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The Covert War in Pakistan

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Message Usman Ghani

Pakistan is fighting a protracted war for over a decade now for its lost identity. The very symbols of Pakistan have been attacked and its people slaughtered. The craven attack on Ziarat Residency in Quetta on June 14, 2013, is one of many incidents that are evidence of Pakistan fighting a protracted war for its ideals and survival. BLA, a banned organization in Pakistan with separatist tendencies, chose to attack an otherwise old building with little worth had the father of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam, not spend his last days in it. The Ziarat residency after Quaid's stay was a symbol of his ideals for the generations to come. BLA along with other terrorist organizations are in a grave misunderstanding that by erasing the symbols it would be able to shatter the ideals of Quaid. Pakistan's high resolves to rebuild the Ziarat residency shows that buildings can be demolished but the hearts cannot be emptied of the respect and honour for Quaid-i-Azam.

Earlier in August 2012 militants attacked the Kamra Airbase, the base is known as home to the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex that assembles Mirage and, with Chinese support, JF-17 fighter jets. The terrorists targeted Pakistan Airforce assets. In May 2011, terrorists attacked PNS Mehran Base. Primarily, the attack was executed to damage the operational capabilities of Pakistan Navy. Several warplanes and premiere anti-submarine and marine surveillance aircrafts especially the US-made P-3C Orions were destroyed. It was the biggest attack on Pakistan Navy since the 1971 war with India. 

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These are only 3 of the 400 different terrorists incidents that have taken place throughout Pakistan. Time and again the people of Pakistan have been tested and its security apparatus challenged but there seems to be little or no response as a united nation. The perpetrators behind these heinous activities are bent to destroy Pakistan through a policy of thousand cuts and isolate Pakistan around the world.

The debate in Pakistan who is responsible for these heinous activities has been ongoing for the past decade. By now it is pretty much clear that though the activities are carried out by local people, there funding and training is done by foreign elements in most of the cases. The leading financier and training source of terrorists is India.  India has been pulling the terrorists string by funding and arming them to subdue Pakistan.

The evidence of Indian covert activities in Pakistan was correctly highlighted by US Secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel in 2011 when he said in speech that, "India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front, and India has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border". And now more appropriately the former Indian Army Chief General VK Singh has confessed that Indian military intelligence was involved in sensitive covert operations in Pakistan. Sources reveal that the Technical Services Division (TSD) of the Indian Army carried out Operation Deep Strike (Pakistan).

Pakistan has been very rightly pointing out the covert activities carried out by India in Pakistan's province of Baluchistan and the restive tribal areas where the Pakistani Army has been trying to uproot terrorists and extremists. Though the problem of Indian involvement is of great concern to Pakistan, the government has been docile in this regard. The apparent reasons of not holding India responsible for these terrorist activities is that Pakistan is a true aspirant of peace in the region and it does not want to make Pakistan-India ties strained. India on the other hand has been emboldened by the meek Pakistani response.

It is very clear that foreign involvement is keeping the furnace of terrorism burning in Pakistan but it is the responsibility of the people of Pakistan to give a united and unanimous response to all such heinous activities. It would be naà ve to think that without having good relations with India, Pakistan cannot restore peace in the country. The most important thing to be done is to track and completely destroy the terrorists and their networks and duly highlight the foreign involvement in such activities. India on the other hand must focus on its internal matters and must stop all covert activities in Pakistan because this menace of terrorism can at any time merge with unrest in Indian held Kashmir and create havoc for India.

The writer works for Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).

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Mr. Usman Ghani is a research scholar at Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), Pakistan. He holds M.Phil degree in Defence and Strategic Studies and M.Sc in Political Studies from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. Before joining IPRI, Usman (more...)
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