'It is an eyewash' By Irfan Husain, Dawn,
Pak is running with the hare and hunting with the hounds By Kamran Shafi, Dawn,
A Region In Ferment by Robert D Kaplan, The Nation
Pakistani military and the Afghan problem by M.K. Bhadrakumar, Indian analyst
We must not let the ‘soft state’ crumble By Inder Malhotra, Indian analyst
In times of crisis, it’s vital to be resilient By Jayanthi Natarajan, Indian politician
'Tactics must be changed on war on terror': Imran Khan, Pakistani politician
Mumbai attacks: Perils in parallels by Shakeel Syed, Arab News
Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau
By MATTHEW ROSENBERG and ZAHID HUSSAIN
Javed alias Abu Ali -- Allegedly involved in the attack at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Shoaib alias Abu Soheb -- Involved in the attack at the Taj Mahal hotel
Fahad Ullah -- Allegedly involved in the attack on the Oberoi Trident Hotel
Nazeer alias Abu Umer -- Allegedly involved in the attack at the Taj Mahal hotel
But a senior Pakistani official made it clear that no suspect arrested by
There is immense pressure on
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani confirmed Wednesday that Mr. Lakhvi had been taken into custody and was being investigated. He also said Zarar Shah had been arrested. Indian media reports have identified Mr. Shah as another suspect in the assaults.
There was confusion over whether a major terror suspect wanted by
Mr. Azhar, once imprisoned in
Another Pakistani official said Lashkar was the only group being targeted in the raids and that about 40 of its members were arrested Tuesday in seven of its camps and offices. The raids took place in the
Mumbai police said they will question an Indian national they identified only as Sabauddin about the attacks and any training he received. He has been in custody in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in connection with other attacks, said Rakesh Maria, joint commissioner of police in Mumbai, who is heading the probe.
In Mumbai, police released many of the names, aliases, home towns and photos of the nine suspected terrorists killed during the attacks. Their ages ranged from 20 to 28 years old and most were from
—Eric Bellman in Mumbai and the Associated Press contributed to this article.
Write to Matthew Rosenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
'It is an eyewash'
By Irfan Husain, Dawn,
December 10, 2008
In the wake of 9/11, many moderate Pakistanis had hoped that in the process of ridding
So what went wrong? First,
Financed largely by Pakistani and Gulf businessmen, these groups trained their volunteers – largely drawn from
A number of hard-line Islamists drawn from the ranks of retired army and intelligence agency officers served as trainers, and the graduates of this
This, then, was the situation Asif Zardari inherited when he was elected President. Always suspect in the eyes of the army for being a Sindhi, as well as a member of the PPP who was married to a Bhutto, his grip on power is tenuous at best. The reality of the power equation in
In at least two recent episodes, the generals have shown the political leadership exactly where power resides. When the government announced a couple of months ago that the ISI would henceforth report to the Interior Ministry, it took barely six hours for this notification to be withdrawn.
More recently, when Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani announced that General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the Director General of the ISI, would go to
Given this reality, it is difficult to see how terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed can be reined in. Both have received official blessings and support in the past. Even if formal links with the ISI have been severed, training camps are difficult to shut down permanently, given the sympathy these groups enjoy in sections of the military, the police and the judiciary.
Since Zia’s poisonous rule in the 80s, extremism has seeped into every level of the bureaucracy. Many Pakistanis are in denial about the extent to which their country has been infected by this plague. Under these circumstances, the arrest of an individual like Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a commander in the LeT, is meaningless. In the past, too, top terror suspects like Masood Azhar of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hafiz Saeed of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba have been scooped up in the wake of terrorist outrages, only to be released a few weeks later.
One major reason the army is unwilling to completely sever its links with extremists is that it fears an alliance between
Years ago, a general said to a colleague: “By supporting the mujahideen in
Irfan Husain is a columnist for Dawn.
Pak is running with the hare and hunting with the hounds
By Kamran Shafi
Dec. 9: FIRST and foremost the matter of that mysterious (and threatening) telephone call to the President of Pakistan, allegedly from someone at the Indian foreign office, said between the lines to have been Pranab Mukherjee, the foreign minister, himself.
Needless to say, Mr Mukherjee has denied the report vehemently, which denial has been more vehemently rejected by
Information minister Sherry Rehman has spoken on the matter too, saying that the "threatening phone call made to President Asif Ali Zardari had been processed, verified and cross-checked under an established procedure". She is quoted as saying: "In fact the identity of this particular call, as evident from the caller-line-identification device, showed that the call was placed from a verified official phone number of the Indian ministry of external affairs".
Really now? Boggles the senses, what!
First my own personal recollection of the person of Pranab Mukherjee. I had the pleasure of calling on him three years or so ago, when he was defence minister and I was part of a delegation of Pakistani ex-soldiers visiting
I found Mr Mukherjee to be a thoughtful, very bright and very well-spoken man who chose his every word with great care. He maintained eye contact with us; addressed every question fully and with deliberation. There was no shilly-shallying in his manner. Most of all, he arrived for our meeting in his ministry's conference room exactly on time. Could a person such as he, having spent a lifetime in politics and government, have made such a call to the President of a country with which his had very difficult relations?
An aside: all the chiefs of the armed forces were also in the defence ministry at the time as we found when we saw three Ambassador staff cars, all with four-star plates in navy blue, light blue and red denoting the three services parked at the rear of the ministry building from whence enter ordinary mortals.
But back to the famous telephone call that made us go to Amreeka Bahadur for reassurances, et al. It may well be the case that in a fit of anger Pranab Mukherjee did indeed do the wrong thing and call our President. The onus of providing incontrovertible and undeniable proof is entirely on us.
It simply is not enough for Farhatullah Babar, good man though he is, and Sherry Rehman, as bright a person as she is, to say what they have said. In Mr Babar's case the "evidences in this respect" are not only to be "imparted" to India but to the rest of the world too, in every little detail so that some of the bashing that we are getting these days can be deflected towards India. In Ms Rehman's, it is important to tell the world the methodology that went into identifying the telephone number. Saying it was the "caller-line-identification device" is simply not enough.
Indeed, the presidency, the mother of all agencies at any rate, should have a recording of the telephone call. It should be a simple matter to identify the voice speaking to Asif Zardari using existing state-of-the-art technology that can detect even the smallest inflection/speech pattern and match it with Mr Mukherjee's. If our government is right, it would hand a huge PR coup to
But how in God's name do we even attempt to keep our heads above water when we do not confront our own devils? How can we get out of the deadly and vicious cycle of events that are driving us, when we simply will not admit that there is filth under our own beds? We yell and scream at the world to believe us when we say we too are the victims of terror and yet we simply will not do enough to protect ourselves and the world from the evil that exists, and grows, among us.
As just one example, what earthly reason was there for the inadequate security of the Nato supply terminal right outside
I have said repeatedly that I am completely against the method in which the so-called war on terror is being waged, heartlessly and want only, by the American administration aided and abetted by us. But the government is completely on board, and has therefore allowed Nato supplies access through
How difficult is it to station an infantry company and an armoured squadron around the terminal, and provide armed mobile escorts to the convoys? Why is there not even a wall around the privately run terminal, dash it all? Why are the pickets, situated on commanding positions all along the Jamrud-Landikotal road (along which Nato supplies have been hijacked repeatedly), not manned to keep an eye out for those intent on harming the convoys? Is this government too running with the hares and hunting with the hounds like the Commando?
When will we wake up; when will we realise that the final reckoning is here? And then we have the gall to suggest that we will move our troops from our western borders to face a belligerent
Stop press: news reports coming in as I write this suggest our security forces have attacked camps of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and its sister organisation in Azad Kashmir. We will never do the right thing on our own; we will only act after having our arm twisted.
By arrangement with Dawn
A Region In Ferment
10 Dec 2008, 0000 hrs IST, Robert D Kaplan
longer will we view South Asia as a region distinct from the
For significant parts of medieval and early modern history,
Hindu-Muslim relations have historically been tense. Remember that the 1947 partition of the subcontinent uprooted at least 15 million people and led to the violent deaths of around half a million. Given this record, the relatively peaceful relations between the majority Hindus and
The culprit has been globalisation. The secular Indian nationalism of Jawaharlal Nehru's Congress, built around a rejection of western colonialism, is more and more a thing of the past. As the dynamic Indian economy merges with that of the wider world, Hindus and Muslims have begun separate searches for roots to anchor them inside a bland global civilisation. Mass communications have produced a uniform and severe Hinduism from a host of local variants, even as the country's economically disenfranchised Muslims are increasingly part of an Islamic world community.
The Muslim reaction to this Hindu nationalism has been less anger and violence than simple psychological withdrawal: into beards, skullcaps and burqas in some cases; self-segregating into Muslim ghettos in others. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai had a number of aims, one of which was to set a fuse to this tense inter-communal standoff. The jihadists not only want to destroy
Just as the chaos in
Making matters worse, every time the
Our best strategy is, as difficult and trite as it sounds, to be at all places at once, not with troops, necessarily, but with every bit of energy and constant attention that our entire national security apparatus and those of our allies can bring to bear.
The writer is a national correspondent for `The Atlantic'.
Pakistani military and the Afghan problem
Current developments in the three-way equations involving the
To be sure, the number 1 priority in the
Yet, there are complexities, which surface fleetingly, but mostly remain invisible to the naked eye. First and foremost, in the present tense phase in Indo-Pak relations, Pakistani military has gently held out that it might be compelled into a redeployment of its nearly 100000-strong crack divisions from Pak-Afghan border regions to eastern border with
Simply put, the GHQ in
We need to factor what went through General McKiernan’s thought process this week. Preserving the Pak top brass’s “shift in thinking” and encouraging its “willingness and capacity” to cooperate with NATO forces will be
Two, Pakistani military is literally holding the jugular veins of the NATO as without its troops on the Afghan-Pakistan border, the alliance would be facing the spectre of the Taliban running berserk, which would bring on its trail more armed clashes and death and destruction for western troops. Three, over three quarters of the supplies for the
The geopolitical salient, therefore, remains highly complex. Simply put, the
No doubt on that score. However, that isn’t all. A contingent of American “experts,” including a few who are distinctly identifiable as cold warriors of the Afghan jihad in the 1980s, have begun coming out of the woodwork lately. They advance the thesis that
Fortunately, except for a few jingoists in our midst who pedalled the idea of an Indian military intervention in the “war on terror” in
Indeed, the leitmotif of
In short, unless
Conceivably, these “experts” are worried about
The Afghan variant of this “kinetic” strategy devolves upon bribing select Pashtun tribes to bear the brunt of the fighting against the large number of insurgent groups, which include the Taliban and the al-Qaeda. The move is controversial as it may let loose more violence and anarchy in the Pashtun tribal areas bordering
A third aspect of the
But, then, Tajik nationalism has always been an obstacle before Pakistani domination of
The unstated Pakistani fear is also that the Afghan Tajiks have cordial ties with
(The writer is a former ambassador and an Indian Foreign Service officer.)
We must not let the ‘soft state’ crumble
By Inder Malhotra
Dec. 9: It was in the second half of the 1960s, that the eminent Swedish economist, Gunnar Myrdal, called
In view of how
Sadly, four decades later, Myrdal’s description of this country holds; Indira Gandhi’s doesn’t. In fact, the soft state has become incrementally softer. Unless we watch out and take appropriate corrective measures, the Indian state could even be in danger of crumbling. Nothing could have underscored this nightmarish reality more vividly than the unprecedented terrorist attacks on Mumbai. Ten murderous thugs of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, came through sea at the country’s major port that is also the headquarters of the Western Naval Command, could strike at 11 different targets and hold to ransom not just three luxury hotels and a building inhabited by Jews, not just the "Maximum City," but the entire country for 60 long hours.
Reams of newspaper reports vouchsafe that the necessary warnings were scattered in secret files of rival agencies but never shared with those who should have been told. What those in charge of overseeing these agencies were doing is not known. No one has so far been held accountable for this unpardonable dereliction of duty, which seems to be the standard practice. No questions are being asked either about the 12-hour delay in the National Security Guards’ gallant commandos — who eventually controlled the situation — reaching the terrorists’ targets. If all this proves anything at all, it proves that almost the entire machinery of the Indian state has degenerated appallingly. Those whose mandate it is to govern the country cannot shrug off their share of responsibility for this alarming state of affairs.
To put the matter bluntly, there is a glaring leadership vacuum in this country of a billion-plus people. The heavily fragmented polity is mired in petty parochial and partisan pursuits, based on caste, religion and region. Visceral hatred between the two mainstream parties, the Congress and the BJP, has made impossible even the most elementary cooperation between the government and the Opposition, without which a democracy cannot function.
Moreover, each of the two main parties behaves in one way when it is in power and in exactly the opposite manner when in Opposition. To make matters worse, in the absence of the sagacious Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who kept them under control at least to some extent, Hindutva extremists have virtually taken over the BJP. This, combined with the Congress party’s defence of secularism that is more verbal than muscular, has led to communalisation of almost all issues, including terrorism.
In May 2004, when Sonia Gandhi garnered huge goodwill by renouncing the office of Prime Minister and appointing Manmohan Singh to it, there were high hopes that, as the Congress president, she would concentrate on rebuilding the moribund party, while he would be left free to run the government. Unfortunately, on both counts there has been deep disappointment.
About the spectacle the Congress has made of itself in
Unless the Congress president and the Prime Minister, in that order, realise that the present pattern of governance at the top needs to be made more effective and purposeful, all the breast-beating and tear-shedding over what has happened would be meaningless, no matter how long the present dispensation is dragged on or what the results of the five Assembly elections now and of the Lok Sabha polls later are.
It may not be the fault of the present leadership alone that the governance in the country has plummeted so miserably. The erosion of all the institutions and instruments that comprise the infrastructure of the republic — the civil services, the police, the paramilitary and so on — through relentless and remorseless politicisation is making them practically dysfunctional. The pernicious process goes back to the Emergency in the mid-1970s. But the successive 11 governments have given it a further push, not tried to reverse it. In all civilised democracies, the police is the servant of the law. In this country it has been made the servant of the politicians in power. Every time a government changes in a state, the new chief minister, even if he belongs to the party already in office, instantly changes the chief secretary and the director-general of police.
The partisan DGPs taken off election duties by the election commission are rather numerous. For every politician anxious to bend the bureaucracy to his purpose, there are at least six civil servants bending over backwards to do his behest.
On top of it, there is the galloping cancer of corruption in every walk of life that has been eating into the nation’s vitals. Among other things, Mumbai showed that the head of
To stem this rot is imperative as well as a stupendous task. In its present shape the Manmohan Singh government cannot even attempt it.
In times of crisis, it’s vital to be resilient
By Jayanthi Natarajan
Never has public discourse been so dominated by so much rage and anger against the political establishment. I watched the television, along with every other citizen, struck mute by horror and dread, as the deadly events unfolded on our TV channels. My shock paralysed me and rendered me speechless. Like so many others, I found it was impossible to sleep, and followed the TV coverage.
Over the last few days, so much has been written and spoken and said, that it really seems superfluous to add yet another view. Yet, it is vital for me to write my piece and say my bit. This may be a voice from the wilderness and I am almost certainly in a minority with regard to my views, but, still I believe that it is important to speak out.
First, the shock and fury and sorrow.
Like every other Indians, politicians too felt rage that our country had been invaded by 10 gun-toting men, who held the entire nation to ransom for so many hours. Our hearts too bled when we heard the gunshots and then saw the desperate quest of those who were searching for their loved ones. We too spoke to friends and relatives in Mumbai to enquire if they were safe. We too held our breath as our brave men in uniform — the NSG commandos, the police and the armed forces — went bravely out to help those trapped. We too cheered their success. Our hearts too stopped when we heard Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Salaskar were shot dead. We too were pained as iconic structures like the Taj Mahal Hotel were repeatedly assaulted by bullets and grenade attacks. And when the carnage was finally over, we too felt too battered and sorrowful to even feel relief.
We felt both great pride and greater grief to see the bodies of our martyrs being taken out. We looked at their bereaved families and our hearts went out to them. We stopped and reflected for a long time about the selfless heroism they showed and their steadfast commitment to duty. Equally poignant were the heroic tales of the staff at the Taj and other hotels, who showed tremendous courage and spontaneously put their own lives in danger to help guests.
Then the TV channels began. After the constantly screaming captions of breaking news, the discussions began. Channel after channel aired discussions where speakers abused the politicians. One panellist actually said that the politicians should have been killed instead, and during 2001 Parliament attack, the terrorists should have gone in and killed the MPs. Another said that we should carpet bomb
In those first few programmes, politicians were not invited to join. When I myself went on TV debates, I was horrified by the hostility that was being exhibited and fostered against the political class. Anger and rage, that should have been directed towards the terrorist and the attackers, were being directed towards the political establishment.
Citizens have every right to demand accountability from politicians. We need to understand if it was a systemic failure, and whether our response could have been more swift and efficient.
Whether our police and our armed forces have been provided with the right equipment. We need to know what happened to the intelligence reports. It is the political establishment, which in our parliamentary system is the face of the government, and, therefore, it is indeed the politicians who have to provide the answers. In view of the larger question I seek to address, I will not go into the role played by earlier governments, or other political parties, except to observe that it would have been far more productive if they had showed solidarity with the government.
However, it is difficult for me to digest or accept the rage and hostility against politicians. Having extensively and comprehensively accepted the responsibility of the political class, I need to point out that the system consists of far more than the political class.
Systemic failure means that there has been failure at all levels. And this means all of us have to unite as a nation to fight and root out the forces of destruction.
Fuelling anger against each other will be the first victory of the terrorist. Having created fear and havoc, the aim of the terrorist is to divide
Even more disturbing than the ranting against politicians was the oft-repeated phrase that "enough is enough," and "we will not be resilient any more."
Of course enough is enough. Even one terror attack, is one too many, and we should strain every nerve to prevent it. But being resilient? It is wrong and defeatist to keep repeating a refusal to be resilient. It is absolutely vital for us to be tough and resilient and fight back.
Every story of courage and heroism, every act of selfless heroism or kindness — whether it was a gentleman who thought he could help by serving tea to the officers, and relatives who were keeping vigil outside the Taj and Oberoi hotels, or the young man who saved another couple’s son without even knowing his name — is an inspiration to all of us. They show that the spirit of
Every TV programme and every panelist who advocated giving up resilience is guilty of being defeatist. We need to stand up and tell those who attack us, that we will never be cowed down by these threats, and our country and spirit will remain stronger than ever.
The suggestion, which according to me was the most destructive was one which presumed that the Indian state has failed. This is not true. The Indian state cannot and will not fail. We are not a Banana Republic. We have remained a proud and vibrant democracy despite terrorist and other attacks, and will continue to remain a proud democracy. Systems may fail. Politicians and bureaucrats may fail, but the Indian state will not, cannot fail.
In conclusion, politicians are not the enemy. The terrorist is. Anger against the politician can be fuelled into the next vote. But the terrorist can only be defeated if the entire nation stands together, united and unflinching. My plea is for every citizen to understand this.
Jayanthi Natarajan is a Congress MP in the Rajya Sabha and AICC spokesperson. The views expressed in this column are her own.
TOI EDITORIAL COMMENT
10 Dec 2008, 0000 hrs IST
That both the Kargil war and 26/11 happened unexpectedly and caught Indian intelligence napping, may not be the only thing in common between
them. Both incidents took place after unprecedented peace initiatives from
For peace to have a chance,
Zardari has said, in an article printed in the `New York Times' yesterday, that the terrorists want to destroy
ISI provided protection to LeT in Mumbai terror attacks: report
Press Trust Of
Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, the Pakistan-based militant group, had the backing of the Islamic nation's spy agency ISI, which shared intelligence with Lashkar and provided protection to it in the Mumbai terror attacks, a media report said on Monday.
American intelligence and counterterrorism officials were quoted by the New York Times as saying that LeT has quietly gained strength in recent years with the assistance of
Officials said though there is no hard evidence yet to link the spy agency to the Mumbai attacks, ISI shared intelligence with Lashkar and provided protection for it.
The ISI has shared intelligence with Lashkar and provided protection for it, the officials told the paper, and investigators are focusing on one Lashkar leader they believe is a main liaison with the spy service and a mastermind of the attacks.
"People are having to go back and relook at all the connections," one American counterterrorism official, who was among several officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to the paper, was quoted as saying.
American and Indian officials believe that one senior Lashkar commander in particular, Zarrar Shah, is one of the group's primary liaisons to the ISI. "He's a central character in this plot," one American official said.
As a result of the assault
Pakistani officials have denied any government connection to the siege on November 26-29, in which nearly 200 people were killed in Mumbai.
As American, European and Middle Eastern governments crack down on al-Qaeda's finances, Lashkar still has a flourishing fund-raising organization in South Asia and the Persian Gulf region, including
Lashkar, the Times noted, also has a history of using local extremist groups for knowledge and tactics in its operations. Investigators in Mumbai are following leads suggesting that Lashkar used the Students' Islamic Movement of India, a fundamentalist group that advocates establishing an Islamic state in
Hoffman told the paper that Lashkar had developed particularly sophisticated Internet operations, and that intelligence officials believed the group had forged ties with regional terrorist organizations like Jemaah Islamiyah in
Mumbai attacks: Perils in parallels
Shakeel Syed | email@example.com
Calling Mumbai tragedy “
The ashes in Mumbai raise more questions than the number of dead from several countries. It was an international tragedy. The Indian government was partly responsible for its sorrowful state of intelligence and law enforcement.
A reading of the Western press gives the impression that
We must not forget that a recent train bombing being assigned to “Pakistani agents” was indeed the work of a serving Indian Army officer and his comrades.
Bomb talk is dumb. Bombing
The people in
As an Indian by birth and having watched the “investigations” of all sorts while growing up, I say that the current Mumbai “investigation” is a farce at its best. And as an American now, I am equally comfortable to say that I do not trust
The sane Indians and Pakistanis must urgently and immediately demand the following:
1. The Pakistanis must demand of their government to ask the United Nations to set up an Investigation Task Force comprising of its member states but excluding
2. The Indians must demand of their government to give unfettered access to the United Nations Investigation Task Force to conduct a full, independent and impartial investigation of the tragedy.
3. The Indians, Pakistanis, Americans and all the people of good conscience should call upon United Nations to play a role instead of remaining a spectator.
It is time to act for all people, not just Indians or Pakistanis. Allowing the Indian discourse of 9/11 parallels is perilous for all people, especially US interests.
— Shakeel Syed is the executive director of the Islamic Shoura Council and a social justice activist based in
By MARK SILVERBERG
TEL AVIV, Israel -- Pakistan may well be the single largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, possibly beyond even Iran, yet it has never been listed by the U.S. State Department as such, even in the wake of the 9/11 Commission Report and the recommendation of the State Department's counter-terrorism director.
That is because the prevailing attitude within past
That attitude, however, seems to be changing. In August 2007, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama issued a pointed warning to then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf saying that as president, he would be prepared to order
On Dec. 6, security forces in
The problem for the Pakistani government is real. Power in
In fact, the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that perpetrated the Mumbai attacks was founded by the ISI to prosecute its low-level war against
Unfortunately, there is no political force within
By 1992, the total number of madrassas in
All this has dangerous implications not only for
Bill Roggio, managing editor of the website Long War Journal writes: "Given the ISI's deep roots within
From the Indian perspective, inaction in the face of the Mumbai attacks is probably not a feasible option. While
As a result, short of purging the ISI of its radical elements, dismantling the terrorist training camps and shutting down the Islamist madrassas, there is no obvious path forward for
Since their independence from the British Empire in 1947,
The best outcome of the Mumbai attacks would be if they spurred cooperation between
Mark Silverberg is a foreign policy analyst with the
'Tactics must be changed on war on terror'
December 09, 2008
A critic of the American and
"One million refugees have been created. Innocent people are being killed; children left without arms and legs. Alls under the magic mantra of fighting Islamic extremism. If people understood what is really happening they would not countenance it," the leader of Tehreek-e-Insaf said.
"It is time to change tactics on the so-called war on terror. There is hope in President-elect Barack 0bama."
In the wake of the September 11 attacks and those on July 7, and now the bombings in Mumbai, Khan is appalled at the way terrorism has been given a religious identity.
"No religion allows terrorism," he said.
"The phrase 'Islamic terrorist' is a smokescreen that diverts attention from the political reasons why people are blowing themselves up. Terrorism is an illness. All terrorism is political," he said.
Once the Pakistan army, at the behest of the US, started bombing a few hundred al-Qaeda supporters in the tribal areas into submission, and killed countless tribesmen, it created a million armed men opposed to America, Khan said.
"The war on terror, which many