In its war with India, specifically over Kashmir, the Pakistanis trained and subsidized many militant religious groups. They operated under the aegis of the Pakistani military and especially the ISI....THE INTELLIGENCE UNIT. In the Punjab, the country's largest province, groups such as the Jaish-e-Muhammad and the Lashkar-e- Jhangi (Sunnis) were allied with the government against India, the Shiite Muslims and also the United States ....... "These are all Punjabi groups with a link to South Waziristan" according to former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao. As the Pakistani government began working closer and closer with the Americans, these groups formed alliances with al Qaida, and as Pakistan started to attack their strongholds, South Waziristan and the Swat Valley, they decided to bring the fight directly to the government and its police, security and military forces. The result has been widespread guerilla/suicide attacks.
The boldness of these attacks has the Pakistani government and military reeling. The umbrella group for the Pakistani Taliban has been identified as Tehrik-e-Taliban....Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that " the banned Tehrik-e- Taliban, Jaish-e- Muhammad, al- Qaida and Lashkar-e- Jhangvi are operating jointly in Pakistan". He went on to say that " a syndicate" of militant groups wanted to see "Pakistan as a failed state". He knows whereof he speaks, but he and his government have to accept that they are responsible for creating this Frankenstein.
In Lahiore, the second largest city a police station and security forces building were attacked. In Peshawar, capital of the North-West Frontier, there were attacks on a police station and a residential complex. In Rawalpindi, the army headquarters was attacked and there were attacks eleswhere also. The attacks were sophisticated, well-planned and highly orchestrated and it is evident that it is the work of al Qaida. The Taliban is well-funded( between $70-$400 million, according to the New York Times) from a variety of sources, the drug trade, armed robbery and wealthy benefactors ( from Pakistan and Arab countries). They have the funds and the foot-soldiers ( paid between$200-$4and al Qaida provides the expertise.
The very existence of Pakistan is at stake. They nurtured these groups for their own purposes; they allowed "madrassahs" to be operated and to be a recruiting grounds for religious fanatics; they formed an alliance of convenience with these religious fanatics, encouraging, funding them and allowing them to roam freely and now "the fire" is consuming them.
The American government signed a $7.5 billion civilian aid package yesterday, for Pakistan. It called for greater civilian oversight of the military and demanded that support for militant groups be dropped. Immediately, there were protests from some military officers and politicians over what is seen by the Pakistanis as infringements of Pakistani sovereignty. Such is the gall/nerve and lack of appreciation. Reminds me of General/President Zia's outburst of "peanuts" to President Carter's offer of aid to Pakistan in the late 70's.
The attacks will intensify and the Pakistani military and security forces, have a task ahead, for which, tghey are ill-suited/ prepared. They lack the will, the competence and the stomach for this fight. It does not bode well for the security and "sovreignty" of the nation. It is on the verge of "failing"