Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics
Pakistanis demand answer, want to take down militant networks
It’s still not firmly established whether any Pakistan-based militant groups were involved in the failed car bombing in New York this month and there have been renewed suggestions that the suspect Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, may have been a lone wolf.
But this hasn’t stopped the soul-searching that Pakistanis have engaged in since the failed attack on May 1. Indeed, it’s not just the United States or other countries in the west urging Pakistan to act against militants; the Pakistanis are as forthright, if not more demanding that the whole ‘terrorist infrastructure” be taken down.
Here’s an excerpt from an editorial from The Dawn: “Sadly, our security establishment only acts when Pakistani or Pakistan-based militants attack or threaten to attack others and we, in turn, are threatened with “severe consequences”. These groups pose a danger to Pakistan more than to anyone else. When cornered they have no qualms about turning their guns on the state and its citizens. Created in the Zia era and nurtured by elements in the intelligence agencies, the jihadi infrastructure has spiralled out of control, and action is necessary before matters become even worse.”
The Daily Times said it was time Pakistan took on the Afghan Haqqani network operating out of North Waziristan, which has long been seen to be close to the Pakistani security establishment. “The Haqqani network, considered an ‘asset’ for Pakistan in its ‘strategic depth’ policy in a post-US Afghanistan, has been given a free hand for far too long now. Haqqani has not only given a safe haven to the al Qaeda leadership in North Waziristan but is also involved in providing assistance to the Punjabi terrorists.”
The newspaper also attacks the security authorities for failing to deal with the Pakistani Taliban decisively. ”The Pakistani Taliban have already wreaked havoc in our country, but their global terrorist aims should be a cause of concern for the government and the army. In the past we have either not paid much attention to their ties with global terrorist networks or have turned a blind eye to these collaborations. Now that a terror plot has been uncovered in the US and the involvement of our local Taliban is suspected, there should be no procrastination on this front.”
Pakistan must act for its own good, but if it didn’t the United States may well bomb North Waziristan itself, intensify the drone attacks, bring boots on the ground, or declare war against Pakistan in the worst-case scenario, the newspaper said. It reminds readers that the U.S. reaction to the attack on the Twin Towers in New York was an attack on Afghanistan.
Who says then Pakistan is in denial?