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Blaming the victim

The snakes once fed and nurtured by Pakistan in its backyard have turned against their master now. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which was given free hand in the tribal belt had been alleged of attacking the Pakistan Air Force base camp on Friday in Badaber, Peshawar. May be the TTP attacked the camp but what is more upsetting is Pakistan army’s statement that the attack was controlled from Afghanistan. The war-hit country and India has long been accused of supporting Pakistani militants—allegations that have no ground to stand on. It is Afghanistan which is the real victim of terrorism. Almost all of terrorists cross the Durand Line and attack military and civilian installations and assassinate high profile Afghan officials.

If Pakistan got credible evidence as it claimed then it should be shared with the Afghan authorities but it is said that five attackers, identified so far, were Pakistanis. Islamabad cannot divert attention of the international community by leveling false allegations. Neither can it pressurize the Afghan government to forget about Shah Shaheed and other deadly suicide attacks nor involvement of Laskhkr-e-Toiba in recent Ghazni prison break. Arrest of Afghan citizens after the blast is part of the Pakistani establishment tactics to divert its public attention too. Yet Islamabad cannot make fool of all even its liberal citizens who have critical approach.

Pakistan’s former ambassador to Washington, Hussain Haqqani, has acknowledged the fact in his book “Magnificent Delusions” that his country was supporting terrorism to materialize the dream of becoming leader in South Asia. Haqqani told about the bitter truth that intelligence agencies killed civilians by militant groups—a popular tactic to avoid justice and blame the victims. The ex-Pakistani diplomat is not the only one who raised concerns over dual policies of Islamabad on the war against terrorism but the former Canada’s ambassador in Kabul, Alexander, urged the international community to take notice of Pakistan’s military establishment double standard.

According to Alexander, Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism as a state because her intelligence agencies were backing terrorist groups that have created troubles in different countries. In 2006, a leaked report of the British Defense Ministry think tank charged ISI of supporting terrorism. ISI also planned to assassinate the former president Hamid Karzai in June 2008. The bid was foiled. However, in July 2008 they attacked the Indian embassy.

In 2009, the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates told that Pakistan was playing double game—claiming to be victim while maintaining links with Afghan Taliban “to gain influence in Kabul” one the foreign troops leave Afghanistan.

In April 2011, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen in his visit to Islamabad has asked the Pakistan army to take action against Haqqani Network. Mullen pointed to links between the ISI and Haqqani militants in the visit. After credible intelligence reports, the US forces killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011 in Abbottabad, not far from the academy where future military officers are trained.

Pakistan has received $30 billion in US economic and military aid in the last 13 years but failed to eliminate terrorists. Most wanted terrorists like Hafeez Saeed roam freely while Afghan Taliban travel to foreign countries from Pakistan.

By sponsoring terrorism Pakistan wants to harass India and control Afghanistan’s foreign policy and natural resources. Pakistan used the Taliban and other militant organizations to carry out terror attacks in India. The “good Taliban” are still supported by Islamabad.

Therefore, the Afghan government should come with tougher stance and urge Pakistan to drive the Taliban out of its soil. Islamabad should be asked to hand over all Afghan Taliban leaders to Kabul and put those behind bar who attacked Afghans.

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