Pakistan Timeline: News, Discussions & Opinions

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Hellfire, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Hellfire
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    Hellfire Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    One, two, three
    CYRIL ALMEIDA — PUBLISHED about 23 hours ago

    ULTIMATELY, they’re going to have to do it. They know it, we know it and the targets do too: decommission the favourites; defang the good ones.

    Get rid of militancy.

    Think of it as an arc: from Musharraf to Kayani to Raheel to the next chief, a progressive clampdown against groups that had to be taken on.


    Think of it as an arc: from Musharraf to Kayani to Raheel to the next chief, a progressive clampdown against groups that had to be taken on.

    With Musharraf, it was Al Qaeda — 9/11 changed the world and the world changed how we did business.

    From Kayani to Raheel, a second purge — the anti-Pakistan lot. They came after us, so we had to go after them.

    And soon the next chief — confronted with the spectre of a roiling Kashmir and the long-term presence of a right-winger in Delhi causing the last line standing to go into agitated motion.

    Something will have to be done before they do us in.

    One, two, three — is there an arc of inevitability to it? Each successive chief having to go incrementally further than the last, not necessarily because he wanted to, but because he had to.

    Lost in the warfare of the last month was an important consensus: the civilians said something needed to be done and the boys agreed — though, tellingly, the civilians resisted other actions in Punjab.

    But the path to recognising that something has to be done about the anti-India lot has begun to be trodden.

    It is the logic of utility, institutional self-preservation and the mechanism of jihad: if the groups exist, they occasionally have to go into action; and when they do, the outside world has a reaction.

    Once, twice, thrice — from Mumbai to Pathankot to Uri, the future is being written for us.

    Uri was perhaps the least significant and so the reaction the most telling. Pathankot was really the bigger deal, but it came a week after Modi’s Christmas Day Lahore surprise.

    He couldn’t react as angrily because he had just pushed open the door to normalisation. So India swallowed its rage and the world kept quiet.

    When Uri happened, there was no such luck. India went into a rage and the world sympathised, even before the facts were known.

    On India, we don’t have the advantage we have with the Afghan-centric lot. There we can always nudge them across the border — go home to where you belong, we can tell them when the time comes.

    With the anti-India lot, this is home. They’re from here and this is where the fallout will be suffered.

    And so this is where they’ll have to be dealt with.

    The past offers some clues about what the future could look like. With Al Qaeda there was an opening wallop followed by sustained action.

    The wallop came because 9/11 was momentous. It is how history will be measured, time before 9/11 and time after.

    The sustained, years-long pursuit of Al Qaeda, in Fata and the cities, came because America insisted and America had the resources to make sure we listened.

    But then came the Osama anomaly — what the hell was he doing here for those long years in plain sight?

    The lesson: we’re like the kid who hates homework. We’ll make a show of it in the beginning and then find reason to go slow or switch off.

    Phase three, the push against the anti-India lot, will be a root canal — when we get around to it, we sure won’t like it and will find plenty of reason not to until it threatens to kill us.

    From the push against the anti-Pakistan lot, a different lesson: the need to create a national narrative first, the fabled public consensus that the boys demand as the starting point.

    The boys have already hinted at it in private: telling the civilians to get a parliamentary resolution; arguing that public opinion needs to be kept onside; cautioning against moving too fast and under a perception of Indian pressure.

    It can seem a ruse and a delaying mechanism, but the experience of getting to the point of saying no more on the anti-Pakistan lot is mirroring the talking points on the anti-India lot — the boys won’t do it until they’re sure they have the public onside.

    But let’s not kid ourselves — the anti-India lot are fundamentally a different challenge.

    It’s not like that they’re hard to find — their power is derived from the ability to thrive in plain sight. When we do decide to go after them, the core networks can be shut down relatively quickly.

    The challenge, then, is something else: separating them from the anti-India narrative.

    We’ll have to find a way to shut down the anti-India lot without tampering with the story of India being Enemy No 1.

    Because, as has become evident, India being Enemy No 1 is an unalterable truth, an inalienable position that the boys will never give up.

    The logic of utility, institutional self-preservation and the mechanism of jihad means the boys can and will turn on the anti-India lot. What the boys will never do is give up on India being the enemy.

    So how to do it? And can it happen as soon as the next chief?

    It won’t happen when India is demanding furiously — this much we can see. And it won’t happen when the civilians try to make themselves look good.

    But it can if — if — someone can figure out how to get the boys to do it without making it look like it was someone else’s idea and without the boys looking bad.

    One, two, three — at least the logic is in place.

    The writer is a member of staff.


    http://www.dawn.com/news/1294503/one-two-three

    @VCheng @Joe Shearer @PARIKRAMA @nair
     
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  2. VCheng
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    VCheng RIDER THINK TANK

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    As long as the boys remain in control, this will remain a basic problem, and all the consequences that flow from it.
     
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  3. Joe Shearer
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    Joe Shearer VETERAN STRATEGIST

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    Mogambo khush huwa.

     
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  4. Hellfire
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    Hellfire Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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  5. Joe Shearer
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    Joe Shearer VETERAN STRATEGIST

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    Damn! Where was that blasted cameraman lurking?
     
  6. Hellfire
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    Hellfire Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Dear Members.

    It is intended to consolidate all news, discussions and opinions on and about Pakistan of General Nature into a single consolidated thread. Request merge post opinions/news of general nature in this thread.

    @VCheng

    @nair @PARIKRAMA
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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  7. Hellfire
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    Hellfire Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Reaping the Whirlwind
    Zahid Hussain


    THE targets may be different but the perpetrators of the two deadly attacks carried out in Balochistan in the space of one month are the same. The responsibility of the carnage at the shrine in Khuzdar as well as the slaughter of police cadets in Quetta have been claimed by the militant Islamic State group and its affiliates.

    In August this year, militants wiped out almost an entire generation of senior lawyers in the province in a suicide bomb attack inside a hospital. The restive province seems to have become the main battleground of the militants. Some recent sectarian terrorist attacks in upper Sindh have also been traced to militant groups based in Balochistan.

    It is not for the first time that a terrorist attack in Pakistan has carried the IS footprint. Last year’s bus massacre of over 40 members of the Ismaili community in Karachi was among the most gruesome of its kind. There have also been reports of security agencies busting militant cells affiliated with the group in other parts of the country. But it is Balochistan which is in the cross hairs.


    Islamic State’s apparent involvement in the latest attacks shows it has gained a foothold in the region.

    What is more troubling is the emerging nexus between local sectarian outfits and the lethal global jihadi group. We, however, are still in a state of denial about the looming threat. IS is not present in Pakistan; the idea is just a part of our enemies’ conspiracy to isolate the country — this is the patent response by government officials after every attack.

    It may be true that the Middle Eastern jihadi group does not have a formal organisational structure in Pakistan, but over the past years it has found allies among Sunni extremist groups such as the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) and some splinter factions of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. What has brought them together is the strong anti-Shia bent of their jihadist ideology.

    Most of these local militant groups were earlier affiliated with Al Qaeda which has lost its appeal after losing ground in Pakistan’s tribal areas and in Afghanistan. The spectacular advances of IS and its territorial control in Iraq and Syria have now made it much more attractive to militants in search of a new and more radical identity.

    Although IS has now lost much of the territory under its control and is on the retreat in the Middle East, it has maintained links with its allies in Pakistan. These groups operate more like a franchise than a formal centralised structure. Hence it is not surprising that the pictures of the Quetta police academy attackers were posted on the group’s official website hours after the incident.

    Some radicalised, educated young Pakistanis, influenced by its powerful online propaganda, have also pledged allegiance to IS. Quite a few were involved in attacks in Karachi and have recently been convicted by military courts. But some of these cells are still actively forming a nexus with sectarian groups, raising fears of continuing terrorist attacks across the country despite crackdowns by law-enforcement agencies. The breakdown of governance and an increasingly ineffective policing system, especially in Karachi, provide space for such groups.

    However, it is the rise of sectarian militancy in Balochistan over the last few years that has provided a foothold for IS in the province. A major factor in the ascent of violent sectarian outfits is the mushrooming of foreign-funded radical madressahs in the province. Seen to be primarily financed by Gulf donors, they are largely concentrated in Mastung and Khuzdar districts, the latter being the site of the latest attack on a remote shrine.

    While travelling on the RCD highway some 15 years ago, I remember seeing madressahs dotting the area where no other amenities were available. The administration either approved of them or looked the other way, boosting foreign-funded Sunni radicalisation. There is also strong evidence of a nexus between sectarian groups and the militias allegedly sponsored by the intelligence agencies to counter Baloch separatists. Such tacit support has allowed the militants to spread their tentacles.

    Over the years Mastung has emerged as the main centre of sectarian militancy. There is still a madressah complex set up by anti-Shia groups operating in the region. It is serving as one of the bastions of religious extremism in the province. Dawood Badani, a relative of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was responsible for the first major sectarian terrorist attack on an imambargah in Quetta in 2004.

    The trail of most of the attacks on Hazara Shias in Quetta that have claimed hundreds of innocent lives over the last decade leads to this district. Many top LJ leaders have reportedly been killed in the latest crackdown by security agencies, but the recent surge in violence indicates that sectarian networks are still capable of launching high-profile terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, Pakistani sectarian militants have also found sanctuaries in Afghanistan, allowing them to move about freely on both sides of the border and making it much harder for Pakistani law-enforcement agencies to track them down.

    Just a few months ago, Pakistan’s chief military spokesman declared that IS plans to expand into the country had been thwarted. But the group’s apparent involvement in the latest attacks shows that it has gained a foothold in the region despite the crackdown.

    It is not just for publicity’s sake that the banner of IS is being used by various factions of the LJ; there is strong evidence of organisational links between them. The latest wave of terrorist attacks in Balochistan appears to be part of the strategy to hit soft targets as IS suffers huge setbacks in its strongholds in the Middle East.

    Surely, one must not exaggerate the IS threat, but it is also unwise to underestimate the growing influence of the group, especially given the surge in sectarian militancy and the weakened authority of the state. We are reaping the whirlwind of our misplaced policies.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1296575/reaping-the-whirlwind
     
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  8. Hellfire
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    Hellfire Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Pertinent to note here is the fact that the decision of the GoP to not participate in the Saudi Arabia led intervention in Yemen and to forge closer ties with Iran, a traditional rival to Saudi dominance in the region and in the Islamic World as a whole, has irked the ruling elites of Saudi Arabia. It is immaterial that this decision of Pakistan was made keeping it's own national interests above all other considerations as an Iran, unbound to an extent by easing of economic sanctions, itself formed close relationship with India, carrying forward the decades long relationship.

    Tha aforementioned geopolitical calculus coupled to the Saudi Arabia's unique brand of Islam, provide a perfect admixture for furthering their own interests as also ensuring that Iran is 'encircled'. A destabilised Baluchistan-Waziristan region, where sectarian violence pre-dominates, plays exactly into the Saudi narrative of strengthening the Sunnis (to the detriment of Shias) and of applying pressure on the Pakistanis to 'toe' the line.

    An old article:



    Foreign Funding of Militancy

    IN order to effectively put militant groups out of business, it is essential to dry up their finances.

    Religiously-motivated militants do raise funds through local sources and criminal rackets, but foreign funding — particularly from Muslim states in the Middle East — is also a major source of cash.

    While the Gulf states are often cited as sources of militant funding, especially from private donors, it is extremely rare for government officials in Pakistan to openly identify any one of them.

    Hence, when Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Riaz Pirzada named names at an event in Islamabad on Tuesday, eyebrows were certainly raised. The minister, though he claims he was quoted out of context, told a conclave that “Saudi money” had destabilised this country.

    In fact, it has been largely established that Pakistan has been a conduit for funds destined for religiously inspired fighters for over three decades.

    In 1979, two monumental events took place in this region that forever altered the geopolitical calculus: the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

    Thereafter, funds flowed in freely from the United States, Saudi Arabia and others for the ‘mujahideen’ battling the Soviets across the border, while many Arab states — fearful of a revolutionary and explicitly Shia Iran — started to fund groups that could resist Tehran’s ideological influence in Muslim countries.

    Ever since, a jumble of jihadi and sectarian groups (of varying persuasions) has thrived in Pakistan, as the country became a proxy battlefield for Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as a front line of the last major battle of the Cold War.

    Since then, militancy has morphed out of control to such an extent that it now threatens the internal stability of this country; neutralising the myriad jihadi outfits has then become Pakistan’s number one security challenge.

    While documentary evidence is often hard to come by, Gulf money has been linked to the promotion of militancy in many instances.

    There have been reports of Gulf funding for extremists in the Syrian conflict, while the WikiLeaks disclosures of 2009 also attributed comments to Hillary Clinton linking Saudi funds to militant groups.

    Another cable claimed donors in Saudi Arabia and the UAE were pumping millions into south Punjab, with much of these funds ending up in the hands of jihadis. Even Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan admitted recently in a written reply to a question in the Senate that madressahs were receiving funding from “Muslim countries”.

    In principle, there is nothing wrong with seminaries or charities receiving foreign funds. But when this cash is used to fund terrorism and extremism, things become problematic. The best way to proceed is for the intelligence apparatus to monitor the flow of funds.

    If the authorities have reasonable evidence that funds from the Gulf or elsewhere are being funnelled to militants, the issue needs to be taken up with the countries concerned.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1158510
     
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  9. BlackOpsIndia
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    BlackOpsIndia Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Do you think Saudis will go against Pakistan for denying fighting for them in Yemen? Pak army is already there in Saudi Arabia, they train them (no wonder after being trained by losers they learned losing). It was a major setback for Saudis but thinking they will turn on Pakistan is bit far fetched. They need Pakistan, its their lovely puppet, more like a dog, which they can use, who harms own dog fatally?

    They will take the revenge, whip Pak Army but not by killing them but by make them to beg, when Pak starts to feel heat of defaulting loans they will make the same army beg like they did many times in past. I know you think Saudis are responsible for terror inside Pakistan but there are other actors too.
     
  10. Hellfire
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    Hellfire Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    There will be adequate pressure within Pakistan mounted by elements directly/indirectly controlled by Saudi Arabia. They would not like a closer working relationship between Iran and Pakistan which shall allow the former to get secure on it's Eastern Front. In case of Pakistan, it is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, true, and more so it's nuclear weapons, that is also true, but with India and Iran forging a close relationship and having convergence of interests in majority of areas in Afghanistan (it is pertinent that I have said majority and not all; the Western region of Afghanistan is traditionally considered by Iran as it's playground and it too would like 'strategic depth' here), Pakistan is in a hard place.

    That is why my alluding to the fact that the unrest in Baluchistan has to be looked at from this angle and not Indian angle. The funds are already flowing into the area. IS and TTP is funded by Saudis, not India. These groups are long term threat for Indians too.

    Rest later.
     
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  11. VCheng
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    VCheng RIDER THINK TANK

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    May be it is time to really give up denial?


    http://www.economist.com/news/asia/...ilitant-groups-creating-havoc-lethal-partners

    Islamic State in Pakistan
    Lethal partners
    A famous name joins the long list of militant groups creating havoc

    [​IMG]
    Murdered for dancing

    SECURITY officials in Pakistan used to insist the country was immune to the threat of Islamic State (IS). Doctrinal differences, they said, would stop Pakistanis falling under the sway of the Syria-based militant group, which has demanded the fealty of the world’s Muslims ever since its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared himself “caliph” in 2014. But IS’s presence in Pakistan can no longer be denied. The group appears to be responsible for two atrocities in recent weeks.

    On November 12th IS dispatched a suicide-bomber to the Shah Noorani shrine in a remote area of Balochistan province. The blast took the lives of more than 50 people who had come from far and wide to watch its Sufi mystics dance. Just over two weeks earlier, three IS gunmen had stormed a police training centre on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Quetta, killing 61. IS’s media arm released photographs of the attackers in both incidents, giving credence to its claims of responsibility.

    IS considers Afghanistan and Pakistan to be part of its province of Khorasan—an ancient name for the region. It is thought to have some hideouts in eastern Afghanistan, beyond the control of the government in Kabul, and has mounted several bloodthirsty attacks on civilians in that country too. It seems to have managed to gain its presence in Pakistan by teaming up with long-established local militant groups. Branches of both Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) claimed to have been involved in providing men, logistics and safe houses for the attack on the police academy, for instance. The Pakistani army announced on September 1st that it had arrested 309 alleged IS operatives and sympathisers, but that does not seem to have reduced its capacity to wreak havoc.

    The TTP, LeJ and IS are united in their pathological loathing of Shias, who make up an estimated 20% of Pakistan’s population. They also regard the relatively gentle, folksy version of Islam practised by many Sunnis in Pakistan, with its Sufi shrines and saints, as blasphemous.

    The two local jihadist outfits are, in part, creatures of Pakistan’s disastrous policy of attempting to harness Sunni militancy to advance its own domestic and regional agenda. The TTP sees itself as a sister organisation of the Afghan Taliban, a group long patronised by Pakistan as a tool to influence the internal affairs of its neighbour. LeJ’s parent organisation, Sipah-e-Sahaba, was backed by the state in the 1980s as a counter to Pakistani Shias who sympathised with the Iranian revolution. More recently the state allied itself with Shafiq Mengal, among LeJ’s current crop of leaders, in an effort to suppress the 12-year-old separatist insurgency in Balochistan.

    LeJ was banned in 2002 and its upper ranks have been gutted over the past year in “police encounters”—scarcely concealed extra-judicial killings. But with chapters all over the country it remains one of the most dangerous of Pakistan’s many militant groups, particularly in Balochistan. The Ahle Sunnat-Wal-Jamaat, successor to Sipah-e-Sahaba, was supposedly banned in 2012 but remains influential and active. Its leader, Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, was photographed meeting the interior minister on October 21st and was allowed to take part in a recent rally in the capital with other hardliners at which anti-Shia rhetoric flowed freely.

    It is unclear whether the new ties with IS bring local militants more resources and manpower, or simply more publicity and ambition. But unless Pakistan cracks down on home-grown terror, it will remain fertile ground for IS to launch more attacks.

    From the print edition: Asia
     
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  12. Darth Marr
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    Darth Marr Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    A Rather unfortunate time, especially when Pak is focused on its Eastern Border
     
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  13. Butter Chicken
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    I can imagine the local commander telling the boys- "Dil me rakho Allah ka khauf,haath me rakho Kalashnikov"
     
  14. Levina
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    Levina Admin- Twitter Staff Member MODERATOR

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    @T-123456
    Yesterday I heard that Turkish teachers were being sent back from Pakistani schools. Don't know the reason though. What's wrong?
     
  15. Tejasmk3
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    Tejasmk3 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    I think it was a request by Turkey to shutdown some schools called "Gulenist" schools, connected to a sort of separatist/revolutionary movt in Turkey. The leader was held responsible for the recent coup, and lives in exile in the U.S.
    http://www.eurasiareview.com/161120...step-in-erdogans-consolidation-of-power-oped/

    They made a similar request to us too:

    Turkey wants India to crack down on 'Gulen' schools
     

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