This is a guest blog written by a friend from Pakistan, Ali K. Chisti. AKC is a lawyer and a blogger from Pakistan.
Editor’s Note: Our guest blogs are invited from special friends. Drishtikone may or may not agree with all the views but the views are meant to enhance dialog and foster understanding of the world.
The Mumbai attacks in India was a devastating blow to the peace process and composite dialogue initiated by India & Pakistan, post Agra Summit which resulted in bringing some form of normalcy in relations between India and Pakistan – both nuclear powers in South Asia.
The Indian media although is all out to blame Pakistan behind the barbaric terrorist attacks in Mumbai where more then 190 people lost there lives and 400 injured whereas, the Indian government understandably hawkish is trying to be bring some sort of face-saving to her incompetence of pre-empting the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
On the other hand, Pakistan is under pressure from all fronts and allies including the US & China to help investigate and practically take steps in combating terrorists or the rouge elements, President Zardari rightly pointed the other day as “stateless actors”.
Ignoring most of the conspiracy theorists in Pakistan and taking the attacks on it’s face value – the attacks has all the hall marks of Al-Queda and certain actor’s in both India & Pakistan who do not want stability in both India & Pakistan.
Leaving all the Indian allegations aside and forgetting the Mumbai Attack. There has to be something very grave that the entire world is condemning Pakistan? Even Chinese are not happy about our role which is alarming. The majority of Pakistani’s are emotional about Jihad and Kashmir while forgetting the world’s sensibilities and that the world they live is not ideal and this is not Saladin’s time.
There is something fundamentally wrong with Pakistan today and the problem is linked to our historical blunders and patronage to terrorists openly in the name of Kashmir Jihad in India and Pakistan especially post Soviet withdrawal where we somehow thought that India could be conquered Afghan-Style.
And the biggest example is of Maulana Masud Azher & Sheikh Omer.
The Frankenstein’s we created whose soul, body and shadows still haunts us and these experiments of the past that we considered “heroes” later became “villains”
Here’s a test case,
Molana Masud Azher.
Background & Origins
Masood Azhar is on old devotee of Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi who formed Sipahe Sahaba which is now working under the banner of “Lashkar-e-Jhanvi”, an organization that masterminded and executed a series of terrorist’s attacks in 90’s against the Shia Community in Pakistan, killing atleast 10,000 Shias all over Pakistan and especially in Karachi.
Maulana Masood Azher went on to train in Afghanistan for the Kashmir Jihad where he made alliances with stateless Arabs who were influenced by Kutb’s ideology of Militant Islam. Maulana Masood Azher heavily influenced by Kutb’s philosophy went into Jammu and joined Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.
Maulana Masood Azher was arrested n 1994 along with Sajjad Afghani. Harkatul Ansar began efforts to get both of them released. To release both men from Indians, there outfit kidnapped two British tourists in April 1994 and demanded release of both Afghani and Masud Azher. Indian government agreed but the Harkat ordered the release of the tourists.
ATTEMPTS TO RESCUE MASUD AZHER
In another attempt two American tourists were kidnapped to release both men from India, this time from Delhi but they failed/
In 1995 six Western tourists were kidnapped in Kashmir. This time from a new organization named “Al-Faran”. The organization was formed by an Al-Queda man Abdul Hamid Turki to get Maulana Masood Azhar released. The plan failed and Al-Faran leadership was eliminated mysteriously but by then they beheaded one of the six hostages – a Norwegian tourist.
Our delusional masters in Islamabad claimed that the Norwegian tourist was killed by RAW. How naïve and wrong they were to be proved when the same group influenced by
Qutb & Militant Islamic philosophy beheaded and killed many Pakistanis & Foreigners living in Pakistan in time to come.
LAST ATTEMPT – HIJACKING A Success? OR Unleashing of a Devil in Disguise?
Then came the hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight IC- 814 to Kandahar – the last attempt to release Maulana Masud Azher. This time Maulana Masud Azhar who was released following the hijacking of the Indian Airlines broke the Harkatul Mujahedin and set up a splinter faction, Jaishe Mohammad. (Remember by that time Pakistani Government have banned Harkatul Mujahedin)
In December 1999, Masud Azhar was released by India in exchange for the hostages held on an Indian Airlines plane hijacked to Afghanistan; shortly thereafter he founded the militant organization of Jaish-e-Muhammad.
Meanwhile Masood Azhar was received as a hero in Pakistan giving boost to his confidence to carry out his plans. Post-Hijacking, Masud Azher formed Jaish-e-Mohammad obviously under the patronage of our ISI.
Masud Azher also went on to different mosques in Pakistan and openly gave out sermons but things were changing fast in Pakistan.
Masud Azher still roams in Punjab openly under our government’s patronage and is actively involved in supporting sectarian violence in Pakistan. He is involved in killing Azam Tariq (his ex-boss from Sipa Sahaba) apart from actively preaching Jihad against West and Pakistan.
Lashkar-e-Jhanvi which is according to me is Al Qaida’s branch in Pakistan has links with Harakat al Mujahedin al Alami and Harakat al Jihad al Islami and is actively carrying out terrorist attacks in Pakistan (mostly urban areas) and India.
Akram Lahori now dead and one of the most sought out terrorist was ex-body guard of Maulana Masud Azher who later on beheaded Daniel Pearl with Sheikh Omer.
Sheikh Omer Saeed…. (Released by Indians)
Sheikh Omer was another person who was rescued by his Jihadi brothers after hijacking an India Airliner.
Sheikh Omer Saeed was liberated with Masood Azher. A British citizen and a son of a wealthy British Pakistani textile magnet and completed his masters from London School of Economics.
Unlike Masood Azhar, he kept a low profile after his release and had connections with Abu Zubaida and with Ramzi Binalshibah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad thanks to his training and background in mid-90’s in Afghanistan.
Sheikh Omer Saeed later went on to kidnap Daniel Pearl and beheaded him ruining Pakistan’s image for years to come. A repeat of what he earlier did in Kashmir where he beheaded a Norwegian tourist in 1995-6 in Kashmir where we in Pakistan defended the move then. Sheikh Omer was also involved in attacks on a missionary school in More, American consulate bombing in Karachi and on another missionary hospital in Taxila.
In February 2002 he was arrested for the abduction of the Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl who was beheaded by kidnappers. He is sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court.
In General Mushraff’s “In the Line of Fire”, Sheikh Omer Saeed is described as double agent working for both MI5 and ISI.
The point is that there has to be a serious introspection within both the intelligence agencies and military establishment is Pakistan.
They should stop differentiating between sectarian Jehadists, Kashmiri Jehadists and Al-Queda as they are all inter-linked and dangerous to Pakistan, India and the Rest of the World and until this happens we will be blamed from JFK’s assassination to the recent economic meltdown to 9/11.
This article does not hold Pakistan or any Pakistani responsible for the Mumbai Terrorist Act but is written to criticize our previous policies and hypocrisy of the military established of Pakistan for the benefit of the state and future policy making.
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