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Terror groups want peace with Pak army to fight Indian military threat

Terrorism

Terror groups want peace with Pak army to fight India’s military threat

By L H Naqvi

Indian diplomatic sources have been quoted as having said that “a military option against Pakistan cannot be ruled out” for dealing with sustained terror attacks on India in recent months. Obviously Pakistan will not just sit back and let us exercise our “military option” for capturing, dead or alive, the Al Qaeda operatives for their alleged role in the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai. In simple words India is now prepared to go to war with its troublesome neighbour.

If India decides to attack, the time is just ripe. The 60-hour live coverage of the attack on Mumbai has shaken the entire world. It has made nations grappling with jehadi terror feel equally vulnerable. However, the targeting of Nariman House, bought some years ago by a group of Jews, and the killing of a Rabbi may well turn out to be the single most crucial factor in getting global diplomatic and public opinion to back India.

In Pakistan there is growing fear that the Indian Air Force (IAF) may attack militant hideouts inside Pakistan, in very many respects similar to the US missile attacks on Taliban and Al-Qaeda safe havens in the tribal districts on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. According to the Pak media the IAF may attack the town of Muridke, the headquarters of banned militant organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Muridke is near Lahore from where the LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is running his outfit under the new name of Jamaatud Dawa.

A favourable global position, however, should not be the only reason for exercising the ‘military option’. India would do well to weigh carefully the pros cons of the adopting the doctrine of hot pursuit. It may well turn out to be the lifeline Pakistan desperately needs to deal with increased incidents of terror attacks it has had to face after the storming of the Lal Masjid in Islamabad last year.

According to the Pak media the Taliban commanders, who are currently fending off US missile attacks and who have been bogged down in bloody fighting with Pakistani security forces for the past several months, are seeking a new opportunity for a ceasefire with the Pakistani army following the Mumbai attacks.

The Taliban’s ceasefire offer has been welcomed by hardline Pakistani army officers who are unhappy with the domineering role of the US in the war on terror. Roznama Jang reported that several key Taliban commanders have offered to support the Pakistani army in the event of an Indian attack on Pakistan. In return, Pakistani army officials have called the Taliban commanders "Pakistani patriots." Not surprisingly the names of notorious Taliban commanders, including Baitullah Mehsud and Maulvi Fazlullah, are in the list of “patriotic Pakistanis."

Ever since the Mumbai carnage and aggressive diplomacy by India to paint Pakistan into a corner a number of Taliban commanders and spokesmen have contacted different Pakistani media organisations to offer their support to the Pakistani army in its stand against India. Wali Muhammad, a spokesman for the Taliban (Mullah Nazir group) in Pakistan’s tribal district of South Waziristan, warned of suicide attacks in India in the event of an attack on Pakistan.

Muhammad, who is also known as Shaheen, added: "Our differences with the [Pakistani] government notwithstanding, if the issue is national security, we have 500 suicide bombers who will enter India."

He urged religious and political parties to end their differences and to unite to defend Pakistan. The Taliban spokesman stated that 15,000 armed Taliban fighters would fight alongside the Pakistani army against India.

Maulvi Omar of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, also warned India that his mujahideen will stand by the side of the Pakistani army and the security forces in the event of a war.

Omar added that the Indian threats following the Mumbai attacks are aimed not at the Pakistani army and security forces, but at Pakistan as a Muslim country.

The Maulvi warned that the Taliban fighters could join the Pakistani soldiers on the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Another Taliban commander, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, who is senior deputy head of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, has been quoted by the Pashtu-language newspaper Wrazpanra Wahdat as having said that the fighters loyal to him are ready to defend Pakistan against any likely Indian attack on Pakistan. He accused the Indian intelligence agencies of having planned the Mumbai terror attacks. Maulvi Faqir Mohammad added that the Mumbai attacks were an attempt to defame Pakistan, and denied any Taliban involvement in them.

In the tribal district of Khyber Agency, the two dominant militant organisations, Lashkar-e-Islam and Ansarul Islam, have offered to fight alongside the Pakistan army against India.

Roznama Jang has quoted Yahya Mujahid, a close aide to Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and a spokesman for the Jamaatud Dawa, as having said that any aerial Indian attack on any of the Dawa-run religious seminaries and offices across Pakistan would be treated as an assault on Pakistani sovereignty.

It is thus clear that while India is merely talking tough at this point of time, the terrorist outfits in Pakistan have cleverly used it to whip up religious passions. They have already announced a war on Pakistan by India. The so-called mainstream media too has joined the ‘hate India’ chorus. One TV channel had the temerity to claim that 26/11 was the work of Hindu Zionists!

(The writer is a senior journalist and former Associate Editor of The Tribune, Chandigarh)
Published: 2008-12-09
Author: lakkan naqvi

About the author or the publisher
I am basically a print journalist. I have 40 years experience as a reporter, magazine editor and editorial writer. I have worked with India's two leading English newspapers - The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, and The Tribune, Chandigarh. My one-year contract as editor www.news24online.com will expire at the end of this month. I am treating myself as in between jobs and exploring fresh career options.

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