Jaish building new base in Pakistan’s south Punjab-report

September 13, 2009

Saeed Shah at McClatchy has an interesting story about Jaish-e-Mohammad, an al Qaeda linked militant group, building a big new base in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

The group, which was blamed for killing U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl and for an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001, already has a headquarters in the town of Bahawalpur in south Punjab.

But Shah writes that it has now walled off a big new compound outside the town. The new facility, he says, is surrounded by a high brick and mud wall, has a tiled swimming pool, stabling for more than a dozen horses, an ornamental fountain and even swings and a slide for children.

“There are jihadist inscriptions painted on the inside walls, including a proclamation that “Jaish-e-Mohammad will return”, alongside a picture of Delhi’s historic Red Fort, implying further terrorist attacks against the Indian capital,” he says. 

It’s unclear what the new base is meant to be used for – Shah quotes Jaish and Pakistani officials as saying that the facility, which is still under construction, is simply a small farm to keep cattle.

What is clear is that many countries have an interest in what is happening with the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

The group was set up in 2000 after its founder, Maulana Masood Azhar, was released by India in return for the freeing of passengers aboard an Indian Airlines plane hijacked from Kathmandu to Kandahar in Afghanistan.  While its focus was on fighting in Indian Kashmir, it had links to Afghanistan dating back to the militant campaign against the Soviet occupation.  Shah says in his article that Jaish and other Punjab-based militant groups now recruit and train thousands of young men to fight western forces in Afghanistan.

“Bahawalpur also serves as a safe “R&R” stopover for jihadists battling in Afghanistan,” Shah quotes western intelligence officers as saying. “In Bahawalpur, militants can rest and recuperate away from the U.S. unmanned aerial drones that patrol Pakistan’s tribal area in the northwest.”

British nationals of Pakistani origin involved in militancy have also been linked to Jaish, making the group a major worry for the British government. These include Omar Sheikh, who was released along with Maulana Azhar after the Kathmandu to Kandahar hijacking and later convicted of organising Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping; and Rashid Rauf, accused of masterminding the plot to bring down multiple airliners over the Atlantic.

India, which has demanded Pakistan take action against the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group accused of involvement in last year’s attack on Mumbai, is also pushing for it to crack down on Jaish-e-Mohammad. Like Jaish, the LeT is also based in Pakistan’s Punjab province; unlike Jaish its focus has remained on targetting India. And while Jaish has been blamed for attacks inside Pakistan, including an attempt to assault then president Pervez Musharraf, the LeT is not believed to be behind any attacks on Pakistan.

Maulana Azhar has also been reported to have acted as the link between al Qaeda and Islamist militants who attacked U.S. forces in Somalia in 1993.

And if that is not already complicated enough, there are serious concerns about the danger posed to Pakistan itself from militants based in south Punjab.

(Reuters file photos: Maulana Azhar; the hijacked Indian Airlines plane at Kandahar; Rashid Rauf)

Comments

Pakistan has and will be a state sponsor of jihadist terror.Jaish-e-Mohammad or Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, they are all creations of the Pakistani military establishment and as long as the Generals are allowed to play a double game, Pakistan will continue to be global terror central.The fact that a group like Jaish is allowed to grow even after splinter groups attacked Pakistan’s own people shows to the extent which Pakistani GHQ sees terror as a useful policy tool.Only another 9/11 and the threat of global sanctions will force Pakistani Generals to come clean.

Posted by RT | Report as abusive
 

Black berry lover Obama/US realizes that A-Q can work from Somalia or Yemen or some apartment builidng using laptop, but these JeM LeT brand terorist groups still operate from Pakistan and are future A-Qs. US/NATO especially UK must be short-sighted not to eliminate these guys.And let me tell you this is gonna be a cake walk for Obama and friends unilateral action or better via Pak Army. Take India’s help. They must be itching against these guys. If Pakistan is of no more help to US, Pakistan is dispensable or ask them to eliminate their friends (like they were asked to do with Taliban and by extension A-Q.)Obama must be short-sighted not to eliminate these groups.

Posted by Ty | Report as abusive
 

This is exactly the reason why drones need to be flying & striking terrorists, not just in NWFP but also in Punjab, which houses dangerous groups like JeM, LeT & many more. Unless the war on terror is not taken to the Pakistani heartland of Punjab, it simply can’t be won. I hope that after cleaning up NWFP, the drone network is expanded to Punjab & other Pakistani provinces, wherever terror havens exist.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

The JeM and LeT were groups banned way back in 2002 by former President Musharraf. I am from northern Punjab but have travelled to Southern Punjab once back around 2002, in Sadiqabad-Rahim Yar Khan; southern most Punjabi towns before the Sindh border. It might be true that Punjab is a huge province and southern Punjab is not very prosperous. The only option is a strong central government in Islamabad with a strong writ all over Pakistan including tribal areas. Peaceful relations and resolution of disputes with India, fair treatment by western allies not betrayal after betrayal. Bringing the Madrassas into mainstream and registering them properly, the Ministry of Religious affairs has already done that. I would say JeM is rather victims of Soviet Afghan war, first they were radicalized and used against Soviets then declared enemies. Now they need to be rehabilitated, their thinking changed, a new kind of Jihad must be waged in Southern Punjab, one against poverty, ignorance, illetracy, government should help in modernising agriculture sector there.The US and UK can help themselves by increasing student visa quotas, and give scholarship opportunitites to the students from this disadvantaged region. This is only way to tackle the threat emenating from southern Punjab. The irony is Pakistan was used for war against the Soviets and later dumped. this time a long term and sustained campaigned is needed to turn around serious challenging threats.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

What is news in this whole article?All material is out dated borrowed from old opinion pieces.Rewriting borrowing material from similar articles has become a cheap ticket for starving self styled journalists for getting published in western media.Shah seems to be doing exactly the same; serving western appetite with stale food with a fresh topping of compound renovation news.Addition of swimming pool, horse stable and children’s swings seems to me more like a vacation center then a terrorist training base.

Posted by AAfromUSA | Report as abusive
 

It’s interesting. Myra can see Maulana Azhar from US and locate his home, but Pakistani Govt can’t see him or find him.It has been 10 years since the Indian plane hijacking and Indian Govt has been asking Pakistan for last 10 years to arrest/prosecute this terrorist. But Pakistan Govt can’t locate him. And Maulana Azhar continues live free, collect donations and build new bases next to Pakistan army base in Lahore.

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive
 

I think that is why Indian government invited the ISI chief for Iftaar. The congressis threw this party to congratulate Pasha on this new center. I feel proud when I come to know the royal treatment sponsors of murder and jehad get utilizing taxes Bharatwasis pay. I think entire Bharatwasi will agree wholeheartedly and cough up more and more taxes this coming year. I get the funny feeling of secularism bubbling inside me and taking me to a paradise undefined when I know our money is being used to keep terror sponsorers and congressis + incompetent or impotent politicians fat and thick. I hope these guys soon become sickular and not remain secular.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

I think this is all a hogwash by a journalist. There is no truth to a story of a training camp being set up there. If that was the case, the Americans would be swift to check on their satellites if it is true. So far nothing has happened and it is just a figment of your imagination.Another 9/11 can not happen now under the nose of the Pakistani Government.

Posted by Ahmad Tariq | Report as abusive
 

Soman”It has been 10 years since the Indian plane hijacking and Indian Govt has been asking Pakistan for last 10 years to arrest/prosecute this terrorist. But Pakistan Govt can’t locate him.”-It has been 62 years that India hijacked Kashmir and Pakistan has been asking India for last 62 years to settle down the Kashmir dispute but to no avail. If you think India is strong enough to keep Kashmir by force and every time shrug off, Pakistan too is under no obligation to act in a certain way India wants.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Cattle farm………. harmless and sponsored by the Pakistani SPCA for which the Jaish is probably a front!The fact remains that Pakistan has the US exactly where it wants…powerless and toothless in stopping it from continuing with its jehadi factories. Sensing the growing fatigue in the US from the Afghan war, it is waiting for the US to do another Vietnam and Iraq, and leave Pakistan to cultivate the Taliban and more fanatics to spread venom and destruction in Afghanistan and the region.Add to this – Musharaf’s latest confession on misusing US aid and defying the US to take note. Maybe some senator or Mr Biden will now come out with a new brain wave of an even bigger aid package for its staunch and loyal ally.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

@All material is out dated borrowed from old opinion pieces.- Posted by AAfromUSA–NOTHING WRONG HERE. Shah’s article is dated Sept 13th, the news is significant to whosoever is concerned, the blog “Pakistan: Now or Never” is the perfect place for discussing all relevant scattered articles. View this in background of the fact that “China is THE ONLY COUNTRY in the Security Council which is blocking sanctions on the JeM and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar.” It cites technical reasons. China does not bat an eyelid to kill Muslims or Budhists inside China and sleeping on JeM! Why? China cites technical hitches (!). They also need more evidence perhaps–sounds familiar? Are these terrorists groups being protected by Pakistan through China? Yes they are.http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/2009081 3/808/tnl-china-cites-technical-hitches- for-no.htmlUmair says “Peaceful relations and resolution of disputes with India, fair treatment by western allies not betrayal after betrayal” as one of the many reasons that JeM is proliferating.Umair: This is called condoning these terrorists. They are the reasons for the dispute. Take them out and problems will be solved. Reach a stage where India has no reason to complain and has to solve the disputes. India is moving in this direction. BTW, JeM is of interest to other nations too.@I would say JeM is rather victims of Soviet Afghan war, first they were radicalized and used against Soviets then declared enemies. Now they need to be rehabilitated, their thinking changed.-by Umair.Umair, Be reasonable. The Soviet exit happened in 1989. The fighters like Mullah Omar (example) who participated in that war is in 50s now. same for others. Do you think the fighters of that time are still sitting and can strike and run. They might be alive but not good enough to be Fidayeen in Indian Parliament attack or others. Mumbai Pakistani squad was in 20s. So new terrorists are churned out of Madrasas using foreign funding and pak-state sponsoring by siphoning the money from aid.All these terrorists were free flowing population from Afghanistan to POK, and making merry when ISI ruled Afghanistan via Taliban. Terrorists training camps were shared by A-Q with terrorists against Kashmir/India. Do yourself a favor and read some reliable books like of your countryman Ahmed Rashid or his articles. The fact is ISI has sponsored all these brands of terrorists via Saudi money and other funding. With such riches, they will laugh at your idea of their rehabilitation; they might suggest that to you. The solution is the REAL Jihad (internal strife by Pakistan and Pakistanis) by religious people like you–giving any sympathetic ear to these terrorists is condoning their Fassad. Kashmir, Palestine, West are excuses by the terrorists and their sympathizers.Rohit: Your sickular stuff is beyond me.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Rohit,Can you please stop attacking secularism?India is not going to sacrifice secularism to fight with terrorism. India was secular 1000 years back when there was no Pakistan or Azhar and India will be secular when there will be no Pakistan or Azhar!

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive
 

as a muslim, i am sick and tired of these so called “jihadi”groups and their nonsense. if pakistan clearly sees what is happening, they need to go and do something about it. if not, then don’t cry if U.S drones go and bomb it or india takes action themselves. these jiahdi groups are pieces of garbage, they do not represent islam at all and pakistan is no longer an islamic country but a terrorist country. they decided to get in bed with the saudis and invite this type of extremisim into the country.thousands of shias, sufis and non-muslim pakistanis have been killed at the hands of these idiots. this is getting out of hand.

Posted by hassan | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan asks India to share information on terrorist plothttp://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20 09-09/14/content_12052084.htmDo Pakistanis read news online? Everything is on the web or news papers. What more info do they need to close this training center?Is it lack of info or lack of will or active collaborators?

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive
 

Pakistan too is under no obligation to act in a certain way India wants.- Posted by UmairThank you! You just confirmed again what everybody has been saying for a long time. How can Pakistan get rid of it’s own children!

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive
 

UMAIR, AAfromUSA, OTHER PAKISTANI COMMENTERS, MORTAL, DARA, ROHIT, SOMAN, GLOBAL WATCHER, BULLETFISH, SINGH, NIKHIL AND OTHER INDIAN COMMENTERS:Umair esepcially you:Do you want to have a meaningful uninterrupted discussion with some direction and of some value to the time wasted here by bringing in terrorism by JeM, K- B- issues but centred around the blog.So far it is the same repeat–statements/counterstatements and when no answer people run away.No heat, no abusive language–anyone itching for it can chill for some time and come back later. nothing religious abusive language other than religious fundamentalism of anykind. any religion.BUT NO RUNNING AWAY. TAKE TIME BUT COME BACK, IF NOT OR WANT TO LEAVE INDICATE YOUR EXIT.Who’s in?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Rashid Rauf ‘training dozens of British terrorist recruits in Pakistan’http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news  /worldnews/asia/pakistan/6184087/Rashid -Rauf-training-dozens-of-British-terrori st-recruits-in-Pakistan.htmlRashid Rauf, the terrorist linked to the trans-Atlantic airline bomb plot, bas been involved in grooming two dozen British recruits to carry out new attacks.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive
 

AND ALSO USE REFERENCE TO SUPPORT THE SERIOUS CLAIMS.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Is US aiding and investing in these new bases?Musharraf admits US aid divertedhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south _asia/8254360.stm

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive
 

Umair says:”The US and UK can help themselves by increasing student visa quotas, and give scholarship opportunitites to the students from this disadvantaged region. This is only way to tackle the threat emenating from southern Punjab.”–>Your short sighted thoughts leave me gasping and astonished. Why is the responsibility of democratic nations to give free health care and education to your socio-economic and underprivileged, why don’t you Pakistani’s take care of your own and share money, land, privileges and opportunities more equally with all of your Pakistani’ citizens, rather than shifting the responsibility and blame onto others? You can forget it, you have created an underprivileged class in Pakistan, be it terrorist south punjabi’s you created and used them, you fix them, you educated them, you take care of them, don’t send your trouble to us, we don’t want it, thank you, it is YOUR job to educate them, NOT US, they are YOURS!”JeM, is a victim of Soviet invasion”–>The inertia of blame and playing victim has no depths from the mind of Pakistani’s. Do you also feel that Mullah Omar is a victim? Do you feel that Taliban leaderBaitullah Mehsud is a victim. By the JeM being a victim, you MUST also fee that Osama Bin Laden is a victim. You have shown your true terrorist sympathizing thoughts on this blog, thanks for being honest about that. As an educated northern punjabi, you and many like you support Osama bin laden, morally and probably otherwise, you said implicitly said you did, by making JeM into a “victim”.In among 170,000 million people, is there one Pakistan there, even one, who is capable to look beyond blame and finger pointing and take responsibility for oneself?The world is tired of excuses and tired of bank rolling people from other countries who are unpatriotic, collect welfare, free healthcare and still chant death to their host country and and death against Kaffirs, while living off of tax payer dollars. The anger and resentment will erupt and be uncontainable in democratic societies, we are friendly, accepting and understanding, but we do have our limits and we are not fools, when those who live off our taxpayer dollars condemn our way of life and inflict terrorism upon us, a day of reckoning of a sort will come and “the chickens will come home to roost”.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

No trial, Saudis assure Musharrafhttp://www.dailytimes.com.pk/de fault.asp?page=20099\14\story_14-9-2009_ pg1_1Who runs this country! Pakistanis or Saudis?No surprise this is the terrorist capital of the world!

Posted by Noor | Report as abusive
 

AZAD: you too.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Umair you said -”If you think India is strong enough to keep Kashmir by force and every time shrug off, Pakistan too is under no obligation to act in a certain way India wants.”I assume the above is a partial response to taking action/handing over of terrorists wanted by India.It is common wisdom that good company improves while bad company depraves you. Pakistan is already facing issues with respect to the bad company in the form of militants and terroorists it keeps.Compare this with the extraordiary lengths the US goes to attract the best talent anywhere in the world and lo you see how US become such a great country to live and flourish in.Your hate for India probably subsumes your love for your country men and you are wrongly thinking this as valour or spirited defence.Well, you are welcome to keep our scum. If you need more, please let us know and we would be more than happy to send you all our criminals black sheep.I for, one would like to see India flourish for all its tolerant and talented people.Jai Hind

 

Finally, US realized! Drones are not enough!US is going to put another 45000 soldiers on Pakistani border to clean the FATA and border mess. US is not going to fight in Afghanistan, but in Pakistan and only Pakistan.When is US going to Lahore to clean the mess there?http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connec t/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/0 9-us-to-engage-militants-near-pakistan-b order–szh-05

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive
 

Looking for some honest Pakistanis …India not our enemyhttp://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_det ail.asp?id=198317Pak started war with India in 1965, but achieved nothing: Ex-NSA Durrani”Pak’s intrusions on borders triggered 1965 war”http://blog.taragana.com/n/pak-start ed-war-with-india-in-1965-but-achieved-n othing-durrani-167619/

Posted by Sunder | Report as abusive
 

3 Pak-origin men sentenced to life for Trans-Atlantic terror plothttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8 254156.stmThree Pakistan-origin Muslims were on Monday sentenced to life for plotting to kill thousands of people by blowing up trans-Atlantic flights with liquid bombs in a conspiracy that was “controlled, monitored and funded from Pakistan”"Pakistan controlled’ British terrorists get 108 years”http://www.thaindian.com/newsporta l/world-news/pakistan-controlled-british -terrorists-get-108-years-lead_100247409 .htmlStruggle for free food claims 18 lives in Karachihttp://news.xinhuanet.com/english  /2009-09/14/content_12051335.htmEight killed in US drone attack in North Waziristan”Third such drone attack in a week, killing more than 50 people”http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/conne ct/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakist an/07-drone-attack-kills-four-in-north-w aziristan-officials-ha-02Pakistani troops kill 28 militantshttp://www.earthtimes.org/artic les/show/285630,us-drone-pakistani-troop s-kill-28-militants–summary.htmlSomeone from India Kashmir was volunteering to go to Pakistan. Can you step forward please! Pakistan needs you.

Posted by Ramin | Report as abusive
 

RajeevI am in for a cool and calm discussion with you, let me explain the link between the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and groups like JeM, LeT etc. See the pattern below:USA-CIA-AFGHANISTAN-USSR (1980-88)PAK-ISI-KASHMIR-INDIA   (1989-98)The US lured USSR into Afghanistan, working behind the scenes, US Natl security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Charlie Wilson etc visit Pakistan and Brezinski addresses Mujahideen at the Khyber pass( I will post you the Youtube video link) Charlie Wilson visit Mujahideen training camps. Mujahideen complain lack of Surface to air armament and US despatches 2000 stingers via ISI. Money and empowerment ISI(taqat ka nasha). The dirty American ideas and tricks were quickly learnt by ISI.Later, from 1988/89s onwards Kashmir replaced Afghanistan, ISI replaced CIA, and India replaced USSR. ISI waged its own little cold war against India, using same tactics it was taught by the CIA to take on the mighty USSR next door in Afghanistan. And for ISI that was a piece of cake during that time, they would have thought (leaving certain unexpected events) with a sustained campaign the liberation of Kashmir and seperation of Indian Punjab is merely a few years away. Settling the scores of 1971 war too. Had Pakistan been taking all these decisions through parliamentary debate, there wouldn’t have been this mess today.Are you with me, you must question the US too. In Pakistan there is a great sense of betrayal also for all this. Why was Pakistan used, the Soviet Afghan war flooded Pakistan with refugees, AK-47s, drugs and empowerment of ISI where democracy was totally ruined.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

hassan, you said:”as a muslim, i am sick and tired of these so called “jihadi”groups and their nonsense. if pakistan clearly sees what is happening, they need to go and do something about it. if not, then don’t cry if U.S drones go and bomb it or india takes action themselves. these jiahdi groups are pieces of garbage, they do not represent islam at all and pakistan is no longer an islamic country but a terrorist country. they decided to get in bed with the saudis and invite this type of extremisim into the country.thousands of shias, sufis and non-muslim pakistanis have been killed at the hands of these idiots. this is getting out of hand.”–>Thank you Hassan, you are a responsible, but loyal and civilized Muslim, Umair, other northern Punjabi’s and southern ones, take note. Thank you for taking responsibility and admitting that Islamic Militants are garbage, because that is what they are.Pakistan is struggling to form its identity. Until now, its sole identity is hatred of India and annexing land any way that they can, to heal their bruised ego.We need more like Hassan to make Pakistan a responsible, secular, moderate Nation of citizens with zero tolerance towards Extremism and jihadi proxy armies.When I hear stories like yours, it gives me hope that one day I can take my children to visit GawalMundi in Lahore, where my great grandfather, a well respected hindu doctor there raised his children, before partition. Many of his patients were poor muslims, whom he treated without charge.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Being outside of sub-continent help me review from outside of the frame set by establishment in each of the countries. However, when I do content analysis of the posts in blogs like this one, it seems to me that Indians hardly question their politicians or officials. They buy all garb at its face value.Every single post here represent rhetorical official stance about negotiations. All Indian participants are attempting to prove that Pakistan is a terrorist state, it’s a failed state, it’s a power less administration or it’s at the brink of collapse.There is no pragmatic thinking in any of these posts. Let us assume, for a second, Pakistan is all what is posted here, what is the realistic action plan to make things better for India, assuming Pakistan is not going to do anything on its side.Pakistan sees only way to counter Indian hegemony is by turning a blind eye towards stateless actors. Assume they even support such actors. How could we eliminate the menace? (War is not an option since it had been tried disregarding which side initiated it).I think enough blaming; it is time for serious thinking. Pakistanis do realize that they are on a wrong foot, they are willing, one can see from the posts all over the web. This is time to resolve the lingering issue.

Posted by AAfromUSA | Report as abusive
 

AAfromUSA:Have you checked international media!What the Indians are saying is same as international media.I find all your posts pro-pakistan, pro-taliban. You are not neutral. I doubt your neutrality! And even if you get a neutral judge and how much politically corrct you try be, you still can’t say “coal is white”.Even robots and drones can see evil!

Posted by Soman | Report as abusive
 

“When I hear stories like yours, it gives me hope that one day I can take my children to visit GawalMundi in Lahore, where my great grandfather, a well respected hindu doctor there raised his children, before partition. Many of his patients were poor muslims, whom he treated without charge”- Posted by Global WatcherIn spite of all the issues we Indians have with the Pakistani establishment, most Indians want normalcy to return to Pakistan & good relations between the 2 countries. I, for one also wish that someday I can take my children to Karachi, where my father was born just before the partition in 1947 & also to Behra, Chakwal (Pak Punjab) from where my ancestors hail. Let’s hope that we can fulfill these wishes in our lifetime.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Rohit,I think you need to be reminded that if Azhar had not been escorted to Kandahar from the jail where he rightly belonged, and it wasn’t this secular government or party that did that (remember?), we would perhaps never have even heard of the Jaish.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

global watcher,inshallah the day comes when you can visit lahore and i’ll meet u there (i’m in the U.S) and i’ll personally serve u the first cup of chai. one thing i will say is pakistan is no longer an islamic country. this is a result of pakistan have close ties with an etremist producing country like saudia arabia.they allow the saudis to build madressas and educate young and poor kinds into these jihadis. do u see this type of behavior from muslim countries like iran, turkey, or indonesia? no, inface iran and india have great and close relations and even share cultrual and historical ties.pakistan has allowed muslim and non-muslim minorities in their country to be marginalized and killed with no reprecussions. although there are many in pakistan who do not hate india and infact want good relations with their neighbors, the only voices that projected out from pakistan are the voices of the wahabis. i hope that you guys don’t see this as an islamic problem, instead it is a muslim problem. by that i mean, the religion itself does not preach this garbage that these animals spew, but these so called “muslims” are the problem. as a muslim i can tell u, that i do not fear for islam because of christians, jews, hindus, or anyone else. but i fear it because of thise animals who have ruined the name of our great religion.

Posted by hassan | Report as abusive
 

What you say will appeal to most here. We are limited by the scope of the topic that is being discussed, and that’s as it should be. I think the real problem is one of going off at a tangent and carrying on with a constant rant. The result is very little discussion but lots of repetitious bluster and venom.In principle what you say is sound, I haven’t understood the how. Personally I think it would be unethical to hijack someone’s blog and topic to discuss amongst a few – or am I misinterpreting your suggestion?

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

Rajeev,My apologies, my previous comment was addressed to you. Forgot to mention your name – put it to senility!

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

RajeevI am in for a cool and calm discussion with you, ……..……… , drugs and empowerment of ISI where democracy was totally ruined.- Posted by UmairVery nice explanation by Umair here. But I fail to understand the second part of the argument. There was USSR attack on Afghanistan so USA and Pakistan helped Afghanistan with their arms and mujahideens. This is understandable as then, it might have been dangerous for Pakistan in future if Af would have fallen to USSR.Now in 1988 there was no attack on Kashmir, all the Kashmiris (Hindus, Muslims, Sinkhs, Budhist) were living happily. India had no intensions of any expansion. Can Umair explain why Pakistan send the Mujahideens here? Was that to ruin India in the same way as Afghanistan was ruined by Pakistani Mujahideens. I honestly feel that last 25 years history of subcontinent would have been very different if there would not have been the proxy war in Kashmir by Pakistan. Both the countries would have prospered beyond anyone’s imagination. And most importantly Kashmiri people would not have suffered the agony they have faced in last 20 years.I am happy that India has almost come out of it and is looking at very bright future in next 20 years. And now there is a feeling that Pak govt also knows that there is no use of militancy or military against India. Hope Pakistan govt does some planning for the education of the people instead of planning a new ISI plot. And hope Pakistani people start believing in democracy rather than militancy.

Posted by Pravin | Report as abusive
 

I think you need to be reminded that if Azhar had not been escorted to Kandahar from the jail where he rightly belonged, and it wasn’t this secular government or party that did that (remember?), we would perhaps never have even heard of the Jaish.BJP/ RSS is not my role model. My role models are Raja Bhoj, Sikh Gurus, Chatrapati Shivaji etc who actually stood with commitment to save us from terrorism. For building of moral values, I hold in high regards Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayanand. Post independence I do admire the work of Shri PV Narsimha Rao and Shri Narendra Modi. I do not go out and cast my vote to elect incompetent fellows. When given the right to reject, I will step out and caste my vote. Yes, I do have high regard for our Army which looses numerous personnel on a regular basis due to the governance we have been provided and recently is being harassed by Government to such an extent that some 50 odd medals got returned for the pension matter.But, somehow, I am unable to hold in high regards people whose action does not match words but does produce results like Iftaar Party for ISI of Pakistan. I only hope that the food served during iftaars (whether for ISI or others) is of best quality, all organic. It may be that since MMS cannot talk till he gets terrorists but ISI is fine during holy period of Ramzaan.

Posted by Rohit | Report as abusive
 

Hassan,I agree with you 100%. Pakistan’s self-destruction started the day Zia-ul-Haq decided to abandon the peaceful & non-violent Sufi Islaam (which Pakistan inherited from it’s sub-continental roots) & replace it with the non-violent & radical Wahabism, imported from Saudi Arabia. I was reading an article some time ago, which said that most parts of Sindh have been far less impacted by radicalism compared to Punjab because by and large, the sindhis refused to discard their sufi roots & adopt the extreme Wahabi philosophy.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive
 

Umair, Dara and TO whomsoever it may concern:Umair:@PAK-ISI-KASHMIR-INDIA (1989-98)”It actually is (PAK-ISI-AFGHANISTAN-TALIBAN-KASHMIR INDIA–1989-onwards and continuing; not until 98). Why you say 98?Punjab terrorism from mid 80s to mid 90s, Kargil by Musharaf in 1999, Indian plane hijacking in 2000 in which now JeM chief Azhar plus 2 other terrorists were released, 2001 JeM attacks Indian Parliament and India-Pak standoff. The hijackers in 2000 hijacking were mostly from Karachi (photos on Indian embassy website)—the ISI believed to be involved. ISI bombing Indian consulates are some of the major terrorism incidents not to mention bomb blasts. Clinton/Albright Admn was just about to declare Pakistan a terrorist sponsor state in 2000 after plane hijack for ISI-Taliban and by extension A-Q alliance. 9/11 made Pakistan come out of that alliance and be an ally of US. Jingoism aside, is it not a bad situation to be in?We talk about linking/delinking dispute resolution with terrorism. We know India and pak stand and also you have read the pamphlets of the terrorists who are everyday becoming stronger and becoming more independent and out of the grips of ISI who supports them. So we have India/pak have 2 alternatives to go about: 1. Fix Kashmir issue and then Pakistan think about JeMs and LeTs etc. That means India and Pakistan can trust these Fassadis to obey any resolution reached. Keep in mind these outfits have mission statements to rule India and put a flag on redfort. India can laugh at them but not ignore. Does this not mean that even after the resolution India will continue to face terrorism and Pakistan will be out of the loop. 2. Neutralize these outfits and then take care of disputes. That means Pakistan and India have to trust each other that once these outfits are neutralized in some manner, India and Pakistan will stick ti their word. #2 is any day a better option that trusting a terrorist. PLUS they will not sign any paper, right? Who stops them.Any idea why China is only country in UNSC blocking sanctions on the JeM and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar. China cites technical reasons. Is Pakistan is influencing China for this? I see no other explanation.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Dara and all:@what you say will appeal to most here. We are limited by the scope of the topic that is being discussed, and that’s as it should be. I think the real problem is one of going off at a tangent and carrying on with a constant rant. The result is very little discussion but lots of repetitious bluster and venom.Personally I think it would be unethical to hijack someone’s blog and topic to discuss amongst a few – or am I misinterpreting your suggestion?- Posted by DaraDara: Thank you. I myself might be on the blacklist of “repetition” and “tangent” problem of the discussion. But I realized that there need to be a change. Allegation counter/allegation happen and then dismissed as “parrotish” attitude of a commenter. So I suggested what I said so that we give a pause like Umair did to atleast think about staying on the line. I am not suggesting to discuss someone else’s blog but relevent related discussion will help the discussion. Nagging points will be cleared.So the issue is JeM building base: It is like JuD equivalent situation–the front of the JeM campus looks like a picnic spot. Why China is not stopping the ban on JeM? I know that Chinese Uiguirs Muslims caught in Afghanistan were not handed over to China by US/allies and are now in G. bay. JeM is implicated in plots against the West. is China doing against the West or against India or is pakistan influencing China? Azhar is a proven terrorist and the internaional community knows-saving him from action in future might be diificult under pressure. LeT’s Hafiz saeed can protected since India does not have direct evidence against Hafeez per se. Pakistan is thus taking steps to protect him and his org.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Correction of “Why China is not stopping the ban on JeM?”Why China is not banning JeM?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Dara, Rajeev,Many thanks both for bringing the subject back on topic and raising questions about the comments.As you know, I agree there is too much repetition but it is not easy to filter as it is always a subjective judgment to decide what is and is not relevant & I try to avoid subjective judgment.To digress briefly, what is interesting in the discussion are the details. For example, a while back I asked what the Maharashtra electorate, as opposed to the English-language media, thought about Pakistan and I found some of the answers really interesting.Nowadays, when you can read English-language newspapers online anywhere in the world, then the broad outlines of the debate are obvious to anyone who cares to follow it. What you can’t get are the details – for example what the Indian electorate thinks in Maharashtra; what Pakistanis in rural Sindh are saying; or for that matter, what the local language newspapers are saying. So the more specific, and the more local, the comments, the better.And of course, adding links to stuff others may not have seen is also incredibly valuable.Now to return to the topic of the post.First, for those who missed, here’s a link to the Daily Times editorial on the subject:http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/def ault.asp?page=2009%5C09%5C15%5Cstory_15- 9-2009_pg3_1Secondly a question. This is not to take a position either way, but simply to frame the question. Assume you have a leader of a militant group who you want to keep under control. Do you keep him under observation, but let him build an extra floor onto his house so he has a stake in society and in keeping on the right side of the authorities? Or do you go after him, at risk of driving him underground? Please note that I’m not saying which answer is correct, but simply that this question (among many others) is one of the elements of the debate that should not be completely overlooked.Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive
 

@Myra: Thanks for the link. Feel free to put these hypothetical questions. It helps.Myra, manytimes my posts do not get uploaded despite short and relevant. Any comments?You said:@Assume you have a leader of a militant group who you want to keep under control. Do you keep him under observation, but let him build an extra floor onto his house so he has a stake in society and in keeping on the right side of the authorities? Or do you go after him, at risk of driving him underground? Please note that I’m not saying which answer is correct, but simply that this question (among many others) is one of the elements of the debate that should not be completely overlooked.–Please do take sides. It will be useful to counter an informed hypothetical question. But I know your stand and the reasons.If the observer is neutral and the militant leader has defined goals, first one is the answr. But if the observer is the one over whom you have no control and 60yrs history of distrust, has a stake in the militant leader and the militant leader has unrealistic goals of taking over a neighbor’s house in entirety, has increasing network of militants (buying independent houses and apartments elsewhere; Europe); has a proven history of attempt to kill the observer who feeds it (Musharraf), keeping an eye on the militant leader will be hogwash and even if genuine will become relevant with time due to self-reliance of the network—So #2 is the answr in that case. Also why wait? and until when?This militant leader Azhar has invested life spilling blood of innocents in India, elsewhere and decapitating a journalist to achieve the goals and spill terror. He is not a genuine freedom fighter who, along with thousand of his followers, will move into the mainstream after the goal is achieved; Instead he/Jaish have grander declared goals involving seeing a star and crescent over the Redfort. They should be neutralized by appropriate strategy.To Myra and commenters: I have a related counter question about India and Pak stand on the problem solving method. Take it as hypothetical since Pak does not say it supports LeT JeM etc. I am assuming Pak moral support to the K-issue as material support in the form of LeT and JeM.Two ways to solve the problem, which one is better: Soln #1 (Pak stand; implied): Fix Kashmir issue and then Pakistan think about taking care of JeMs and LeTs etc. Taking this course will involve an assumption that India and Pakistan can trust these terrorists to obey any resolution reached and will not creat further violence. Keep in my mind these outfits have mission statements to rule India and put a flag on redfort. India can laugh at them but not ignore. Does this not mean that even after the resolution India will continue to face terrorism but Pakistan having solved the dispute will be out of the loop with nothing to do by disowning them and let them self-sustain. Solution#2. (India’s traditional stand); Fix the problem of terrorism at some level so that there is no chance of future attacks from these terrorist groups. That means Pakistan and India have to trust each other that once these outfits are neutralized in some manner, India and Pakistan will stick to their word. To me, Soln #2 is any day a better option since that involves trusting a state, not a non-state

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

If this keeps up and the Pakistani don’t get a grip, the day the west leaves the region, Pakistan will be declared a state sponsor of terrorism. Just give it time. I am willing to bet good money on that one.The lackadaisical attitude of Paksitani authorities towards terrorists and foreign insurgents never ceases to amaze me. Ditto for the grand claims that they are doing something about it. Remarkably every time Pakistan seems to take a step forward, global peace and security seems to take two back. Shows you how much they’re trying.

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The US and UK can help themselves by increasing student visa quotas, and give scholarship opportunitites to the students from this disadvantaged region.-posted by UmairThis one actually made me laugh out loud for real. Do you read the same media we do? When the UK and the US spend half their intelligence and security resources tying down terror plots emanating from the Af-Pak region (and mostly the latter half these days) do you really think they are going to hand out more student visas to exactly the same demographic that wants to kill Westerners at home and western soldiers overseas? Have you seen the stuff being put out by the various British Pakistanis on trial or who have been convicted or killed in terror attacks there? Do you really think they want more radicalized youth who care more about Islam than they do about an education or the country they are living in?The West will help with money, expertise, etc. But Pakistani youth (and increasingly Pakistanis in general) are about the last commodity that any western country will care to import these days. It’s the sad but honest truth.

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Mr. Keith:”If this keeps up and the Pakistani don’t get a grip, the day the west leaves the region, Pakistan will be declared a state sponsor of terrorism. Just give it time. I am willing to bet good money on that one.”-Mr. keith i have full compassion for any soldiers who loses his life in Afghanistan. But thankyou for letting us know your hypocricy, Pakistan is offering full logistical support for NATO/ISAF ops in Afghanistan.I bet the shameful day when the last western soldier will withdraw from Afghanistan is not far away. You guy’s hypocircy is making you loose in Afghanistan. You will try to accuse Pakistan and declare it a terrorist state. We in Pakistan are planning for that ahead and will counter with effective diplomacy. Last time Bush fooled American public by threat of WMDs in going into Iraq. That is over, the US is already in deep trouble with a $9 trillion debt and healthcare in shambles, auto industry ruined, financial sector shaken, housing market still vulnerable.Crux of Afghan Debate: Will More Troops Curb Terror?http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/08  /world/asia/08terror.html?scp=1&sq=Paki stan%20is%20wild%20card%20&st=cse“Diseng agement from Afghanistan could destabilize Pakistan and “guarantee” a future attack on the United States from the region, Mr. Hoffman said. For starters, a pullout could deny the United States bases from which it carries out some Predator missions.By all accounts, Pakistan remains the wild card that complicates all predictions on Afghanistan. Proponents of the increased American force in Afghanistan say a withdrawal would reinforce Pakistan’s fears that the United States is not committed to security in the region.”Keith, If you can ever win in Afghanistan, that will be through active cooperation from Pakistan and not by undermining Pakistan.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Rajeev,I agree with your thinking on our discussions here and its worth an honest effort.As to your proposition about Indo-Pak affairs, I feel that both options can proceed simultaneously. That is Pakistan shows reasonable efforts in curbing attacks from its soil and India moves forward on lets say the composite dialogue. The problem at the moment is total lack of trust. Without getting specific, the fact is that neither side is willing to give space at the moment. One suggestion, let the trial of at least those who have been charge sheeted in Pakistan commence in right earnest and let India see some sort of earnestness in prosecution being made. If honesty of purpose is there, India should take the initiative and get back to talking seriously. Lets concentrate on that for starters and progress should be visible.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

Myra,As regards keeping a militant leader under surveillance or going after him, I think the law should be applied to a militant as much as it is to a common murderer. Moreso to a militant leader. Society has made laws based on the fact that punishment is a way of getting people back into the fold. That does not mean that mercy or compassion should be lacking in its application, but it is applicable to all, the high and the mighty as well as the lowly and the militant. Unfortunately a lot of militancy also sprouts from the fact there is no equity in dispensing justice. Tell me who you are and I will tell you the law has become a way of life in many societies.AS regards keeping people under observation, it may be useful in cases where one is trying to catch the big fish. A militant leader is big fish. Just as he may go underground if you go after him, he is as likely to go underground, courtesy his informants, when he is put under observation.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive
 

Keith, you said:”If this keeps up and the Pakistani don’t get a grip, the day the west leaves the region, Pakistan will be declared a state sponsor of terrorism. Just give it time. I am willing to bet good money on that one.The lackadaisical attitude of Pakistani authorities towards terrorists and foreign insurgents never ceases to amaze me. Ditto for the grand claims that they are doing something about it. Remarkably every time Pakistan seems to take a step forward, global peace and security seems to take two back. Shows you how much they’re trying.- Posted by Keith “–>There is plenty of guilt to go around as well as blame. Some people blame the U.S. for giving too much free money and weapons, which are being reconfigured to kill Indians, anyway. At the end of the day, Obama, will corner Pakistan. There will be no more excuses and places to hide.The rate at which Pak Army is burning through the cash to fund its fictitious war with India, Pakistan will be so bankrupt, it will not have enough money to buy anything, anymore.The anger of the U.S. votership is mounting, as the body count of soldiers increases and will erupt at some point, especially if the Afghan mission fails or if there is another 911 type terrorist attack and Pakistan will bear the brunt of an American public, pent on getting even and there will be no place to hide, or excuses.People in the world are losing patience and faith in the lackluster half-axx fight the Paks are doing on the so-called terrorism, that they themselves created and are continuing to fuel in the form of proxies against India.The chickens will come home to roost for Pakistan, in fact they already have.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Dara, you said:”Rajeev,I agree with your thinking on our discussions here and its worth an honest effort.As to your proposition about Indo-Pak affairs, I feel that both options can proceed simultaneously. That is Pakistan shows reasonable efforts in curbing attacks from its soil and India moves forward on lets say the composite dialogue. The problem at the moment is total lack of trust. Without getting specific, the fact is that neither side is willing to give space at the moment. One suggestion, let the trial of at least those who have been charge sheeted in Pakistan commence in right earnest and let India see some sort of earnestness in prosecution being made. If honesty of purpose is there, India should take the initiative and get back to talking seriously. Lets concentrate on that for starters and progress should be visible.- Posted by Dara “–>Pakistan is incapable of being truthful, or trustworthy. It is beyond count now, how many times, they have lied and cheated with India in the peace process and beyond count, how many times, U.S. monetary and military Aid was NOT used to fight terrorism, but add more weapons to fight against India, a fictitious enemy. India has never started a war with any country, yet a mental blindspot has been placed on the minds of all Pakistani’s from childhood that India is an enemy. In India, we don’t focus on enmity with Pakistan, but focus on improving our lives and living.

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