Skip to content

Is it terrorism or a proxy war in Pakistan?

  • by

Dr Samiullah Koreshi

Blasts at Lahore, Peshawar have again raised the question who is responsible for these acts? The obvious reply is the Taliban and Rahman Malik has attributed it to a Taliban reaction to the Swat operation, which is hitting them hard and putting them on the run. Rehman Malik Minister of Interior has all the resources of intelligence and security apparatuses at his command and yet this is generally his response if he is asked who is behind these blasts. He said so on Manawan terrorist attack also.

Obviously he is just saying what meets the eyes but one expects him to dig deeper than that . This is a very superficial answer. It seems Rehman Malik avoids blaming outside powers’ involvement in these terrorist acts. Today I heard otherwise well informed Tasnim Noorani, a former Interior Secretary , on a TV talk show at which he also said the same as if trying to avoid naming any foreign power involvement in these incidents. This seems to be the Government line.

Unfortunately it seems that our intelligence has failed to meet the threat. It is obvious that most crowded and most sensitive places would be the easiest targets of terrorist and yet each time they are hit we find ourselves sitting ducks. If I remember from my Beirut assignment during the Civil War in 70s the terrorist operations are well planned in each detail for several days before the operation is undertaken. They are not executed on the spur of the moment. If our plain cloth intelligence were vigilant they could have noticed some suspicious movements and too inquisitive persons around. While I am all praise for our police and forces I am not so sure of the efficiency of the intelligence persons on the watch in crowded places. They would more inquisitive about most reliable persons on national scene and waste their time and energy which should be directed towards anti-national persons. The basic facts of these terrorist acts are that (a) they are executed with great expert precision (b) the material used is of a very high quality (c) the logistic support in these operations is excellent – this indicates that (i ) there is a central operational organization of the ‘Taliban’, some thing like Central Command

I would like to start from the following assumptions to find a clue to the identity of those who are behind these terrorist acts. . Punjab Police is a very competent police force, not incompetent cops much as one finds all kinds of foreigners coming out with offers to provide training to our Police to combat terrorism. We hear of similar funny offers made for arranging training of our army to combat terrorists as if the NATO has done wonders in Afghanistan and not receiving beating left and right. NATO has not been able to do all these years in Afghanistan what Pak Army has don in a little less than a month. But I suppose our Army is one of the best in the world as its soldier fights the battles not like NATO soldier sitting surrounded by ten times more fire power than a Pakistani soldier has and yet making poor showing in operations, still they would like to train our soldiers – in what ? to behave like their NATO & American soldiers, hide themselves behind a wall of steel and shake in their boots to face the Taliban.? Conclusion No One : The so-called Taliban are so well trained, furnished with so accurate intelligence and have such a strong organization to back them that they have given a very tough time to a first class police and first class Army

Their arms are superior to the arms with our police and Army. How come from where are they getting such top quality arms? They have night vision devises for operation in the night much more than our men in the Army. What is their make, how do they get them who pays for them, from where do they get the arms and such devices. How the NATO/American forces become blind to their passing from some borders to Afghanistan and on to Pakistan?

It is said that dollar notes are in ordinary circulation in the affected areas. Who furnishes these funds in dollars? Pak Army’s training is of a high quality and thorough. Where are these Taliban trained at the same level of expertise as the Pakistani Army and police? These Taliban must be having a long training course to be as good as Pakistani forces.Taliban are like a regular force/militia. Their number is quite significant, to maintain such a large force the question arises who is paying them the “salary”, footing the bill for their food, maintaining a transport, paying petrol bills, maintaining a supply depot for the transport,

Who is servicing their arms, buying them ammunition, from where and how it is given in their hands after it is “smuggled” or “imported” etc. It is quite clear that a force of Taliban cannot be maintained , in fighting fit condition just by a group of rag tag tribals . Someone is creating a parallel force, a force matching the Pak Army and putting Pak police to shame. For this there have to be state apparatus, state/states financing, a state arming the Talibans.

It is not a tribal lushkar job, but that of a parallel force to Pakistani Army and Punjab police. I will now go back to my old days in the Foreign Service, when I was a member of the Political Committee of CENTO which was drafting the Basic Assumptions for Local Wars and Proxy Wars. Major powers in a region could unleash a proxy war by asking one of their satellites powers to attack a country they did not want to attack themselves to avoid confrontation with another major power which would immediately move in aid of its ally. Say for example if- in those days- Soviet Union and India egged on Afghanistan to ignite uprising in Pakistan’s tribal areas and help the tribals to wage a war against Pakistan that would be a Proxy War.

It would be cheaper than if India attacked Pakistan and will have less bad image of India in international community. As regards what I saw from 1979 to-mid May 1980 from my position as Additional Foreign Secretary Political in the Foreign Office and as a Member of “President’s Afghanistan Cell “ of the early denied involvement of Pakistan in American created Mujahideen Movement against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the Proxy war in Afghanistan was organized by US in which Pakistan was a “conduit” of arms to the American Mujahideen. Now drawing on those experiences I strongly suspect that some military powers are training the Taliban , supplying arms, financing the operations meeting the cost of all arms etc. There is a proxy war against Pakistan under the label of the Taliban. With this covert operation on one side, and the chorus of Pak Nuclear assets under danger on the other, there is a very strange partnership and the direction in which we are moving. India and Israel can be added to the list of our great “friends” in this proxy war.

At present the powers who wish Pakistan ill are four, including India and eternal enemy of Muslims, Israel. India has a long list of such proxy wars, in Tibet-read Chou En Lai –Nehru Correspondence, in Bhutan, through Mukti Baheni , through LTT in Sri Lanka, even in Baluchistan . Who else would plan for destabilization of Pakistan and cutting it to “size”? Americans are opening flood gates from their side and helping the Taliban to come from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Americans have two-face policy towards Pakistan. They would like to appear to be a friend and yet do every thing to damage Pakistan to reduce it to State like Afghanistan to make it subservient to India and establish India as “the major power” in the region. It is a very cooperative 4-power operation “Destroy Pakistan” through a proxy war.


Leave a Reply