Monday, March 30, 2009

Suicide attacks – a new dimension by Nadia Khan

Gone are the days when Pakistani Army Jawans, in 1965 war, were carrying the loaded bombs in front of Indian tanks assault to stop their advancements and save Lahore. Similarly Shaheed Rashid Minhas, attempt to brought down his plane killing himself along with his instructor, was to save few secrets of Pakistan air force and a Palestinian girl, mother of two, Idrees Wafa's suicide attack on Israeli army was an act of bravery and a notification to world against the atrocities committed by Jews. Among non-Muslims, Chinese paratroopers' suicide actions at Perl Harbour had documented a new dimension in world war history.

In today's world, suicide attacks are not unknown war tactics for Pakistani residents especially in tribal belt – North, South Waziristan and Malakand division, including Peshawar. Pakistanis are witnessing these attacks, sometimes failed also, since last 3 years frequently in many parts of the country from Khyber to Karachi. This phenomenon has risen dramatically after the assault of Lal Mosque in Islamabad. Taliban or Tahreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is mostly coming under fire for such attacks which took lives of several innocents. There are numerous peace deals signed between Taliban and Pakistani govts including Musharraf regime and present Zardari democratic govt but so far peace is not achieved.

There are doubts that the killing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is also carried out by same radical forces. Since then, political leaders are raising warning messages against Taliban, the radical forces behind all such heinous attacks but the scare of attack is reaching larger cities and the height of this fear is seen in Karachi too, where one local political party is quite vocal against Taliban.

Most recent suicide attack in a mosque in Jamrood, Khyber Agency, which took the lives of 70 innocents during Friday prayer, has raised the eyebrows of investigating authorities and a larger question, "who is killing innocent Muslims and why?" is under critical discussion.

To get the insight, we need to look at the role of radical forces in tribal areas of Pakistan. Taliban, mostly, is not a unified force, unlike Afghanistan, and has surged as a group of warlords, representing various tribes busy to gain their own vested interests. Moreover, there are rivalries among these tribes. Due to this & their culture, each tribe head has gathered number of militant soldiers (are they Islamic mercenaries or paid soldiers – this is yet to be established?) ready for armed struggle. Few headlines are worth noting telling the hidden motives behind each attack:

- ISI, Pakistani spy agency is behind all suicide attacks in Southern Waziristan by Mullah Nazir Ahmed, a warlord of South Waziristan

- We will take revenge from Bait Ulla Mehsud over attacks in mosques – by Zain Uddin Mehsud, a splinter group of Bait Ulla Mehsud TTP

- A warlord, Tarkistan's group was busy in number of defiance activities including innocents killing, hence Taliban killed 24 of his group members along with his real brother Hindustan

Such activities clearly indicate that – these radical forces are divided into various groups & each one is trying to retain the control of areas which they already had conquered, hence fighting against others for different motives. Taliban wants the radical version of Islam & its strict interpretation in areas where they enjoy majority such as Malakand division. This includes the ban on female education & work. Taliban is using suicide attack tactics against Pakistan armed forces due to the fact that later is dealing with them with iron hands in Swat picturesque valley.

Other warlords, such as Tarkistan or likeminded Uzbek fighters have their own interests - to survive in border areas of Pakistan until the US forces are having major assault onto them in neighbouring Afghanistan. Hence, they are using suicide attacks as a tactic to counter other warring factions. Because in FATA, they have a common enemy – American drones, this has made the life of these warlords much relaxed & they en cash each causality in their favour.

Beside internal warfare, suicide attacks technology has been exported to major cities for personal gains such as settling the enmities. A case of Bhakkar, Southern Punjab where a MNA of PML (N) was hurt by a suicide bomber was the case of settling dispute and revenge.

Indian interest in Afghanistan became another element to exert pressure on Pakistan from the Western border in the form of spy agencies activities where they use suicide attackers against the political figures of Pakistan. Attacks on former interior minister Aftab Sherpao or Benzair Bhutto 18th October procession, in which she has survived, was denied by Bait ulla Mehsud group categorically, indicates some other hidden hands using suicide attacks technique.

Few warlords have been paid high to carry out such tactics and speak against them hence shouldering the responsibility on Pakistani intelligence agencies too.

Suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto, on 27th December was exposed by media as an act of killing through firing and suicide attack to destroy the onsite evidences. This was also denied by Taliban, though no investigations have been carried out so far, had left bigger room for doubts about hidden hands other than radical forces.

Attack on Marriot, Islamabad had given a new twist in suicide attacks history when US marines came under limelight using hotel rooms for their own interest, probably controlling Drone attacks, and hence the role Indian spy agencies came under discussion for helping radical forces to destabilize Pak-US relations!

By taking the same line of revenge, Pakistani intelligence agencies were blamed by India for orchestrating Mumbai Taj Hotel shoot out! During this episode, Indian media has given a new dimension to look into suicide attacks concept.

Within this context, religion or Islam has been singled out from this internal warfare tactic. By being a war tactic, it has nothing to do with Islam and in today's Pakistan no one is carrying out suicide attacks for Islam or Muslim cause. Not only FATA, rest of the Pakistan is a battle field among various factions and suicide attacks are used as a tool to gain the control of land, revenge or settle personal disputes!


SD said...

Your articles are very interresting and show and original point of view. Best regards. SD.

MyShadow said...

"Chinese paratroopers' suicide actions at Perl Harbour had documented a new dimension in world war history."

Dear Nadia
I admire your attempt on writing, we need our youth to take this constructive role in their hands, however I would like to ask you to kindly refer before you publish anything and collect all the facts and examine your final writing against such facts before circulating such information.
Like in this case you mentioned the Chinese paratroopers at "perl harbor" which is not true since it was Japanese and not Chinese at "Pearl Harbor".
Hope you don't take my advice adversely.
With best wishes.