WASHINGTON DC, July 18, 2005 | ISSN: 1684-2057 | www.satribune.com

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Gen. Musharraf promising for the Nth time that he will crackdown on terrorists

The Fault for London Blasts Lies With the West and General Musharraf

By Wajid Shamsul Hasan

LONDON, July 18: Following the horrendous July 7 bomb blasts that killed more than 50 innocent commuters and injured over 700 others, Scotland Yard and intelligence agencies have been leaving no stone unturned to find out who were the barbaric culprits who damaged the tranquility of world's most favorite cosmopolitan haven for all races and religions.

Their painstaking efforts have led to certain leads and they seem to have identified the youngsters who acted as suicide bombers for perpetrators of global violence. It is shameful to know that those allegedly traced to the bomb blasts are Pakistanis of British origin. The master mind behind them, of course, is an Egyptian of Al-Zawahiri mould.

The death-loaded bloody trauma has brought Pakistan into unprecedented international glare of suspicion as the most dreaded cradle of terrorism while as Muslims they were already at the receiving end due to Al-Qaeda's dastardly bombing of 9/11. Besides the albatross of being the epicenter of global terrorism hangs around their necks due to the never-ending involvement of our military rulers with the Jihadi elements.

Those involved in London suicide bombings deserve to be condemned unequivocally. We fully endorse the demand that the roots of terrorism must be destroyed at all cost. We have full faith in the British innate sense of justice and fair play and we are confident that no harm would come to innocents Muslims especially Pakistanis who have been enjoying all sorts of freedoms here denied to them at home since ages and who have been proudly contributing their share of services in every field of human endeavor for the peace and prosperity of the multi-culture and multi-religious British society.

Peaceful and law-abiding Pakistanis in Britain are whole-heartedly with the authorities to unearth the key terrorists. In Pakistan itself, every one wants that culprits be found and they be punished so that such dastardly deeds are not repeated. They also have profound concern that their compatriots living in the United Kingdom do not become victims of a racist backlash that is trying to raise its ugly headed despite the best efforts of the police authorities managing admirably well the post-July7 situation.

But like the bunch of terrorists who had their evil ways of doing things, racists too do get away with their ulterior motives when the society needs utmost peace and inter-communal harmony. One could refer to a few incidents where the racists have willingly targeted Pakistanis notwithstanding General Pervez Musharraf's assurance that Islamabad would go out of the way to help British government get down to the roots of terrorism.

Islamabad also claims that it had forewarned London on the eve of British elections in April/May of the possibility of terrorist strikes in the United Kingdom. I am sure such assurances -- if sincerely put in action -- would definitely go a long way in combating terrorism especially when Pakistan has been singled out as the epicenter of global terrorism by the West and in case of London bombings too, it is being alleged that the suicide bombers had been trained in Pakistani madrassas and Jihadi training camps.

The British authorities will have to probe the real causes of terrorism including war in Iraq and find out what went wrong locally as well what drove the suicide bombers to commit the despicable act of killing innocent people. Besides, it is the responsibility of the democratic West to have a larger view of the problem. It is not only related to current sense of deprivation, abuses, victimization and exploitation, denial of human rights but it has more to do with the West's support to unrepresentative and military dictators causing larger and wider frustration among the Muslim masses.

If the West sincerely gets down to tracing the root cause of terrorism it would find it leading to the door steps of military rulers as far as Pakistan is concerned while in the case of other Muslim countries, the blame would go to those rulers who deny their people the right to chose their own government.

A case study of Pakistan will suffice enough to make the Americans and the men in the London's Whitehall realize where they have gone wrong. Pakistan's rapid slide onto the road to terrorism and Talibanisation started the day General Ziaul Haq subverted democracy in July 1977.

Instead of condemning the subversion of democracy and extra-constitutional hijacking of the country by Zia the American leaders and their western allies rushed to embrace the military dictator since they had a role for him that no democratic government would have taken upon itself to perform, that is, to wage their Jihad in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union.

The Americans and their other western democratic friends forgot about their commitment to higher democratic ideals and they gave General Ziaul Haq freedom to rule Pakistan through bayonet, bullet, whipping and hanging of those who sought restoration of democracy including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

They allowed him free trade in drug and arms, sent him suit cases loaded with freshly printed dollars and gave him a blank check to destroy civil society in Pakistan. While doing the dirty job for the West, Zia got down to streamlining Pakistan from a democratic polity to his dream child of a Deobandi-Wahabi state.

The democratic interruptions in between did try to assert civil authority but when they became too assertive, they were shown the door by an overbearing military establishment that tolerates no dissent or supremacy of the civil authority. Ever since then we are back on the track where General Zia had left us in August 1988.

General Musharraf has no doubt made too many U-turns to please and deceive the West. However, he continues to run with the democratic western hare while hunting with the extreme religious hounds within Pakistan. And it is an irony that the Americans, the British and others in the West see in him a solution to the global terrorism when he, the military establishment and their mulla allies are actually inherent part of the lethal problem.

We do rush to blame poor Pakistani boys of being the villain of the piece when actually fault lies elsewhere and should be shared equally by the West and General Musharraf. Washington and London must realize that by continuing to support mulla-military alliance in Pakistan and not supporting return of democracy, they are actually becoming a party to feeding epicenters of terrorism to grow from strength to strength.

They would do well to read an investigative story published in Monthly Herald (July issue) of Karachi that lifts the veil from the new breed of terror camps that have been allowed to get into old business as usual by the present junta.

Without detailed reference to the recent disclosure of the visiting Kashmiri leaders from Srinagar that they had enjoyed in thousands the hospitality of and received training at Information Minister Sheikh Rashid's Rawalpindi Farm House base camp set up by ISI, Herald's investigative report titled "BACK TO CAMP - Pakistani militants revive their training camps after a year-long break" has explicitly exposed the ongoing training of militant youth from various parts of the world. It is definitely an eye-opener.

According to the report, inquiries made by a two-men team in Mansehra region in NWFP alone revealed that at least 13 major camps had been revived and were churning out overly brainwashed Muslim youngsters, fully trained in martial arts and subversion. These camps are based in the areas of Pano Dehri, Jallo Sufaida, Ogi, Lkhewari, Jabba, Batrasi Naradoga, Akherilla, Hisari, Boi, Tanglaee and Acherian.

To add insult to the injury of his western masters, the General in Pakistan, whenever there is a spate of suicide bombing incidents, re-issues his order issued several times previously, to clamp down on the terrorists training camps or the terrorist organizations that have resurfaced with a new name. Being nothing but eyewash, his orders had no effects in the past so shall they end up in oblivion now with more of the same, much of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

A senior investigative reporter who has an access to the training syllabi of some of the notoriously known madrassas and their brainwashing operations, ridiculed the sweeping opinions that are being put forward by the so-called Western experts stating that the young Muslim suicide bombers are motivated to commit the dastardly acts by the mullas who brainwash them injecting in them a message that if they die in service of their religion or for the glory of it, they would go straight into heaven where they would be greeted by 72 houris (or virgins) all for each one of them.

These experts unfortunately do not realize that it is not virgins that attract them to become suicide bombers. It is their commitment to a cause that makes them a martyr. And it is the importance of the cause for which the mulla brainwashes them to the extent that they become robots willing to do or die.

Moreover, it also needs to be underscored here that it is not Islam or Muslims that monopolize suicide bombers. History of the 20th century is replete with stances where suicide bombers have been used in a state of war. Not from too distant a past, we are reminded of the Japanese suicide bombers, the famous Kamikazes, that unleashed havoc on the Americans during the Second World War to the extent that their dare could only be countered by American use of the atomic bombs.

We also have before us the long trail of the suicide bombers belonging to Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. In both the cases, the perpetrators of suicide bombing are not followers of Islam. Their religion, Buddhism, has been non-violent like Islam that has no room for killing of a human being by fellow human being. It is believed that injustices, perceived or otherwise, breed violence that cannot be controlled or subdued either by reason or logic.

In conclusion, it is a case of as you sow so shall you reap. Had the West not nurtured and nourished, funded and armed the Mulla-Military alliance in Pakistan to wage its Jihad in Afghanistan there would not have been curse of terrorism originating from Pakistan. The innocent youngsters-turned-into lethal suicide bombers are a direct outcome of the subversion of democracy, subversion of the constitution and disempowerment of the people and earlier opening up of floodgates of kalashnikov and heroin culture soon after General Zia had staged his military coup to convert Pakistan into a Deobandi-Wahabi garrison state.

Last but not the least, if the West wants to protect its values, its freedoms, its democracy, its fundamental rights then it must see to it that the curse of mulla-military alliance in Pakistan ends without further delay.

The recently passed Hisba Bill by the MMA-controlled NWFP Assembly, spells out clearly the direction of the future wind in entire Pakistan. It is not only against the Constitution but also violates the fundamental human rights and paves way for rapid Talibanisation of Pakistan.

It aims at setting up a chain of priest judges at the provincial, district and tehsil levels and raise a brigade of new Hisba police to enforce what the political official regards as 'virtue' and whip out what he considers as 'evil' in the name of religion, a grim reminder of Taliban rule in Afghanistan when heads were shaved of visiting Pakistani football team as it was considered evil by the Taliban.

MMA Hisba laws are much more of the same that have terrorized citizens in Nigeria where innocent people have been lashed in public for non virtuous behavior. Soon Pakistan will have the "tiktikis" (a contraption to which victims were tied to be flogged) that had symbolized General Zia's ruthless rule, decorating every public square.

Privacy and sanctity of one's home would be shredded to pieces when the Virtue Hounds would peep inside one's four-walls. And Hisba vigilantes would be seen parading women in the nude in public to teach them a lesson in modesty. Besides, the Hisba force would also interfere with the media.

The only people that would remain untouched by the Hisba laws would be the personnel belonging to the armed forces. Obviously there could not be a better manifestation of Mulla-Military alliance than the Hisba laws. Those who fear sporadic terrorism better get ready. Soon MMA's virtue vigilantes would be exported en masse to correct the wayward West!

The writer is a former Pakistan High Commissioner to UK

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