Thursday, December 25, 2014

India's Role in Pakistan Terror; Pakistan's National Narrative; Quaid-e-Azam's Vision

Is India fishing in Pakistan's troubled waters? Has Modi stepped up India's covert war in Pakistan in 2014? 

What should Pakistan's new national narrative be to fight terror? Should it be based on Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah's vision of tolerance for differences and inter-faith harmony in Pakistan as laid out in his many speeches on the subject?

How can Pakistan succeed in stopping ongoing bloodshed? What is the role of the civil society, the mass media and the politicians in it?

ViewPoint from Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discuses these questions with panelists Sabahat Ashraf (iFaqeer) and Riaz Haq (

India's Role in Pakistan Terror; Pakistan's National Narrative: Quaid-e-Azam's Vision from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Has Modi Stepped Up India's Covert War Against Pakistan?

Quaid-e-Azam Inspired by Misaq e Masina?

Pakistan's Political and Military Policy Response to Peshawar Attack

Taliban or RAW-liban?

Counter-insurgency Operation ZarbeAzb

India's Abiding Hostility Toward Pakistan 

India's Israel Envy: Will Modi Attack Pakistan?

Who Killed Karkare?

CFR's View of the Taliban

India's Covert War in Pakistan

India and Balochistan


Anonymous said...

Riaz Haq Saheb,

I am indian, I watched your ikolachi video, following you for a while, I was not expecting from Like India interfearing your problem. Do india need to do that? Pakistan is in self destruction mode....!.. if you commit mistake 1 time, understandable, 2nd time same mistake means you haven't learn from the mistake, and 3rd time the same mistake - you are not in the mood of learn from mistake, and repeated attempt 4th 5th 6th time same mistake means you intentionally want to destroy your self .. Sucidle mode ... no one can save you from that mess .. well, until how long you guys are gonna blaiming india isreal and USa for your wrong doing? .. if india was involved in Peshawar than why rahel sharif went to Kabul, why he don't dare to come to delhi and Discuss this issue with Modi with eye to eye contact .. very easy to blaim someone .. Please learn from mistake ... otherwise may allah save you from this self destruction ...

I will talk to you again .. soon
I love your country Pakistan- if we can get together .. we can be superpower .. ----???

Victor from India

Anonymous said...

A small nation, top in corruption, least in economies, seen as declining nation, filed as a failed state smashed by army, safe heaven for looters and you name it.. and YET.. And YET is worth talking about. People in US and Europe, In China and India talk about us. I have not seen the speeches where you get examples of tackling, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, and many other Muslim Countries. Wow we are such threat to India.. Itnay say muthi bhar log in k dil o dimagh par chaa chukkay hein.

Riaz Haq said...

Attack galvanizes Pakistan’s military

“This is a defining moment for Islamic society,” said Brig. Gen. Zahid Mahmood, who has been stationed at MacDill Air Force Base since March. “Everyone now who had some sort of feeling to negotiate with the Taliban, that is gone now. Nobody is prepared to negotiate with these people. They are the worst enemy for the Pakistani people. They are worse than any other enemy in the world right now.”

U.S. and Afghan military commanders have long expressed frustration that Pakistan has served as a safe haven for Taliban fighters who plot and launch attacks from that nation and then go back across the border. Much of the population of Pakistan, the world’s only nuclear-armed Muslim nation, has a schizophrenic relation with the Taliban, considering many of the Taliban members operating in Afghanistan as “good” while those, like the Tehrik-i-Taliban, which carried out the school massacre, as “bad.”

The ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency, is notorious for aiding the Taliban. And after years of being hunted, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was finally eradicated by Navy SEALs in a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, home of Pakistan’s military academy.

The U.S. Congress was so concerned about Pak­istan’s relations with jihadi groups that it put a hold on about $300 million designated for Pakistan’s military unless the Pentagon and State Department prove that Pakistan is cooperating in the fight against the Taliban, Haqqani network, al-Qaida and other insurgent groups.

Sen. Bill Nelson, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, “thinks it’s an appropriate step to take until the secretary of defense testifies before Congress that progress is being made there,” according to Ryan Brown, a spokesman.

But Mahmood’s comments also come at a time of closer U.S.-Pakistani relations. The Pak­istani media was abuzz with last month’s visit to MacDill by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif. Sharif met with the commander of U.S. Central Command, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin III, who praised Pakistan’s fight against insurgents. Centcom oversees U.S. military operations in Pak­istan and 19 other countries in the region.

Mahmood, in a telephone interview with The Tampa Tribune, said Pakistan’s military had dramatically stepped up its offensive against the Taliban even before the Dec. 16 attack on the Army Public School and College in Peshawar that killed 149.

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“Pakistan was already in action against them,” he said, with more than 176,000 Pakistani troops engaged in battle against insurgents in their strongholds in North Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan. “There is no good or bad Taliban. It is against all Taliban.”

Aside from regular army forces, Mahmood said, Pakistan’s special operations and air forces are battling the insurgents as well.

“More than 500 airstrikes have been carried out by the air force in the past few months,” Mahmood said.

The ongoing offensive, he said, is not limited to the border areas.

“It is in all the urban centers, where they have affiliates, supporters and abettors and all kinds of people who were giving them support,” he said. “This is across the board now against all these people.”

The school massacre has only stiffened his nation’s resolve, Mahmood said.

Hopewins said...

Your favorite analyst of AfPak issues says NOTHING will change because of this horrific attack......

Well? Do you agree with her assessment?

Riaz Haq said...

HWJ: "Your favorite analyst of AfPak issues says NOTHING will change because of this horrific attack......"

Hope she's wrong in her skepticism.

Before writing and promoting an anti-Pakistan book in India, American analyst and author Christine Fair said this in 2009: "Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan". Prominent Pakistani Baloch insurgents like Brahamdagh Bugti are also being sheltered by the Afghan security and intelligence establishment along with RAW.

Anonymous said...

Riaz Haq said...

In Pakistan, despite the myth-making surrounding fundamentalism, the country is yet to develop a counter narrative to the anti-Western and pro-extremism agenda of militants. Following General Ziaul Haq's rule and Pakistan's involvement in the Afghan affairs, we are yet to turn the page on radicalism. Some accuse the madrassa culture for this, which has become a symbol of challenging the state through a parallel support system in the absence of robust national infrastructure. Others hint at the economic chasm between the haves and the have-nots, which is exploited by militants.

In such a context, the army introduced Sabawoon in 2009, an institution located in Mingora, Swat, which aims to deradicalise juvenile militants between the ages of 12 and 17, in order to rehabilitate them as productive members of society. A key objective here was to assist the millions who were displaced during the army's operation that attempted to expel the Taliban from Swat in 2009.

Sabawoon's underlying philosophy is to provide young people with a new chance at life.

During Operation Rah-e-Rast, several juvenile militants were apprehended or surrendered. They have been provided with education, vocational training and psychological counselling, as well as courses in ethics, patriotism and religious instruction. Once these individuals complete their training, they are absorbed into relevant occupations.

Sabawoon's most challenging task is to enable these young people to 'unlearn' what they have been taught about religion during their militancy training. Being captured at a young age by militants makes them sceptical to accepting an entirely contradictory doctrine at a later stage.

The second measure of success for the centre is following up on graduates and ensuring that they do not revert to their previous lives. Sabawoon's emphasis on imparting a secular curriculum geared towards harnessing professional skills, in addition to providing religious knowledge is praiseworthy. Being a first-of-its-kind endeavour to combat the menace of extremism, it provides a unique kind of intervention for young potential suicide bombers.

Through vocational training, it seeks to provide alternatives to bridge the poverty trap that is earmarked as a major the cause of extremism in the country. The question though is of scalability. In order to bring about transformation at a much wider level, it is vital to target juvenile militants across multiple geographical locations. The double-edged impact of madrassas is ubiquitous across the country, with young people systematically targeted across each province.

Therefore Sabawoon, rather than representing a single institution, must begin to symbolise a paradigm shift in the way of thinking represented by Pakistan's bureaucracy, private sector and military, through to its grass roots level organisations, when strategising counterterrorism techniques.

Secondly, when tackling root causes leading to the development of child soldiers and militants, the pitfall of 'madrassa closure' must be avoided, as it is likely to spark reactions among those who may view this as an anti-Islamic endeavour.

Instead, both the public and private sectors must begin effectively implementing regulations for professional registration of these institutions, monitor their standards and content of curriculum and demand accountability for non-adherence.

Whilst the Musharraf regime did attempt to undertake a madrassa reform plan, this was not successful. Following in Sabawoon's footsteps, other alternative interventions are the need of the hour.

Institutionalising counterterrorism will ensure that these productive options remain available to vulnerable individuals beyond a particular regime or leader.

In the lack of an effective deradicalisation framework for young militants (existing and potential), the country may witness another lost generation.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's Well-Educated Jihadis #IBA #LSE #Brandeis #ISIS via @theworldpost …

Malik Siraj Akbar on well-educated terrorists in Pakistan:

Can you imagine how Mamnoon Hussain, Pakistan's current president, Shaukat Aziz, the former prime minister or Dr. Ishrat Hussain, the ex-governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, had reacted to the startling news on Wednesday that a young graduate of their alma mater, the prestigious Karachi-based Institute of Business Administration (IBA), had masterminded the assassination of Sabeen Mahmud, a prominent female liberal activist? When Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the chief minister of the Sindh province, revealed the identities of at least four terror suspects who are believed to be involved in the recent killing of 47 members of the Ismaili community, he was actually informing us about a chilling pattern among the jihadist groups in Pakistan: the radicalization and subsequently the induction of well-educated students from the elite schools.

Why would a graduate from the country's best business school, which has produced a president and a prime minister for Pakistan, become a terrorist? This should not completely shock us. It should instead redirect our attention toward one aspect of the jihadist movements that the government officials, policymakers and academics do not normally talk about. The conventional wisdom suggests that poverty, illiteracy, underdevelopment and negligence breed terrorism. We have also been repeatedly trained to visualize an Islamic extremist as a bearded man who is dressed in the traditional attire with a cap on his head and he almost always comes from a small remote mountainous town. That is not always true. You can belong to a rich family, attain the best education that money can buy, speak fluent English, spend time on the internet and still end up as a religious fanatic.

Pakistan is certainly not the only country where wealthy and well-educated young people are being attracted to violent extremist movements. With the dramatic rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), experts estimate that over 6000 European and around 150 Americans nationals have joined, or at least attempted to join, the terrorist group. This spurns the simplistic assumption that only the poor and illiterate can be indoctrinated to join violent jihadist movements. While the western countries can no longer ignore the threat of homegrown terrorism and possible collaboration between their citizens and the foreign terrorists, they at least have the resources and the infrastructure to grapple with this challenge at the nascent level before it grows much bigger and poses a more serious threat to the western societies. Pakistan is clearly not a developed western nation. It has shown no signs of winning its fight against radical Islam and now the expansion of the Jihadist mindset to the elite educational institutions only deepens the existing crisis of religious radicalization.
In fact some of the most high profile Pakistani jihadists received education from the renowned western institutions. For example Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the British-Pakistani terrorist sentenced to death for his involvement in the 2002 kidnapping and the beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, attended the London School of Economics. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, an Al-Qaeda courier and financer who was sentenced to 86 years in prison in 2010 for two accounts for attempted murder, obtained a BS in biology in 1995 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 2001. Faisal Shahzad, the mastermind of the 2010 failed car bomb blast at New York's Time Square, grew up rich at the house of a retired senior Pakistan Air Force official. He earned an MBA from the University of Bridgeport.

Riaz Haq said...

Well-educated militants behind high-profile terror attacks in #Karachi #Pakistan. #IBA, #KU, #SSUET: CM

Well-educated militants behind high-profile terror attacks: CM

the chief minister read out the names of the militants, their profiles and the crimes they confessed to have committed.

Tahir Hussain Minhas alias Sain Nazir alias Zahid, alias Naveed alias Khalil, alias Shaukat and alias Mota-matriculate, who is the mastermind of the Safoora Goth carnage, has been involved in terror activities since 1998. A trained terrorist who has expertise in making bombs and using arms such as RPG-7 and Kalashnikov.

He had personally met Osama Bin Ladin and Aiman-uz-Zawahiri of Al Qaeda on several occasions.

Saad Aziz alias Tin Tin alias John, who is the mastermind of the attack on civil society representative Sabeen Mahmud, has done BBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. Taking part in terrorist activities since 2009, Aziz is a trained militant with expertise in producing different types of literature. He provided funds for terror activities in the city.

Mohammad Azfar Ishrat alias Maajid is an engineer having passed out from the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology. Involved in terrorist activities since 2011, Ishrat is a trained terrorist who has expertise in making bombs and electronic circuits used as timers in such bombs.

Haafiz Nasir alias Yasir, who completed MA in Islamic Studies from Karachi University, has been involved in terrorist activities since 2013. A trained terrorist, Nasir has expertise in brainwashing and motivating people for ‘Jihadi’ activities.

The confessions made by these terrorists include the carnage of Safoora Goth, murder of Sabeen Mahmud in Defence, firing on American educationist Debra Lobo in the Ferozabad area, bomb attack on a naval officer and suicidal attack on Brig Basit of the Rangers, grenade attack on schools and throwing pamphlets in Nazimabad and North Nazimabad, bomb blast and targeted killings on the Bohri community in the area of Arambagh, North Nazimabad, Bahadurbad Karachi and Hyderabad, bomb attacks on police vans on M.A. Jinnah Road, Arambagh, Gulberg, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, NIPA Chowrangi, North Nazimabad and North Krachi and in the targeted killing of police officials in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Shah Faisal Colony and Landhi.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has vowed to take action against the promotion of terrorism online, but some experts say there is little the government can do about it.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government in January announced a 20-point National Action Plan to crack down on terrorism after the December massacre of 133 schoolchildren at an army-run school in Peshawar. The plan calls for "concrete measures against promotion of terrorism through Internet and social media" and declares a "ban on glorification of terrorists and terrorist organizations through print and electronic media."

The plan does not elaborate on what the "concrete measures" would be, and officials have not outlined the steps.

Tech-savvy militant organizations use Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social media channels to post videos, press releases and speeches in support of their agenda.

A Twitter account in the name of Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan posts written and multimedia content almost daily, in English or Pashto. While the account has a tiny number of followers by Twitter standards, at 223, it can be accessed by anyone online.

A media unit associated with the Taliban launched a Facebook page in late 2012 to recruit writers for a propaganda magazine, but Facebook shut down the page a week later, the London Telegraph reported.

There is also a proliferation of anti-Taliban sites, including several pages on Facebook. One, whose title translates to "The Taliban Are Extremists and Oppressors," has 25,420 "likes" or followers.

Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman calls online dissemination of propaganda by militant groups "cyberterrorism." She says the government has moved to block certain websites.

"Only that content would be blocked that is considered a threat to the country's security," Rehman told News Lens.

One such site is a web portal called IhyaeKhilafat, which means "reclaiming an Islamic system of government." Ehsan's Twitter account links to the portal, purported to be affiliated with the central media department of Jamatul Ehrar, a faction of the umbrella militant organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

However, attempts to open the site since March result in a page displaying only the message "This Account Has Been Suspended."

The government has proposed legislation that would set up an independent agency to deal with cybercrime, including the use of social media by militants.

"The government has proposed giving authority to the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority to block websites that go against the constitution of Pakistan," Rehman said.

Sana Ejaz, a Peshawar-based human rights lawyer, said militants are using social media "for the propagation of their agenda, broadcasting content against the Pakistani state."

"The social media accounts of militants should be blocked," Ejaz told News Lens Pakistan. "However, blocking is not a lasting solution as users will simply set up new accounts."

Ejaz advocates a "proper counter-response policy," that would include a dedicated think tank, she said.
"The government should establish a social media think-tank team to respond to propaganda of the militants on social media."

Farhan Khan Virk, an Islamabad-based social media commentator, said militants first start sharing religious material on Twitter or Facebook feeds to attract users, then begin broadcasting material against the Pakistani state.

"They mostly broadcast content against the Pakistani military and brand them American agents working against jihadis," Virk told News Lens.

"Extremists are really active on social media," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Global Center for Combating Extremism in #Riyadh uses new ways. #moderation #terrorism #Trump via @AlArabiya_Eng

- The center is established as a result of the international cooperation in facing the extreme ideology leading to terrorism, the world’s first common enemy.

- It was founded by a number of countries who chose Riyadh as its headquarters in confronting extreme ideologies by monitoring and analyzing it, to confront and prevent it, cooperate with the governments and organizations to prevail and promote a culture of moderation.

- The center was established on three basic pillars: confronting extremism by the latest intellectual, media and numerical methods and means

- The center has developed innovative techniques that can monitor, process and analyze extremists’ speeches with high accuracy, all phases of data processing and analysis are done in no more than six seconds once the data or comments are posted on the Internet, allowing unprecedented levels of facing extremist activities in the digital world.

- The Center works to refute the hate and extremist speech and promote concepts of moderation, accepting the other, and the production of media content that confront the content of the radical thoughts in order to defy it, and reveal its promotional propaganda.

- The center includes a number of international experts specialized and prominent in confronting extremist speech on all the traditional media means and electronic world.

- The center operates in the extremists’ most widely used languages and dialects. Advanced analytical models are being developed to locate digital media platforms, highlight extremist focal point, and secret sources of polarization and acquiring activities.

- The importance of establishing the center lies in that it is the first time that the world countries seriously come together to face the threat of extremism, which poses a threat to the communities and endanger them, therefore it is the center’s duty to fight together to win and to be able to protect people from its danger.

- The selection of the (12) representatives of the Board of Directors from states and organizations; reflects the independence of the center's work, which is characterized by a governance system that applies international management best practices of major international organizations, which allows neutrality, flexibility, efficiency and transparency to fulfill the Center's functions and achieve its objectives.