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Chiken come home to roost: Jihadi violence in Pak.

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    Chiken come home to roost: Jihadi violence in Pak.

    From 'The Friday Times' today. However, Pakistanis are least worried about jihadi violence on non-suunis.
    More sectarian violence forecast

    Sheharyar Khalid
    says the sectarian terrorists are emerging from hibernation


    On December 16, 2000, a team of sectarian assassins ambushed and killed a deputy superintendent of Punjab police, Tariq Kamboh, along the Canal Road in Lahore. The DSP's driver was also killed in the attack. This incident and some other high profile sectarian killings have brought home the message again: for the sectarian terrorists the hibernation period is over. They are back.

    DSP Kamboh was killed in revenge. This much is amply clear from the two earlier attempts on his life and the investigations into his killing. The slain officer was considered something of a specialist on sectarian outfits and was credited with arresting, after a hand-to-hand fight, one of the most wanted terrorists in the province, Aziz Gujjar. Gujjar is said to be one of the Deobandi assassins who killed 22 mourning Shias at the Mominpura graveyard in Lahore in 1998.

    Kamboh had also killed two Lashkar-e-Jhangvi terrorists in an alleged police encounter. The Lashkar had vowed revenge, saying its activists had been killed extra-judicially. Thereafter, they tried to kill Kamboh twice; the third attempt was successful.

    Police officers agree that Tariq's murder has come as a blow to the anti-sectarian drive. The killing has sent a message of sorts, though this is not the first time. In 1997, sectarian terrorists killed a senior superintendent police, Ashraf Marth. That, too, was revenge killing. Marth was a high-profile officer not only because of his rank but also because he was the brother-in-law of then federal interior minister, Shujaat Hussain.

    Such has been the outreach of sectarian terrorists, especially LJ cadres, that police officers interrogate the arrested terrorists with masks on to avoid recognition. The outfit even tried to blow up then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in an attack in 1999. At the time, talking to TFT, then federal information minister Mushahid Hussain confessed that the government had been forced to co-opt the Lashkar-e-Taiba to send a message to the LJ to lay off.

    At the time of his killing Kamboh had become a relatively soft target. He had been laid off active service because of an inquiry into the alleged killing of a suspect. And while subsequent inquiries had exonerated him of the charge, he was not about to get an active post. "Looking at the fate of Tariq Kamboh, I think no police officer will now make any extra effort on the sectarian terrorism front," one police officer told TFT.

    Kamboh's murder has left every police officer in a state of shock. "We are all extra-careful. This is why no officer has been named in the anti-terrorist operation recently carried out," he said. Although the terrorists were arrested in November 2000, the details of the raids and arrests were released to the press a day after Tariq's murder, several weeks later.

    TFT has learnt that while the arrest ratio for the terrorists is slightly improving, the trial pace needs improvement. It is a fact that most judges avoid hearing sectarian cases for fear of reprisals.

    Disposal of sectarian cases in 2000

    Out of the 174 sectarian murder cases transferred to the Special Courts, 101 were pending until October 31, 2000. There were 38 convictions and 35 acquittals. Out of the 31 cases of sectarian-related attempted murders, convictions in seven cases and acquittals in 17 cases were made while eight were pending on October 31.

    Similarly, out of the total 152 proclaimed offenders in sectarian cases from both the sects, as many as 45 were arrested in the first 10 months of 2000, with Multan Range police managing to arrest 10 out of 18 terrorists from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Deobandi terrorist outfit. The Faisalabad Range police arrested eight out of the 19 POs of LJ, and five out of 15 belonging to Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan and TJP, the two Shia outfits. The output of Sargodha Range police in cases of sectarian-related crime remained zero while the Lahore Range arrested six out of 13 wanted POs of LJ and one out of 25 POs of the rival Shia group.

    Architect of terror

    In a way one can describe DSP Kamboh's murder more as revenge killing rather than sectarian murder. The architect of terror on the sectarian front is the country's most wanted terrorist, Riaz Basra. Basra carries Rs 5 million head money. A limp is his only distinguishing physical trait.

    One of the founding members of LJ, Riaz Basra received military training in Afghanistan in the early 90s. In 1992, he was arrested in Lahore following the killing of the Iranian Counsel General, Sadiq Ganji. However, he shot to prominence in 1994 when he escaped from a court. Since then, he has been visiting Afghanistan where, under-arrest sectarian terrorists say, he has been supervising training camps. Basra is not only wanted by the state but also by the rival Shia group. In fact, twice the SMP hit men killed people mistaking them for Basra, says a police source.

    The pattern of sectarian attacks

    Sectarian warfare in Pakistan is a direct product of the Afghan war. It began with rival groups targeting prominent leaders on both sides of the divide. The violence then moved down to specific religiously active workers, followed by attacks on religious gatherings and specific mosques. Incidents of attacks on gatherings have been most gruesome with terrorists firing indiscriminately and killing scores of innocent people. In certain cases, the terrorists also used time devices and hand grenades. The manner in which the menace has spread over the years can be gauged from the fact that the terrorists have not even spared top government officers. Yet another modus ope*****, the deadliest so far, has been the practice of hurling hand grenades to make people run for the lives and then shooting them down with automatic fire.

    Police officers concede that the phenomenon is linked to the support by the state of certain religious outfits for the purposes of jihad. These jihads are linked to certain foreign and security policy issues. "Unless these issues are resolved, we will keep getting these crazies," says a top police officer.

    In the NWFP, sectarian violence again broke out in December last year in the Orakzai tribal agency. So far, the violence has claimed nearly 50 lives. And while the Shia leaders have asked for an independent inquiry into the issue, the Sunni leaders, the agency's Taliban, have refused to co-operate.

    [This message has been edited by ZZ (edited January 18, 2001).]


    From the article and comments it seems that these Jehadi groups are becoming burden Pakistan, Islam and Unity of muslims.

    One thing I dont understand is why it is difficult for Govt of Pakistan to stop all activities of such groups.

    Personaly I dont see any benefit from supporting these groups.


      So what else is new???
      I read it believed it and was sad at the fact such stuff is happening.
      This has been happening since 1971.

      You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


        Well, chickens hans do have the nasty habbit of coming home to roost.
        Since many Guppies are fond of pointing out the oppression of Indian Muslims, let me point out that Indian Muslims never do this


          Its really sad and more poignant when these anti Islam things happen in our country where ppl appear to be the only Vocals of Islam for whole world


            Oh i just notice you mentioned Jihad.
            Well you should know about now that Jihad is against Kaffir, and not against muslims.
            So that is wrong.
            Where did you disappear too??

            You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!