Courtesy: Daily "The News", 13 April 2011.
Terror as their principal tool, there has been a conscious, deliberate strategy to exploit pre-existing fissures within the Pakistani society; Deobandi vs Barelvi, for instance.
In calendar 2010, fatalities in terrorist violence numbered 7,435 Pakistanis while the total from 2003 to 2010 stands at 32,623 Pakistanis killed. In calendar 2010, there were 49 suicide attacks and 473 bomb blasts between Khyber and Karachi. The master perpetrators are on a killing spree bent upon sending out three messages: First, the State of Pakistan cannot protect its citizens. Second, chaos and anarchy rules. Third, de-legitimisation of the state.
Salman Taseer, the 26th governor of Punjab, was gunned down in Islamabad exactly 3.1 kilometres from the President House. Three messages: First, the state of Pakistan cannot protect its own governor. Second, chaos and anarchy rules. Third, de-legitimisation of the state.
Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Minorities, was assassinated in Islamabad exactly 16.5 kilometres from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Three messages: First, the state of Pakistan cannot protect its own governor. Second, chaos and anarchy rules. Third, de-legitimisation of the state.
On February 15, 1989, the last Soviet soldier walked out of Afghanistan and out of that chaos and anarchy was born the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Kandahar, which served as the emirate’s capital from 1996 to 2001, was less than 40 miles from the Pakistani border. In 1995, Pakistan experienced its first suicide attack that killed 14 in Islamabad. By 1998, the state of Pakistan had lost writ over large chunks of North Waziristan Agency. By 2000, more than 20,000 sq km of Pakistani terrain had been lost to forces that thrive in chaos and anarchy.
In 2000, Pakistan went through at least 14 bomb blasts including two each in Karachi and Lahore plus one each in Islamabad, Sialkot and Hyderabad. Between February 4, 2001 and September 6, 2001, there were a total of 45 bomb blasts in each and every major Pakistani city. Imagine; September 11 hadn’t happened.
Clearly, a three-pronged military strategy — bomb blasts, suicide attacks and targeted killings — has been in place even prior to September 11 (the intensity surely picked up pace after the arrival of American forces in the region). There has indeed been a conscious, deliberate and a premeditated military strategy at work — a strategy designed to create chaos and anarchy with the intent of de-legitimising the state of Pakistan in the eyes of its own citizens.
To be certain, the above military strategy has pure political objectives — to build a new political order on the ruins of the de-legitimised state. The military strategy has actually had some successes. In February 2006, for instance, the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan was announced. On September 5, 2006, the state of Pakistan signed a peace accord with the emirate thus affixing its stamp of recognition.
To be sure, the forces longing to de-legitimise the state of Pakistan cannot withstand the coercive apparatus of the state in a conventional face-off and thus an asymmetric strategy of bomb blasts, suicide attacks and targeted killings is being pursued. This is psychological terrorist warfare at its best trying to create an environment where normal state of governance cannot continue. The real intent is to overwhelm the state of Pakistan in order to bring her down to her knees. It’s all about three things: power, power and more power. Nothing to do with religion, my Lord.
Wasn’t it Polonius, King Claudius’s chief counsellor, who said, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t?”
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"FATA Awareness Initiative" Team.