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FBI Must Investigate Cases of Terrorism In Pakistan

By       Message Muhammad Khurshid       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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There are different opinions about former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's demand that the FBI should carry out a probe into the attack on her procession in Karachi.

Most of the tribesmen think that Benazir Bhutto has the justification for demanding the FBI probe as most of the Pakistani securities are under the influence of certain political parties. The track record shows that Pakistani agencies never take these matters seriously. They have just been playing the game. Due to their lethargy and dereliction of duty, innocent people are being killed or maimed.

Tribesmen think the US should give serious consideration to the Bhutto demand as this is the only way of tackling terrorism in tribal areas and other parts of the country. According to influential journalist Ansar Abasi report, Pakistani investigators and agencies have an excellent track record of solving major terrorist and other crimes and the FBI or Scotland Yard have never been officially invited to conduct any probe, even during the two tenures of Benazir Bhutto in the late ’80s and ’90s.

The PPP leader’s mantra for foreign help to probe into the Oct 18th terrorist attack is not only in conflict with her own track record but it also sounds unconvincing if the official record of Pakistani investigators is examined. This record shows that the Pakistani agencies and investigators have solved almost every high- profile terrorism case, including incidents of suicide bombings. In the case of Karachi, the results are claimed to be almost 100 per cent.

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That Benazir Bhutto during her rule relied on local agencies was confirmed by Maj Gen (retd.) Naseerullah Babar, who served as interior minister in BBís second term. When contacted he told this correspondent with great pride that during BBís tenure all major cases of terrorism were tracked down within days without any foreign help.

The top bosses of the interior ministry do not recall any such precedent, at least in the last many years, of foreign investigators being hired by the Government of Pakistan to probe a terrorist attack including even those against President General Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. ìWe did it all by ourselves,î Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah told this correspondent.

According to Interior Ministry spokesman Brig (retd.) Javed Iqbal Cheema even the terrorist attacks against American nationals and US targets in Pakistan were probed by local agencies and experts with excellent results. ìThe Daniel Pearl murder case was one such achievement.î

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However, it is US government policy to carry out an FBI investigation whenever any US citizen is murdered or attacked on foreign soil, and this they did when US targets were hit in Pakistan. But they were not invited by Islamabad.

Benazir Bhutto's demand to hire foreign investigators to track down the mastermind of the Oct 18 attack is, however, not dying down despite a change of the local probe team leader by the government on her insistence.

While the President had rejected the option of engaging any foreign agency, Benazir put in a formal demand with the interior secretary seeking the assistance of the American FBI and British Scotland Yard to bring the culprits to book.

Naseerullah Babar said that the terrorist attacks, including the one that had hit the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad in the 90s, were resolved within 24 hours. He explained that in the Asif Nawaz case, a sample of his hair was sent abroad for laboratory tests and it was revealed that the charge of poisoning levelled by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was baseless.

When asked about the Murtaza Bhutto murder case, Babar said that even in that case the then government, led by Benazir Bhutto, did not seek help from any foreign agency. Some PPP leaders claim that Benazir Bhutto had hired the services of some retired Scotland Yard officials but Babar did not mention this.

Secretary Interior Syed Kamal Shah when contacted said that before his present assignment he had been the police chief of three of the four provinces but had never sought the help of foreign agencies to probe any crime.

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Interior ministry spokesman and head of the interior ministryís National Crisis Management Cell Brigadier (retd.) Javed Iqbal Cheema provided to this correspondent a list of the high profile terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, and claimed that with a few exceptions almost all the culprits were traced and convicted. In the case of Karachi, the result is almost 100 per cent, Brig Cheema said.

He disclosed that the country's agencies and investigators are today very well trained and well equipped to deal with terrorism-related crimes. Pakistan, he said, has also set up a national forensic agency and DNA test facilities and produced forensic and cyber experts.

The trend of suicide attacks in Pakistan, according to the official record, started in 2002. The suicide attack on an Islamabad church on March 17, 2002 in the diplomatic enclave was the first of its kind, killing four, including an American national. The culprits were arrested and convicted by a court of law.

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is also (more...)

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