From the dawn of the 21st century, several inexcusable terror attacks across countries have raised smoke signals to caution the world leaders and enveloped the globe with a thick layer of fear and insecurity. These dastardly attacks, killing around 8,000 people and injuring millions, occurred in nations separated by oceans and borders. Yet, the only unifying thread is the indisputable link of these terror attacks to Pakistan.
The unforgettable and ghastly attack on the World Trade Centre, New York in 2011, or commonly known as the 9/11 attack, has shaken the foundation of sense of security. It marked the beginning of a new era of hyper-surveillance, strict security protocols, and constant suspicions. In a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by Al-Qaeda, involving the hijacking and crashing of passenger jet airliners that killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage, the planning and preparation were done in Pakistan. Ample evidence has proven that Osama Bin Laden, the chief of Al-Qaeda and the mastermind behind the attack, operated from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This attack left the American citizens and people across the world full of shock, anger, fear, and desire for vengeance. The unsettling event had haunted the American leaders until U.S. security forces, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, killed Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The killing, however, did not vindicate Pakistan of its role in not merely harbouring, but also funding the terrorists.
Before the blow from the 9/11 attack took be processed, an attack by a suicide bomber with definite links to Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist organizations Jaish-E-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) caused several deaths and injuries in New Delhi, India, in an attempt to cause anarchy in the country. In the same month, i.e. December 2001, US also experienced another attempt at suicide attack by Richard Reid, who was trained by Al Qaeda in Pakistan and followed the commands of Osama Bin Laden. In 2015, two Pakistani-origin men carried out a terrorist attack consisting of a mass shooting and bombing in California, leading to several innocent deaths and injuries. Pakistan’s involvement in these terror attacks are not concealed.
The connection further deepens as the attacks continue to increase, causing enormous loss of lives and properties, besides lingering fear of uncertainty and insecurity. In 2003, the twin car bombings in the crowded tourists’ attractions in Mumbai, India, was undertaken by Haneef Sayyed, who was recruited by Pakistan nationals for LeT to carry out the attack.
Subsequently, there were a spate of traumatic terror attacks in India, including 2005 bombing in Delhi during festive season, 2006 Mumbai bomb blasts in Railway Station, and 2008 Mumbai shooting and bombing coordinated attacks all linking them to Pakistan. The unforgettable 2008 Mumbai attacks, or 26/11 attacks, killed 174 people and left over 300 injured. However, the following months exposed the training camps located in Pakistan, where the terrorists received psychological, combat and commando training using high-end arms to execute these attack plans. During the investigations, it was also revealed that the attack was planned and controlled by Pakistan-based LeT. This was confirmed by the Pakistan Government as well. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, had also admitted the role of its Government in the attacks.
These attacks highlight the growing involvement of the Pakistan Government in cultivating its terror outfits. Although the Pakistan Government has denied granting support to the terrorist organizations, recently Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology, admitted that his country was undeniably responsible for the recent Pulwama terror attack In India. These series of planned attacks, no matter how different in manner or form, take their roots from Pakistan.
Such terrorist attacks have caused invaluable and irreparable losses, triggering fury against the Pakistan Government for failing to control the mushrooming terrorist training centers in the region. In all the above-mentioned attacks, the perpetrators were trained by the terrorist organizations, which are sheltered and protected in Pakistan.
Besides US and India, Pakistan-based terror outfits have spread their reach to Europe too, with a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks in central London targeting innocent civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour on July 7, 2005. The event had traumatized the city and the whole region, which had so far maintained utmost safety of its people. The attacks gave rise to anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan sentiments in the region when three of the four suicide bombers were identified to be British-born sons of Pakistani immigrants. Twelve years hence, three Islamic terrorists barbarically drove their car into pedestrians on London Bridge and then ran to a nearby market area to randomly stab 60 people, causing the immediate death of 8. One of them was recognized as a Pakistani-born radical. In the most recent 2020 event, Paris witnessed a frantic frenzy of stabbing attacks using a meat cleaver by an 18-year old boy of Pakistan-origin. The Pakistani boy stabbed people randomly in front of the former headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
In this blood-spattered world, the available evidence points towards active involvement of Pakistan. Believing that the Government continues to be oblivious to the terrorist training centers is naïve. It is time to bring Pakistan into the witness box and know the truth to further deter such attacks.
Views expressed in this article are of the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect that of OrbandNews’.