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US Sponsored Cross Border Attacks On Pakistan`s Soil

While the third week of September saw an orchestrated verbal
onslaught on Pakistan by the US policymakers and military brass,
alleging it of providing support to the Haqqani network, there remains
an eerie silence in US politico-military circles about the string of
Taliban attacks on Pakistani border posts in Dir, Bajaur and Chitral. These
large-sized attacks sporadically delivered during the last one year
were launched from areas under the operational control of the US-led
ISAF and their sidekick, the Afghan National Army (ANA), and were
organised by well entrenched TTP and Afghan Taliban factions from bases
maintained in border areas of Afghanistan.


The US desperate urgings for the overstretched Pak Army to commence
operations against the Haqqani network in North Waziristan stand in
marked contrast to its turning a Nelson’s eye to the anti-Pakistan
witches’ brew viciously bubbling in the areas under US control on the
Afghan side of the border. What is hard to stomach is that while the
Kabul attack on the US Embassy, precipitating no casualty was treated as
an act of war, Washington has persistently refused to accept
responsibility for scores of casualties among Pakistani troops caused by
the Afghan Taliban and the TTP fighters operating out of Nooristan and
Kunar provinces.


While vicious attacks emanating from bordering provinces of
Afghanistan have acquired a sickening frequency, two major incidents
would amply reflect the pattern and perspective of such preventable
aggression. In the beginning of June this year, 27 policemen were killed
during battles in Shaltalu area in Dir when 500 terrorists belonging to
the Maulvi Fazlullah-led group overran a police post. At least 16
policemen were captured and then brutally executed by the attackers, who
released the video on the internet. Another major attack occurred in
the last week of August when hundreds of armed militants from Nuristan
and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan, attacked seven FC check posts
situated around Arund locality in Chitral. Some 40 personnel belonging
to the security forces, including 26 personnel of Chitral Scouts, 10
border guards and four FC soldiers laid down their lives in defence of
the motherland. The attacks had been organised by Malvi Fazlullah and
Maulvi Faqir Muhammad employing terrorists flushed out by Pak Army
operations in Swat, Dir and Bajaur, along with the Afghan Taliban. Just
in these two incidents the Pakistani security services and police had
sustained over 80 casualties, without the US accepting any
responsibility or suffering any pang of conscience over its failure to
prevent the attacks launched from areas under its control. It is not
hard to visualise what the consequences would have been for Pakistan,
had a fraction of these casualties been inflicted upon the US/NATO
forces by a breach of the Pak-Afghan border from the Pakistani side.


For the obsessed American soldiers and diplomats, the presence of
anti-Pakistan terrorist factions on the Afghan side evokes no concern,
while the consequence for Pakistan are painful to the extreme.
The
Afghan based terrorists are attacking Pakistani posts with impunity and
are extending their activities to the major cities in Pakistan. Lack of
action by US forces has permitted the anti-Pakistan Taliban element to
rule the roost in Nooristan and Kunar provinces. It is worth recalling
that on the pretext of cutting down its casualties, the American Army
has pulled out its troops from the former, while only maintaining a
nominal writ in the latter. This has permitted Maulvi Fazlullah of Swat
fame to fill in the vacuum, as a major warlord commanding a force of a
thousand fighters equipped with advanced weapons and state-of-the-art
communication equipment. The US-induced freedom of action has even
allowed him to overshadow the local Afghan Commander Dost Muhammad, who
is constrained to accept a subordinate position in an area considered
the hub of anti-Pakistan activities.


The northern Kunar province is the domain of the TTP affiliated
Maulvi Faqir Muhammad who, commanding around 400 terrorists, has led
attacks in the Bajaur area of Pakistan. In fact, the area between Kunar
River and the border has become the hub of anti-Pakistan operations.
Faqir Muhammad is known to be operating FM radio stations on the Afghan
side of the border to raise funds and recruits and create anti-Pakistan
frenzy. In the southern parts of Kunar province where ISAF works in
close conjunction with the local administration, injured terrorists of
the TTP receive medical treatment in the government run hospitals. Wali
Muhammad is the key TTP commander here, enjoying the support of
intelligence agencies of India and Afghanistan.


Nangarhar province is the abode of Mangal Bagh, the infamous
terrorist leading Lashkar-i-Islam, who is raking trouble in Khyber as
well as Aurakzai Agencies. Qari Bashir operates from Logar and Kabul,
Paktia-Paktika-Khost provinces are infested with TTP elements affiliated
with Hakimullah Mehsud, while Brahamdagh Bugti supported clan stationed
in Kabul is closely supervising and directing the activities of
insurgents based in Kandahar, Helmand and Nimroz provinces.


Juxtaposed with the US demands upon the overstretched Pakistan Army
to expand its operations into North Waziristan, is the amazing
nonchalance with which the American military leaders in Afghanistan
treat the presence of key anti-Pakistan terrorist commanders and their
forces in the areas adjoining border with Pakistan. Sustained by liaison
provided by intelligence agencies hostile to Pakistan, this presence is
malignant, leading to the loss of Pakistani lives – among both
civilians and those in uniform. Pakistan has all the right to demand of
US to neutralise the presence of these anti-Pakistan outfits on the
Afghan soil. If the US can hold Pakistan to ransom over the Kabul
attack, it itself has a lot to explain for the failure to curb terrorism
emanating from areas in Afghanistan where it holds the sole
responsibility for control. Or does it think that Pakistani blood comes
cheap?

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