Attack in Iran: What are the links to Pakistan?

October 18, 2009

A week after suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents attacked the headquarters of the Pakistan Army, a suicide bomber killed six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders and 25 other people in Shi’ite Iran in one of the deadliest attacks in years on the country’s most powerful military institution.

Were these two events connected only by the loose network of Sunni insurgent groups based in and around Pakistan? Or are there other common threads that link the two?

Iranian state media said Jundollah, an ethnic Baluch Sunni insurgent group, claimed responsibility for the attack in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan. The group, led by Abdomalek Rigi, is believed to have bases in neighbouring Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Jundollah has been linked in some reports to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an anti-Shia sectarian group based in Pakistan’s Punjab province, and to the Pakistani Taliban, or Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP), based in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Both the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the TTP are believed to have close ties to al Qaeda, and are suspected of involvement in the attack on the headquarters of the Pakistan Army.

Trawling through published reports about Jundollah, it is not easy to work out how clear its links are to the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Pakistani Taliban and al Qaeda. This article in the Asia Times Online cautions that there are two organisations with the same name, one focused on Pakistan and the other on Iran.  Pakistani newspapers, however, have reported links specifically between Rigi’s group and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and TTP.

Being fellow travellers in the network of Sunni Islamist insurgent groups does not necessarily mean they are pursuing a common agenda. However, it does raise intriguing questions about how far they are collaborating, and about how far al Qaeda might be directing operations behind the scenes.

According to the Jihadica website, al Qaeda has been publicly cementing its ties with the Tehrik-e-Taliban, whose declared aim is to take over Pakistan.  The TTP is currently under siege in its stronghold in South Waziristan, where the Pakistan Army launched a long-awaited ground offensive on SaturdayA series of militant attacks acrossPakistan in the past few weeks have been seen as an attempt by the Tehrik-e-Taliban and its al Qaeda-linked allies to show it can outwit the Pakistani security forces.

So was the bombing in Iran part of that deliberate attempt to spread mayhem across the region? That’s almost impossible to tell for now, although the Long War Journal earlier this year quoted an al Qaeda commander as talking about expanding the jihad into neighbouring countries, including Iran.

Of all the many players in the region, al Qaeda probably has the most to gain from the fall-out of the attack in Iran.

The Iranian armed forces, which have long harboured suspicions that Jundollah was funded by the west to weaken Iran, have accused the United States and Britain of involvement in the attack and vowed revenge.  That could torpedo efforts by President Barack Obama’s administration to improve relations with Iran and seek its help in stabilising Afghanistan.

It could also raise tensions between Pakistan and Iran, which reacted sharply to the bombing of a mosque in the Iranian city of Zahedan earlier this year. As Pakistan struggles to fight militants within the country and defeat them in South Waziristan, the last thing it needs is trouble on its border with Iran.

So is there an overall plan at work here? Or instead, is it simply that the region has become so destabilised that insurgents are finding it easier to operate both inside and outside of Pakistan?

(Photos: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Pakistani soldiers in Lahore)

65 comments

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Myra”So is there an overall plan at work here? Or instead, is it simply that the region has become so destabilised that insurgents are finding it easier to operate both inside and outside of Pakistan?”-What do you get when you have CIA operated secret drone programs, when you have a JSOC(Joint special operations command) in US whose mere existence was denied until recently. No surprises here, when you have CIA operated bases next door in Baluchistan operating drones. this attack on Iran is certainly a false flag operation with sinister motives who ever is behind it. The overall plan to destabilize the region has been in works for quite some time, it is in implementation phase now and Pakistan as well as Iran will have to pull up their socks and get their act together. Dig deeper and look further, there is more to it than just Jundollah or Taliban. Pakistan in the grip of insurgency, isolated attacks in Iranian border region, India constantly under threat of terrorist incidents. Maybe if CIA is kicked out of the region, a lot will improve.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

Of course, your column is the most rancid Anti-Pakistan trope on the internet so expecting fairness is like expecting balance from Fox News.The Jundullah offices are in Tel Aviv as is the so called “Governemnt of Balochistan”, and you do not mention any of thatHere is what the Iranians think.We consider the recent terrorist attack to be the result of US action,” he said. “This is the sign of America’s animosity against our country.”more by Ali Larijani

@Ansari,This is one of the traits the Islamic world, conspiracy stories, fabricated fables, tell them enough times, until they become accepted as a truth.This must stop. Find the proof and send the dossiers. We are in the 21st century people, quit blaming ghosts and boogeymen for all your ills, trouble with militants and inability to deal with your own home-made frankensteins. The Universe has a way of giving back to you, what you have sown, that is an undeniable fact.With regards to Ali Larijani, the Iranian Mafia, its sole crutch to power is its hatred of Israel and the United States. They can give the people nothing else, but hatred, conspiracies, blame and lies.The Islamic Revolution in Iran has been sowing terrorism for decades now and now their Frankenstein, or someone else’s Frankenstein is coming back to hurt Dr. Frankstein, the creator. Average enlightened Persians quietly keep their mouth shut and know the truth, that the Revolutionaries in Iran, have their days numbered.Please quit giving the CIA, RAW and MOssaid so much credibility and mythic status as sources of all troubles on muslim lands. Although, I am sure that they don’t mind the flattery, the fictitious CIA_RAW MOSSAID nexxus is non existent and continues to become a proverbial garbage bin explanation for all the ills and troubles and militantism, when one cannot control their own Frankenstein.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Myra,The utter hatred for Pakistan in your blog could win you awards in our country’s eastern neighbour, however I will tell you the truth.Check out the following:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =MF7exGP8ImkThey clearly blame differnt forces & exonerate Pakistan from blame…this is merely an attempt by outside forces to block the development of the Iran-Pakistan pipeline, which will bring development & prosperity to both countries.myra: i HATE youLong Live Iran!Long Live Pakistan!

Posted by Qasim | Report as abusive

Umair,My question to you would be: Why would you think the CIA would fund Jundollah, or whichever group was behind this attack, if they are also believed to be linked to al Qaeda?Moin Ansari,Here is what Iran had to say about Pakistan:http://in.reuters.com/article/d omesticNews/idINDAH86513320091018It's quite hard to fathom how you decided that a post asking whether the two countries are not in fact facing the same enemy (and one the Pakistan Army is currently fighting) is anti-Pakistan.Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

Umair,For the first time i have seen you writing something intelligent.CIA, Chinese are enemies to South Asia. The lamb vs Lamb game is being played with great skill Hindu Vs Muslims,Sunni Vs Shia etc.The only guys becoming rich in this exercise are the Anglo Saxons and the Chinese and a few corrupt generals.I think Iran’s accusation of American Involvement really needs to be investigated, How can Taliban or Alqaeda even think of staging a attack in Iran when they know the anti West resentment is so strong in iran.This is surely an attempt by americans for some bigger plot.One can reform a wh..e after marriage but trusting americans or chinese is sure disaster.Hope god whoever he is gives wisdom knowledge to people in our neighbouring countries.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against IranApril 03, 2007 5:25 PMA Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or “finding” as well as congressional oversight.Tribal sources tell ABC News that money for Jundullah is funneled to its youthful leader, Abd el Malik Regi, through Iranian exiles who have connections with European and Gulf states.http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblott er/2007/04/abc_news_exclus.html

Posted by Maria | Report as abusive

MyraBush sanctions ‘black ops’ against IranBruce Riedel, until six months ago the senior CIA official who dealt with Iran, said: “Vice-President [Dick] Cheney helped to lead the side favouring a military strike, but I think they have concluded that a military strike has more downsides than upsides.”However, the CIA is giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan.Bush sanctions ‘black ops’ against IranIranian officials say they captured 10 members of Jundullah last weekend, carrying $500,000 in cash along with “maps of sensitive areas” and “modern spy equipment”.Mark Fitzpatrick, a former senior State Department official now with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said industrial sabotage was the favoured way to combat Iran’s nuclear programme “without military action, without fingerprints on the operation.”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ne ws/worldnews/1552784/Bush-sanctions-blac k-ops-against-Iran.html

Posted by Maria | Report as abusive

What happened in Iran might be entirely independent of the events in Pakistan. I’d be inclined to look at the CIA/Moassad operations in that country. Iran is fast progressing towards a nuclear bomb development and missile technology. It is anyone’s guess as to where they will be directed. Iran has no issues with its neighbors in its East. The US is sitting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is proxy for the American operations in the region. Destabilizing Iran now could help in stalling its nuclear bomb development. It would be naive to believe that some of the terrorist groups in this region are not getting their funding and support from the CIA or Mossad. The more chaos is created, the better would be the justification to go after the nukes in both Pakistan and Iran. Their refining technology is from the same source – AQ Khan. I sometimes wonder if the ISI’s jihadist elements themselves are being directed by the CIA and Mossad. Look at how far they have come inside Pakistan. Now Paki military is fighting the Taliban head on. Would anyone have thought of this ten years ago? Anything is possible in clandestine operations. While diplomats and military generals make public statements and plans, the covert operations go in parallel to create the needed situation for further actions. The US has left India alone at this time because India has a lot of American businesses involved. In addition, it can be built as a bulwark against Chinese expansion. The CIA can mess up any country, however well developed it is. I think people are not seeing the broader picture. The degree of chaos in this region is expanding exponentially. I even wonder if the Uighur Muslim violence in China is to keep China engaged with itself or not. Right now all Al Qaeda operatives are focused on their survival inside Pakistan. In Iraq, this is the time to break their back. I observe a lot of parallel efforts being taken by the forces that be. Iran is being rattled for a specific reason. That is probably why they are accusing the Americans instead of the Sunni militant groups in Pakistan.

Iran presses Pakistan as terror attack kills 42″We have heard that certain officials in Pakistan cooperate with main agents of these terrorist attacks in eastern parts of the country. It is our right to ask (for extradition) of criminals,” Ahmadinejad said after a Cabinet session on Sunday night.http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx? id=109020&sectionid=351020101

Posted by Sameer | Report as abusive

Syed,I don’t think those two versions are different – they are just different parts of the same story. You can see a full story here:http://www.reuters.com/article/news One/idUSTRE59H0AH20091018?sp=trueQasim, as above, why did you leap to the conclusion that the post was anti-Pakistan? The YouTube link you posted says exactly the same thing: that Iran believes Jundollah is linked to al Qaeda. Did you actually read the post?Maria,I’ve seen those reports from 2007. What I’d like to know, however, is whether they remain valid in 2009.Myra

Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

Taliban leaders airliftd again before Pakistan began operation!Top leaders of AQ and Taliban were airlifted by ISI before US bombed Tora-Bora mountsins in 2001!http://pakobserver.net/200910/19/ne ws/topstories16.asp

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Pakistan’s Double Game!http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/ 101709b.htmlMost of these ISI operatives were caught along with other foreign fighters (including many Arabs) when the Northern Alliance surrounded Kunduz.Musharraf intervened with Bush to gain permission for an airlift that transported the Pakistanis and some foreign fighters to safety.This event, which Pakistanis call the “Great Escape,” convinced many in the Pakistani army that they could continue to play their double game with the United States, confident that some officials in the Bush administration remained sympathetic.(The airlift likely saved the lives of those fortunate enough to get out, since the Northern Alliance suffocated many of their captives by locking them in trailers.)

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Mr Ahmadinejad pointed towards Pakistan.”We were informed that some security agents in Pakistan are co-operating with the main elements of this terrorist incident,” he was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.”We regard it as our right to demand these criminals from them,” he said, without giving elaborating.”We ask the Pakistani government not to delay any longer in the apprehension of the main elements in this terrorist attack.”Iranian authorities summoned a senior Pakistani diplomat in Tehran, claiming that the assailants had arrived in Iran from Pakistan, Iranian state media reported.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/midd le_east/8313625.stm

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

Myra:@It’s quite hard to fathom how you decided that a post asking whether the two countries are not in fact facing the same enemy (and one the Pakistan Army is currently fighting) is anti-Pakistan.Myra- Posted by Myra MacDonald to Moin AnsariMyra: So you see the virtues of “perception”. This is so Pakistani syndrome and they will create something out of nothing. Just wanted to reconnect this with our previous discussion on “perceptions of threat” by Pakistan from India.Love you,RajeevMoin Ansari: Buddy you have a blog and you put in some energy into that, do that for some good. I will no get into specifics for the fear of my post being trashed.Love you too,Rajeev

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Myra,Here is an excerpt from the BBC coverage: Mr Ahmadinejad pointed towards Pakistan. “We were informed that some security agents in Pakistan are co-operating with the main elements of this terrorist incident….We regard it as our right to demand these criminals from them”.The link to the article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8 313625.stmIf this were to be true, Pakistani agents and their terrorist groups – there are so many now – probably act independently when opportunity arrives.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

Why so many outbursts by paks against Myra? This is hilarious.If anything she gives the impression of writing mostly trying to cover up pakistan army, ISI’s sponsorship of terrorism in the region.There are subscribers to extreme wahabi sunni religious view in large sections pak population, pak army and ISI who are the sponsors of these terrorists.I see another more likely explanation for pak army and ISI to sponsor such an attack on Iraninas. To deligitimize and defame the genuine freedom struggle of the Baluchis.

Yet another silly game by Iran. I would be very interested in the evidence Iran has that the UK or USA are behind this.And whether they would be willing to provide this evidence to the UN.Otherwise, perhaps the USA should start accusing Iran of being behind the insurgency in Iraq. And refuse to provide any evidence supporting it. And also state that unless the insurgency stops, military response will be made on Iran.Then it stops being a silly game, doesn’t it?

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

Iran pushes out all those arms and explosivesto every hillbilly group it sees fit to disrupt the peace in the region.Karma served them right, how Jundallah bit the hand that feeds them.

Posted by Steve Real | Report as abusive

Myra:” Why would you think the CIA would fund Jundollah, or whichever group was behind this attack, if they are also believed to be linked to al Qaeda?”-Myra, a number of parties view Jundollah as a useful proxy against Tehran. After all, this is not a new phenomenon it is on record how Pakistan too has used such tactics against a bigger hostile nation, India. However, any suggestion to link the Iran attack with Pakistan or its intelligence service, ISI will be a mistake. Pakistan would never like to harm its fragile relations with Tehran at this moment and stoke tensions.Jundollah can be used to create internal instability in Tehran and disrupt Iran’s plans to come clean on nuclear talks and acquire the level of uranium for peaceful purposes that it needs through IAEA guarantees. However, the Mossad and Israelis do not want that to happen.Look at it from another angle, the recent visit of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to Syria where both countries are trying to straighten out their relations and efforts by US to gradually drag Syria away from Iran’s influence. Both Syria and Iran support Hezbollah, that makes me think Mossad/CIA are supporting Jundollah.The Sistan-Baluchistan is lawless border region bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, the area is populated with Sunni Baluch tribesmen and smuggling, drug trafficking and banditry are the problems of the region. A larger presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan have given the CIA elements an increasing platform to launch destabilising attacks inside Iran through proxies such as Jundollah.” Considering that only about half of Iran’s population is Persian, foreign support to ethnic minorities like the Baloch in the southeast, the Kurds in the northwest and the Ahvazi Arabs in the oil-rich southwest are all obvious levers for foreign intelligence agencies to prod the Iranian regime. ” STRATFOR (Strategic Forecasting)What the US State Department spokesman states is not always what the CIA thinks or acts. Even if Jundollah did carry out this attack it did not act alone. Sistan-Baluchistan is Iran’s FATA, the game has begun to destabilise Iran. Just as when trouble started in Pakistan through FATA and spread to main cities, Iran too faces a problem in lawless tribal region in Sistan-Baluchistan and a threat of expanding violence into Zahedan, Tehran etc.Why would CIA fund Jundollah even if it has ties to Al Qaeda? this is something which can be specifically answered after more detailed study.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

After all, this is not a new phenomenon it is on record how Pakistan too has used such tactics against a bigger hostile nation, India.-The only hostility to date came from Pakistan to India: the Mumbai attacks. DO NOT even try to a rebuttal using Baluchistan because your Pakistani politicians have been going round in circles confirming and then denying evidence was handed to India. Even Holbrooke has discredited this same so-called evidence.Both Syria and Iran support Hezbollah, that makes me think Mossad/CIA are supporting Jundollah.-Makes you think? However, can you provide tangible evidence to support your thoughts?A larger presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan have given the CIA elements an increasing platform to launch destabilising attacks inside Iran through proxies such as Jundollah.-So the CIA is here opperating drones with permission from the Pakistani government and at the same time launch attacks into Iran. Again, this is all heresay without proof.Considering that only about half of Iran’s population is Persian, foreign support to ethnic minorities like the Baloch in the southeast, the Kurds in the northwest and the Ahvazi Arabs in the oil-rich southwest are all obvious levers for foreign intelligence agencies to prod the Iranian regime. ” STRATFOR (Strategic Forecasting)-So the diversity of a country is enough to use against it by the CIA?Why would CIA fund Jundollah even if it has ties to Al Qaeda? this is something which can be specifically answered after more detailed study.-Well, Umair, why don’t you go and write us all a thesis on the matter.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Iran accuses Pakistan over attack.Iran’s president has accused Pakistani agents of involvement in a suicide bombing in south-east of the country targeting a group of the elite Revolutionary Guards force.(BBC news)Well, well. As if events could not get any worse, now Iran is drawn into this mess. Lets see Zardari make a trip to Tehran and see if his trademark grin and sympathy grabbing photo of his late wife can ease the pain of the Iranians. Maybe if he calls Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ‘Gorgeous’ then the Iranian president will be won over.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

The problem is no longer AfPak but PakIrAf… Al Quaeda will probable go and involve others too like Xianjing, Kurds, Surds etc.

Posted by Question and Answer | Report as abusive

I somehow think this attack originated from CIA. They are back to their old habits of propping criminals, thugs & rogues. They made Alqaeda heroes when they faught the Soviets, after their mission was accomplished they abandoned them, they have turned the whole greater sub continent into a graveyard be it Afghanistan, Pakistan & now their policies will bite India & Iran also.It will be unfortunate if iran does something which is immature since they will fall into the trap laid by CIA.They now need to bide their time & rally public opinion against CIA & Americans.While they do it, we need to keep stock of how many more innocent lives will get buthchered for strategic depths americans want to achieve in this world.

Posted by Vijay | Report as abusive

Fair enough Iran your blaming the US and Britain for this bombing but if your Neighbour allows others to come and spit in your Garden whats the use blaming others. Just look over the fence.

Posted by Yep Me | Report as abusive

Pakistan has to be viewed through the microscope every time something like this happens in the neighborhood. Pakistan has its finger in every pie.Pakistan considers itself to be the Saviour of the Islamic world, but for lack of constructive things to do has been causing damage to nearby Muslim states and to the Umma.The ISI and the army have a lot of free time now ( Though the attack in Waziristan is a good distraction ) and with the Democratic process inching along in Pakistan the ISI and the Army need to finger something and someone.Iran should take it very seriously and retaliate not only in Kind but in every way to flatten Pakistan from future forays like this.

Posted by Sathish Reddy | Report as abusive

Pakistan’s ISI has been the blood of terrorism’s vain in the region; Pakistan itself has been mingling in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, Iran, India and even central Asia. Pakistan has supported the Taliban and even before that the Jihadists in Tajikistan. Is seems like the government has no control over ISI, Zadari has tried to bring it under his control but he failed, Taliban that are fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan were one day funded and supported by the ISI.So I can’t blame Iran for laying the blame on Pakistan, we all need to at Pakistan realistically, most problem that are there in the whole region and even beyond are erected somewhere in Pakistan with the knowledge of its government. I don’t know why Pakistan escapes punishment all the time. I don’t the connection between the Sunnis in Iran and Pakistan is as strong as I believe between the terrorists in Iran and Pakistan’s ISI.

Posted by Siddiq | Report as abusive

i think usa is using Pakistan against Iran, Pakistan will do anything for money The Root of all terrosim and corruptions is nowhereelse But pakistan.all these are only for money, they get money from usa for being pro israel. they get money from all the terrorist organistion for training and sheltering them. Pakistan allready successfull to ruin name of all muslim around the world, now they will get ruined by themselvesNO escape from it for sure

Posted by Mohammad Rahman | Report as abusive

Before all of you go pointing fingers towards Pakistan, don’t forget that it was Pakistan that didn’t allow the U.S. bases to attack Iran after the 9/11 attacks. Pakistan has never had any beef with Iran although Iran has openly supported India at International Forums. What logic is there in Pakistan trying to incite Iran at a time when it has 30,000 troops amassed against militants along its border with Afghanistan. Lets also not forget that the West blames Pakistan for transferring nuclear technology to Iran. So, what should we believe? Pakistan sells a country nuclear technology, then plots an attack there while Pakistan itself is on fire, and to top it all, sends a size-able majority of its troops to some other border to fight. Everyone, regardless of where you come from, please try to read between the lines. The Media, today, has an agenda. We have to decipher the correct information. All I can say is, the attacks in Iran and Pakistan seem to be coordinated by a greater power in order to create more tensions in the region. Watch the great game unfold. It’s not as simple as it looks.

Posted by Asad Qazi | Report as abusive

Although Pakistan is to blame for this attack in iran, let’s not forget who is really pushing all the buttons in pakistan. pakistan has become the stage for U.S led attacks in the region. in an effort to get the neighboring countries like Iran, China, and India fighting and bickering with each other to try and destabalize them and slow down their growing influence and power. we need to keep any eye on the private security contractors that are now operating in Pakistan. the company formely known as Blackwater, now with the name Xe,is in pakistan. Do u remember how 2 months ago, there was a boming at a shia mosque in iran and now in a sunni area. its really easy to carry out these secterain attacks in an effort to blame the other side and start secterain fighing. this is a much bigger operation and focusing mainly on pakistan is naieve. if there was ever a time when iran, india, china,russia ever came together, it is now, the future for all you depend on it. this post is from an american, keep your eyes open and remember things are now how they always seem.

Posted by Sidney | Report as abusive

i think usa is using Pakistan against Iran, Pakistan will do anything for money The Root of all terrosim and corruptions is nowhereelse But pakistan.all these are only for money, they get money from usa for being pro israel. they get money from all the terrorist organistion for training and sheltering them. Pakistan allready successfull to ruin name of all muslim around the world, now they will get ruined by themselvesNO escape from it for sure- Posted by Mohammad RahmanMr. Rahman please cordially provide tangible evidence to support your above statement that USA is using Pakistan against Iran. If you fail to do so, then what you have stated above is no more than a desperate rant.You seem to be forgetting that it was President Obama of the USA who reached out his hand to ALL Muslims of this world in his speech in Cairo, Egypt. Iran’s clerical posse were the ones who slapped it away.The USA has its hands’ full at the time being providing $1.5 billion a year to sustain Pakistan’s economy and civil services, while there are 9.8% Americans unemployed.I agree that Pakistani politicians are corrupt. They wish to live out their lives like Mushy boy is at the moment. They want to have:-their luxury villas in Europe.-flats in London and New York to hold their cocktail parties to entertain old cronies on both continents.-’Handshake and smile’ so-called goodwill trips to Dubai and other Arab nations.-Write a nostalgic book about their time in Pak govt office that very few people will read with a pathetic title using words like: Honest, My, Truth, Account.-Go on a US tour promoting the same book very few people will read.-Go on a lecture tour promoting the country you left and cannot return to.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

I Strongly reject any form of terror on innocents but come on Iran why does this come as a shock?Aren’t Hezbollah and Hamas doing the same bidding that Pakistan is doing for the US and Britain.When you use terror as tool what do you expect?How long has it been since the Revolution? what have you achieved? You want to be recognised as a Global player. you have the most talented people and emense reserves of oil but you are shackling yourself by directing your resources in targeting a puny little country (israel) instead of building your country into a world power. Which your are really capable of.

Posted by Yep Me | Report as abusive

Mr. Azad Qazi: “the attacks in Iran and Pakistan seem to be coordinated by a greater power in order to create more tensions in the region.”I think there is a plan to create a greater Balochistan carved out of Pakistan and Iranian portions. And this new country can be used as a stage for controlling the Persian Gulf. Balochistan can be set up with ports for quick Naval deployment. Afghanistan is a difficult place to control. Pakistan is a mess and again difficult to control. The US has tried both Afghanistan and Pakistan and they have not been easy to handle. From Balochistan, both Iran and Pakistan can be controlled. It would be very easy to deploy troops from Balochistan into Afghanistan and Central Asia. It fits into the stratgey of the world powers.My vote leans towards the CIA and Mossad – unless Al Qaeda wants Iran to be drawn into the conflict to deflect Pakistani army assault into South Waziristan. They know Iran is already hostile towards the US and its allies. Hit Iran and somehow point its reaction towards ISI/PA and they retaliate, drawing the PA into a conflict. I felt they’d do that to India which is easier to draw into the conflict. But Iran might be a better strategy to cause confusion.

Ahmadinejad:“We were informed that some security agents in Pakistan are cooperating with the main elements of this terrorist incident … We regard it as our right to demand these criminals from them,” Ahmadinejad said, without giving details.“We ask the Pakistani government not to delay any longer in the apprehension of the main elements in this terrorist attack,” he said.”–>I wonder if Pakistan has the guts and muscle to wage a bloody 8 year war with Pakistan, they way Iran did with Iraq.This is the work of the ISI. The ISI is trying to destabilize all sources of structure and power around Pakistan. If Iran feels some Pakistani state agencies had a hand, they probably feel very sure that they have correct information, for a President of a country to point fingers.Perhaps Iran, India and U.S. need to co-operate better and have reason and common ground in the wake of this senseless cowardly butcher by Sunni Extremists, most of who originate in Pakistan and some of them have uniforms and suits in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.We also ask Pak friends to quit flattering Mossaid, RAW and CIA so frequently and accept blame for terrorism born and bread and exported from Pak Soil.Iran is not going to let this one go, as they have had their eyes on Balochistan for some time now. It is quite plausible that ISI did this attack as a message for Iran to quit interfering in Balochistan separation.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

I wonder what Pakistan is going to do, if Hezbollah and such groups start eyeing Pakistan for retribution.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Iran should not arouse concern. Georgia is the most dangerous flashpoint. The Bible says: “At the appointed time [the king of the north = Russia] will return back [will regain the influence, which it lost after the break-up of the Soviet Union] and come into the south [many indicate that this might be Georgia], but it will not be as the former [1921] or as the latter [2008]. For the dwellers of coastlands of Kittim [the West] will come against him, and he will be humbled, and will return.” (Daniel 11:29,30a) Then Iran will be humbled also. “But ships will come from the direction of Kittim, troubling Asshur [Russia] and troubling Eber [inhabiting on the other side the Euphrates].” (Numbers 24:24a, BBE)At that time, peace will be taken from the earth and the “great sword” – nuclear sword – will be used. (Revelation 6:4) However, it will be neither the great tribulation nor “the end of the world” (Armageddon). As Jesus foretold, that will be “the beginning of birth pains”. (Mathew 24:7,8)If the Heavens planned a full return of Russia (and much suggests this) the present economic crisis will deepen. Then also the European Union and NATO will not stands.In the same way the earlier prophecy had fulfilled: “And (he) [the king of the north = Russia] will go back (to) his land with great wealth [1945]; and his heart (will be) against the holy covenant [state atheism]; and will act effectively; and turned back to his own land [the break-up of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, the return of Russian troops to country].” (Daniel 11:28)

I think the US is behind it, they used pakistan through britain to have very influental people eliminated to shift the opinion within Iran and in the longterm create their desired outcome (using b.m. analysis)

Posted by john | Report as abusive

Pakistan might have been involved in the attacks to prevent Iran from becoming a competitor in Islamic bomb.This appears to contradict the historical fact that Pakistan helped Iran in the past, but then Pakistan was sitting as a king at that time, moving the pawns as it wanted–but not any more. With all the happenings, Pakistan has lost its strategic depth/tools but Pakistan’s attractiveness to the West and China is only due to its geopolitical advantages. That’s why from the day 1 of the WOT, Pak wanted India out of WOT and now any possible Russian engagement in it since all that makes Pakistan less secure.To the Muslim world, Pakistan has been selling itself as the only nation that has Islamic bomb. NOW, Pakistan with changed scenario will like to retain the only Muslim nation with Atom bomb status. This is possible if instability created in Iran makes the case for preventing Iran developing Nuclear weapons.Otherwise, why would Iran blame Pakistan so openly for the attacks in Iran?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Pakistan cuts deal with anti-American militantshttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009 1019/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

@Rajeev,Rajeev, you cannot ignore the Balochistan issue. Pakistan is bitter about the friendship between Iran and India as co-operators in the energy field. It is my personal opinion that Pakistan is trying to send a message to Tehran to quit meddling in Balochistan. It is not entirely unplausible that Iran is fueling Balochi separatism, while publically blaming India, as the proverbial guilty party, for every ill in Pakistan.Mahmood Amhadinejad has no love for Sunnis and believes the Sunnis in Islamabad have attacked his country. He would not have blindly uttered such an accusation, unless the sloppy terrorist machine from ISlamabad has left behind evidence, as they always do in the case of Indian embassy and Mumbai terrorist attacks.Let’s see if the Shia’s from Iran can respond civilly and with cool heads. Hopefully Iran does not complicate things with Pakistan. Pakistan would not be able withstand a protracted war with Persia, as they are no match for them.Iran already views Pakistan as a nuclear proxy for Sunni Saudi Arabia. Iran’s real intention is to thwart the perception of Sunni hedgemony in the Middle East and the Gulf. Israel is a great scapegoat to hide their real intentions and to unify votes as hatred of Jews suits their political agenda.Pakistan should keep one eye on Iran. The Ayatollahs would not think twice about retribution against Sunni Pakistan, if Pakistan has any intentions to keep Iran down.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Ever since the US got heavily involved in Afghanistan during the Soviet Invasion, we always seem to blame the United States for our misery. Over the past 30 years, governments have come and gone, while politicians have been assassinated. Pakistanis have always seemed eager to jump the gun and point fingers at the United States for any hardship faced within our boundaries. But I ask you, are we incapable as a nation of 175 million, to stand up on our own two feet? We are quick in forming conclusions and finding a target to place our misery upon, but can we not take the blame for our misgivings?http://ahraza.wordpress.com/2 009/09/30/this-is-our-time/

Rah-i-NijatKayani writes to Mehsuds and requests them not to attack Pak Army!The letter has a colour photograph of the army chief on the top, the national flag on one side and insignia of the Pakistan Army on the otherhttp://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect  /dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakista n/13+operation+not+against+mehsud+tribe+ kayani-za-04

Posted by Salim | Report as abusive

Personally I doubt the Pakistanis would be so stupid as to be directly involved in this attack.The more important question then is, why is Iran out to defame an erstwhile ally? Ahmadinejad has nothing to gain by publicly blaming Pakistan.One can’t, however, forget, Gordon Brown’s remarks regarding almost all terrorist plots converging in Pakistan. The Al Qaeda seems the more likely culprit, but then again, the plots and groups are so intertwined it is difficult to distinguish between state and non-state.

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive

Great thoughts Rajeev… Iran should focus energies on how to contain Pakistan and China… Both these countries are threat to world and should join hands with US in doing so.

Posted by Omar | Report as abusive

I would to let Pakistan and Pakistanis know that the Taliban you have created to spread menace throughout the region and beyond are coming to break Pakistan into several pieces, like the good old days NWFP will be returned to its fatherland Afghanistan, Baluchistan will become a free country, Punjab and Sindh will be taken back by India: PROBLEM SOLVED. How wonderful the world will become.

Posted by Siddiq | Report as abusive

Blasts rock Pakistan university.-At least four people have been killed and 18 wounded in bomb explosions at a university campus in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, officials say.(BBC news)Previously a suicide attack across the border in Iran and now another suicide attack in Islamabad. This is going to be a never ending story.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Its official, its CIA vs ISI and it is only going to get bloody. While Pakistan would like to cooperate with the US publicly, behind the scenes Pakistan’s interests will be safeguarded by every possible means. With all the campaign to malign the ISI and paint them as villains, both Pakistan Army and ISI are greatly respected in Pakistani public and enjoy more support than the corrupt politicians. Atleast the people look towards the Army in times of crisis in Pakistan.Message of the Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani……..to Mehsud tribes- leaflets dropped by helicopters in South Waziristan.http://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/ main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=948#pr_lin k948Salim, enjoy the colour photograph and Pakistani flag along with the Pakistan Army insignia.Latest from Islamabad, suicide blast at Islamic University campus, Terrorists on ther last legs in Waziristan testing the reolve of Pakistani students.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

I’d like to lend my support to all Pakistanis in your pursuit of the evil militants. Do not be discouraged by the spate of suicide attacks. Support the efforts of your military and somehow tough it out through this difficult time. Let the Pakistani military and people prove to the world that you have cleansed yourselves of terrorism as a weapon. These are the moments where you can appreciate the support by the world community. It is all right if your leaders chose the wrong path in the past. But here is a chance to come out clean and demand a second chance from the world. Do not let the elements come back to grip your country ever again. Wars and conflicts never offer any solution. They only multiply it.

Its official, its CIA vs ISI and it is only going to get bloody. While Pakistan would like to cooperate with the US publicly,-Umairmeaning of COOPERATE according to Pakistan:give us billions of dollars to spend how we see fit and then go away and mind your business.WHERE AND WHEN WAS IT STATED OFFICIALLY THAT ITS CIA vs ISI?

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Let’s take a look at this situation rationally forget all the anti-pakistan sentiments and the blame game being played here. For any of us who either lives,has lived, was born, has family from the region stretching from middle east to the far east we have to look at the history behind this region. for all its trouble that pakistan had before, it was never under crisis it is now. blame who u want, benazir, zia ul hak, mushraff, nawaz sherrif, zirdari, India, ISI, whoever, the current situation is something far beyond then anyone of these factors could have caused. Iran and India both although have had to deal with security situations in the past but not things like mumbai attacks, and the recent bombings in iran. afghanistan for all its misery and troubles of the past few decades is ping pong ball for the region to take a swing at when appropriate. but lets take a look at the history of the region and all the foregin interference this region has seen. this is not something that is centuries old. only a few decades ago, the british did everything in their power to divide the muslims, hindus, sikhs, christians, and create what is now india, pakistan, bangladesh, kashmir. the U.S and british just a few decades ago, help over throw a democratically elected mosadegh in iran and place a ruthless dictator in the shah of iran. Mind you the so called “democracy spreaders” can’t even stick to their own principals. now all of sudden we are supposed to follow their advice and establishing secure and safe “democratic” states? the same countries who trained and supported people like the shah of iran, saddam hussain, osama bin laden, suharto. let’s not fall for all this nonsense of blaming each other, blaming pakistanis, or anyone else. right now its the people of pakistan who are suffering the most with no help coming to them from neighboring nations. there are hundreds of thousands of refugees and hundreds dying everyday, it is not their responsibility to have to sit their and suffer to meet the demands for the rest of us. let’s take a look at who really is the cause of the problem.

Posted by Hassan | Report as abusive

“there are hundreds of thousands of refugees and hundreds dying everyday, it is not their responsibility to have to sit their and suffer to meet the demands for the rest of us. let’s take a look at who really is the cause of the problem.- Posted by Hassan “–>We hope to God, that Pakistani’s do not uselessly suffer at the hands of militants or anybody else.But to solve this problem, all Pakistani’s must take responsibility for their country and realize that every personal problem in life begins and ends with the individual, not comparing that the individuals suffering there, but the Country of Pakistan collectively must realize that all of this chaos begins and ends with Pakistan itself.As a country, you can’t blame others for your problems, you must come to terms with what you are and take conscious steps to self-analyze and self-correct.A peaceful responsible nation starts with peaceful responsible citizens.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

Hassan:@Let’s take a look at this situation rationally forget all the anti-pakistan sentiments and the blame game being played here.”–Good thinking. But you missed China here. China is mostly silent as is their approach, but are they really so? They want a piece of the “Central Asia” pie as much the West does, and they would not like all the players to be peaceful to each other. remember terrorism appears terrorism only when it knocks at the door and cruely the very terrorist that people support. Some Pakistanis are thinking out of the box now and are turning against those terrorists they supported previously, but Chinese (or should I say Han Chinese) have nothing at stake here (forget Xinjiang since that was was nothing by comparison). To me, China is not a small culprit here with trillions of Dollars in cash, they are doing what they want.Put China into perspective to get a more complete picture.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@With all the campaign to malign the ISI and paint them as villains, both Pakistan Army and ISI are greatly respected in Pakistani public and enjoy more support than the corrupt politicians. Atleast the people look towards the Army in times of crisis in Pakistan.-UmairUmair: It is normal that the citizens of a nation respect their Army/spy agencies. Regarding “looking towards the Army in times of crisis in Pakistan”, all do that, we Indians do the same but will not like Army to step in governance. I have seen many times Indian Army saying on certain issues that those are political problems and cannot be solved by Army intervention. I am sure Pakistani politicians will call Army when needed.Military intervention in political affairs of a democracy is not a normal thing to do? It is worse when the citizens take it as a normal thing. I hope the majority in Pakistan dislike direct intervention of Army in political affairs which makes political leaders look stupid and the thus the government untrustworthy for making deals on vital issues.Also help me understand, if Pakistanis voted for PPP party and Pak Army does not let this party run the country during the hours of crisis, does it not amount to betrayal of the Pakistanis citizens who put faith in democracy?Until Pakistanis do not let politicians handle the country, Pakistan will be in a mess due to a number of reasons. This is distilled view of Pakistanis experts who want politicians and army take their appropriate position at all times for proper governance.Here is a video clip during Musharraf’s regime. A Pakistani student questions Musharraf on Pakistan’s failure to become a democracy like India at a discussion forum on National Integration and complains about Army intervention in politics.Myra, the clip is in Urdu but I will appreciate if you let this go through since it is relevant—you can get it translated if you want. He compares Pak to India on this.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH6h xllG0KA

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

[...] The question is who supports them now? Jundallah is a Sunni group, and there exists another of the same name which only operates in Pakistan, which makes for some confusion. This militant group is still accused of operating from Pakistan, and may have links with the Pakistani Taliban (especially since Quetta, in Baluchistan province, is a major Taliban outpost) and al Qaeda. Does the infamous Pakistani ISI play a role? While supporting the Baluch insurgency in Iran and fighting it at home seems contradictory, Iran and Iraq pursued such policies with Kurdish groups during their war against each other. Al Qaeda may also contribute to the increasing intensity of Jundallah’s attacks, as their leadership has spoken of expanding conflict to more countries with the help of other militants. The answer is elusive. [...]

And the ethnocentric thinking by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that Jundallah can’t think, operate or function without help from the Westis quite franky racist and ignorant.The one thing that I’ve learned, over the years,is that Al Queada like groups hate the Shia peoples.They hate the Shias more then the West.These terrorist groups find funding, training and expertise by they’re own means and usually from other Sunni dominated extremist groups.That maybe the only thing we have in common with Iran.

Posted by Steve Real | Report as abusive

‘We are aware of Indian involvement in Balochistan’Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that there is clear evidence of Indian involvement in Balochistan and that New Delhi should not be pointing fingers at Islamabad.(Dawn, 21/10/2009)If there is CLEAR EVIDENCE then why was it not presented before until now?Only yesterday Rehman Malik was jeered and had insults thrown at him by crowds outside the bombed Islamabad University. NOW, all this talk of CLEAR EVIDENCE! Talk about diverting attention from current situations.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

Mr. Bulletfish you said:”‘We are aware of Indian involvement in Balochistan’Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that there is clear evidence of Indian involvement in Balochistan and that New Delhi should not be pointing fingers at Islamabad.(Dawn, 21/10/2009)If there is CLEAR EVIDENCE then why was it not presented before until now?Only yesterday Rehman Malik was jeered and had insults thrown at him by crowds outside the bombed Islamabad University. NOW, all this talk of CLEAR EVIDENCE! Talk about diverting attention from current situations.- Posted by bulletfish “–>I really don’t know if the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and now Rehman Malik and his mighty band of players know that we have the internet. By having that, we are all aware, fully aware what all politicians say infront of an internation audience and fully aware of the much different stories that they tell in front of their own national audience, for the sole purpose of maintaining political perception of power and clout.It is quite foolish when politicians do this, Musharaff was caught lying several times to western audiences on many topics, too many to list here. On the same topics, he tells one thing to Pakistani’s and an entirely different thing to western U.S. audiences. We DO actually keep track of these two-faced comments made by Pakistani politicians and that is exactly why they make themselves look so corrupt, lying and blantantly dishonest and that is how the opinions on Pakistan are formed, through what hear coming out of your politicians mouths.I think this is a cultural norm in Pakistan, to tell fables, lies and conspiracies to an internal audience at home and talk all moderate, forward thinking and seem to look sounding like a westerner in front of an international audience, like at the UN.Again, please we are not stupid, please keep your stories straight, is it any wonder why we think Pakistan is so screwed up?Please tell the same stories in front of your Pakistani audiences as you do to international audiences.

Posted by GW | Report as abusive

The article indicates that Al Qaeda benefits from torpedoing the Obama effort to come to terms with Iran. Are there other benefactors? How about Israel? They have been working hard to prevent any long term negotiated deal between Iran and US. What better way to do this by antagonizing Iran through these types of terror acts from neighboring countries. They have trained and used PKK for this purpose. Why not, the almost never heard of and now made famous by the media, Baluchi minority? There has been article after article on how and why Israel and the previous US admin should go after assassination of guard commanders and Nuclear scientists in Iran, however when it happens we are supposed to believe there is no connection because they issued an statement to that effect?

Posted by The Chosen One | Report as abusive

blaming pakistanis, or anyone else. right now its the people of pakistan who are suffering the most with no help coming to them from neighboring nations.- Posted by Hassan=====Your frustration is understandable. For couple of decades people of “pakistan” were waging terrorism on the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians of India and on the muslims of Afghanistan. Now the muslims of “pkistan”are waging terrorism on the muslims of pakistan. What a mess! You are tasting your own bitter medicine of terrorism tonic and judging from the comments one gets the sense you really are unhappy about it.

Pakistan is sponsoring all terrorism in world. A terror unit anywhere in muslim world, when eliminated will find a safe harbor in Pakistan. It is like when in past any peaceful person were eliminated, they came to india, any terrorist outfit, facing elimination in world, comes to pakistan. So we see uighur terorists coming to pakistan, iranian terrorists coming to pakistan, arab (Sudan, Syria, UAE) terrorists coming to pakistan, bangladeshi terorists coming to pakistan, indian terrorists coming to paksitan, afghani terrorists coming to pakistan. When hamas will face liquidity test, it will run to pakistan. I see pakistan as the greatest land of terrorism in world.

Posted by Jockey Chan | Report as abusive

I live in Baluchistan & I think being a local I have more understanding & insight of this specific matter.Jundollah is an organization based on strict sunni values & is headed by Abdul Malik Reggi (Reggi is his cast).This organization is mainly based in Iran but this particular man Abdul Malik has been seen around Pak-Afghan border areas around chaghi in Pakistan & Graram Ser, Baramcha & other villages in Afghanistan which were previously under Taliban control but now US/ NATO forces have taken over the majority of the area.Jundollah’s links with any Pak organization are all baseless, there are no Lashkare-Jhangvi or lashkar-e-Tayyeba operating in Balochistan region let alone the remote border areas.Balochistan does not have a very big population almost everybody know everybody else.The relation between the Taliban & Jundollah can be at most that they had previously provided him refuge in their area. These are the talibans of Afghanistan & the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has no influence over here & most probably they don’t have any links with Jundollah.Jundollah has been targeting Iran for like 15 years or more, they are not new every year they do something. Most probably they raise funding through drug trafficking.Impression over here is that he is fighting for the rights of Sunni muslims in Iran in sistan baluchistan area not for any Baloch minority rights & he is not believed to be a big fish as much as media has inflated him in recent days.& yes last attack was maybe his most successful attack ever.

Lets hope they kill each other and save the America the trouble

Posted by Triple C | Report as abusive

[...] Analysts have also said that the use of suicide bombers suggested that Jundollah – which fights for the rights of ethnic Baluch in Iran – was becoming increasingly influenced by the tactics and sectarian agenda of groups like the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, blamed for a series of suicide bombings inside Pakistan. [...]

[...] Analysts have also said that the use of suicide bombers suggested that Jundollah – which fights for the rights of ethnic Baluch in Iran – was becoming increasingly influenced by the tactics and sectarian agenda of groups like the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, blamed for a series of suicide bombings inside Pakistan. [...]

Hi to all: I have read with interest the valuable article of Myra and all my friends’ comments. Most of them are informative and knowledgeable. But, there is no thin line between facts and fictions. In this free world every person has a right to own their personal opinion but it is not binding on others. No person is biased but no person is entirely unbiased either. Even judgments of courts have a big bearing on the verdict based upon their inherited likes and dislikes, like it or not but that is that.

My two cents on this valuable article is that Myra has done her best in gathering the facts (Jundillah, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, TTP et al). In fact, she cautiously has put forth the questions (most eminently a tug of war between TTP and Alqaeda groups to form a state within a state). She is right in doing so, because we do not have the proof, we can only speculate based on current events.

Anti-shiite terrorism generally throughout Pakistan and specially in Gilgit/Baltistan and Baluchistan is an old issue and is the by-product of main terrorism. If Pentagon thinks some Pakistani military officers are hand in hand with terrorist groups, Pakistan has a right to question who are funding those terrorists, who are the suppliers of arms and ammunitions to those terrorists. I will not provide a gun to my friend to kill me. Besides Pakistan does not have so much resources to play this video game, Pakistan is already fighting for its economic survival. Those that dream and predict dismembering Pakistan into four pieces must realize that Pakistan is a nuclear state. It is in the interest of the world to see a united and stable Pakistan. Otherwise, there would be a historical nuclear proliferation. I wanted to write two cents but looks like it is now five cents.

Posted by kumayun | Report as abusive