Terrorism History of Pakistan
Strategically Pakistan is an important country but unfortunately is facing many
challenges internally and externally due to terrorism and economic crisis.
Pakistan is a peace loving country and always condemned all terrorism activities
inside or beyond the Pakistan. After the 9/11 incident Pakistan is supporting
all anti-terrorist movements and also deployed its forces against terrorism
therefore it has joined war on terror for the elimination of terrorism. Pakistan
is suffering from terrorism by fighting with terrorists because terrorism has
damaged its economics, infrastructure, politics and leading for anarchy.
What are the reasons that Pakistan is active against terrorism and has to join
the anti-terrorist movement? We try to cover the aspects of terrorism in
Pakistan and history of Terrorism in Pakistan.
Terrorism history of Pakistan had started in the decade of 1970 when the Soviet
Union invaded in Afghanistan with the intent of this to get control over the hot
water and expand his communist ideology, at that time Soviet Union not only
wanted to capture the Afghanistan but also capture the Gulf countries which have
oil rich resources. Ideological conflicts between two super powers, United
States and Soviet Union led into cold war. Soon after the Second World War, the
world divided into two blocks: Capitalist and Communist block.
The idea was planned by the France to use the Islamic reformer against the
Soviet Union because the French knew that Islamic reformers not like the
communist due to several reasons and also suggested this idea to the allied
states especially United States and United Kingdom that Islamic reformers might
be prove valuable asset against the communist countries. According to Cooley,
when Soviet Union intervene in Afghanistan with its forces in 1979 this was the
golden opportunity for the west to apply their strategy on Muslims people. At
that time United States President Jimmy Carter’s campaigned against the Soviet
invasion and also encouraged the Islamic countries to send financial assistance
and Islamic reformers to fight with the Soviet Union and the puritans were
called mujahidin or holy warriors. Not only West came close to Arab but also
came close to Pakistan and its Inter-service Intelligence Agency (ISI) which
provided the training and weapons to the mujahidin.
American efforts against the Soviet Union increased when the Ronald Ragan became
the President in 1980. United States assisted the Arab and Pakistan through
armed, finance and logistic supports such as United States assisted Saudi Arabia
to develop a mechanism through which underground financial and military
assistance to supply the ISI and mujahedeen, also assigned the task to the ISI
which built the mujahdeen groups. Islamic charities flourished in the United
States, and their donations supported the mujahideen. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan
came close to each other and at that time Pakistan prepared itself for Proxy war
of United States and in return not only the United States provided the
administrative, logistic, military and financial support to Pakistan but also
the Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries .This war made more clergies and
motivated the people on the name of Islam from the whole world, trained and sent
them to Afghanistan.
In the Zia Ul Haq era, Pakistan came close to United States and had warm
relations which were based on military ties and advancement. Billions of worth
operation launched against Soviet Union expansion by the US along with ISI and
CIA. For the year 1981 and 198 a $3.2 billion package was discuss between United
States and Pakistan after receiving the huge financial assistance form United
States, Pakistan became the second largest recipient of aid in 1987. But at the
end of Zia Ul Haq government all type of aids were suspended by US with this
allegation that Pakistan is using these financial aids for the processing of
nuclear arsenals and will not start again until Pakistan does not justify about
Pakistan agreed to fight as a proxy war for both the United States and Saudi
Arabia, as both nations poured money into the war against the Soviet Union. The
ISI, however, did not tell either America or Saudi Arabia how the money was
being spent, nor was ISI truthful when anti-Soviet hostilities ended in
Afghanistan. Various mujahideen groups struggled to gain power in Afghanistan,
and ISI backed its favorite allies therefore ISI developed a structure to assist
the mujahdeen those will fight on behalf of them in Afghanistan and after in
Kashmir against the Indian military. It also hoped to use groups Al Qaeda in
Kashmir, a province in northern India that Pakistan claims.
Pakistan recruited the fighters from the Madrassas (Religious Schools) with the
motivation of Jihad and encouraged the jihadist organizations or small militant
groups those later joined the Al-Qaida, Threke Talban or Threke Talban Pakistan.
Those fighters fought with the strategy of guerrilla warfare against the Soviet
Union and the Soviet Union was defeated in this war. With the disintegration of
Soviet Union, United Sates returned back to homeland and left the Pakistan with
these volunteer fighters. Unfortunately these fighters divided into different
groups and engaged kidnapping, looting and Target killing. Some fighters moved
to Kashmir for the help of Kashmiries people against the Indian army. When the
Soviet Union defeated and the United States left the Pakistan with the mujahdeen,
Pakistan government recognized the identity of Talban because Talban emerged as
a big power and established its own government in Afghanistan.
When the Soviet Union was preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan when the
Pakistan ISI developing its own guerrilla force with this purpose that they will
get the control on major areas of Afghanistan. Yeal Shahar says bin Laden was
excited on this victory and considered that this was a God victory and imposed
the Islamic laws on the world with this belief that the al Qaeda to be the
organization that could do it. In November 1989, Azzam a supreme leader of Al
Qaida was killed by a remote control car bomb. Either the assassination was by
Egyptian radicals or perhaps by Bin Laden himself. The result was that Bin Laden
and Zawahiri became the undisputed leaders of Al Qaeda. Bin Laden and Zawahiri
followed the philosophy of the sayyid Qutb; according to Qutb philosophy their
enemies were non Muslims, west and false Muslims who refused to accept jihadist
theology that is more violent philosophy.
The war was not ended with the collapse of Soviet Union because at that time
more than 30 groups were fighting with Soviet Union in Afghanistan. While the
United States oil companies wanted to develop their relations with the dominant
mujahdeen groups of Afghanistan with this purpose that they were build the oil
pipe line form central Asia to India Ocean. Central Asia was the second largest
oil fertile region after the Middle East however they wanted the oil would run
through Afghanistan with the association of mujahdeen dominant groups.. This was
the great strategy but the United States did not pay any attention on the basic
issues on Afghanistan.
1990 to 2001
With the disintegration and withdraw of Soviet Union from Afghanistan a new war
started in Afghanistan between local group for the power. Pro communist regime
fall in Afghanistan with the clops of Soviet Union in 1992 was ruling Najibullah.
Then power shifted form super powers to local political parties, among them an
agreement occurred through which they were share power and stable peace in
Afghanistan and finally Afghanistan became the Islamic State of Afghanistan.
Unfortunately the newly created government Islamic State of Afghanistan remained
under the attack Hezb-i-Islami militia armed led by Gulbuddin Hekmat Yar and the
Pakistan was providing the financial and administrative support to the
Hezb-i-Islami. Although after the withdrawal of Soviet Union the local political
parties had succeeded to establish government but they could not sustain longer.
In 1994, the Talban (a movement originated from Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam- ran
religious school for Afghan refugees in Pakistan) also developed in Afghanistan
as a politico- religious force, reportedly in opposition to the tyranny of the
local governor. In1994, Talban had get control over the several provinces in
southern and central Afghanistan. On the other side most of the militia groups
were fighting with the government of Islamic State of Afghanistan for getting
the control over Kabul but defeated militarily by forces the Islamic State’s
Secretary of Defense Ahmad Shah Masood. (Civil War in Afghanistan, n.d)
Talban prepared itself for the battle with Islamic State forces for Kabul and
get the military support from Pakistan and the financial support form Saudi
Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The Talban fully seized Kabul on Sep 27, 1996,
and got the control over Kabul established their government and Islamic State of
Afghanistan became Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and
United Arab Emirates only recognized the Afghan government.
The state of Pakistan had formally recognized the Talban government and Pakistan
was providing the logistic, administrative, financial and military support to
the Talban government in Afghanistan, for his own strategic needs and wanted to
establish pro Pakistan government in Afghanistan. In this case, Pakistani
religious, political parties and the people of tribal belts played a vital role
in establishing the Talban government in Afghanistan. Pakistan was deeply
interested in Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan because Pakistan interests existed
in Afghanistan due to several reasons.
After getting control over the capital city of Kabul on September, 1996, the
Talban issued a forbidding for women and banned women all social activities,
they were not allowed to work outside the home, to get admission in schools, or
to leave their homes without any male relative and could be cover in burqa.
Women were not allowed to wear white socks and shoes, and not allowed to see
outside from window; women all activities suspended by Talban and women had to
seize their homes moreover had not health and education access.
General Mushraf played a vital role for establishing Talban government in
Afghanistan and sent more then 28000 nationals including military officials to
support the Talban and bin laden against the Islamic State of Afghanistan. In
total there were believed to be 2000 were regular Pakistani soldiers either from
the Frontier Crops, 50th airborne Division or 12th regular army regiments, and
an estimated 8000 were militant recruited in Madrassas filling regular Talban
ranks. In 1998 documents by the United States, state department confirmed this
“20-40 percent” of regular Talban solider were Pakistani.
The former director-general (lieutenant General Mahmud Ahmad) Inter Services
Intelligence (ISI) was responsible for the support to Talban. With a
comprehensive mechanism ISI handle all the matters to provide military
assistance and financials assistance to Talban and bin laden behind this the
prominent ISI officials were involved such as lieutenant General Hamid Gul,
lieutenant General Rana Naseem, Lieutenant General Ziauddin Butt and retired
Colonel Sultan Amir Tarar played a major role in the war. Sultan Amir Tarar
provided the training to the mujahdeen and convinced them to fight along the
Talban and bin laden against the Ahamad Shah Masood. Financial assistance was
managed by General (retired) Hamid Gul. Major General Ziauddin But served as the
Intelligence coordinator under General Naseem Rana. In this entire course of the
war, Mushraf sent young military and paramilitary solider under General Naseem
to fight against the Northern alliance; Pakistani soldiers were fought in the
khaki shalwar kamiz. It was done by General Naseem and hidden the identity of
Pakistani soldiers and to avoid national pressure from Nawaz Sharif government
and international pressure from the western world. Ahmad shah Masood secretly
connected to the Nawaz Sharif , claimed this that the military and ISI are
involved in Afghanistan when Nawaz Sharif tried to intervene then Mushraf
stopped him and called Talban is valuable assets and front line defenders of
Pakistan. Militancy introduced and developed in Pakistan by the help of Pakistan
government and its Inter Services Intelligence for his own interests and used
them for several purposes. Ahmad Shah Masood addressed the European parliament
Ahmad Shah Masood addressed the European parliament emphasized that the all
militant groups including Talban and al Qaeda introducing the wrong perception
of Islam although Islam is a peace loving religion and respect the other
religions and Bin Laden the Talban would not be able to sustain their military
campaign for up to a year.
2001 to 2014
The incident of 9/11 brought a major change in the foreign policy of United
States which reshape the security structure, on the other hand Pakistan who was
supporting the Talban government had recognized it as a legitimate government
and took the major initiative in its foreign policy and stood along with the
United States against the Talban. The opinion of Pakistani people was mixed on
regarding War on Terror and it was very shocking because it was a turning point
for them. Because no longer Pak was the big supporter of Talban and suddenly
after the 9/11 took the u-turn against the Talban and mujahdeen groups.
On the US pressure, the Pakistan government took turning point and closed its
relation with al Qaeda and Talban because that was a time to take right decision
otherwise Pakistan had to face different economic and military sanctions and
would become isolate. Therefore Pakistan agreed to provide the routs for the
United States military equipments because Afghanistan is a landlocked state.
Pakistan also provided air bases to the US air force. (S. Haider, N. Akram & I.
Ul Haq, 2015)
The incidents of 9/11 was really turning point for Pakistan, when United States
pressurized the Pakistan to declare the all jihadist organization terrorist and
join the war on terror against terrorist organizations, after all Pakistan
declared the numerous organizations terrorist and join war on terror and became
the front line ally of United states, provided the air bases to United States
for the elimination of terrorism.
Although Pakistan is a Muslim country, Talban and jihadist organization are also
Muslims, when Pakistan government declared the war against terrorism and
jihadist organizations, the terrorist organizations also declared the war
against the Pakistan government and those who were supporting the west agenda.
Pakistan situation after 9/11 was going on worst because the terrorist groups
are fighting with this agenda, to eliminate the non Muslims, False Muslims and
those who are supporting the western agenda.
A wave of terrorism has been started in Pakistan after the 9/11, although
Pakistan is not developing country it has limited resources and based on
agriculture, it is not this able to bear human loss, infrastructure and economic
loss. The economic loss of Pakistan was $ 68 billion since 2001 to 2012 but now
it has reached up to $ 90 billion that is very high for under develop country.
After joining the war on terror, a new war started inside Pakistan because the
terrorists not only target the innocent people, security officers,
intellectuals, politicians, but also target the children.
Pakistani situation became the worst when Pakistan government took some bold
steps such as operation against the Lal Masjid and after this operation emerged
the anti sentiment against the government especially in tribal areas, Somehow
Pakistan government sustained this policy and conducted many operations to
control over the Talban and other terrorist entities but not much succeeded to
counter terrorism and then government of Pakistan decided to negotiate with
Talban and tried to bring peace. After great struggle of suppression Talban and
mujahedeen groups, Pakistan people’s Party government failed to control over
terrorism and then started negotiation with Talban and other terrorist groups
but in this negotiation Talban proposed some conditions, it seemed that Talban
is high jacking the Pakistan government with their demands because the demands
of Talban were very unacceptable for the Pakistan government. Talban demands to
Pakistan government were; first, break the relation with India, second,
abandoned the relation with west, And third to release the Talban prisoners.
A terrorist organization Tahrek e Talban Pakistan bases from the tribal
territory of South Waziristan which was lead by the Baitullah Mehsud and he also
operated all the militant operations after all he killed in drone strike in
2009. After the death of Baitullah Mehsud TTP leadership controlled the
Hakimullah Mehsud who based from the Orakzai Agency. TTP are conducting
terrorist attacks within Pakistan and its other factions also exist in Pakistan
from other Agencies and southern Punjab. (Daraaj, 2010) Before the 9/11 incident
these factions and militant groups did not challenge the Pakistan government but
as Pakistan took u-turn against them as they operated terrorists attacked
against the Pakistan.