Terrorism in Pakistan

Terrorism in Pakistan

Terrorism in Pakistan has been prevalent since the 1980s mostly due to the Soviet-Afghan War, and the subsequent proxy war against the communists that continued for at least a decade. The war brought numerous fighters from all over the world to South Asia in the name of jihad, often financed by the United States or Saudi Arabia. These fighters, known as mujahideen, created havoc in Pakistan by carrying out terrorist activities inside the country well after the war officially ended.

Terrorism in Pakistan is mainly a result of Pakistan's support of terrorist activities in its neighbouring countries namely India and Afghanistan through state funding of Islamic terrorists. Subsequent to 9/11 Pakistan had to do a volte face under extreme US pressure and had to fight the very own islamic militants who had long been harboured and nurtered by them. This in return for American financial and military support as a part of the War on Terror. Some Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists view cooperation with the US as an affront to Islam.

The sectarian violence plaguing the country presently is also said to originate in the controversial Islamic policies of General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq initiated during his tenure from 1977 to 1988. These policies gave immense power to religious figures in the country, who in turn spread intolerant religious dogmas among the masses.

There have been many secessionists movements within Pakistan, the most significant of which is the Balochistan liberation movement. The movement gained momentum after the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, when then-East Pakistan successfully attained independence from Pakistan. The Balochistan Liberation Army is currently active in its efforts to achieve independence by employing guerrilla attacks on both civilian and military targets. The attacks frequently incorporate IEDs, and are often filmed and made available on the internet, apparently for propaganda purposes. [ [http://balochvoice.com/index_a.html Propaganda videos by Baloch nationalists] Baloch Voice]

According to one source, in 1987, 90% of all reported terrorist activities worldwide were located in Pakistan.Fact|date=May 2008 This can be attributed to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan's status as the sixth most populous country in the world, with diverse cultures, languages, traditions and customs. The different cultures in Pakistan are associated with differing ideologies, further encouraging regionalism.

Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, has often been accused of playing a role in major terrorist attacks across the world including the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1266317,00.html The Pakistan connection] The Guardian] [ [http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO206A.html Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11] Global Research Canada] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1734113.stm Pakistan spy service 'aiding Bin Laden'] BBC News] terrorism in Kashmir, [ [http://www.cfr.org/publication/9514/ Terrorism Havens: Pakistan] Council for Foreign Relations] [ [http://www.angelfire.com/al4/terror/isi_kashmir.htm Indian minister ties ISI to Kashmir] ] [ [http://www.cfr.org/publication/9135/ Kashmir Militant Extremists] Council on Foreign Relations] Mumbai Train Bombings, [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5394686.stm Pakistan 'role in Mumbai attacks'] BBC News] London Bombings, [ [http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=MIC20050720&articleId=712 The Pakistani Connection: The London Bombers and "Al Qaeda's Webmaster"] Global Research Canada] Indian Parliament Attack, [ [http://www.indianembassy.org/new/parliament_dec_13_01.htm#STATEMENT%20MADE%20BY%20HOME%20MINISTER,%20L.%20K.%20ADVANI%20ON%20THE%20TERRORIST%20ATTACK%20ON%20PARLIAMENT%20HOUSE%20ON%20DECEMBER%2013,%202001 Home Minister L. K. Advani's statement on terrorist attack on Parliament House] Indian Embassy] Varnasi bombings, [ [http://in.rediff.com/news/2006/mar/21spec.htm ISI now outsources terror to Bangladesh] Rediff.com] Hyderabad bombings [ [http://in.rediff.com/news/2007/may/25guest.htm Hyderabad blasts: The ISI hand] Rediff.com] [ [http://www.ibnlive.com/news/isi-may-be-behind-hyderabad-blasts-jana-reddy/47473-3.html ISI may be behind Hyderabad blasts: Jana Reddy] ] The ISI is also accused of supporting Taliban forces [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6033383.stm Pakistan's shadowy secret service] BBC News] and recruiting and training mujahideen [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/10/06/wafghan06.xml Nato's top brass accuse Pakistan over Taliban aid] Daily Telegraph] to fight in Afghanistan [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/21/world/asia/21quetta.html At Border, Signs of Pakistani Role in Taliban Surge] The New York Times] [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE7D81F3EF936A15751C0A9649C8B63 A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SUSPECTS; Death of Reporter Puts Focus On Pakistan Intelligence Unit] The New York Times] and Kashmir

Pakistan is also said to be a haven for terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, [ [http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=395435&sid=SAS&ssid=&news=Pakistan+has+al-Qaeda+training+camp:+US+officials Pakistan has al-Qaeda training camp: US officials] Zee News] Lashkar-e-Omar, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Sipah-e-Sahaba. Pakistan is accused of sheltering and training the Taliban in operations "which include soliciting funding for the Taliban, bankrolling Taliban operations, providing diplomatic support as the Taliban's virtual emissaries abroad, arranging training for Taliban fighters, recruiting skilled and unskilled manpower to serve in Taliban armies, planning and directing offensives, providing and facilitating shipments of ammunition and fuel, and on several occasions apparently directly providing combat support," as quoted by the Human Rights Watch. [ [http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/afghan2/Afghan0701-02.htm Pakistan's Support of Taliban] Human Rights Watch]


Three of the main causal factors contributing to terrorism in Pakistan are sectarian/religious violence, mistrust of the Musharraf-Bush coalition in the War on Terrorism, and a history of training camps in Pakistan. Other causes, such as political rivalry and business disputes, also take their toll. It is estimated that more than 4,000 people have died in Pakistan in the past 25 years due to sectarian strife. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4289740.stm Pakistan 'extremist leader' held] BBC News]

Role of Madrassas

The presence of many unregulated Madrassas throughout Pakistan is believed to contribute significantly to its terrorism problem. Although the madrassas were created to fill the hole left by the state in educating young people free of charge, some became recruiting centers for terrorists, as most of the financing for the institutions came from terrorist groups and not from the government. There was also a great dearth of well-rounded education in these institutions, as their graduates were only good for Mosque services, and not other fields of life. Thus, social and economic factors played a great role in helping to spread intolerance. The word "Taliban" itself means "students", with "Talib" (singular) meaning a student.

A small number of these madrassas are supposed to provide military training which give inspiration to European extremists of South Asian descent. [http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?story_id=7798877 School for terror] The Economist] The 7 July 2005 London bombings was carried out by people who are believed to have visited a Pakistani madrassa at some time in their life, stoking fears that perhaps certain groups in Pakistan were encouraging violent activity. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf initially acknowledged that some madrassas might be involved in extremism and terrorism. [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050719.BLAST19_COPY/BNStory London bombing probe shifts focus to Pakistan] Globe and Mail] . The Pakistani government denied the charges, saying that just because a citizen visits Pakistan once after living and being educated abroad until then, does not mean that the person was encouraged to perform terrorist acts in Pakistan. The government still acted swiftly, requiring all religious schools to register with the government. Also, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's cooperation with the United States' War on Terrorism has led to several assassination attempts on him by those who seek the destruction of Western interests. The president referred to this as terrorism.

"See also: Pakistani involvement in the War on Terrorism"

tate-sponsored terrorism

Intelligence agencies around the world have long suspected Pakistan as a source of extremism and terrorism. It has recently been revealed that Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, a top scientist involved with Pakistan's nuclear program has been selling nuclear technologies to Iran, North Korea and Libya. Khan was tried within Pakistan. It is unclear whether the state has been involved with his dealings. [http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=17420 A. Q. Khan Nuclear Chronology] Carnegie Endowment for International Peace] Pakistan has used Islamist militants to fight its wars in Afghanistan and Kashmir. [http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm?story_id=7107838 Too much for one man to do] The Economist]

The Government of Pakistan is accused by India of having supplied monetary aid to certain terrorist organizations fighting for secession in Kashmir. It has strongly denied the latter. [http://www.fas.org/news/pakistan/1999/991007-pak-mis.htm Pakistan dismisses Indian allegations of cross-border terrorism] Federation of American Scientists] However some statements have claimed the involvement of Pakistan's Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, in establishing terrorist training camps in the early stages of the war many years ago. [http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_14-6-2005_pg1_4 Sheikh Rashid trained Kashmiri fighters: Yasin] Daily Times] American intelligence sources, mainly the FBI claims that there are "terrorist training camps" in Pakistan and that the terrorists come to Pakistan from all over the globe. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8147895/site/newsweek/ New Terror Camp?] MSNBC] In Pakistan, most modernized infrastructure of terrorist training exists, supported by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in terms of money, ideological training, and moral support. Many other nations and nonpartisan sources also state that Pakistan is one of the perpetrators of state-sponsored terrorism by providing help to Kashmiri and other terrorist outfits with connections to Al-Qaeda. [http://www.cfr.org/publication/9514/ Does Pakistan’s government support terrorism?] Council on Foreign Relations]

Terrorist groups in Pakistan


Lashkar-e-Omar (The Army of Omar) is a terrorist organisation which is believed to have its members derived from 3 organizations, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The main terrorist activities for which it has been accused are:

* Attack on a church in Bahawalpur in Punjab on October 28, 2002, resulting in 18 deaths and 9 injuries.
* The group, was allegedly involved in the March 17, 2002 grenade attack on a church in the heavily guarded diplomatic enclave in Islamabad in which five persons, including a US diplomat's wife and daughter, were killed and 41 others injured.
* LeO was reportedly involved in the suicide bombing outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi on May 8, 2002 and the June 14th attack on the US consulate in Karachi, in which 10 persons, including five women, were killed and 51 others injured.


Pakistan-based terrorist group, Lashkar-e-Toiba, has survived global sanctions and is poised to move into the political realm thereby strengthening the collective religious extremist groups' move to coalesce as a formidable opposition to the re-emergent civil democratic movement in Pakistan. This coalition of extremist and terrorist elements within Pakistan and the broad trajectory of the Taliban-Al Qaeda relationship in Afghanistan threatens the stability of Pakistan and the region, and risks fueling the export of terrorism across the world. See [http://spaces.brad.ac.uk:8080/download/attachments/748/Brief12finalised1.pdf PSRU Brief 12. Lashkar-e-Tayyeba] , [http://spaces.brad.ac.uk:8080/display/ssispsru/Home Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU)]

ipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan

Previously known as Anjuman Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASS), this group is thought to be behind most of the attacks on Shiites. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3170970.stm Pakistan's militant Islamic groups] BBC News] It came into prominence following the Iranian Revolution in 1980s. Incidents thought to be caused by this group are as follows:

* October 7, 2004 bomb blasts in Multan that killed 40 people;
* September 21, 2004: Suspected SSP members gunned down at least three members of a Shi'a family in a sectarian attack in Dera Ismail Khan;
* March 2, 2004 More than 45 people killed and over 100 wounded in an attack on Shi'a Muslims in Quetta; and
* It has also been involved in assassinating Iranian diplomats with the most severe being the killing of five Iranian Air Force cadets in Rawalpindi in 1997.

War on Terrorism in Pakistan

The post-9/11 War on Terrorism in Pakistan has had two principal elements: the government's battle with jihad groups banned after 9/11, and the U.S. pursuit of Al-Qaeda, usually (but not always) in coordination with Pakistani forces.

In 2004, the Pakistani army launched a pursuit of Al-Qaeda members in the mountainous area of Waziristan on the Afghan border. Clashes there erupted into a low-level conflict with Islamic militants and local tribesmen, sparking the Waziristan War. A short-lived truce known as the Waziristan accord was brokered in September 2006.

List of terrorist incidents in Pakistan

This is the list of major terrorist incidents in Pakistan. The War on Terrorism had a major impact on Pakistan, when terrorism inside Pakistan increased twofold. The country was already gripped with sectarian violence, but after 9/11, it also had to face violence related to various secessionist movements, and the direct threat of Al-Qaeda and Taliban, which usually targeted high-profile political figures. Terrorists killed 907 people and injured 1,543 others in Pakistan in 2006. [http://www.newkerala.com/news4.php?action=fullnews&id=75888 2 killed per day in terror attacks in Pakistan last year] New Kerala] In the year 2007 alone, terrorist attacks resulted in 3,448 casualties from 1,503 attacks and clashes according to Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) security report. PIPS report shows visible increase in suicide attacks after Lal Masjid operation. [ [http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008

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