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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What is cooking between the US and the Pakistani Army ?

The uncovering of the residency of Osama bin Laden close to the Pakistani Military Academy in the garrison town of Abbottabad and his subsequent elimination by the US Navy SEALs in a stealth operation have created many ripples, some within Pakistan and some between Pakistan and the US.

The close bonding between the US and Pakistan had existed at multiple levels, the most important of which had been the ties between the US and Pakistani armed forces. This relationship started in the early 1950s and bloomed quite rapidly. The US made it a consistent policy to support Pakistani military dictators, whether it was FM Ayub Khan or Gen. Yahya Khan or Gen. Zia-ul-Haq or more recently Gen. Pervez Musharraf. The US Presidents and the State Department stood solidly behind these usurpers of power even as the US preached virtues of democracy to the rest of the world. In the 1970s, another important relationship also developed between the US and its client state Pakistan. The turmoil in the region meant that the US sought close partners. The bitterness after the 1962 arms-supply to India and the arms embargo of 1965 had already been overcome by 1971 when Pakistan helped the US normalize relationship with an isolated China and in return, the US condoned Pakistani genocide in East Pakistan and later sent a carrier task force of the US Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal threatening India as an act of solidarity with Pakistan. As the trusted US ally, the Shah of Iran was deposed by Shi'a fundamentalists who also held Americans as hostage in Teheran, as the Communists assumed power in Afghanistan who later invited the armed forces of the USSR into the country and as an insurgency developed in Yemen in the late 1970s, a worried US forged close intelligence tie-up between the CIA of the US and the notorious ISID of Pakistan. The relationship reached its pinnacle during the decade of the 80s when the CIA worked in extremely close proximity with the ISID in avenging the American defeat in Vietnam a decade earlier and pave the way for the unravelling of the Soviet Union in particular and Communism in general.

As the general usefulness of Pakistan waned upon the termination of the Afghan jihad, the US-Pakistan transactional relationship cooled off. That was probably also what the Pakistanis themselves wanted. A US that was so far helping the Pakistani nuclear programme both actively and passively, was suddenly becoming apoplectic with Pakistan's frenzied activities on the nuclear front. Since their clandestine nuclear and missile dealings with China, North Korea, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Iran were on an upswing, the Pakistanis would have been rather uncomfortable with the presence of the born-again Americans. The terrorism and violence against India from ISI and PA-sponsored terrorist groups were also growing exponentially and it was prudent to keep it away from the prying eyes of the USA which probably was not so amenable as it was during the decade of the 80s when it even helped the Khalistani terrorism. Things were going smooth for Pakistan in the 90s, until fate intervened in the form of Osama bin Laden and 9/11 as the US and its Army got entrenched in Af-Pak once again.

The US Army on the ground in Afghanistan as part of NATO forces had never been comfortable with the Pakistani Army (PA). The CIA has been wary of ISI's double cross. The Pentagon voiced its consternation frequently. American Presidents have been forthright at times regarding their mistrust of Pakistan. Secretaries of State of US administration of various dispensations have been frustrated by the games played by the PA. There are very sound reasons why they all felt so. New York Times of June 15, 2011 reports that the CIA Deputy Director rates ISI's co-operation at 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.

For those who watch Pakistan closely, this perfidious behaviour is not surprising at all. Let's go back to the start of operations on the Pakistani side after Operation Enduring Freedom was launched by the US and allied forces. The Pakistani approach can be slotted into two different time periods, one BD or Before Democracy and the other AD, After Democracy. Initially, during BD, the PA refused to commit its forces in the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Agencies) area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Instead, it entered into a series of 'Peace Treaties' with the Taliban and various warlords in order to avoid fighting them. No Peace Treaty lasted more than a few weeks. From the very beginning, the PA was not interested in COIN (Counter Insurgency) operations in FATA and was leaving that to the local Frontier Corps (FC), Levies and Khasadar forces that are both ill-equipped and ill-trained as well as reluctant to fight their own tribes.

The first time, the PA decided to take on the Al Qaeda and Allied Movements (AQAM) was in c. 2004 when it proudly announced that PA will complete the operation in a few weeks. But, the drubbing the PA received from the AQAM was such that Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain, Corps Commander, Peshawar, had to personally meet Taliban commander Nek Mohammed to sign the peace deal (at Shakai in South Waziristan in April 2004) and even give him USD 540,000 {a fact he admitted in the press meet}. Thus, PA's casualties were not only its men but also its prestige. Again, in February 2005, another deal was signed and this time with with Baitullah Mehsud after he took over power following Nek Mohammed’s assassination in a US drone attack near Wana. The six-point deal, mediated by Maulana Fazlur Rehman of JUI-F, while specifically forbidding him from sheltering foreign terrorists or attacking Pakistani government installations, did not stop him from attacking the US forces. Even as he signed the deal, he openly declared that under Mullah Omar, Islam will spread all over the world even as he derived satisfaction from the jihad. Similarly, in February 2008, the Pakistani Army struck another peace deal with Baitullah Mehsud after another unsuccessful army operation in late 2007. The operations by the Pakistani military in Waziristan were dubbed as “Operation Enduring Failure’ following a severe mauling of the Pakistani Army. All three Army operations - 2004, 2005 and 2007 – resulted ultimately in the Army suing for peace after suffering heavy casualties.

In the AD period, reports appeared that Gen. Kiyani had told the US that the PA would have the focus only on the Eastern borders with India. After his meeting with Pakistan, in a series of back-to-back trips to that country, Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed in June, 2008 with the Pakistani request to train the FC in COIN operations. Three months earlier, in March, 2008, when the contours of the peace deals were not yet clear and when the new government had not yet taken over power, New York Times reported the Pakistan Army’s strategy of concentrating on the India border leaving the Afghanistan border to ill-equipped and ill-trained local forces. It spoke of the kind of equipment in Pakistani shopping list with the US that could possibly not have been used against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. This approach of focussing on India had multiple benefits for Pakistan. For one, the Army’s withdrawal gave a free hand to the Taliban and the NATO-ISAF forces could not hold the Pakistani Army responsible anymore. This also met the Taliban request of non-interference from Pakistan in their activities. Secondly, it took enormous resources and time to train the undisciplined local forces and that gave sufficient lead time for the Taliban to consolidate their hold in these areas. Thirdly, Pakistan demanded and got sophisticated equipment from the US under the guise of providing support and equipping the FC. Moreover, the Pakistani Army which had earned a lot of ill-will from the tribesmen because under “operation Tri-star and Earthquake”, (Op. Zalzala, meaning Earthquake, in the Mehsud area between January and April 2008) it had razed down villages as part of ‘collective punishment’. The Army’s use of artillery and Cobra gunship and even tanks, rather than effective COIN operations, had added to the resentment of the people. In the August, 2008 operations in Bajaur (Op. Sherdil or Lionheart), around Khar, in the area that the Inspector General of Frontier Corps, Maj Gen Tariq Khan called as the ‘centre of the battle’, the gunship helicopters targetted mosques and flattened houses turning people against the Government. The Pakistani masses also saw this as "Muslim Vs. Muslim" in which the PA could not be involved. With fatwas on the non-martyrdom of the Pakistani soldiers in a fight with the Taliban, the Pakistani Army was surrendering rather than fighting. The refusal to engage the PA in the COIN operation was a ploy therefore making a virtue out of necessity and was a fourth reason for the decision to pull out. Fifthly, and most significantly, what appeared to be a decision to increase infiltration across the Indian border in c. 2008 after relative lull for sometime, demanded a concentration of troops in the eastern border especially in view of the ‘Cold Start’ doctrine of India. In hindsight, the Pakistani COAS, Gen. Kayani's insistence on keeping the PA focussed on the Indian border in c. 2008 was because he was aware of the imminent terrorist attacks on Indian interests on the anvil. The July 7, 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul and the urban warfare in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 were jointly organized by the ISI, the PA, the Pakistani Navy and the LeT and so one can safely conclude that Gen. Kayani, under whose watch these terror events had been planned when he was the ISI Chief, wanted to be able to meet any fall-out arising from these events. Gen. Kayani called the Taliban his 'strategic assets', a communication that was intercepted by the Americans in May 2008, a few months before the Indian embassy attack in Kabul, and which confirmed the long-held suspicion that the PA was running with the hares and hunting with the hounds. Later, the newly-elected Pakistani Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, used exactly the same idiom to own up Pakistani duplicity.

The above malicious behaviour of Pakistan brings out two Pakistani traits. One, Pakistan's obsession with India and two, its ability to turn that obsession into an advantage vis-a-vis the gullible Americans.

Back to the Af-Pak badlands in c. 2008. The US State Department’s annual “Country Reports on Terrorism” released in May 2008, spoke of Al Qaeda having regrouped effectively within Pakistan and posing the gravest threat to Western interests. The loss of control of its own territory by Pakistan prompted the ex-National Security Advisor of India, Brajesh Mishra, to propose a multinational force to tackle terrorism in Pakistan. NATO expressed concern in mid-May, 2008 that the so called peace pacts “struck by the Pakistan government and extremist groups in the Tribal Areas may be allowing them to have a safe haven”. It also said in April 2008, after the peace talks gained momentum, that the incidents of cross-border attacks had increased by 52% from the same period the previous year. NATO also expressed its annoyance that Pakistan was entering into pacts without taking it into confidence, an oblique reference to the MNNA (Major Non-NATO Ally) status of Pakistan. NATO correctly interpreted the peace deals as ‘transfer of troubles from one side of the border to the other’. On the same day NATO issued this warning, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher, testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on South Asia said that “Insurgents in Pakistan’s frontier region continue to pose a serious threat to the regional stability of the United States and the rest of the world”. In another testimony to the US Congress at the same time, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, said that the next attack on US in near-term would come from Al Qaeda regrouping in the FATA regions of Pakistan. Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta called “such [Pakistani] appeasement [of the Taliban] dangerous for Afghanistan” and it was "extremely and infinitely concerned" about Islamabad's moves. Then, on June 11, 2008, the US Air Force attacked inside Pakistani border in Mohmand agency in which several Pakistani Frontier Corps (FC) men were killed. What gave the game away was that several Taliban terrorists were also killed in the attack, as accepted by TTP spokesperson Maulvi Umar, thereby suggesting some nexus between Pakistan’s FC and the Taliban. A few days later, the outgoing US Commander in Afghanistan, Gen Dan K McNeill, questioned the loyalty of the Pakistani forces, especially the FC. The Guardian newspaper later reported, citing classified US reports, that the FC had been heavily infiltrated into by the Taliban and was influenced by it. The displeasure with which the US looked at the peace deals with the Taliban was evident when an hour-long ‘candid, frank, realistic and honest’ discussion between Condoleeza Rice and the Pakistani Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, ended on June 11, 2008 without any positive developments for Pakistan. Admiral Mullen had repeatedly said that the Pakistani Army was not fighting the Taliban in a sustained fashion. For his part, President Obama made it clear on more than one occasion that the Pakistanis were barking a wrong tree by considering the Indians as the most major threat and that there was no need to station so many troops on the eastern borders with India.

For his part, Afghan President Karzai said that most fighters in Helmand province had come from Pakistan, a concern also echoed by NATO forces. He then followed it up with the threat of attacking the Taliban terrorists inside Pakistan. In anger, it announced pulling out of bilateral talks. India also pulled out of scheduled anti terrorism talks between its CBI and the FIA of Pakistan, after the attack on its Kabul embassy. The Pakistani Defence Minister Mukhtar said that the US President George Bush admitted to him that the US was reluctant to share intelligence information with Pakistan because elements within ISI were leaking them to the Taliban and thwarting US actions. He was even reported to have asked Prime Minister Gilani when he visited the White House in late August, 2008 as to who was in charge of the ISI. On Sep. 16, 2008. US Asst. Secretary Richard Boucher said that the reform of the ISI was a must and it was not happening yet. This led to the removal of Lt. Gen. Nadeem Taj as the Head of the ISI on Sep. 29, 2008. Even the Deputy Chief of ISI was replaced. Finally, with mounting losses of US & other NATO forces approaching the levels of Iraq at its peak, about two dozen US Navy SEALs raided inside Pakistan on Sep. 3, 2008, for the first time and killed 20 people in Angoor Adda, South Waziristan. The US Navy Seals were dropped on ground within FATA and they remained there for a couple of hours destroying targets. There has been speculation that Gen. Kiyani, along with his DGMO (Director General of Military Operations), were told of American intentions of more serious ground operations in a meeting they had with Adm. Mullen held on Aug. 27, 2008 unusually on board an an aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, in the Persian Gulf. The very next day, Pakistani COAS Gen. Kayani strongly lashed out at the US proposal to mount cross-border attacks inside Pakistan. The New York Times reported the same day that Bush had authorized in July cross-border attacks into Pakistan with ‘boots on the ground’ within Pakistani territory. It followed the American assessment of Pakistani Army ‘lacking will and ability’. American officials concluded, as per the report in New York Times article dated Sep. 24, 2009, that the ISID was helping the Taliban. The US Ambassador to Pakistan, Ms. Anne Patterson, voiced the disappointment that Pakistan was “certainly reluctant to take action” against the leadership of the Afghan insurgency. Simultaneously, there was a talk of extending the drone attacks to Quetta where the Taliban Shura was supposed to be holed up. Western intelligence sources (Times, Sep. 27, 2009) also reported that the Pakistani intelligence agencies, fearing such an attack, had shifted some members of the Quetta Shura to the much safer Karachi. Pakistan strongly denied the existence of anything called a Quetta Shura at all. However, On Dec. 14, 2009, the Pakistani Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, said that the Quetta Shura has been significantly damaged by the armed forces and was no longer a threat, thus conceding that the Quetta Shura after all existed.

(To be continued . . .)

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Comparison of Today's Pakistan and Certain Events in Seventh Century Islam

Pakistan never tires of two things these days, the only country created on the basis of Islam and the only Islamic nuclear country. Pakistani political leaders and Army Generals have frequently exhorted their armed forces to not only protect the physical boundaries of the country but also the 'ideological frontiers of Islam'. The motto of the Pakistani Army (PA) itself conveys where the Pakistani nation stands: Iman, Taqwah, Jihad fi Sabilillah (Faith, Fear of Allah, Jihad in the way of Allah). Pakistan has never been shy of depicting its wars against India as religion-based. Later, when it acquired missiles from China and North Korea, it named them after some of the most savage Islamist raiders of India from Central Asia and Afghanistan. The names reflect not only India-specificity but also the aggressiveness of Pakistani mindset in Islamist terms. Its military operations against India have been named such that it will swell a Muslim bosom with pride. For example, during the 1965 war, Pakistan Navy decided to bombard the decrepit and non-strategic town of Dwarka on the Gujarat coast since it was associated with the Hindu mythology of Mahabharat and the operation was therefore aptly code-named “Operation Somnath” symbolizing the dozens of times the marauder Mahmud of Ghazni pillaged the nearby and the famous Somnath temple. The Pakistan Army’s invasion in the same war was code-named ‘Operation Gibraltar’, referring to the Rock of Gibraltar which was named as ‘Jebel al Tariq’ by the Muslim invader Tariq bin Ziad. Similarly, the various units of the invading Pakistani guerilla army forces in 1965 were named as Tariq, Ghaznavi, Salahuddin, Qasim and Khalid, all thus named after Muslim war heroes. It was this same hatred that drove Daoud Gilani alias David Coleman Headley to include Somnath temple as one of his four terror targets apart from Mumbai.

There are plenty of other examples where Pakistan displays its deep attachment to jihadi Muslim war heroes, some of them even quite savage. It is no wonder therefore that the Pakistani Chief of Army, Gen. Kayani, openly described the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud and Fazlullah as 'patriots'. Another Corps Commander of the PA said that the TTP would fight the Indians 'shoulder-to-shoulder' with the Pakistani Army. Several Army officers such as General (r) Mirza Aslam Baig, General (r) Faiz Ali Chishti, General (r) Hameed Gul, General (r) Jamshaid Gulzar Kiyani, General (r) Asad Durrani, General (r) Sardar Anwar Khan, General (r) Abdul Qayyum and General (r) Ali Quli Khan have openly said that jihad was the only way to wrest Kashmir from India or supported such a proposition. The likes of Professor Hafeez Saeed saheb, Maulana Masood Azhar Alvi, Fazlur Rehman Khalil et al froth at the mouth corners at the very mention of kafir India. The chief of Lashkar-e-Tayeba (LeT), Prof. Hafeez Saeed, said in November 1999, ‘The Jihad is not about Kashmir only. It encompasses all of India. Today I announce the break-up of India, Inshallah. We will not rest until the whole of India is dissolved into Pakistan’.

It is a common belief among Pakistanis that it is their duty to retrieve the oppressed Muslims of India from the land of jahliyyah (the dark period of ignorance before Islam was born) in a Ghazwa-e-Hind (Conquest of Hindustan by the Believers) based on a hadith of doubtful authenticity. This is a reference to a hadith that purportedly says that “A Muslim Army (probably Pakistan Army) would Conquer India, after that Hazrat Isa will return and this army would join him in the Middle East to fight the Jews.” The Pakistani Army probably wants to believe that Ghazwa-e-Hind refers to them and would want the Pakistani society-at-large to believe likewise too. It was so convenient to propagate this myth and garner support from all sections of the Pakistani State and the society until the TTP came along and the Punjabi Taliban joined hands with them and started attacking the very institutions that created and nurtured them. Who would have thought, in circa 2000 for example, of attacks against the ISI or the Pakistani Army or the Frontier Corps or the Corps Commanders of the PA ? Who could have imagined the brutal killing of Col. Imam, the father-figure of the mujahideen and later the Taliban ? Who could have foretold that Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, the patron-saint of the Taliban would be repeatedly attempted to be assassinated ? Who could have foreseen the attacks on the General Headquarters (GHQ) at Rawalpindi or PNS Mehran ? The situation for the PA changed when the more pious (the high church or the Wahhabi/Deobandi/Salafi/Takfiri components of the Al Qaeda and Allied Movement, AQAM) began to brutally and successfully challenge the less pious (the low church which is the corrupt Pakistani State organs such as the politicians, the armed forces, intelligence services or the law-enforcement agencies etc. or the Shi'a or the Ahmedis et al)

How do these developments compare with the situation in early Islam ? There is a startlingly close resemblance. As we shall see, from these similarities we can deduce a certain trajectory of events in Pakistan by comparing and contrasting the two situations.

When Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) died on June 8, 632 A.D., there was no clear succession plan, a bane that has afflicted the Islamic community ever since. Since he had no male child, a rivalry ensued between his favourite and youngest wife Ayesha's father, Abu Bakr, and Prophet Mohammed's (PBUH) son-in-law Ali (who was also his cousin) married to his daughter Fatima. Eventually, Abu Bakr assumed the role of a Caliph. Upon his death, his nominee, Omar ibn Khattab assumed that role still denying Ali any role. Upon Omar's assassination, Ali was conditionally offered the Caliphate which he rejected because one of the conditions namely that he should rule not only based on the Koran and the Sunnah, but also on the practices set by Abu Bakr and Omar was unacceptable to him. He was unwilling to the latter condition because he had been critical of some of the actions of the later two Caliphs. The Caliphate went therefore to Uthman, another member of the Quraish tribe like Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) or Abu Bakr or Omar. Uthman was eventually assassinated too. The assassins claimed that since he did not rule according to the Koran and the Sunnah, he was a legitimate target for killing, a concept known as wajib-ul-qitl. Like the confusion with choosing a qualified successor to a Caliph, this idea of killing somebody after branding that person as not Islamic enough and hence wajib-ul-qitl has also become the bane of Islamist societies. Anyway, this time, Ali was chosen as the Caliph by community elders, unlike the previous two occassions. However, Uthman's murder resulted in a severe split within the ummah (community), those who welcomed it and those who opposed it. Muwaiya, the Governor of Iraq under the Ummayads was the chief opposition leader. Ali's and Muwaiya's forces perforce clashed but eventually a ceasefire resulted.

This is when more problems started and the ummah soon split vertically into Sunnis and Shi'a. All the sectarian ills that so violently wrack the Islamic world, most especially Pakistan, stem from the fateful decision of Ali and Muwaiya to go for arbitration of their dispute settlement following the ceasefire. Several seemingly irreconcilable problems that have dogged the Islamic world, again, especially Pakistan, flowed from this.

Firstly, some of the aggressive followers of Ali opposed the arbitration process itself claiming that was not an option at all. Soon enough, they deserted the Ali camp and set up their own base. They were known as Kharajis (Seccessionists). They characterized Ali's arbitration decision as shirq (associating partners with Allah) which called for death and a Kharaji promptly carried that out. The idea of Kharajis would come to haunt the ummah several times later. Thus, his very ardent supporters turned suddenly the bitterest enemy of Ali. We will see how similar situations developed in Pakistan as well. Secondly, the sectarian divide that split the ummah into 'Partisans of Ali' (Shi'at Ali) and 'Others' (Sunnis) and that bedevilled the ummah ever since has also had great repercussions within Pakistan. Thirdly, the unrest. It was not as though there was no unrest during the time of these early Caliphs. One way they dealt with the unrest was to go on a territorial expansionist mode promising lucrative booty to the jihadi fighters of Islam. The fighting jihadis were entitled to four-fifths of the booty with the remaining one-fifth going to the Caliphate. Thus, religion was thought of as a uniting factor as well as a diversion from other contentious issues. Pakistan has done exactly the same thing since its inception. Let's see these one by one.

Most people think of the Muslim ummah as just divided into Sunnis and Shi'a. However, there is another recognized sect too, the Kharajis. In fact, Kharaji Islam is the state religion of nearby Oman. Just like the four madhhabs (Schools of Islamic Jurisprudence) of the Sunnis (namely, Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, and Shafii), the Kharajis have the Ibadi madhhab or fiqh. Though it closely resembles the the Al Maliki madhhab, there are overlaps among these various Sunni schools. They all believe in Dar-ul-Islam or Dar-ul-Aman(domain of Islam and hence peace) and the rest, Dar-ul-Harb or Dar-ul-Kafir(domain of war because they are infidel). This, for example, gives a justification for Pakistan to repeatedly attack or harass India. In c. 1920, when the Khilafat Movement in India was at its peak, several thousand Indian Muslims wanted to emigrate from the British-ruled Dar-ul-Harb to Muslim-ruled Afghanistan of Dar-ul-Aman. Similarly, Saiyyid Ahmed Berelvi took his men to the Afghanistan-Pakistan borders, the Dar-ul-Islam, to fight the Sikhs and the British kafir, in the nineteenth century. The Af-Pak badlands were forever changed by him.

The Kharajites also believe that any Muslim ruler (or even the Caliph) who does not correctly apply the Koran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) is liable for killing by those who diligently follow Islam. This is very dicey because who is to determine who is a 'good Muslim' and who is a 'bad Muslim'. We can immediately draw parallels to what is happening in present-day Pakistan. The various groups comprising the TTP kill people and claim that these were 'bad Muslims' and liable to elimination in the hands of the 'good Muslims'. Such a thought process has permeated everywhere within Pakistan and the killing of the Punjab Governor Salman Taseer is a good example of how far this Kharaji virus has spread. The various Islamist organizations (Deobandi, Sufi, Ahl-e-Hadith, Shi'a etc.) led by the Berelvis banned their clerics from leading the janaaza (funeral prayer) of the blasphemer Taseer while the killer was praised in glowing Islamic terms for his action. No lawyer came forward to prosecute him. In the aftermath of this assassination and the huge support the killer received in Pakistan, the Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, went as far as to say he would shoot any blasphemer himself. Another cleric in Karachi declared Ms. Sherry Rehman, a member of the National Assembly (MNA), as ‘wajib-ul-qitl’ for having sponsored a bill to modify the Blasphemy Law to make it more reasonable and less susceptible to abuse, even as the Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, advised her to leave the country for her own safety. The Punjabi Taliban killed one of the greatest heroes of the Afghan mujahideen and later the Taliban, Col. Imam. They have also attempted several times to kill Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, head of the Jama'at-Ulema-e-Islami (JUI), the biggest supporter of the mujahideen and the Taliban. They faced the wrath of the 'good Muslims' because they have now become 'bad Muslims' in the eyes of the 'good Muslims'. The Pakistani state itself characterizes some of the Taliban terrorists as 'Good Taliban' and hence eligible for support while the rest as 'Bad Taliban' and eligible for elimination. The Islamic State of Pakistan even urges the infidel Americans to send more drones to attack these 'bad Muslims' as the latest WikiLeaks discloses. The Kharaji thought process is thus deeply entrenched in various sections of Pakistan. It is no wonder therefore that the biggest Kharajites are the Pakistani Army themselves. They brought in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a civilian, as the Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) and later as President of Pakistan, after their massive defeat by India in the 1971 Bangladesh war. They needed somebody to protect them and help them climb out of the deep hole they had fallen into and Z.A. Bhutto came handy. The same Pakistani Army turned against him and sided with the more religious Islamist groups in deposing him and eventually hanging him to death. Since then, the entire Bhutto clan have become arch enemies of the Pakistani Army leading to the murders of Mir Murtaza Bhutto and recently Ms. Benazir Bhutto.

(To Be Continued . . .)