By Dr. Omar Ali
Originally published at wichaar.com under the headline “The Air Marshal’s incompetent bombmaker son”
The son of an air marshal ruined his own life and abandoned his wife and kids in an utterly incompetent attempt to blow up innocent people (some of whom were probably Pakistani cab drivers). Why is Pakistan is breeding so many Islamic fanatics (luckily for us, some of them are incompetent Islamic fanatics)?
In some ways, Islamic supremacism is not that different from Christian evangelism, Hindu revivalism or those Japanese rightwing nuts who go around in loudspeaker vans appealing to the emperor to restore Japanese honor and for everyone else to prepare to commit hara kiri. Its true that Christian fanatics and Hindu revivalists are not exploding in buses and trains in faraway countries, but psychologically the profile is very similar. In any case, in most places, STATES do most of the killing domestically as well as internationally. Or people fight the state locally. What is different about Islamist terrorism is that these killers are international in scope and action and they seem to have an endless supply of morons willing to ruin their own lives for the cause. But why are they headquartered in Pakistan? The ideology, after all, is more closely associated with Saudi Arabia. I think the reason is that the presence of Islam is not the critical factor. The road from ideology to actual explosion passes through state-sponsored education, an infrastructure of terrorism and a culture where this kind of bombing has become an accepted response to whatever is perceived as injustice. And the reason this infrastructure is headquartered in Pakistan rather than Saudi Arabia is because the elite has been uniquely stupid in Pakistan.
Pakistan: Faisal Shahzad and the Pakistani Taliban
Published on May 10, 2010 | 2338 GMT
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said May 9 that the United States has evidence linking the Pakistani Taliban to Faisal Shahzad, the man who confessed to the failed bombing attempt at Times Square in New York City on May 1. Shahzad is a naturalized U.S. citizen who demonstrated a willingness to carry out an attack on U.S. soil. However, his status as a U.S. citizen would have been problematic for the Pakistani Taliban, who must remain wary of potential infiltration from U.S. intelligence. Furthermore, the attempted bombing showed little to no signs that Shahzad had help from an outside group.
In many ways, Faisal Shahzad has come to epitomize the confusion that Pakistan and its diasporas have had with Islam. Here is an outwardly successful Pakistani American who decided to blow up the very people he was living with. RAND has recently published an important report that calculates the percentage of wannabe Jihadis in the North America. This report finds Pakistani descent Jihadis topping the list. Like it or not, our country has had a hand in some aspect of terrorist acts perpetrated across the globe one way or another. There is absolutely nothing to be proud of hearing these negative headlines about our country; yet if we are not able to recognize our follies, we will never be able to redress them.
Below, we are posting excerpts from two important commentaries and news reports that look at the Pakistan’s confused relationship with armed Jihad that is being perpetrated in the name of Islam. Majority of Pakistanis want nothing to do with killings of innocent civilians in New York, London or Madrid. Yet there is a vocal group within our society that is out to wage a war against the infidels, with special attention reserved for scheming Jews and their benefactor US. At the end, this group needs not more than one person to make its designs known to the world.
Filed under Al Qaeda, FATA, Islam, Islamism, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence
By Nadeem Farooq Paracha
Cross post from The Dawn
On April 19, a Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) rally in Peshawar was attacked by a suicide bomber. The gruesome attack was allegedly engineered and undertaken by members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The irony is that the JI are one of the few mainstream political parties in the country that actually sympathise with the TTP, claiming that the terror group is fighting a war against “American imperialism” and against the Pakistani state’s “aggression” in the north-west of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
But the irony in this respect wasn’t a one-off. In early April, former ISI sleuth, Khalid Khawaja, was kidnapped along with another ex-ISI man by a group of terrorists labeled (by the media) as the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ (or Punjabi extremists having links and sympathies with the Pushtun Taliban).
On April 29, Khawaja’s murdered body was found in the turbulent tribal area of North Waziristan. He had been shot twice. A faction of the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ calling itself Asian Tigers claimed responsibility. Khawaja was an open supporter and sympathiser of the TTP, and was known to have had deep links with various Sunni sectarian organisations, and within both the Pushtun and Punjabi Taliban groups.
By SADANAND DHUME
Monday night’s arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-American accused of planting a car bomb in Times Square on Saturday, will undoubtedly stoke the usual debate about how best to keep America safe in the age of Islamic terrorism. But this should not deflect us from another, equally pressing, question. Why do Pakistan and the Pakistani diaspora churn out such a high proportion of the world’s terrorists?
Indonesia has more Muslims than Pakistan. Turkey is geographically closer to the troubles of the Middle East. The governments of Iran and Syria are immeasurably more hostile to America and the West. Yet it is Pakistan, or its diaspora, that produced the CIA shooter Mir Aimal Kasi; the 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef (born in Kuwait to Pakistani parents); 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s kidnapper, Omar Saeed Sheikh; and three of the four men behind the July 2005 train and bus bombings in London.
The list of jihadists not from Pakistan themselves—but whose passage to jihadism passes through that country—is even longer. Among them are Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mohamed Atta, shoe bomber Richard Reid, and John Walker Lindh, the so-called American Taliban. Over the past decade, Pakistani fingerprints have shown up on terrorist plots in, among other places, Germany, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands. And this partial catalogue doesn’t include India, which tends to bear the brunt of its western neighbor’s love affair with violence.
Filed under Al Qaeda, FATA, Islam, Islamabad, Pakistan, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence, War On Terror
Published on May 03, 2010
Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Shrouded in white, the spy’s bullet-riddled body was buried Sunday, and with it clues to a cloak-and-dagger mystery gripping Pakistan.
The funeral was for Khalid Khawaja, 58, a former Pakistani intelligence agent who journeyed last month to the militant-controlled borderlands of North Waziristan, only to be killed by a little-known insurgent group that accused him of working for the CIA and its Pakistani counterpart.
That is where this whodunit becomes more of a why-done-it. Khawaja placed himself solidly in the anti-American, pro-Taliban camp. So did his traveling companion, a fellow ex-spy and U.S- trained Taliban architect with the nom de guerre Colonel Imam.
“How could the mujaheddin kill their supporter?” asked Mohammed Zahid, 45, an engineer who was among a modest crowd standing under a baking mid-morning sun at the funeral.
The answer, according to emerging clues and security analysts, is that North Waziristan, once a hub of Taliban fighters with links to Pakistan’s military, has evolved into a stewpot of militant groups, each with different loyalties. Old Taliban ties may have meant little to the Asian Tigers, the group that said it killed Khawaja and is thought to be a Punjab-rooted organization battling the Pakistani state.
Filed under Al Qaeda, Army, FATA, Islamabad, Pakistan, Politics, Punjab, Punjabi, Religion, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence, War On Terror
By Nadeem F. Paracha
1. Asif Ali Zardari is the devil incarnate.
2. The Pakistan Army is the saviour.
3. The Taliban are resisting American imperialism.
4. We hate American foreign policy unless it suits us. We are against American imperialism if it means we have to ditch the Taliban as that would be against the aspirations of our founding father, Mohammed Bin Qasim. We will no longer shop at Marks and Spencer because they are somehow connected to Israel. However, that does not mean we will switch off our computers and cell phones whose chip technology has been made possible due to major contributions from Israeli scientists. Continue reading
Filed under Al Qaeda, Army, baluchistan, Benazir Bhutto, Democracy, FATA, Humour, India, Iran, Islam, Islamabad, Kerry Lugar Bill, Pakistan, Punjab, Punjabi, Religion, Taliban, USA, War On Terror, Writers, Yusuf Raza Gillani, Zardari