Terrorism History of Pakistan

(Imran Shermila, chiniot)

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 these aids.

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.

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