One must not hold one’s breath that the Quetta terrorist attack by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi on the police training academy killing 51 and injuring 170 Pakistanis would finally persuade the ISI and Pakistani establishment that harbouring terror nurseries on their soil to hurt India is a dangerous business. The terror — it is nothing but evil– has a habit of turning into Frankenstein’s monster; the evil one nurtures within, to do harm without, often destroys the nurturer. It knows no kith or kin other than its own twisted logic. Islamist Jihadi terror– its creation–is now tearing Pakistan apart, bringing it to the brink of being a failed state.
But it is quite clear from Pathankot, Uri and other cross border attacks by Pakistani terrorists that the dangerous game of terror that Pakistan has been playing for some time is still on, supplemented by continual cross border shelling and countless violations of ceasefire by its unbridled military.
Quetta is just the latest terror attack in Pakistan. There have been scores of them; some against the Shias and many others against other targets. One would have thought that Pakistan’s military bosses and the ISI, the de facto government of Pakistan, would definitely have learnt a lesson from the Peshawar school attack of over a year ago that killed scores of Pakistani military’s children.
The rulers of Pakistan seem to have learnt nothing from their past experience. But one thing is clear–and it can’t escape the notice of even a casual observer, let alone the ISI minders of terrorists: The similarities between the Uri attack in India and Quetta in Pakistan once again prove that the terrorists do take to heart and put in practice what they are taught by their Pakistani trainers.
In both Uri and Quetta the intended victims were asleep, and as such soft targets, when stealthily attacked.
In Uri the ambush attack happened when the jawans were all asleep in their tents. Although in the end all four terrorists were killed; but they clearly succeeded in doing significant damage. Reportedly Lashkar-e-Taiba, a one time favourite terrorist outfit of the Pakistani rulers, had claimed responsibility for the Uri attack.
In Quetta the police trainees and trainers were all caught asleep by the terrorists. The terrorist were able to inflict death and destruction upon unsuspecting sleeping cadets. The Quetta attack was carried out by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, goup that has roots in Punjab where most of its recruits come from; the same province where many terrorists infiltrating across the India- Pakistan border come from, including those responsible for the deadly 26/11.
Pakistan is home to numerous terrorist producing nurseries; so much so that in the security parlance Pakistan is known as a terror factory that threatens the peace of many countries.
It is troubling that under these terribly grave circumstances China continues to do the bidding of the Pakistani military and ISI by standing in the way of the UN designating Jaishe-e-Mohammad a terrorist outfit. It has made many flimsy excuses for opposing India’s UN bid to have JeM declared terrorists while continuing to falsely claim China is against all forms of terrorism.
But it seems China won’t for long be able to run with the hare and hunt with the hound. Within China’s own borders is brewing a dangerous insurgency in the Xinjiang province. Not all the outfits seeking autonomy for the Uyghur Muslim minority are Islamists; but some definitely are. Xinjiang has 10 million Uyghurs, Kazakhastan 250000 and Kyrgyzstan 50000. Some of them have links with each other and with Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda’s current leader Ayman-al-Zawahiri had recently encouraged the Uyghur Islamists to “strengthen the fire of Jihad” against the Chinese infidels. Zawahari’s exhortation for Jihad against China predated the recent terrorist attack on the Chinese embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; the attack appears to have been carried out by terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda and the Uyghur extremists.
Perhaps China will begin to understand that it can’t much longer afford to be selective about terrorism. Several weeks ago it was the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek. Then it was Uri in India. The latest was Quetta in Pakistan. Terrorism is a common enemy demanding a common front.
Pakistan must stop being a factory of hate and terror and China must refuse Pakistan even the faintest succour for the terror it continues to sponsor and breed.
(The opinions expressed in the article solely belongs to the author)