Afghan – Russo War and terrorism in Pakistan

Eurasia News



By Agha Iqrar Haroon

Agha Iqrar Haroon is a senior journalist and Development Observer
Agha Iqrar Haroon is a senior journalist and Development Observer

Friday December 4, 2009

It was relatively a warm Friday of December 2009 in Rawalpindi. Namaazi were leaving Qasim Masjid of Rawalpindi Cantonment area situated at Parade Lane—the road that links to this mosque to G. T Road that is also known as Peshawar Road.

Being a mosque of Cantonment, Qasim Masjid is a known place where you can find hundreds of serving and retired army officials during Friday prayers. Therefore, this place appeared on the map of world terrorism. This mosque was targeted by terrorists in a daring midday raid in the heart of Cantonment of Rawalpindi when Juma Namaaz ended and Namaazi were coming out of the mosque. Attackers of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) killed over 40 Namaazi including top ranking army officials and their children. This attack was combination of gunfire, grenades and suicide bomb blasts. TTP accepted responsibility of this attack through it social media outlets.

The attack, which also injured at least 86 people, was in retaliation for the Pakistani military’s assault on TTP strongholds in South Waziristan and other tribal areas on Pak-Afghan border. The dead persons included 17 children. Three attackers were killed by security guards.

Six years later: Friday September 18, 2015

PAF Camp Badabair Peshawar Mosque

Namaazi mostly officials of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Army were performing Fajr (Morning Prayer) when 16 plus terrorists entered the mosque and killed them as ducks. This was a part of attack on PAF Camp that took place on September 18, 2015.

During all this six years that past between Qasim Masjid attack and PAF mosque attack, religio- political parties have been claiming that terrorists who wish to destroy Pakistan are sons of soil, religious persons, and strategic assets of Islam for launching Islamic system all over the world. The government in power in KPK was singing on same tune.

Government of Pakistan engaged in peace talks due to moral pressure from religion parties as well as KPK government with such terrorists in May 2014. This was almost the same span of time when terrorists released videos of beheading of soldiers and playing football with their heads.
Talks were ended because terrorists refused to accept Constitution of Pakistan and even name of Pakistan and insisted that Pakistan name must be written in Arabic sound as Al-Bakistan because there is no P sound in Arabic while name of our country starts with this P sound. Anyhow there were more points that were not acceptable by Pakistan government as well as by the terrorists. Pakistan launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014 against terrorists in tribal areas that is still going on successfully.

Massacre of Army Public School Peshawar that took place on December 16, 2014 killed last hope of any negotiation when terrorists killed over 130 innocent children in school and majority of them belonged to families of armed forces officials. This was the extreme brutal strike of terrorists on the hearts of Pakistan Army.

PAF Camp Peshawar is nonoperational since 2005 and is being used mostly for non-combat activities. According to Pakistan Air Force, there are no PAF aircrafts parked at camp therefore one can say that the motive of terrorists was not striking and destroying aircrafts rather to strike an armed installation for sending a message to the world that war against terrorism is neither over not nor won by Pakistan Army.
There is no doubt Pakistan is fighting against 4th Generation Warfare. 4th Generation Warfare that is known as 4GW is a conflict characterized by a blurring of the lines between war and politics, combatants and civilians while 5GW has an imposing characteristic that enemy proposes and promotes a specific philosophy and narrative accepted by masses and religion is usually used for such philosophy. Technically speaking, this is the same warfare that Pakistan and United States launched together in so-called Afghan Jihad against former USSR without engaging themselves directly in war and creating Mujahedeen as a tool for 4GW. This 4GW gave birth to several Islamic jihadi organizations that emerged internationally including Al Qaeda, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, ISIS, Boko Haram etc etc. Who sponsored such organizations and who are using them against humanity is not a difficult question to answer. Pakistan Army itself believes that it is fighting against 4th/ 5th Generation Warfare launched by India against Pakistan.

War against terrorism is yet not over. Negative impact of nurturing terrorist mindset, harbouring hardcore world best terrorists in tribal areas, providing land for Jihadi training, injecting global Jihad among generations that were brought up after 1979 cannot be eliminated in months and may not be in years. I remember Gen. Ehsan in a Tv interview said that Pakistan opened gates for all during Afghan-Russo Jihad and Pakistan had no record who came in and who was who? This is “The Reality of Pakistan” indeed.

Glorifying Afghan Jihad and beating drums that one Jihadi can defeat a regular army is now brining fruits to those who are enemies of Pakistan. They are virtually using same weapon against Pakistan Army that was made by Pakistan 35 years ago –The weapon is not terrorists rather the mindset and slogan that —- A Jihadi can defeat a regular army.

Should we not decide today that we will not institutionalize criminals in future as our strategic assets?