Pakistan continues to be a terror haven
Pakistan has once again proved to be the biggest sanctuary of terrorists in the continent with its immediate neighbour, Iran, using missiles and drones to target one of the many terrorist groups sheltered in Balochistan.
Iran is the third neighbour to accuse and target Pakistan for patronising terrorists. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, in one of his candid comments, had admitted that his country hosted at least 30,000 terrorists, including al Qaeda.
Responding to Iranian strike, Pakistan retaliated by bombing a bordering village, killing its own citizens. The victims were innocent Balochs, who had taken refuge in the restive province of Sistan Baluchistan in the wake of a brutal military campaign against them in Pakistan’s Balochistan over the years.
India for long has accused Pakistan of supporting terrorist activities and has carried out surgical strikes to target terror camps to act as a deterrence. Even Afghanistan, now ruled by a militant group, the Afghan Taliban, once a protege of Pakistan Army, has told Pakistan that it must stop its terrorist games against its immediate neighbour, once a key part of Pak army’s `strategic depth` doctrine.
But there seems no remorse on the part of Pakistan even after the Iranian attack. Like always, Islamabad has chosen to use denial and deception to accuse Tehran of sheltering terrorists inimical to Pakistan’s security. Its retaliatory bombing was more of an optics for its own public which harbours deep suspicion of the military and its antics. The nine persons, including children, killed in the retaliatory strikes, were Pakistanis.
It is well known that the army has been harbouring several militant groups for years in various parts of Pakistan to be used as strategic weapons against its neighbours. Even Jaish-e-Adl, whose camps were the targets of Iranian bombs, was known to ISI. Pakistan has played similar duplicitous games with al Qaeda and anti-China militant group, East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), in the recent past. Pakistan played its biggest con on the US, which claimed it to be `major non-NATO ally` and was happy to dole out billions in the name of hunting down al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. It took almost a decade of blind man hunting and billions of dollars before the Americans found that bin Laden was living a good, homely life, with his two wives and scores of children, inside a fortified house in the military town of Abbottabad.
Similarly, China too found out that despite billions of investments and tall claims of friendship, Pakistan had continued to provide sanctuary to ETIM before the Chinese gave an ultimatum.
Pakistan has been hoodwinking its own people for years in the name of terrorism. The army spawned and harboured several groups for decades in national interest. In reality, these groups were used more to suppress protests and dissent from their own people. The singular result of this terrorism policy has been to keep the country poor and dependent on foreign aid, and now highly insecure within and outside.
Today, Pakistan is in a state of war as it continues to be a terror haven.