The Consortium Of Terror

 Hasan Abdullah

Despite hundreds of attacks and the deaths of thousands of Pakistanis, there is still a great deal of confusion about the number, nature and end goals of the militant organisations operating in Pakistan. For some, they remain figments of a fevered imagination. To others they are proxies of foreign powers.

This belief has not come out of the blue. It is part of an obscurantist narrative the state itself created and propagated. The problem with this narrative is that while it may have delegitimised some jihadi groups within public ranks, it is counter productive in the long run for a number of reasons. First of all, it fails to address the very ideology that promotes militancy and hence the state’s failure to present an effective counter-ideology. Secondly, the jihadi groups simply have to prove that the state-promoted narrative is a “baseless lie” to win recruits, as indicated by scores of interviews of jihadis. The fact is that these groups are very much in existence and the ones who carry out attacks against Pakistan’s civilians and armed forces have a clear and stated objective: to dominate and overthrow the Pakistani state.

Unfortunately, the state has also promoted a concept of “good” and “bad” militants. This narrative itself has been problematic. There are often strong links between the “good” and “bad” jihadis that also take the form of material, logistical, manpower and other support.

As Pakistan debates engaging the Islamist militants in the tribal areas and beyond, it is imperative that the policy-makers as well as the public understand the militant groups and their interrelations.

The following is an interactive of the militant landscape of Pakistan. Click on each group for more information:

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Are we wrong about Pakistan?

Daily Telegraph

When Peter Oborne first arrived in Pakistan, he expected a ‘savage’ backwater scarred by terrorism.

Years later, he describes the Pakistan that is barely documented – and that he came to fall in love with

It was my first evening in Pakistan. My hosts, a Lahore banker and his charming wife, wanted to show me the sights, so they took me to a restaurant on the roof of a town house in the Old City. Continue reading

A hidden world, growing beyond control

Washington Post

 The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

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The age of high-tech war: after Libya

Paul Rogers, 09th September 2011

There is intense rethinking in the Pentagon about the “war on terror”. The outcome of the Libyan conflict will reinforce its principal trends.

When Donald Rumsfeld was appointed George W Bush’s defence secretary in 2001, he had the clear aim of fighting wars with minimal “boots on the ground”. From that point, the United States would fight its enemies mainly from the air and the sea. This vision of a high-tech military age saw armies as increasingly redundant. Continue reading

Sectarian killings

The fight against Lashkar-i-Jhangvi is part of the country`s larger battle against the Taliban who have declared war on the state and people of Pakistan. The enemy is ruthless and indifferent to human suffering and innocent deaths, and targets school buses, hospitals and funerals without any qualms of conscience. While the government has to operate within the sphere of the law, these constraints should not deter the state in its resolve to stamp out terrorism in all its forms and give protection to the people. is your source for the latest breaking news, current events and top stories from Pakistan, South Asia and the world.

via Sectarian killings.

Killing “faith ” is impossible

Dr Irfan Zafar

North Waziristan has a total area of 4,707 km2 with an estimated Population of 361,246. Pakistan has a total area of 796,095 km2 with a population of around 170,600,000 and United States covers an area of 9,826,657 km2 with an estimated population of 308,745,538. Unites States forces are ranked 3rd in the world with 1,477,896 active personnel. Pakistan maintains the 7th largest army with 617,000 personnel. Ever wondered what is so powerful about North Waziristan with a handful of terrorists making the 3rd and the 7th largest Armies in the world being pushed against the wall? Continue reading

To market with terrorism

Jawed Naqvi

THE fiendish worldview of Norway’s mass murderer shares a range of features with right-wing ideologues everywhere, not just with Hindu extremism, which he sees as an ally in a delusionary war with Muslims and Marxists.

His hatred of Muslims may betray a narrow communal bias. But then, all religious extremists hate rival religions.

It is Anders Behring Breivik’s hatred of Marxists, not so much of a religious foe, that betrays far more in common with Europe’s right-wing movements of the 1920s and after. And here the root is not spiritual but purely material, the kind that usually finds wide support from a combination of existing feudal and capitalist elites. Continue reading

Pakistan: Low rate of terrorists’ conviction worries military

Islamabad, 13 June (AKI/Dawn) – Pakistani military authorities have expressed serious concern over what they call dismally low rate of terrorist convictions by courts throughout the country and have asked the government to see if some necessary changes could be made in relevant laws, Dawn has learnt through reliable sources. Continue reading

‘New kind of militant’ behind Pakistan Karachi attack

By Syed Shoaib Hasan BBC News, Karachi  

The deadly 15-hour siege on Pakistan’s Mehran naval airbase in Karachi on Monday was carried out by attackers with military-level training, raising suspicions they had inside help.

Questions are being asked about the security of Pakistan’s vital military installations after a well-organised group of gunmen held off Pakistan’s equivalent of the US Navy Seals – the Special Services Group-Navy (SSG-N) – for 15 hours. Continue reading

Waziristan Strategy or Pakistan Strategy?

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By Vision21

Part II

Pakistan is at war. In this war the whole of the country has become a battlefield. This war is being fought as much within our cities as on the frontlines of the militant areas. This war is not merely a military battle. Rather it is an attack on our very foundations, diverse cultural system, social value system, intellectual milieu and for want of better term, an attack on the progressive and forward looking interpretations of Islam. Therefore, it has become a war for the very survival of people, a war which we must win. But this war has to be fought and won on the several different fronts. Without that military action alone will not work and may result in huge blowback.

In the first part of this article, we have laid out briefly the significance of the ongoing war in Waziristan as a symbol of the paradigm of destruction and the threat to the future of Pakistan’s stability and meaning. In Pakistan there exist two main conditions of a sudden social change. There is absence of law and order and a completely broken and fragmented educational system, which has produced fault lines in the social order of this country. Unfortunately it is anarchic Taliban who have become champion of social change. But it is a pretense only. And it is a negative pretense. The need is that a positive and forward looking socio-political agent should lead this social change.

The long stretched scenario of the war on terror and its effects have created an environment of fear and insecurity, for the average Pakistanis who are caught between existence and survival. The state that promises them law and order and access to safe and secure life remains invisible. The authority to curb the evil of terrorism has been ceded solely to the military, with no civilian leadership. There is lack of society-welfare-oriented approach to deal with the menace of terrorism.  Due to the absence of any such strategy, the gap has been filled with the militants feeding off the local population. The discontent of the local people with education, governance and lack of economic opportunities, have given space to the nihilistic interpretation of Islamic teachings…Click here for complete article

Summary of problems stated in Part I
In the part one of Waziristan Strategy we discussed various factors that have led to the
present dismal and critical situation in Waziristan. Before we move on to present the
second part of the article, we will briefly reiterate the summary of the problems that we
had identified here for our readers. We can classify these problems under three
headings, that can be a spring board for providing an in depth analysis of the crises and
help us in formulating a strategy for successful solution.
Ideological challenges
􀂃 Pakistani State’s overarching role and obsessive desire in defining and
sponsoring meaning of Islam and Pakistan. Militant outfits starting to represent
State and its policies resulting into internecine wars and growth of private militias
􀂃 skewed interpretation of Islam by various factions- distortion of the meaning of
Islam and Pakistan
􀂃 religious vigilantism: no room for diversity of opinion-religious intolerance
􀂃 various ethnic, religious and regional identities
􀂃 support of religious extremism in all parts of country- extremist mindset
􀂃 ‘devout bourgeoisie’ extremist mindset
Constitutional deficits
􀂃 no political space and only a very restricted social space available to people
􀂃 Disenfranchisement of the average Pakistani
􀂃 incompetence and failure of State institutions-
Socioeconomic failures.
􀂃 Poverty and illiteracy
􀂃 social and economic inequality and injustice making the people’s plight
􀂃 decadent feudal lords and corrupt civil and military bureaucracy
􀂃 inept foreign policy
􀂃 lack of governance and lack of political will