RSTV - The Big Picture: Pakistan Role in South Asian Terror

Context:

  • Pakistan government has withdrawn terrorism charges against Mumbai terror attack master mind JuD chief Hafeez Saeed, paving the way for his release.
  • In January Hafeez Saeed and his four supports were detained for 90 days under preventive detention under the anti-terrorism act of 1997.
  • The financial action task force froze their assets just to hold off possible US pressure.
  • With the release of Hafeez Saeed and his aids, it is being becoming clear that Pakistan is going back on the commitment to fight terror.
  • These terrorist organizations are used as a political party. This is at the army’s encouragement as they want a counterweight to the main political parties.
  • When these people are streamlined into Pakistani politics, they automatically get out of terrorist label and are accorded certain level of legitimacy by Pakistani state.
  • This complicates Hafeez Saeed’s case against him as he can legitimately say that he is not associated with terrorism.

Pakistan combating terrorism- An eyewash?

  • Pakistan too has been a victim of terror. The distinction between good and bad terrorism has hurt Pakistan.
  • They have always teamed the Lashkar or JuD as good part of terrorism.
  • Pakistan is using terrorism as its ally to use against its potential enemies.
  • They consider them as their natural ally and asset by nurturing organisations like JuD and LeT againt India. Haqqani group and Taliban factions are operating in Afghanistan, including US. Thus Legitimizing terror outfit.
  • Mainstreaming JuD has certain objective of legitimizing them in a domestic political role because JuD has anti-sectarian image. It has never involved itself in killing shias and also killing minorities in Pakistan.
  • The Lashkar has been hostile to kafirs abroad, i.e. in India. So it is an agent of state.
  • It has supported the military line that violence or jihad is justified if it is used by state or authorized by state.
  • The army seems to hope to control the hardline elements within these outfits and present better face to international audience.

Role of US

  • There was excitement in India when US said that India has to play a bigger role in Afghanistan and also went to the extent to blame Pakistan to sponsor terrorism.
  • However, India has to keep in mind that US government policy are in their interests and not India’s.
  • India should act in the best interest it fits without worrying about what US means to do. US will never leave Pakistan because it is a frontline state and they need them logistically. Thus, Pakistan will make use of this advantage.
  • Pakistan knows that US’s South Asia policy is not going to succeed without Pakistan and hence they don’t take US warnings seriously.
  • There is a concern that if US pushes Pakistan too much, it can go towards China and Russia and take weapons from there. US certainly doesn’t want that and so it is hardly expected to leave Pakistan’s side.

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