Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Pakistan’s Policy To Use Terrorists Against India Has Backfired - Haqqani: Pak Ex-Diplomat

Pakistan’s Policy To Use Terrorists Against India Has Backfired - Haqqani: Pak Ex-Diplomat
March 29, 2016
WASHINGTON:  Pakistan's involvement with jihadi terror groups at the highest level, aimed at using against India in Jammu and Kashmir, has backfired, Pakistan's ex-diplomat Husain Haqqani said today following the deadly terror attack in Lahore.

"And even as Pakistan's decades-old policy (on jihadi groups) has backfired, the Pakistani establishment is reluctant to declare an all-out war against terrorist groups," Mr Haqqani, the country's former envoy to the United States, told a news channel in an interview.

"Pakistan's involvement with jihadi terror groups initially was primarily done as a strategic investment, which was supposed to bring them benefits through influence in Afghanistan and to be used against India in Jammu and Kashmir. That has backfired," said Mr Haqqani.

"Now even though it has backfired, Pakistan has been very selective in going after these jihadi terror groups. That is the reason why the jihadis pick specific targets like Shias, Ahmadis or Christians, to improve their recruitment, playing on various kinds of polarisation, and taking advantage of that," he said.

"The real problem lies in that attitude of the Pakistani government of trying to protect the parties in Pakistan's Punjab province, while going after the terrorists in other parts of the country, but not in Pakistani Punjab province. That's what has come back to bite them," he said.

Mr Haqqani said "the fact of the matter is that the Pakistani military and civilian leadership easily gets distracted by delusions of fighting India and its influence in Afghanistan and allowing certain jihadi terror groups to pursue those objectives, not realising that they can end up having offshoots, just like the Pakistani Taliban emerged out of the Afghan Taliban."

"The Pakistani component of the Afghan Taliban ended up becoming a separate group. And now Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has broken away from the Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan has to make a decision to go after all terrorist groups, as well as the mindset that breeds these terrorists. And Pakistan has not been able to make that decision," he said.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for Sunday's grisly suicide attack in Lahore that killed 72 people.

Mr Haqqani said that the "Pakistani establishment is not taking action against India-centric terrorist groups in Pakistan."

"The state has not taken any of the measures that are necessary to isolate them (terror group). So, there are groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed which attack India. They are spared. Once they are spared, it's very possible that some of their members will actually join splinter groups which will also attack Pakistan," he said.

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