Unlike the past wars, being fought between two sovereign state actors through the traditional armies with tanks and machine guns, the arena of war has changed. In the ongoing era, non-state actors have made it difficult for the military to serve alone as the automatic dominant sphere in every war, covering all the land, sea and space domains. Now, lethal weapons such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and similar other tactics used by the terrorists, can be more harmful in damaging the interest of a rival country. As part of the new warfare, these tactics are employed by the foreign enemy inside a rival country, and the phenomenon can rightly be called the ‘different war.’
Judging in these terms, Pakistan has become special target of the ‘different war’ being waged by external powers such as America, India and Israel through their secret agencies like CIA, RAW and Mossad which have also availed the services of foreigners and some Pakistani nationals in order to conduct subversive acts in Pakistan. In this connection, although terrorist events such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts and targeted killings have been conducted by these external enemies intermittently in the last 10 years, yet such incidents have accelerated in the past few months. In this regard, on March 8 this year, more than 30 people have been killed when an explosive loaded car exploded near the main gate of a sensitive agency in Faisalabad. According to reports, the occupants of the vehicle parked it near a barrier erected in front of the main gate of the office and left it. On March 9, more than 35 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at funeral prayers in Peshawar.
As regards Karachi, in the last few days, a fresh wave of violence sparked by the killings of several political activists have swept the city with the terror-events of targeted killings, burning of vehicles and firings between two groups. Similar wave of terrorism continues in or the other form in Balochistan, especially targeting the Punjabis.
If we witness the previous terrorist attacks, we can easily analyse that our foreign enemies have been applying various tactics of subversion inside Pakistan. In this connection, in the past, massive explosion destroyed the Pearl Continental hotel in Peshawar, killing, more than 15 persons in that suicide attack. Sources said that the gunman, sitting in one car, first started firing at the security persons and then exploded their first vehicle to give a safe-passage to other truck which was carrying 500 kilograms of explosives and stormed into the heavily secured hotel.
It is notable that on October 15, 2009 at least 16 people including 12 personnel of the security forces had been martyred in foiling three separate terrorist attacks by killing 9 terrorists at FIA Building, Manawan Police Training Centre and Bedian Elite Police Training Centre in Lahore. Four days before that event, nine militants targeted the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi where in a successful operation of 18-hour, Pak army foiled a major tragedy by rescuing 39 hostages and killing eight terrorists. In the event, 12 soldiers, a Brigadier and a Lt. Colonel had also been martyred.
In this context, similar type of terror-attack which had targeted the bus of Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on March 3, 2009 had killed 8 persons in wake of a continuous gunfire by the militants. Pakistani officials confirmed that “grenades and rocket launchers had been recovered” which were of foreign origin. Afterwards, official inquiry disclosed that RAW was behind that terror incident.
However, besides other previous suicide attacks, conducted in the Marriot Hotel at Islamabad, Rescue 15 building at Lahore which also damaged other buildings of the Lahore Capital City Police Office (CCPO) and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) which was the main target, but could not be hit due to heavy firing by the security guards on the terrorists who came along with the vehicle and arms were some of the other events of the same war against Pakistan.
Nevertheless, the terror-incidents, especially in Rawalpindi at GHQ and in Lahore at FIA Building, Manawan Police Training Centre and Bedian Elite Police Training Centre which had involved gun battles between the terrorists and the security forces along with pattern of subversive acts through suicide attacks which have also been intensified in the past few days clearly show that secret agencies like CIA, RAW and Mossad have been waging a ‘different war’ against Pakistan, which also includes guerilla warfare—through their well-trained insurgents who could conduct attacks in major cities despite Pakistan’s successful military operations against the militants and the death of the renowned militant commanders.
In this respect, a perennial wave of suicide attacks and bomb blasts of the past and present clearly proves that foreign intelligence agencies have modified their tactics of subversion in Pakistan. Apart from direct suicide events, militants, armed with hand grenades, machine guns and other weapons also come to help the explosive-laden vehicles so as to penetrate the security at the target points and to clear the way for the blast. Sometimes, exchange of fire takes place between the saboteurs and the security guards, and sometimes, purpose is directly to kill the security personnel. In this regard, in most of the terror-tragedies, huge quantity of explosives has also been used.
Another technique of the foreign-trained terrorists is that they camouflage themselves by wearing the uniform of Pakistani security forces so as to deceive the security guards and to get inside the targeted point for conducting their assigned task. In 2009, U.N.’s World Food Program in Islamabad was attacked by a suicide bomber who was wearing an official uniform. Again, the militants who attacked the GHQ were also wearing army uniforms.
It is mentionable that on January 27, 2011, in Lahore, an American national, David Raymond shot dead two Pakistani youths, while a third was crushed by the driver of a Parado jeep, who was called by him for help. David and persons, sitting in the jeep were also carrying weapons. Police arrested David Raymond and registered a case, while loaded weapons, a GPS satellite tracking device, photographs of Pakistan’s defence installations including tribal areas were also discovered from him. Afterwards, some suspicious Americans were also detained from various places of Pakistan.
Pakistan’s sources and some American media suggested that David Raymond including his companions were agents of the American CIA and were on an anti-Pakistan mission. In fact, he is part of the illegal activities of the Blackwater whose employees of entered Pakistan in the guise of diplomats.
It is of particular attention that a few days before the arrest of David, Pakistani security officials foiled an attempt by the Indian intelligence agency to enact a fake encounter for implicating Pakistan in incidents of cross border terrorism. The plan was unearthed when a suspect, working for the Indian RAW was apprehended at Sialkot border area, while attempting to cross over to India through the border security fence. Entrance points on the fence are locked and controlled by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF). The suspect has confessed to work as an Indian spy who was tasked to recruit agents from Pakistan to work for Indian intelligence.
Notably, on March 2, the cold-blooded murder of the Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti distorted the image of the country abroad. It is another tactic of the foreign enemies who want to show that religious minorities are not safe in Pakistan.
Particularly in the last three years, a number of times, arms and guns were also captured from Americans traveling in vehicles in various cities of Pakistan, camouflaged with dark mirrors. In fact, in the past 12 months, Pakistan’s security forces have broken the backbone of the suicide bombers by arresting most of their commanders and insurgents, while thwarting a number of suicide missions through pre-arrests. But RAW, CIA and Mossad have succeeded in training the new culprits who are regularly being sent to Pakistan with a view to destablising our country. Now, this fact is known to everyone that Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. Hence, US, Israel and India are in collusion to weaken it by creating lawlessness for achieving their secret strategic interests. For this purpose, they are waging a ‘different war’ against Pakistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations