Who did the 3/3 attack?
According to a front-page report in a national daily on Sunday, it was revealed that the intelligence agencies have finally told the government that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ) was behind the March 3 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. They also linked LJ to warlord Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan. It should be recalled that Daily Times in its editorial of March 4 had clearly read the footprint of LJ and Al Qaeda in the attack that lost Pakistan its international cricket.
The Daily Times editorial had warned: “It would be a pity if Pakistan responds by accusing India’s RAW or Israel’s Mossad for this attack, as some commentators did in reference to the Marriott blast when an Indo-Pak media war was sparked by the Mumbai attacks”. But the Pakistani agencies did what was feared. The intelligence bureaucracy, finding itself at a loss, leaned on the reflex of “accusing India when in doubt”. It was stated that India had infiltrated its terrorists into Pakistan through the Wahga border. One later learned that the intelligence personnel were not satisfied with the way the Indian trucks bringing Pakistani imports from India were inspected.
Since the nation was misled by the police intelligence for weeks, which in turn triggered a kind of media war reminiscent of the one that took place after the Mumbai attacks, something must be done about the level of expertise the intelligence agencies have on terrorism in Pakistan and on the involvement of the various local organisations in it. The reflex today is to detract international accusations pointing to our jihadi militias and thus end up defending killers at home. Even today there is a reluctance to name them. The generally accepted rule is to call them “banned organisations”.
Why is this tendency so widespread? Even in the latest report, the LJ is linked to Baitullah Mehsud; but the LJ has been killing people in Pakistan before Baitullah Mehsud appeared on the scene as a henchman of Al Qaeda. Why is there the tendency to ignore Al Qaeda while briefing the press? If it is policy, it is dangerous for Pakistan. If it is due to ignorance, then our intelligence personnel require better training. If it is the fear of being singled out and killed — Al Qaeda has targeted our intelligence agencies as its task number one — then we need to protect our intelligence bureaucracy better than we do now. (Daily Times)