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Islam and Sectarianism ( 2 Jun 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistan Needs To Do Much More to Deal with Intensified Communal and Sectarian Conflicts in Punjab despite Fierce Internal Conflict among Terror Outfits



By Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

03 June, 2014

There have been more deadly attacks on the security personnel in the tribal areas. Probability is that such attacks will be repeated with much intensity in times to come. The reason is that the Talibani outfits have developed bitter rivalry and are fighting with each other fiercely. Apparently, we see internal conflicts within our enemies as favourable to our interests, but this is not the case with the Talibani extremists.

For the ongoing internal war within the Talibani factions seems to create more problems for the security forces of Pakistan. On the other hand, several groups that separated from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and were believed to be well-wishers of the Pakistani state are now valueless, either because of losing the power and organisational capability or due to their retreat to the totalitarianism of the TTP. The main reason behind it is that the TTP is dominated by foreign extremists who, unlike the local extremists, have no soft corner for the state of Pakistan. Most of them have been engaged in militancy since the war started in Afghanistan and have consolidated their ties with the Al-Qaida. Although they have good standing in the local areas, their source of power emanates from the foreign countries where their financers and funding organisations are based. Thus, while they enjoy huge respect and support in the local areas, they are enormously funded by them to wage war in the name of Jihad in Pakistan.

For instance, recent reports revealed that having breached the peace accord with the government, Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, a militant outfit in Pakistan, urged local residents to migrate from North Waziristan. A pamphlet publicly distributed by the Shura Mujahideen Waziristan, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, alleged that the government had practically revoked an agreement with them and that it is now preparing to launch a big military expedition in North Waziristan. Therefore, the group asked the locals to move from North Waziristan to safe locations close to the Afghan border to avoid being caught in crossfire in the event of a military operation in the area. It said people should move to areas from where they could cross the border into Afghanistan.

The group consists of a big number of foreign militants, mostly from Uzbekistan, and therefore, it believes itself to be more vulnerable to the military operation. It is commonly perceived that the Gul Bahadur group is a little flexible compared to the Mehsud groups because it leaves a window for reconciliation open.

However, it can be clearly seen from a recent pamphlet issued by the Gul Bahadur group that the situations in the North Waziristan are going to worsen soon. If the government is really all set to launch a decisive military operation in Waziristan, the situations will turn from bad to worse. It will become more turbulent than ever before. The reason is that the massive negative propaganda against the security agencies is going on in full swing in North Waziristan and other tribal areas.     

Taking the above story seriously, it could be easily predicted that the extremists will attempt to target the major cities and most sensitive places of the country. Obviously, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore will be the most vulnerable to the terrorist attacks and these are in dire need for more strict security measures.

More rigorous efforts are required in Punjab to deal with the intensified communal and sectarian conflicts. According to the latest news reports, some unidentified men kidnapped Rana Jameel Hasan of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) from near Pindi Bhattian in Punjab. Given the present situation, there may be increase in such incidents of kidnapping and even murder. Most likely, members of parliament and personnel of legislative assemblies will be targeted and attacked. The chief objective of such incidents is to force the government to halt its military operations in Waziristan. Besides, the possibility for more bomb blasts in Punjab is not distant. The same may be true for Karachi and other major cities of Pakistan.

However, the fierce internal conflict among the terror outfits is an opportunity that the government should not miss out. Extremists are not only fighting against each other, but also beginning to lose the huge support they had. I strongly believe if the government and security agencies act wisely and make proper use of this opportunity, they will be able to purge the nation of terror and extremism. It is about time they strive for the realisation of their long-cherished dream: a peaceful Pakistan.

The author of nine books including the recent "Punjabi Taliban", Mujahid Hussain writes a regular weekly column for New Age Islam. He is also Chief of New Age Islam Brussels Bureau. He has been contributing to leading papers as an investigative journalist for about two decades. His writings cover a vast panorama of topics concerning political and societal existence of Pakistan, a nation passing through difficult straits since a short time after its birth. With terrorism and security issues at local, regional, and global levels as his special area of study in recent years, Mujahid Hussain has earned a sizable readership in serious circles in Pakistan and abroad. Follower of an independent, non-partisan, and objective way of thinking, the author offers honest analysis of the challenges threatening communities, nations, and humanity at large.

URL for Urdu article:,-new-age-islam/rising-hopes-for-an-end-to-extremism--شدت-پسندی-کے-خاتمے-کی-بڑھتی-ہوئی-اُمید/d/87292

URL for Hindi article:,-new-age-islam/rising-hopes-for-an-end-to-extremism-चरमपंथ-के-ख़ात्मे-की-बढ़ती-उम्मीदें/d/87317