It is classic deja vu. Pakistan on Friday accused Afghanistan of not acting against terrorist groups hiding in the Afghan badlands, in the wake of a deadly terror attack on a Sufi shrine on Thursday evening. According to a news report in Karachi’s English daily Dawn, Pakistan’s Army handed a list of “76 most wanted terrorists’ that Islamabad believes are hiding in Afghanistan. Pakistan Army’s Major General Asif Ghafoor has also accused Afghanistan of not doing enough to crack down on them, also urging his Afghan counterparts to hand over the 76 terrorists to Pakistan.
Pakistan’s dilemma with Afghanistan and Kabul’s apparent apathy toward Islamabad’s concerns is what Pakistan has been doing to India for long now.
In March 2011, India reportedly handed a list of “50 most wanted fugitives” in Pakistan, a list that includes the likes of underworld don-turned-terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed, and 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. The government in Islamabad has been sitting on India’s list since, and has been seen making little effort to build cases against these terrorists. Pakistan’s oft-repeated excuse is that Indian investigators don’t supply enough evidence that could bring these people to justice in a Pakistani court.
Last month, after arresting LeT chief Hafiz Saeed, Pakistan’s home ministry asked India to provide more evidence against Saeed in order to build a case against him. New Delhi, however, has reportedly already provided ample evidence in form of testimonies among others that nail the role of Hafiz Saeed. The radical preacher has also been involved in other terrorist attacks on India, most notorious among them being the terror hit on the Indian Parliament in Dec 2001.
So, its like karma is coming to bite back Pakistan. They have been indifferent to India’s security concerns until, just as Kabul is to theirs now.
This write-up, however, is in no way whatsoever is a celebration of what the people of Pakistan are being made to go through because of Islamabad’s flawed and long-standing strategic policy of using radical Sunni terrorism as proxy against India.
The attack on the Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar on Thursday was one of the more bloodier ones that Pakistan has witnessed in recent times. It was reportedly carried out by a woman suicide bomber who pledged allegiance to Islamic State, and was the fifth terrorist incident this week. According to reports, at least 100 people were left dead in the attack, with dozens more battling for their lives.
The recent spate of terrorists attacks are also being fretted upon by the country’s security agencies for a different reason. It is being reported in Pakistani media that some of the more deadlier terrorist groups like the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) and domestically-focussed Lashkar-e-Jhanghvi are shunning their ideological differences to fight back against Islamabad, whose security forces has been involved in massive counter-insurgency operation against these outfits. The recent surge in terrorist violence, more so this week, serves as an ominous reminder of the threat the entire Pakistan is facing.
A veteran American spy earlier this week dubbed Pakistan the most dangerous country for the world, as he also highlighted how different terror groups could come together to topple Pakistan’s democratically elected leadership.
What Pakistan is now asking of Afghanistan is to crack down on some of these terror groups, the leaders of which are believed to be based of Afghanistan. It is a completely justified demand.
But so are India’s pleas to Pakistan, aren’t they?