Some people express doubts about the Pakistan army’s commitment to eradicating all Islamist terrorist groups. (and there can be no doubt that it IS the Pakistani army that makes such decisions in Pakistan. ..PMLN, PPP, ANP may be in “power” here or there, but security and foreign affairs are ultimately run by the army and if they are not on board, no strategy can possibly work). Others point to the thousands of soldiers killed in the line of duty and insist that the security forces are doing all they can and criticism is just “playing into the hands of our enemies”.
Is there a way to tell who is right?
Suppose you have no inside information. Just from public sources, can you tell if they are doing all they can? I believe you can. And just off the top of my head, lets look at a couple of things we can use as metrics:
1. The enemy is identified and targeted AS the main enemy. For example, British security services fighting their own dirty war against the provisional IRA were fighting, first and foremost, the IRA. Their Irish-American supporters, Irish Republic politicians, the KGB, Gaddafi, whatever, could all be blamed for supporting them (they could even be mentioned as the one thing that keeps the IRA going, take X out and they will collapse, etc), but there was no question about who the enemy was.
Is this true in Pakistan? I don’t think so. The main focus of the state’s impressive psyops machine seems to be to identify India or Israel or the USA (or all three, or “Hinjews” or whatever) as the cause of our problems, with the actual terrorists (who never happen to be Hindus or Jews or Americans) being nothing more than misguided or paid youth whose own aims and ambitions play no real role in this campaign.
i.e., on this point, GHQ is clearly NOT doing what any outside observer would expect. They don’t spend a lot of time and effort identifying, demonizing and targeting the organizations and people who actually conduct all these attacks.
2. When a terrorist attack takes place, there is an investigation. It may not be very public, but if you are serious about stopping them, you have to investigate where the perpetrators came from, how and why did they join a terrorist organization, who recruited them, who trained them, who led them, who facilitated them….and you have to go back and roll up all these networks. Only then can you hope to defeat them. This is not rocket science, it is basic police work. Some of this clearly gets done in Pakistan too, but very little of this makes it into the news. Why? Because the facts turned up are inconvenient? Because too much focus on the actual perpetrators and organizations would take away from the “RAW did it” storyline? Because the state still wants to protect some of the Islamist networks? Who knows..
On this point, I have no real inside information, but if you hang around police officers, you do hear a lot of anecdotes about police officers who were stopped from pursuing this or that lead by the “intelligence agencies”. Some of these anecdotes may be self-serving lies. But there IS a lot of smoke. With this much smoke, there may also be fire..
3. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Follow any paknationalist on twitter and facebook. Count the references to RAW and Mossad. Then look for references to Lashkar e Jhangvi, ASWJ, Jaish e Mohammed, etc.
Yes. You will find tweets like these (I assure you, this is a representative sample):
By the way, that last tweet reflects a sentiment that I have heard some people express about another country, one created 200 years after Afghanistan came into being..
Don’t believe the Pakistani army could be stupid enough to STILL play double games with terrorists? Set your mind at rest. See General Asad Durrani in action:
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