March 31, 2016

PAKISTAN: Lahore Blast: Pakistan Policy To Liberate Kashmir With Jihadis Has Backfired, Says Husain Haqqani. Also, Malala Attackers Secretly Set Free By Pakistan Govt.

The Indian Express, India
written by Staff
Tuesday March 29, 2016

Pakistan’s involvement with jihadi groups at the highest level aimed at “liberation” of Jammu and Kashmir has backfired, ex-diplomat Husain Haqqani said on Tuesday following the deadly terror attack in Lahore. And even as its decades-old policy has backfired, the Pakistani establishment is reluctant to declare an all-out war against terrorist groups, Haqqani, the country’s former envoy to the US, told PBS in an interview.

“Pakistan’s involvement with jihadi groups initially was primarily as a strategic investment, which was supposed to bring them benefits through influence in Afghanistan and the liberation of Jammu and Kashmir from India. That has backfired,” said Haqqani.

“Now even though it has backfired, Pakistan has been very selective in going after these jihadi groups. That is the reason why the jihadis pick specific targets like Shias, Ahmadis or Christians, to improve their recruitment, playing on various kinds of polarisation, and taking advantage of that to advance in society further,” he said. “The real problem lies in that attitude of the government of trying to protect the parties in Punjab, while going after the terrorists in other parts of the country, but not in the Punjab. That’s what has come back to bite them,” he said.

Haqqani said the fact of the matter is that the Pakistani military and civilian leadership easily gets distracted by delusions of fighting India and its influence in Afghanistan and allowing certain jihadi groups to pursue those objectives, not realising that they can end up having offshoots, just like the Pakistani Taliban emerged out of the Afghan Taliban. “The Pakistani component of the Afghan Taliban ended up becoming a separate group. And now Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has broken away from the Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan has to make a decision to go after all terrorist groups, as well as the mindset that breeds these terrorists. And Pakistan has not been able to make that decision,” he observed. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for Sunday’s grisly suicide attack in Lahore that killed 72 people. Haqqani said the Pakistani establishment is not taking action against India-centric terrorist groups. “The state has not taken the measures that are necessary to isolate them all. So, there are groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed which attack India. They are spared. Once they are spared, it’s very possible that some of their members will actually join splinter groups which will attack Pakistan,” he argued.


India Today News
written by Staff
June 5, 2015

As many as eight of the 10 men jailed for the 2012 assassination attempt on Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage child rights activist who last year won the Nobel Peace Prize, have been set free, raising suspicion over the validity of the secret trial, a media report said on Friday.

In April, 10 Pakistani Taliban militants were handed down 25-year jail sentences by an anti-terrorism court after holding them guilty.

However, sources have now confirmed to the BBC that only two of the men who stood trial were convicted.

The secrecy surrounding the trial, which was held behind closed doors, has raised suspicions over its validity.

Muneer Ahmed, a spokesman for the Pakistani High Commission in London, said on Friday that the eight men were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Saleem Marwat, district police chief in Swat, where the attack on then 15-year-old Malala took place, separately confirmed that only two men had been convicted.

Ahmed claimed that the original court judgement made it clear only two men had been convicted and blamed the confusion on misreporting.

The acquittals emerged after reporters from the London- based Daily Mirror attempted to locate the 10 convicted men in prisons in Pakistan, the report added.

The trial was held at a military facility rather than a court, a Pakistani security source told the BBC, and was shrouded in secrecy. Anti-terrorism trials in Pakistan are not open to the public.

Pakistani authorities did not make the judgement available at any stage, nor did they correct the reports over the past two months that 10 men had been convicted, it said.

Authorities also did not say when and where the men had been arrested or how they were linked to the attack, or explain the charges against them.

Malala was targeted by Taliban gunmen while she was returning home from school in the town of Mingora by bus which the gunmen boarded and asked for her by name before shooting her in the head.

She was treated for her injuries in the UK and currently lives in Birmingham with her family due to Taliban death threats.

Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, along with India's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, for standing up for the right to education of girls in Swat valley in 2007 when Taliban controlled the mountainous region, where she lived with her family.

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