Pakistan Reaps the Jihad Terrorism Whirlwind

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The living legacy of Zia ul-Haq: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind,” (Hosea 8:7)

Rakesh K. Singh in a March 2, 2008 Daily Pioneer report “Fidayeen implode on Pakistan,” chronicles how jihad terrorists (“fidayeen”) trained by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence to commit acts of terror beyond Pakistan, are now targeting their homeland.  

For example, regarding the phenomenon of suicide/homicide (bombing, etc.) jihad terrorism,  their have been 102 attacks against India, since 1991, 98 of which targeted Jammu and Kashmir (J & K). The four attacks reported outside J&K include the assassination of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur in 1991, the attack on Parliament in 2001, the Akshardham Temple attack at Gandhinagar in 2002, as well as the one on Ayodhya in 2005.

As Singh notes, quoting a senior Indian security official, “Most suicide attackers in India were in the age group of 16 and 22 years and almost all of them were Pakistani nationals trained by the ISI,”  and these attacks peaked at 24 in the year 2001. But this menace has been contained successfully of late in India, with only two such incidents in 2006 and three in 2007, as per official figures. 

Now, Singh  reports, quoting the same security official, “…fidayeen trained by Pakistan for attacks in India and Afghanistan are now being used at home [i.e., in Pakistan] too.” 

Contrasting starkly with the reduction in successful jihad terrorism attacks against Indian targets, these are the trends within Pakistan: 

·        56 fidayeen attacks in Pakistan

·        759 citizens dead, including 230 security men and injuring 1,685 in 2007

·        The number of suicide attacks has increased from 4 in 2005, and 7 in 2006, to 56 in 2007 

Thus the number of incidents and casualties in 2007 in Pakistan is second only to Iraq. 

Singh highlights the major attacks in 2007:  

·        December 27 at Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi in which former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto and 30 others were killed and 100 sustained injuries. 

·        A bombing on a crowd welcoming former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Karachi after her return to the country from eight years of exile. As many as 143 persons were killed and 550 injured in two explosions executed shortly after midnight on October 18, close to Bhutto’s convoy at Karsaz bridge. Bhutto was leading thousands of Pakistan People’s Party supporters who had gathered to welcome her return to Pakistan 

·        Another suicide bomber blew himself up on December 21 in the midst of worshippers offering ID-UL-Adha (festival of sacrifice) prayers at the Markazi Jamia Masjid Sherpao in Charsadda, 20 km from Peshawar in the North Western Frontier Province. The target was Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, interior minister in the just dissolved government, who was among the worshippers. Though he escaped unhurt, 60 persons were killed and more than 100 injured.    

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at @andrewbostom.org

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