terror haven

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Apr 2018 11:33:56

THAT the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) updated list includes as many as 139 Pakistani entities, clearly marks that country as the global terror haven. Those listed by the UNSC are either based in Pakistan or have taken refuge in the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, a safe hiding place for global terrorists. Most of these terror entities on the list of the UNSC are on the wanted list of Interpol as well. But ironically no authority in the world has been able to persuade Pakistan to put them on trial. Pakistan has become so brazen in its protection of these entities that it pays little heed to international pressure or criticism for giving shelter to wanted terrorists and known terror organisations like that of several of terror mastermind Hafeez Sayeed’s outfits operating under various aliases.

There is nothing new in the terror list that the UNSC has released. The global community knows that most international terrorists and their contacts have found a safe shelter in Pakistan’s various regions, including Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the areas bordering Afghanistan. The gunning down of Al Qaeda supremo Osama bin Laden by the US Seals within Pakistani territory in a secret mission showed how duplicitous Pakistan had been. The American Government was pumping in money and weapons in Pakistan with the fond belief that Pakistan was a trusted ally in its fight against terror. But the presence of the most wanted enemy of the US sheltered in Pakistan revealed the true face of Pakistan.

In spite of this exposure of deception of not only the United States but also of the entire world Pakistan has not changed its ways in protecting and even patronising terror masterminds masquerading as religious heads. In fact in the case of Hafeez Sayeed Pakistan has shown much greater brazenness by according legitimacy to him and his various organisations by allowing him to float a political organisation so that he could fight elections and occupy seat of power. This will give him and his several outfits social and governmental sanction. He openly issues threats to countries like India and Afghanistan to wage a war against them. In a way Hafeez Sayeed is doing what the military brass and the ISI want him to do. In fact Sayeed’s terror factory has the blessings of the Pakistani establishment which wants it to run uninterruptedly producing recruits to wage a proxy war against India. Even now several lieutenants of Osama, including his heir apparent Ayman al Zawahiri are believed to be hiding in the border areas of Afghanistan-Pakistan, enjoying the patronage of the Pakistani army as they are its prized assets for carrying out subversive activities in India and Afghanistan.

While India has been dealing with this menace by keeping an eternal watch over the activities across the border and has been neutralising groups of terror trying to infiltrate in the country, global bodies like the UNSC have not come up with any solution to rein in Pakistan and dissuade it from its misadventure. Beyond issuing the list of terrorists and their outfits and updating it periodically no effective steps have been taken by the global community. International bodies like the UN and Security Council at best may issue sanctions against countries like Pakistan. But the question is, are they effective to deter Pakistan from giving patronage to terror outfits and using terror as a policy tool.

For decades the US has funded Pakistan liberally and provided military equipment only with the fond hope that it was serving its strategic goals. But now there is a realisation in Washington that it was being fooled. It is only now that Trump Administration has begun to speak tough language. Better late than never.