Result of a Faustian Policy on terrorism.
Friday's double suicide bombing in a village in the Mohmand tribal region of Pakistan, which targeted officials and leaders of a government-supported tribal militia, killing over a hundred people, underscores the fact that the Pakistani Taliban, despite a huge offensive against them in several regions, retain much of their capability.
The other fact is that Pakistan will continue to be hit by these terror groups, which it nurtured in the past, until the ‘deep state’, comprising the military-intelligence establishment, realises that there really can’t be a pick-andchoose approach on which groups to target or support.
For, despite the army’s offensive in parts of the tribal areas, and the status of being a declared ally of the US in its operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan has refrained from going all out against all terror groups internally and against some factions of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
This Faustian support for groups it wants to use as leverage in Afghanistan, as well as continuing support for terror groups ranged against India, is a cornerstone of the current policy of that military-intelligence setup.
That myopic view prevents the recognition that given their shared ideological space and aims, different Islamic extremist groups would eventually become coordinating entities and also target the state itself, if the latter moved against one or the other group. And that is exactly what has happened.
Indeed, Pakistan may face a period of savage turmoil as the terror groups, including the Taliban, are stepping up attacks in the heartland and are seeking to step up sectarian strife. The recent deadly attack on the Datta Ganj Bakhsh shrine in Lahore, which is a revered religious place, was a clear attack on a more peaceful, mystical form of Islam.
The bright spot, if one can call it that, was that the resultant outrage caused virtually the entire spectrum of religious scholars and clerics to condemn such terrorism.
The sheer scale of their savagery may yet turn much of the general population firmly against the terror-Taliban groups. But in absence of the recognition of the folly of using some extremist elements as instruments of foreign policy, terror will keep stalking Pakistan.
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