Interrogation of terrorists has revealed that several foreign elements are involved in exacerbating terrorism in Pakistan, especially in Karachi and Quetta, said defence analysts, columnists and experts at a conference on Syria and the Security Crisis in Karachi, organised by the Pakistan Visionary Forum at Tech Society Club on Sunday.
Air Marshal (retd) Shahid Latif and former ISI chief General (retd) Ziauddin were among the speakers at the seminar.
General (retd) Ziauddin said that the crackdown on violence in Karachi required strengthening the police. He said that the police should get the latest weapons, surveillance equipment and special training. “Retired army personnel could be hired to carry out intelligence operations if required,” he said.
People should not criticise the government on Karachi’s security because it does not have other options, General (retd) Ziauddin said.
“Strict enforcement of speed limits could decrease crimes by motorcyclists,” he said, “De-weaponisation and penalties for carrying unlicensed weapons would also help. He also proposed strict control of mobile SIMs. “A targeted operation would not help because these criminals would only move to other locations for the duration,” he said.
Air Marshal (retd) Shahid Latif said that in the past, governments had chosen to adopt pro-American policies instead of securing national interest. “That is why we are stuck in a quagmire of terrorism, lawlessness, socio-economic instability, Indian water aggression, unemployment and load shedding,” he said.
Air Marshal (retd) Latif said that Pakistan had been ‘misused’ in the Cold War. “Pakistan had adopted policies aligned with American interests but when it asked for civil nuclear technology that had been provided to India, it was told that India was different,” he said.
Western powers viewed Pakistan as a weak state dependent on India, rather than a powerful, independent and prosperous country, Air Marshal (retd) Latif said, the west had been using the divide-and-rule policy against 54 Muslim states so they would not unite and form a powerful bloc.
Air Marshal (retd) Latif said that the routes to Central Asian states were infested with terrorists, whom foreign elements were providing funds and weapons. Turkey was the only Islamic state where Western powers were unable to impose their terms… Pakistan needed a similar leadership, he said.
“A controlled revolution like Mao Tse Tung’s 1949 revolt in China is the solution to Pakistan’s problems,” he said, “Mao was able to put the human capital to good use.” Mao’s government had a clear idea of what was right for their country…that paved the way for prosperity in China, he said.
Former federal minister Qayyum Nizami, Dr Muhammad Sadiq, former auditor general Jameel Bhatti, Engr Muhammad Azeem, Engr Mahmoodur Rehman Chughtai, Engr Mushtaq Ahmed Bhatti, former Indus River System Authority chairman Shafqat Masood, Col (retd) Mahmood Shah, Dr Atiya Syed, Begum Aleena Tiwana, Col (retd) Waheed Hamid, Dr Ikram Koshal, Engr Muhammad Yaqoob Chaudhry, London-based columnist Tariq Ahmed, Major (retd) Khalid Nasr, Rauf Tahir and Dr Sultan Mehmood were also present at the conference.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2013.