Saturday 7 March 2009

Taliban, Lashkar, LTTE, India – what difference does it make?

There has been little progress in investigations into the terror attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore Pakistan. Though there has been an abundance of conspiracy theories and finger pointing. Some analysts blaming it on some faction of Taliban (of whom, to make matters worse, there are various varieties now), Laskar-e-Tayyiba, LTTE from Sri Lanka, RAW – the Indian intelligence agency, and in view of some die hard conspiracy theorists the government of Pakistan itself are involved and might have orchestrated this to shift national attention from the political turmoil in the country.

Track record of such investigations in Pakistan suggests that although over the coming days some group (in all probability Lashkar) will be held responsible for planning and execution of Wednesday’s events, those who perpetrated this heinous atrocity will never actually be identified or caught. Investigations into high profile terrorist events of recent years including bombing in 2002 in front of Sheraton hotel in Karachi when England cricket team were staying there, kidnap and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl, and bombing of Marriot Hotel in Islamabad in 2008 have not resulted in identification and arrest of real culprits.

Its not that the intelligence agencies in Pakistan lack any skills or resources needed to accomplish this but there has definitely been a lack of real political will and resolution needed to rid the country of the mess we are in. During his reign General Musharraf made an art out of playing, for the benefit of the western world, the victim and the crusader in the same tune, in the war on terror. Investigations into terrorist events during his times were always half hearted and never delivered any credible results.

Unfortunately, the current political set up has read a chapter or two from Musharraf’s book and rather than attempting to deal with the terrorist menace with all the might of State behind it, they are trying to carry on feeding the bogey man to keep the west scared and pouring security aid and funds into Pakistani establishment. Trouble is they are proving to be down right incompetent at doing that as well.

Political masters in Pakistan are bent upon playing with fire at the moment. The world is getting more and more worried about the terrorist bogey man from Pakistan. In his recent statement lord and master of Afghanistan, Christopher Dell, US Ambassador speaking to Guardian newspaper said "From where I sit Pakistan sure looks like it's going to be a bigger problem, … It is certainly one of those nuclear armed countries the instability of which is a bigger problem for the globe…Pakistan is a bigger place, has a larger population, its nuclear-armed. It has certainly made radical Islam a part of its political life, and it now seems to be a deeply ingrained element of its political culture. It makes things there very hard."

How do you think Pakistani political masters are addressing this problem… by creating an uncalled for political turmoil by disrespecting the political will of the people of the Punjab and suspending the provincial assembly, beginning the all so often repeated drama of horse trading to achieve absolute political power, and letting the sore of rotten judicial infrastructure fester untreated.

Who is responsible for the atrocities in Lahore - Taliban, Lashkar, LTTE, India – what difference does it make? In the absence of a leadership with integrity and loyalty to the state and nation this menace will continue to haunt us and the world.

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