By Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan

TTP Terrorists

Apart from over 240 suicide attacks, there have been “2284 bomb blasts” all over the country ever since 2001. These terrorist attacks killed over 27000 people. More recently, these terrorists have attacked on the two religious centres of the Ahmadis in Lahore, killing over 95 persons and injuring more than 100, all gathered for the collective prayers on Friday. In a way they created an impression that minorities in Pakistan are being tormented, unsafe and that Government has failed to protect them.  Earlier through isolated incidents some terrorists tried to victimise the Christian, Sikh and Hindu communities too. Besides, these terrorists tried to exploit the sectarian divide between various sects of the Muslims.  There have been substantial attacks on the religious gathering of both schools of thoughts particularly on the eve of Yoom-i-Ashoor (10th Muharrum) or on the eve of Eid-i-Miladun Nabi (12th Rabi-ul-Awal).  Through repeated attacks, these terrorists tried their best to provoke Sunnis against Shias and minorities against majorities and vice versa.

This is not the end; these terrorists have not spared thousands of others, who neither have any religious, sectarian or ethnic connections. In summary, Mosques, Imam Barghas, social gatherings, business places, government installations, security forces, families and even innocent kids have been brutality targeted by the terrorists. The question arises, who are they? What are their future designs? Do they have some ideology or just creating a law and order situation? Are they loyal to Pakistan or the Muslim Ummah. And who is behind them? In the succeeding paragraphs, I will make an endeavour to reply these queries briefly.

There are two schools of thoughts having their independent opinions about the true motives and future designs of these terrorists. The dominant school of thought opines that these terrorists are indeed, the instrument in the hands of a few intelligence agencies of some regional and global powers, who intend creating a state of anarchy in Pakistan by creating internal scare and lawlessness. By doing so these external powers aims to attain two main objectives. Firstly; keeps Pakistan battling within its internal fronts, rather presenting a unified force against any external pressure and strengthening the country economically and politically. In this way, it would be easy to influence the country by regional and global powers for their own gains.

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Internally instable Pakistan would not be able to create hurdles for these anti Pakistan forces, particularly those having the hegemonic designs. Furthermore, creating internal disturbances means, economic crumbling of the country.  Economically weak Pakistan would be looking for the financial assistance either from the international monetary institutions or the rich countries in order to meet its needs.  An economically dependent country would readily fulfil the demands of powerful countries even at the cost of its own interests.

Secondly; the nuclear arsenals of Pakistan are a constant headache for the rest of the world, especially US led West, India and Israel. Through this internal instability, Pakistan is being constantly reminded that its nuclear programme can be easily accessed by these terrorists, who can later use them for international terrorism, thus presenting a global threat. This whole exercise would mean that Pakistan would be subsequently compelled to do away with its nuclear arsenals.  Or at an appropriate time frame, it would be asked to give its nuclear weapons under the custody of international community.

The second school of thought has entirely a different view point about the terrorists. They perhaps believe that these terrorists are the followers of an ideology, the Islamic ideology. They want to create the Islamic state(s) in the current areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This Islamic state(s) would be governed through the rules of Caliphates or the Amir-ul-Momineen. There would be supremacy hpw of the Quranic laws, rather the man made constitutions, as being practiced in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This school of thought considered this militancy as the Jihad for the ultimate establishment of the Muslim Caliphate. This school of thought visualize that Islamic governments in Pakistan and Afghanistan would be the first step. In the subsequent steps, there would be a series of the Islamic governments all over. Initially, in the current Muslim world and later rest of the world would be incorporated in it.

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Both philosophies have their own logics. Both have sufficient evidences to support their arguments. But what seems to be more close to the reality is the earlier dominant school of thought.  The arguments for that are; had these militants been the followers of the Islamic ideology, they would not have committed themselves in the massacre of thousands of Muslims mostly the innocent ones. In Islamic teaching, killing an innocent human being is like killing the whole humanity.  And this innocent human being does not mean a Muslim only. Indeed, Islam is a universal religion thus does not allow massacre of any none-Muslim even. Jihad is allowed only under certain pre-conditions and set-rules, to be decided by the government of the time. It is not a general massacre, the way these terrorists are portraying through killing of people all around.

How is possible that followers of the Islamic ideology commit such a heavy massacre of women, children, elderly people and even those who have been killed while offering prayers. As regard the killing of the minorities is concerned, Islam and the constitution of Pakistan provide the guarantees for the safety and security of its minority.  Therefore, all acts by these terrorists are nothing except a conspiracy against the state of Pakistan and Islam. The pattern being followed against the state of Pakistan is exactly like the one Britain and France devised to disintegrate the Ottoman Empire during World War-I. These two powers of WW-I, conspired against the Ottoman Empire through local Muslims of the empire in 1915/16.

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Sharif Hussein Bin Ali, also known as the Sharif of Mecca, than Governor of Hejaz was induced by the military and diplomatic high-ups of these countries to side with them against the then rulers of the Muslim empire. Through a secret agreement, Sharif Hussain was offered by the confidential negotiators that, he would be given a major chunk of the Arab land to rule as a reward of his assistance to crumble the Muslim Empire. He was financially supported by these powers to revolt against the Muslim Empire. Sharif Hussain did everything desired by the UK and France, but did not get in return, whatever he was promise. The current states of the Middle East indeed came into being through the balkanization of the Ottoman Empire.

These militants, akin to people like Sharif Hussain, are now playing in the hands of external powers to destabilize Pakistan. They are fully funded by the powers located outside Pakistan for their desired objectives. They are not followers of Islamic ideology, rather being used to destabilize Pakistan for the cause of forces behind them. It is now the responsibility of the media and intellectual class and academia in general to create awareness among the general masses regarding the true intents of these terrorists. Let’s identify Sharif Hussains, Mir Sadiqs and Mir Jaffars for their eventual rooting out from the Pakistani society. This is the only way we can serve Pakistan better.

Dr Raja M Khan did his Ph.D in International Relations from Karachi University. He focuses on South Asia, Central Asia and Middle East. Presently he is Associate Professor with National University of Defence.

Dr. Raja M Khan is a regular contributor to