Pakistan's Own Islamist Frankenstein
"These [militant Islamist] groups come in various colors and varieties, but they share a common purpose. Ultimately they are joined at the hip."
"[The recent bombings constitute] the rejuvenation of a dangerous version of Islam. The message of these terrorists to the government is, ‘We are alive and kicking, and we can strike wherever we want'."
Rifaat Hussain, professor of government and public policy, National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan
"This remains the last defense against radicalization. We preach unity and bring together the deprived. Prayers are answered here, regardless of faction."
"[The shrines need increased protection, but] killing militants is not the solution. The government needs to change what they believe in. These terrorists are brainwashed for years, and they despise us for spreading love. But we are open today, and rituals are being offered. This is a clear message that they have failed."
Syed Mehdi Sabzwari, custodian, 13th century Lal Shahzad Qalandar shrine, Sehwan, Sindh, Pakistan
"The Islamic State [group] might not have a strong organizational structure in Pakistan but we have thousands of members of banned groups sympathetic to [their] ideology."The Sehwan shrine came under attack during a ritual ceremony [Wali Muhammed/Al Jazeera]
"They subscribe to the Islamic State [group] world view."
Zahid Hussain, expert, regional militants, Pakistan
"We are so self-congratulatory that we declared success in the middle of a fight. But what have we done to address the ideological basis of terror? Has the supply chain of hate-filled violent ideology been shut down?"
"Bravado is useful to bolster public confidence when under attack but it is no substitute for sensible policy."
Babar Sattar, lawyer, rights activist, News International newspaper
"May God have mercy on us and our country. We thought all the blasts and explosions were over, but now it is the same havoc as before. These terrorists don’t spare even mosques or schools."
"The sad thing is that our government seems to be helpless in crushing them. Look at these police, they are standing here but they cannot protect anyone. I say it would be better if this government resigns and the army takes over."
Arif Ali, 50, Civil Engineer, Bari Imam shrine, Islamabad
The Pakistani military, in fact, is the culprit, and not the current government of Pakistan. Although it cannot be ignored that the current government of Pakistan has a short memory, managing to 'forget' that it was their own military and their secret service that gave haven to the Afghan Taliban and also hosted al-Qaeda. Not merely al-Qaeda, but its very leader, Osama bin Laden, whose compound was located in spitting distance of a military academy, in Abbottabad.
The Pakistan military was tasked by the-then government of Pervez Musharraf to train, arm and support the Taliban, at the very time when Pakistan designated itself an ally of the United States in the fight against terrorism from 2001 forward. Pakistan's goal was to destabilize Afghanistan, and to gain influence through the Taliban, in Afghanistan, focusing as well on creating a schism between Afghanistan and India which was also attempting to gain influence in Afghanistan, even while it was under NATO occupation.
The United States transferred $2.5-billion to support Pakistan's military in 15 years.
And all the while Pakistan was playing the game of surreptitiously allying itself with the Taliban while declaring it was fighting terrorism. Long since, Pakistan's own Taliban arose, giving Pakistan a taste of what it is like to have to continually battle a growing Islamist insurgency. Now, Pakistanis worshipping a cerebral type of Islam, are being attacked by Islamist groups allying themselves with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has spread its tentacles everywhere in the world of Islam and beyond.
Compelling the Pakistani military to respond by conducting raids, sweeping across the countryside, boasting of killing over a hundred suspected "terrorists". So much for the rule of law in Pakistan where minority sectarian groups have little protection and much animus is directed toward them under the country's system of justice, and a doctor whose residence was close to the bin Laden compound and who had coooperated with U.S. Intelligence has been imprisoned for aiding the U.S. to identify the al-Qaeda leader.
Now, the current government of Pakistan, in the wake of deadly terrorist attacks killing hundreds of Pakistan's civilian population -- targeted for the brand of Islam that they subscribe to -- has taken to blaming Afghanistan for the vicious turmoil of bombings. Insisting that it is Afghanistan that is giving shelter to militants, in a turn-about from what Pakistan had inflicted on its neighbour Afghanistan.
Where Kabul once begged Istanbul to stop giving haven and support to the Taliban, Istanbul now demands that Kabul surrender Pakistani terrorists to Pakistan. Afghanistan is desperately battling the Afghan Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State presence within its own borders, along with its own endemic corruption. Much of which stemmed from Pakistan's malign interference in their neighbour's sovereign business; responsible for years of Taliban rule in the country. Now, Pakistan is reaping the rewards of its wretched intentions to do harm to Afghanistan.