Terrorists’ Penetration into Pakistan
By Sajjad Shaukat
During the Security Council’s debate on June 20, this year, Pakistan’s permanent Ambassador to the UN Masood Khan categorically rejected the accusations of Afghan Ambassador Zahir Tanin over existence of terrorists’ sanctuaries in Pakistan, from where terrorists are being sent to Afghanistan. Khan pointed out, “terrorists’ many attacks against Pakistan are planned on Afghan soil.”
He further said that that terrorism is a threat to both Pakistan and Afghanistan and therefore both countries should work together to eliminate this scourge.
Recently tension arose between Pakistan and Afghanistan when a spokesman of Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs blamed Islamabad for continuation of mortar attacks and construction of security wall inside Afghanistan including deployment of Pakistani soldiers across the Pak-Afghan border.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered his top officials on April 14, 2013 to take immediate action to remove the gate and other “Pakistani military installations near the Durand Line.
In response, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Office and Army Spokesman Maj-Gen. Bajwa strongly rejected Afghan allegations regarding any intrusion near the Pak-Afghan border.
Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani held talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on April 24, 2013 in Brussels in a meeting hosted by the US Secretary of State John Kerry aimed at easing tensions over border disputes and the stalled peace process. But Kerry failed to bridge the differences between Islamabad and Kabul.
In fact, Pakistan has always cooperated with Afghanistan for peace and stability, but the repeated rhetoric of Karzai accusing Islamabad of facilitating the extremist elements has been vitiating the atmosphere.
Karzai has always followed the US blame game against Pakistan. While ignoring the responsibilities of the US-led NATO countries, in the past few years, especially US civil and military high officials have repeatedly been emphasising Pakistan to ‘do more’ against the militancy in the tribal regions in order to stop cross-border infiltration in Afghanistan.
Having failed in coping with the Afghan Taliban and to pacify their public, particularly, US has shifted the blame game towards Pakistan for incursion of militants in Afghanistan. In fact, Afghanistan is responsible for terrorists’ penetration into Pakistan.
In this respect, around 400 heavily-armed Taliban who entered from Afghanistan side attacked two security posts outside Peshawar on December 27, 2012. They killed 2 soldiers and kidnapped 22 Levies personnel whose dumped bodies were found. On June 24, more than hundred militants, entered Pakistan’s region of Dir, and attacked two check posts of the security forces, while bloody clashes between the intruders and Pak Army continued for two days, which resulted in martyrdom of 12 Pakistani troops, beheaded by the Afghan miscreants.
In this regard, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership lodged a strong protest with their counterparts in Afghanistan and NATO, saying that their forces were doing nothing to check insurgents’ activities, based in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Afghan government also refused to hand over Maulvi Fazlullah, leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militants who have been conducting subversive acts in Pakistan.
It is notable that since April, 2011, some 200 to 300 heavily-armed insurgents from Afghanistan’s side entered Pakistan’s region intermittently, targeting the security check posts and other infrastructure. On October 9, hundreds of insurgents attacked the Kakar check post in Upper Dir. During the assault, around 15 insurgents were killed and a soldier also lost his life. On August 27, some 300 militants attacked seven paramilitary check posts in Pakistan’s district of Chitral, killing more than 30 personnel of the security forces. In one of such major attacks, on June 1, more than 500 armed militants who came into Dir area killed more than 30 police and paramilitary soldiers. Police said that well-trained terrorists who targetted a check post, also destroyed two schools and several houses with rocket and gunfire attacks, while killing a number of innocent people. On June 3, 400 militants besieged the Pakistani area. Sources suggested that after a three-day gun battle, Pakistani security forces killed 71 Afghan Taliban.
So far, these terrorists who penetrated into Pakistan from Afghanistan’s side have killed more than 100 personnel of Pakistan’s security forces.
Meanwhile, in his meeting with the new NATO/ISAF Commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph F Dunford on April 1, 2013, Gen. Kayani asked him to stop cross-border infiltration from Afghanistan.
However, the way the Afghan militants are challenging a highly professional Pak Army by cross- border attacks is enough to prove that US with the assistance of secret agencies such as American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which have well-established their collective network in Afghanistan is fully backing these incursions with a view to destabilising Pakistan which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World.
While, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where these external secret agencies are also sending logistic support to Baloch separatist elements to dismember Pakistan in order to obtain the secret strategic designs of the US, India and Israel against China and Iran. Besides martyring several personnel of security agencies in Balochistan, these foreign-backed entities kidnapped and massacred many innocent people who include teachers, professors, lawyers, Hazara-Shias etc., and especially Chinese nationals.
There is also another kind of penetration from Afghanistan. In this connection, in a religious Madrassa of Wakhan, located in Afghanistan, is functioning under the patronage of Indian officials—with the consent of CIA. It is being used for brainwashing of very young boys who are Indian Muslims, Afghans, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Caucasians. They have also been made to learn Pashto and traditions of Pathans. Posing as volunteers, they have joined the ranks and files of the TTP, Lashkar-e-Janghvi and other militant outfits. In the recent years, especially TTP’s insurgents and its affiliated banned groups conducted many terror-activities like suicide attacks, ruthless beheadings of tribesmen, assaults on security personnel and prominent figures including Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, Christians and Sikhs. TTP had accelerated subversive activities so as to sabotage the recently-held elections in Pakistan. Besides, recent terror-attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi are part of the scheme to fail the democratic process in Pakistan, and to create chaotic situation in the country.
Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has repeatedly revealed that militants along with huge cache of arms are being sent to various areas of Pakistan from Afghanistan. In the recent past, former Federal Minister Rehman Malik pointed out that during his trip to Afghanistan, he emphasised upon President Karzai to close training camps of the terrorists.
Here question arises as to why US-led NATO forces which are equipped with modern surveillance system do not stop the Taliban insurgents when they go into Pakistani territory? Second question is as to why these foreign forces based in Afghanistan did not attack the Al Qaeda or Afghan Taliban, while in some cases, fighting with Pak security forces have continued for two or three days?
In the recent years, a series of international conferences were held so as to bring stability and peace in Afghanistan before the NATO troops complete withdrawal from that country in 2014. While, American top officials have repeatedly agreed that without the help of Islamabad, stability cannot be achieved in Afghanistan. Pakistan has also been facilitating US-backed dialogue with the Afghan Taliban, and released several Taliban prisoners for joining the reconciliation process in Qatar. But US and President Karzai are playing double game with Islamabad.
Notably, Afghanistan shares a common border with the Central Asian Republics. And all the foreign insurgents enter Pakistan through Afghanistan which has become a gateway. So, as to why US and NATO forces do not capture these foreign terrorists when they enter Afghanistan. Nonetheless, it shows terrorists’ planned penetration into Pakistan from Afghanistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Affairs