New Delhi: A highly respected think tank, The International Crisis Group (ICG) has come out with a damning report on Pakistan’s fight against terrorism and explains how the country’s security agencies follow a selective approach to terror groups.
The report focuses on the deteriorating law and order in the city of Karachi. The report titled “Pakistan: Stoking the fire in Karachi” begins by saying “Ethnic, political and sectarian rivalries, jihadist groups, criminality and heavy-handed security policies are turning Pakistan’s biggest city into a pressure cooker of tensions”.
The report vindicates India’s stand that Pakistan’s government and Army follow a selective approach in eliminating terrorists and groups like the LeT, JeM and JuD operate freely in Pakistan. It says, “Pakistan’s most dangerous groups actively contest Karachi’s turf and resources. The anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and anti-India LeT/JD and Jaish-e-Mohammed have umbilical links with the city’s large, well-resourced madrasas”.
While preparing the report the International Crisis group spoke to politicians, government officials, journalists and civil society members who said Pakistani rangers have spared many areas in Karachi which are hubs for “good jihadists” like LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The report says “There are pockets all along the Super Highway of good Taliban and any time Pakistan-India or Kashmir tensions flare, these groups mobilise in the heart of the city”. It further quotes a senior government official as saying, “You can’t treat LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed as your friends in one part of the country and your enemies elsewhere”.
When CNN-News18 approached Pakistan government officials for a reaction they said, “Pakistan has been pursuing action against all terror groups without any discrimination”.
Despite repeated requests from India Pakistan is yet to move forward on the 26/11 trial and the Pathankot attack investigation. Terrorists like Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi are yet to be punished.
Interestingly India’s most wanted underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim lives in the posh Clifton area of Karachi, the same city profiled by the International Crisis Group in its report.
The report comes at a time when Pakistan has been rocked by one of the worst terror attacks in recent times. At least 100 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up 200KM northeast of Karachi.
India’s former ambassador to Pakistan TCA Raghavan says the report by the International Crisis Group shows the mindset in Pakistan has not changed. “This selective approach never works because terror groups don’t have single agenda. They have multiple agenda.
Their cadres are motivated from multiple directions. Attacks on religious shrines like the one in Karachi on Thursday reinforces that perception”, Raghavan said.
The ICG report also says prominent pro-jihadist madrasas continue to operate freely, including those with close ties to Jaish-e-Mohammmed.