On March 3 2009, the Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by twelve terrorists armed with the latest equipments including hand grenades, AK- 47s, rocket launchers et al in a bustling city despite supposed tight safety and constant assurance of security by the government. Eight people were killed and several injured, all this while the terrorists roamed loose. Another date thus gone down in the history of terrorism. But what was so different about this attack? It took place in the host country, the country that nurtured and fostered it- Pakistan. Yes, it seems that the nation has finally become prone to the boomerang effect, with what it initiated itself some years ago coming back to haunt it. It all started with Pakistan supporting LeT for fulfilling its own interests regarding Kashmir. As has been confirmed by the US government, Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI provided various extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and LeT with enough vital secret information to help it and in the process, themselves. But in its keenness to form an alliance with Pakistan post 9/11, the US itself initially ignored this news. On this, India—also an American partner in the antiterrorist coalition— accused the United States of hypocrisy for working with the Pakistani government that India said continued to support terrorism.
The ISI has been known to be notorious for having a mind of its own, and has been described by Benazir Bhutto as a state within a state, working on its own terms. The ISI however denies the fact claiming that it follows the directions given to it by the government and the army. But the fact remains clear- the country’s involvement with the extremists is no more a secret. However, little did Pakistan know that the same extremist groups, after feeding on the provisions of their own host, would one day become powerful enough to have it at their mercy. And the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a sad yet hard proof of the same. It can be said the uprising against Pakistan first started after the 9/11 attacks when Musharraf, under the pressure of the US government to crack down on the Islamist militants in the War on Terrorism, abandoned the Taliban rulers and softened his line on Kashmir. This supposed backstab triggered severe responses from everywhere. Thus now these terrorist groups gaining major power have invaded the country, enforcing the fundamental doctrines of Islam on its people, closing down schools and stopping females from receiving any form of education among other misdoings. And now, with no control or goodwill left, Pakistan’s economy has gone in for a toss. And all this could’ve been prevented had Pakistan not encouraged Taliban in Afghanistan and gone against India. It could’ve also prevented the Parliament attack, the Mumbai terror attack, all the Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi bombings and others which led to the loss of thousands of lives. Even SIMI, also called the Indian Mujahideen, which was responsible for most of the 2008 bombings in India and banned in 2001, has been known to have associations with Al Qaeda and Pakistan.
Today, however, Pakistan hangs in a tense situation dealing with diplomacy on one hand and internal balance on the other. This also reminds us once again of the misuse made of religion, twisting its meaning till it becomes a scapegoat to give meaning and reason to the organisation’s unethical and selfish actions. The same has been seen from the time of Jinnah to Zardari. All this while the common man silently and helplessly suffers while the world around him crumbles down. The solution, according to Musharraf, is democracy, which despite being a distant dream was still a possibility till some time ago.
But something tells us it’s too late.