. Ex and current rulers including military elite will be responsible for not having appreciated the gravity of the on going situation.

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  • Milind
    Jul 19, 2013 - 2:26PM

    @Water Bottle: Don’t tell me that our Indian Govt is serious abt getting back Dawood…
    Its one of those perfunctory noises it makes as a bargaining chip against Pakistan… In fact some players from our “establishment” – esp Sharad Pawar have been hand-in-glove with Dawood before. His return would jeopardize their careers and they will leave no stone unturned in preventing his return (eliminating him at the best)…Recommend

  • zoro
    Jul 19, 2013 - 2:41PM

    @ aaaaa
    Yes we will middle in Baluchistan till the time you keep middling in Kashmir and in India ..
    well its almost time … One more middling might initiate India’s Juggernaut to dismantle Pakistan from Baluchistan..

    Recommend

  • Razi
    Jul 19, 2013 - 3:10PM

    @polpot

    By all means! After all, the obsessive and one-track way of thinking is common to the one you had in mind and KS.

    Recommend

  • Water Bottle
    Jul 19, 2013 - 5:22PM

    @Milind:

    Perhaps you are right.

    Why blame Pakistan!

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  • nizamuddin khan
    Jul 19, 2013 - 5:25PM

    I thought I had heard the last of the OBL report…but then…here we go again. It is known that the Americans knew how to get across the border from the west without being detected. Also, the AWCS and other fighter jets were nearby for support…so all in all a job well done by the Americans.

    Honestly…we need to think about how we would want to be perceived by the rest of the world…India included. Every country has internal elements that are against the state. In our case…the elements that we support with our country’s revenue are killing us including women and children.

    I see our country having difficulty in making the right choices that would be good for the future generations. What is stopping us? Do we really believe the OBL report will change anything? We need to begin by writing a Thank you note to President Obama for taking care of OBL. Now, let’s get together and finish up cleaning the remaining mess.

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  • Anand
    Jul 19, 2013 - 7:55PM

    This is in reply to aaaaa who said that Christine Fair has confirmed that India is supporting people in Balochistan. http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?261113

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  • Water Bottle
    Jul 19, 2013 - 8:26PM

    @Anand:

    “This is in reply to aaaaa who said that Christine Fair has confirmed that India is supporting people in Balochistan. http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?261113

    Good read.

    But you didn’t have to trouble yourself to find out the link and publish.

    Trust me, those Pakistanis who even read it, will still repeat the same accusations.

    “Pakistan is a neurologically insecure state.”

    Christine Fair
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  • SAMPATHKUMAR
    Jul 19, 2013 - 11:15PM

    @Razi:
    Why should be worried or ever think of Indian or any one, when somebody is giving a straight account, calling a spade a spade.

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  • Shamsir Khan
    Jul 21, 2013 - 5:02PM

    @Polpot:

    Keep an open mind .Kamran sahib speaks from the heart.A man of his caliber does not come along everyday ..Rejoice that you can read him in English. His real mission should be in the foreign office .He will do the most good there .

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  • Indian
    Jul 21, 2013 - 11:13PM

    @lalai: Are you from la la land, sorry, la la istan?

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  • Last Word
    Aug 5, 2013 - 8:29PM

    The self created monster gobbling up Pakistan after 2014 is going to be a reality. The red army is presently doing joint military exercises with the Indian army but time has come for Pakistan army to join the party as it would require help from India and even China to survive the deadly onslaught of the combined Taliban in the near future.

    Recommend

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