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Monday, April 4, 2011

A Planned Sectarian Wedge By Foreign Intelligence Agencies In Pakistan

Ashraf Javed [The Nation, Pakistan]

LAHORE – Days after leading religio-political leader Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman survived two bomb attacks within 48 hours in the northwest, foreign-funded terrorists struck the shrine of renowned Sufi saint in Dera Ghazi Khan on Saturday, which left more than three dozen devotees dead and injured over 100 others.

During background interviews, intelligence sources and police investigators revealed that “it seemed a well-thought-out plan hatched by anti-Pakistan elements to create sectarian strife among the people of this country”. Three suicide bombers struck the shrine of Sakhi Sarwar near DG Khan District of southern Punjab, where thousands of devotees had converged to celebrate the annual Urs of the Sufi Saint. The far-flung area is considered a stronghold of militants. Security experts say some foreign forces are openly funding the terrorist and militant outfits to destabilise nuclear-armed Pakistan as the security forces are at war to flush out militancy from the country.

Terrorists are desperately carrying out suicide bombings across Pakistan, targeting shrines of popular Sufi saints, Imambargahs, Masajids, and even minorities with sole objective to create sectarian strife.

Security experts say hostile foreign-funded elements have always tried to create differences between Sunni and Shia communities to create unrest in the country. "Presently, religious shrines are being targeted to ignite religious sentiments. The aim is to widen the sectarian divide among peaceful factions. We need to take solid steps to counter this very serious threat," an expert said.

Defense analysts believe that terrorism in Pakistan could not be fully controlled until American occupation ends in Afghanistan. Pakistan is sincere in finding a solution to Afghanistan since longer the war on terror drags on, the harsher would be its harmful effects for Pakistan. To believe that terrorism and insurgency will remain at manageable level whatever happens in Afghanistan is a wishful thinking. Ways need to be devised for the exit of foreign troops and an early settlement of the Afghan issue in order to ensure peace in the region. 

Indian intelligence agencies have been trying to create rift among various segments of society in Afghanistan. Such activities are bringing instability in the Afghan society and jeopardising the country besides endangering the regional security. 

On the other hand, suicide blasts and frequent target killings in big cities like Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar, the ongoing war on terrorism, impact of external interference into the internal affairs of Pakistan, espionage and sabotage activities of foreign spying agencies like CIA, RAW and their related networks have created feelings of insecurity and anxiety among the patriotic people of Pakistan. 

Unfortunately, the political situation in the country is also marred by conflicts and controversies, promoting frustration and social division. 

Anti-Pakistan elements tend to exploit every emotional, social or religious vulnerability, thus widening faith-related fissures and religious conflicts involving sentiments. 

The nation appears to have become hostage to political division, social disorder, insecurity and incapacitation. This carries serious perils for the state and there is a need for all segments of society including political elite, civil society, state institutions, intellectuals and other stakeholders to feel the threats posed to the state and mull over options to save Pakistan. 

Today, Pakistan is faced with numerous challenges which urgently seek attention of all Pakistanis. 

Hence there is a need to take charge and fix responsibilities to steer the country in the right direction and create a new sense of hope among the people of Pakistan who are ready to offer any sacrifices to meet the challenges faced by the country and make it a story of success.

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