By WILLIAM MAYER and BEILA RABINOWITZ
December 1, 2008 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Pakistan's efforts to defuse the mounting tensions between itself and India after the Mumbai massacre are reaching the point of absurdity.
On Sunday Pakistan's president Asif Zardari nearly pleaded with India's prime minister Singh not to take action against Pakistan if, as seems increasingly to be the case, the Mumbai investigation reveals that it was the source of the terrorist attack. However Zardari's plaintive stance also contained an unconcealed threat.
"Speaking exclusively to the Financial Times, Pakistan's president warned that provocation by rogue "non-state actors" posed the danger of a return to war between the nuclear-armed neighbours. Even if the militants are linked to Lashkar-i-tayyaba, [a prominent militant group linked to previous attacks against India] who do you think we are fighting?" asked Mr Zardari, whose country is battling al-Qaeda and Taliban militants on its shared border with Afghanistan. "We live in troubled times where non-state actors have taken us to war before, whether it is the case of those who perpetrated [the] 9/11 [attacks on the US] or contributed to the escalation of the situation in Iraq," said Mr Zardari." [source, Farhan Bokhari I, James Lamont and Joe Leahy,Zardari Urges A United Stand, Financial Times, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e1fe5274-bf14-11dd-ae63-0000779fd18c.html]
The links between Islamic terror and Pakistan are abundant, so clear cut that they shouldn't require enumeration. Consider the summation on the issue on November 13 during a speech at the Atlantic Council by CIA director Michael Hayden:
"Let me be very clear. Today virtually every major terrorist threat that my agency is aware of has threads back to the tribal areas. Whether it's command and control, training, direction, money, capabilities, there is a connection to the FATA [Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas]. It is no overstatement to say that al Qaeda's base in Pakistan is the single most important factor today in the group's resilience and its ability to threaten the West." [source, http://www.acus.org/http%3A/%252Fwww.acus.org/event_blog/cia-director-event-transcript]
So even before last week's escalation, all roads led to Pakistan.
It's not that the Pak leadership doesn't realize there is link between itself and the jihad, the fact of the matter seems to be that there is absolutely no desire to, in any significant way, deal with the matter.
The reason for such laxity is not difficult to understand; Pakistani's in large numbers, most likely an overwhelming majority, support the goals of the radicals.
As a result the nation is pockmarked with numerous terrorist training camps manned by al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups such as Laskar-e-Taiba. Feeding these terror "finishing schools" are Pakistan's prep schools, the madrassas, which incubate Islamic radicalism and which exist unchanged long after their suppression was promised by the government. Their continued presence ensures that a ready stream of fundamentalist Muslim radicals will be available for years to drive the jihad.
Of greater long-range strategic interest, since the exploits of A.Q. Khan, Pakistan has sought to promote Islamic supremacy through the pursuit of nuclear weaponry.
Abdul Qadeer [A.Q.] Khan is the father of Pakistan's nuclear program, he is regarded as a national hero, having engineered the first "Islamic" nuclear weapon. He was sentenced in absentia, by Netherlands' courts in 1983 for nuclear espionage, having worked in Holland's nuclear program since the mid 1970s.
Not content to rest on those considerable accomplishments, Khan has since confessed to running a huge international ring engaged in proliferating nuclear technology to anti-Western regimes including Libya, Iran and N. Korea.
Indicative of Pakistan's approach to such matters, early in 2004, Pakistan's then president, Pervez Musharraf, pardoned Khan for his crimes, hardly the move of a country committed to stamping out terrorism.
As further details of the Mumbai attack leak out, the lone captured terrorist has indicated that he was part of an extremely well-funded and organized plot originating in Pakistan and connected to the country's terrorist group Laskar-e-Taiba [LET].
The group's ties to Pakistan's ISI are thought to be extensive with Laskar [also Lashkar] now filling the role that the largely dismantled Taliban/al-Qaeda structure used to fulfill. As such, LET is the ISI's proxy army in the same sense that Hezbollah is the ghost hand of Iran.
Yet after last week's mass carnage, Pakistan has, rather than attempted to accommodate India's concerns regarding the origin of the Mumbai plot, instead adopted a belligerent and threatening tone. It has withdrawn the help it had promised just a few days ago, deciding not to send it's ISI chief to assist in the official Mumbai investigation and is threatening to move its troops from its Western border [where it has spuriously claimed to be cleaning up terrorist enclaves] and redeploy along its border with India.
That redeployment is provocative in the best of times, given the circumstances under which it is taking place Pakistan is revealing itself to be, along with Iran, a major and now unapologetic player in the ongoing Islamic jihad against the West.
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