Contrary to the general perception, terrorism was started in South West Asia long before the Soviets invasion of Afghanistan. It was State terrorism then and State terrorism now. It is an obscured notion that they are Non-State actors; they are assets of States but not publically owned by them.
Though as such, terrorism is as old as human being, going back to the days of Adam’s son Qabil and Habil according to Abrahamic religions. Pakistan’s spy masters were involved in Afghanistan, since its inception. Afghanistan refusal to recognize it in its original form was the bone of contention from the beginning. Before partition of India it was one land for trade, communications and culture sharing. Afghanistan’s problem started, when Pakistan came into being cutting the trade, cultural and person to person links.
The present crisis started when the USA and UK found new interest in the heart of Asia for geo-strategic reasons, after initial rebuff by the USA in 1953. Mr. Raegan and Mrs. Thatcher; found a loyal illegitimate subcontractor who wanted to do anything for legitimization, in Gen. Zia. The relations were not good anyway, but worsened, when the leftist took over in Afghanistan and a radical dictator, Gen Zia took over the reins of Pakistan, after hanging the elected premier.
Joint state terrorism or unholy war was started by the USA, UK, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. The first two wanted to stab the non-godly white beer in the belly, to avenge for Vietnam and stop southward spread out of the USSR towards warm water. The Central Asian untapped resources was an added attraction. Pakistan had its own interests but were too secretive about its designs.
Pakistan’s extensive nefarious objectives were to achieve strategic depth, the most essential requisite they realized in 71 war with India and a need to replace its outdated sabers to achieve strategic balance in South West Asia, to build Islamic Bomb being the self- proclaimed fortress of Islam and to liberate Kashmir and Khalistan. This deluded conception made them paranoid.
Though the first adventure was carried out by Pakistan in 1948 by using tribal and militia of northern states in Kashmir with relative success and made them determined. Though the idea of terrorism as a state policy was simmering under the surface of ideology of Pakistan, was waiting for Gen Zia to be born. In-spite of humiliation in Dacca the rulers couldn’t get rid of this delusion. As the Ex- Ambassador of Pakistan in the US Mr. Haqqani said while surrender ceremony was going on in Dacca, the Dawn banner Head line read, Victory on all Fronts.
It was during Zia time that the radicalization and indoctrination of educational syllabus was started and gradually engulfed the society at large and army was radicalized, on the pattern of Saudi Arabia. ISI was expanded, besides intelligence and counterintelligence, the new job was to produce and recruit terrorists. It became a long veritable arm of the establishment.
The seminaries were opened across the country to radicalize the marginalized section of the society and import foreign radicals. The brain wash was done in the sleeper’s cells in the Punjab area and for practical training a huge area in the tribal belt was designated, as a firing range. There was no lack of cash and kind; poverty and illiteracy provided the excellent climate. The investment was running in billions mostly coming from the USA and Saudi Arabia and is still flowing unabatedly. According to the State Department the share of investment by Saudi and the US was almost equal. Saudis were investing in seminaries and in Jihadi philosophy; while the USA in armed forces.
Geneva accord was signed; demanding Soviet withdrawal, broad based government, embargo of weapons to all warring factions. The peace was torpedoed by Gen Zia by torching the dump of ammunition in Ojhri camp in Islam-Abad, dismissing his premier; Mr. Junejo, while he was about to land at Islam-Abad returning from a foreign tour and blunt refusal by Zia to stop arm supply to the terrorist which took American diplomats by surprise. (Ref. The Envoy)
With achievement of their objective both the USA and UK packed off and left the holy land to unholy fighters. Hizbs failure resulted in Taliban uprising from Qandahar. Al- Qaeda also moved to Afghanistan after being thrown out of Sudan, to establish its GHQ for international terrorism in Kabul.
The 9/11 was the second Pearl Harbor for the US strategists. With the tacit support of Pak Army, the US Navy launched a devastating attack on Afghanistan resulting in the overthrow of Taliban’s government followed by the deployment of the N.A.T.O. ground forces led by the USA. OBL escaped twice with the help of ISI from the claws of the US army. The N.A.T.O. army was deployed in Afghanistan led by the US to stabilize the region and have an election. Realizing their failure they decided for phase withdrawal and to leave a token force, to train the Afghan national army. A country that was never colonized during two world wars was occupied by the foreign forces, in the name of religion.
Dollars in billion and hi-tech advanced armory were given to Pakistan, with the hope that Pakistan will resolve the situation by launching “War on Terror”. No one was in the misconception that Pakistan will ever abandon his obsession except the US policy makers. The huge investment by the US policy maker in Pakistan without comprehending that it will not be an easy task to wean off Pakistan from the deluded obsession to abandon “Terrorism” as a State Policy unless they achieve their dream of strategic depth and ‘liberation’ or ‘occupation’ of Kashmir.
It was no secret that Pakistan is home to terrorists from all over the world and exporter too. The safe havens, sleeper cells, financier were States and well off Islamists. The supply line was going through thickly populated cities with the tacit support of well-placed personalities, dynasties, mainstream sectarian political parties under the strict surveillance of ISI. Over the years the number of seminaries and students was rising steeply but were not only ignored but supported by the State. Most of the seminaries were on payroll of ISI, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. The local financier was an added advantage mostly from Punjab and Karachi.
There was a bee line of the US and UK officials, visiting Islam Abad, Raiwand and 09 at Karachi. Peshawar and Quetta were completely ignored and so were the political parties. At times it was amazing to watch the fire brigades running in opposite direction to Lahore and Karachi, while Pashtun belt was on fire. One could least expect this approach from a sole super power with enormous ring of spy masters, to be that naïve. My gut feelings were that covertly geostrategic game was at play; parallel to the overt diplomacy. It was to say humanism was a second priority.
It is not at all conceivable or comprehensible, that after killing the ring master, OBL, in the garrison town of Pakistan subsequently two of the top leaders of the TTP, followed by droning of the big fish, Mullah Mansour inside Pakistan, with Pakistani travelling documents, still Geo-Strategic consideration will have priority . Mansour was returning from Iran after collection of donations and sale of Heroin and opium to keep the Engine of death rolling. Subsequent mourning by Pakistani establishment and its key allies on the death of Chief terrorist, followed overt invasion on Islam-Abad by the mourners, financier and sympathizer of the terrorist and keeping Dr. Afridi, behind bars were all an open commitment of the State to the policy of Terrorism, as a vital organ of the state. Aforementioned events were ample proofs for the US administration to take appropriate action. It was this casual attitude by the so called democratic world towards Pakistan and the high handedness of Pak Army to Pashtun that the popularity graph of Pak army and the USA had a nose down crash. I am yet to meet a Pashtun/ Afghan who blames Taliban for any carnage but ISI.
Hillary Clinton remarks in Lahore,” If you want to keep snakes in your backyard it is all right for us but you can’t teach them to bite neighbors only.” The US Joint Chief of Staff was blunt to ask Gen Kiyani on US flotilla,” tell us that you don’t want to do it or you are not capable to do it?” Did these two top officials of the US hierarchy had an answer from Pak establishment? It leaves one in no doubt that Geo-Strategic cow is sacred then humanity.
After the massacre of little children in Army Public School in Peshawar, Pak Army decided to take action willingly or unwillingly, is a guessing game. In dire circumstances all political parties took a dire decision to give army a free hand in the frame of “National Action Plan”, consisting of 20 clauses. According to Pakistani presser; hardly 2 or 3 clauses were applied selectively, discriminately in selected areas inhibited by Pashtun and Baluch. Why the establishment failed to apply all the points and across the country, when 99% HQs were located in Punjab, that makes 64% of Pakistan? Was the USA not aware of the covert deal between the Chief Minister of Punjab and terrorists or they didn’t read the documents recovered from OBL compound? Didn’t they read the documents recovered from OBL compound?
Zarbe Asab was Zarbe Ghazab for us, with abundantly clear aim to push FATA, KPK, Baluchistan and Afghanistan well beyond the Stone Age. It was highly selective, discriminatory and biased operation one could think of. During the war on terror not a stray dog from the Punjab was hit.
The APS school tragedy was followed by attacks on Bacha Khan University, District Courts in Mardan and complete wipe out one educated generation in Quetta, where Taliban Shura share the city with Southern command of Pak Army.
The whole population of Fata was internally displaced and were dumped in the camps at the mercy of the harsh currents of nature, sizzling heat of summer and freezing cold of the winter. The irony is that it did not stop here, they were asked to protect the border or in case of any laps they should be ready for collective punishment. Do they deserve this treatment? The lapses in our country’s security, were conveniently forgotten, nor the concerned were punished, if my memory doesn’t fail me? Is there any place in the highly sensitive areas of establishment, not visited by our darling Terrorists? Why is this discrimination? What are they paid for by the nation? Is it humane?
After refusal of seven F-16 by the US, the poor Afghan refugees bore the brunt of Army anger with total disregard for international law based on ethnic predisposition. They kept on milking refugees for 42 years, when the refugee’s factor could not deliver seven more F-16, repatriation by force with harassment and humiliation were the accompanying factors. What was the point to tamper with the border which was dormant and porous from colonial days? It was to strangulate Afghans economically on both sides. We have no industry on either side. Fifty percent of our population is internally or externally displaced at any given time. Is it not prejudice, duality and deceit?
Mr. McCann should have visited Fata unofficially to have witnessed the reality? How discriminative were the strikes? How carefully and biasedly the hide outs were targeted. Our national losses are unparalleled, taking in to account the total loss to Pakistan in last 42 years and many more in last 15 years. It is not a bias from actualities, if I say; Pakistan has gained, what they could never imagine by our blood.
Indians can speak for themselves but we have been pushed back by another century; when we were already kept behind in human race in last 69 years of new Islamic colonialism.
So for I was thinking that the only country being run on duality and deceit is Pakistan. I had no idea that the so called civilized democratic world has the same principle. To them, humanity is the second priority to Geo-political and Geo-strategic gains. Even if that factor is so important Pakistan cannot enjoy it without Peace in Pashtun Area.
Pakistan’s establishment paranoid concern in CPEC is a manifestation of strategic importance to counter the US ambitions in South China Sea, it is not just a trade corridor to bring prosperity to the common man. The reaction to this manifestation is visible in civil- military strained relations.
It is not conceivable for any sane mind that the American administration was/ is unaware of all this; they knew, where their tax payer money is being used by a rogue and terrorist state. Why not call spade a spade and bring an end to human miseries and peace across the globe. Will you??
Writer: Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam
The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at
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