Monday, April 30, 2012

Analysing Pakistan's Commitment to Peace

Ananth Venkatesh
Pakistan is unable/unwilling to stop the mushrooming terror camps at home, though their leader speaks of mutual peace in India. In this multi-part series on India-Pakistan relations, Ananth Venkatesh talks of the condition of peace in Pakistan, the threat to their populace from home-grown terror groups, the effects of America's troop withdrawl from Afghanistan on India, and the need to be wary of Imran Khan's peace talks.
"If the American troops and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) withdraw from Afghanistan as planned, 2013-14 are going to be crucial watershed years for India as far as the security of our western border is concerned"  -  Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne
"It is Kabul now we are dealing with. The moment we resolve that, we will take over the next phase to liberate Kashmir from Jammu & Kashmir state" -  Hafiz Saeed
The recent spiritual voyage of the Pakistani President, Asif Zardari, to India recently, which also had a Pakistani political presence enmeshed in it, epitomizes yet another measure in the tempestuous diplomatic history between India and Pakistan. In his journey to the respected Mohammedan shrine in Rajasthan’s Ajmer, known as Ajmer Sharif Dargah (ASD), Zardari had company in the form of his young son, Bilawal Bhutto, who is, at the tender age of 23, the occupant of the post of chairmanship of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), despite having exiguous active political experience. But possessing the Bhutto surname and having the Late Benazir Bhutto as your mother unburdens Bilawal from the requirement of hands-on political experience in Pakistan’s stormy, sectarian and toxic politics in order to become the chairman of the PPP. Zardari arrived in India with the prominent Pakistani Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, who is quite adept at offering the Indian political media access to him. Zardari sought connection with divinity on arriving at the ASD, which was, by then, surrounded by a high hill of security presence. Zardari’s fairly substantial grant of $5 million to the ASD, seemingly for the welfare of the ASD, was a gesture that must have been heartwarming for the ASD’s management.
There was a get-together in the Indian Prime Ministerial residence between the Indian PM, Manmohan Singh, and Zardari while the latter was en-route to Ajmer. As has become customary during such visits, the statements by the two leaders and the two nations’ delegations were symbolized by insipid and docile declarations of tranquil intentions. The two leaders pronounced that they had congeniality in their minds and hearts for the Indian and Pakistani populace. While such proclamations of warless intentions are indeed welcome from the Pakistani State’s head, one needs to refrain from forgetting that such idyllic pronouncements have been uttered in the recent history by Indian and Pakistani leaders.
There has, however, been no extermination in the Pakistani terrorist infrastructure despite these rosy and blissful statements of peace emanating from the Pakistani governments and political parties in the recent past. In fact, the numerical and infrastructural strength of Pakistani terrorism has only strengthened in the last few years, with a miscellany of outfits sprouting on Pakistani soil.

Pakistani school girls and pedestrian move away from the site of a bomb blast in Peshawar on January 3, 2012. Two separate bomb blasts in Pakistan's troubled northwest on January 3 killed five people and wounded 26 others, police said. (1/3/2112) AFP/Getty Images 
...Sunni-Shiite bloodshed
'Organisations' such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahedeen, which are conventional and ill-famed, have been joined by other Islamic fundamentalist outfits such as Sipah-e-Sahaba (SeS) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). Each of these is characterized by virulent inimicalness towards India, towards non-Muslims in India and towards secularism in India. The aspiration of these Sunni terrorist outfits is to ground an Islamic Sultanate/Caliphate in India with the decapitation of non-Islamic religions in India. The lethality and depravity of these outfits are so copious that they have limitless hatred for Shiite Muslims’ ideological structure as well. They regard the Shiites as unworthy heretical Muslims, who deserve the kismet of subjugation and extinction. The long-standing and grisly history of the massacres of the Shiites in Pakistan has been caused by militant outfits such as SeS and LeJ.
Afghani Shiites too have not been spared by these Sunni terror groups. The LeJ is strongly believed to have been involved in the terrorist assaults on Afghani Shiites on December 6 2011, when three macabre terrorist atrocities demolished Afghani urban areas simultaneously on the auspicious Shiite Ashura, which terminated 63-80 Shiite pilgrims. The frequent murders and pulping of Pakistani Shiites, more so during the Shiite sacred ceremonies in Pakistan, is a testament to the sectarian murderousness of these outfits’ philosophy. These terrorist organizations are there intact and are mushrooming, with charitable arms sprouting out of these terrorist outfits (Jamaat-ud-Dawa). The robust popular presence at the rallies of the Pakistani Islamic extremist leaders in different Pakistani cities demonstrates their healthy base. India can’t ignore this gruesome and insidious reality in the name of peace. India can’t let ignorant, self-destructive and illogical emotionalism dictate the course of her relationship with Pakistan.

The organized systematic genocide of Shiite Muslims in Pakistan
has claimed 58 lives and injured 67 during the month of January 2012 in 32 attacks. (source)

The perilously ultraconservative Islamists in Pakistan, with political ambitions, are led by the likes of Hafeez Saeed, against whom the Indian government and the convicted terrorist, David Headley, have presented intense evidence in relation to the insidious role of Saeed in the mastership of the Islamic terrorist atrocities in Mumbai in November 2008. The Pakistani ultra-conservatism is recognized for its straightforward and tacit compassionateness for the additional terrorist outfits like the Pakistani Taliban.
...leaders themselves under threat
The Pakistani ultraconservatives have even declared their antipathy for the likes of the former Pakistani autocrat, General Musharraf, for his ‘strategic proximity’ to the West in the ‘global conflict against Islamist terrorism.’ Musharraf is despised by the Pakistani Taliban and other acidic Sunni (Punjabi) terrorist outfits for various reasons, one being that he is a Mohajir i.e. an Urdu-speaking immigrant with Indian birth, who then migrated to Pakistan in the aftermath of the horrific British Indian partition. Of course, Musharraf’s dexterous positioning of Pakistan in alliance with the West in the ‘war on terror’ generated vitriol for him in the minds of these Pakistani terrorist outfits. Musharraf did cooperate, to a certain extent, with the West by handing over certain sinister anti Western terrorists to the Western authorities. These terrorists were related to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. No meaningful action was taken by him, however, to oust and cripple primarily anti-Indian terrorist outfits on Pakistani soil. Also, the substantiation that is emerging gradually demonstrates that the global Islamic terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, could have been dwelling in Pakistan from as early as 2005-2006 itself, at a moment when Musharraf was in power. Musharraf, being the dictator and the lord of the Pakistani army, ostensibly failed to notice the presence of this terrorist monster on Pakistani soil.

Hardline Islamic opposition against Musharraf (source)
The Pakistani espionage and intelligence community also failed to detect bin Laden hiding on Pakistani territory. It is difficult to swallow this proposition for many observers. Musharraf and his government repetitively assured the international community that bin Laden was not present on the Pakistani earth. But that was the case in May 2011, when bin Laden was liquidated on Pakistani soil by an outrageously gallant operation implemented by the American special military forces, much to the dismay of Pakistan. The operation to extinguish Laden was a surreptitious one.
Next Part: 'Chartable Outfits' or terror groups? Plus, Imran Khan's plans analysed.

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