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Terrorists taking battle to Pakistan's urban areas

October 15, 2009 20:11 IST

Pakistanis woke up to three terror attacks in Lahore on Thursday morning that killed at least 30 people -- including 16 security personnel, 12 militants and two civilians -- in a second attack in five days.

It is feared that the country may witness more attacks in the coming days -- mostly on security agencies in the country. The terrorists seem to be attacking the Pakistani government where it hurts most -- the sensitive security fortresses.

Terrorists from the Amjad Farooqi Group, also known as the Punjabi Taliban, have claimed to have struck the Federally Investigation Agency and two other police stations in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.

The group is headed by Farooq, whose men are reportedly just waiting for strike orders in many Pakistani cities. Farooq is an old friend of Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud and the two agree on many issues -- their hatred towards Shias and anti-American views among others.

Talking about the new wave of violence in Pakistan, Syed Saleem Shahzad, bureau chief of Asia Times, Pakistan, told rediff.com: "The Taliban are in very powerful position and, especially, after the re-emergence of their leadership (Hakimullah), whom the government had earlier declared dead. The morale of the militants seems very high."

"The recent interviews of Hakimullah and Ileyas Kashmiri have worked as morale boosters for them which is clear from their recent attacks," he added.

"The attacks on the army headquarters and now the FIA, which is investigating terror groups along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, could be termed as a severe blow to the government."

As vowed by Hakimullah in his recent video recording, the Tehrik-e-Taliban seems to have shifted its targets from rural to urban areas to protest against the Pakistani government's pro-American policies.

There is another dangerous friendship brewing between three terror groups, which experts say could prove to be 'very dangerous' for the country.

Farroq, Hakimullah and Qari Zafar, the head of terror group Lashkari Jhangvi, who have earlier worked together under the commandership of the late Amjad Farooqi, are now working together from the South Waziristan agency with the common aim of driving out the US forces.

According to Brigadier Amir Sultan Tarar, popularly know as Colonel Imam, a former ISI operative, the Pakistani government is also to be blamed for the recent terror attacks.

"No one can sacrifice his life without a proper cause; and these attackers are not simple terrorists. They have proper aims, as they are playing with their lives. Militants are now attacking the sensitive installations of Pakistan, which is alarming. Pakistan is following pro-US policies and is killing own people for others' sake, so the suicide attacks are the only way for the militants to take revenge."

"Whichever groups the attackers belong to -- be it the Farooqi Group or any other --- it is clear that it is due to the wrong policies of Pakistan. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces get supplies through different routes of Pakistan and use these weapons against Muslims in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan. So the militants will certainly react," he added.

"Apart from the pro-American policies of the government, foreign secret agencies like India's Research and Analysis Wing, Israeli intelligence MOSSAD are also very active in the region; they have hired the services of some idiotic mullahs who indoctrinate suicide bombers for their vested interests," he said.

Image: Security forces race towards the Manawa police training centre after it was attacked by gunmen in Lahore on Thursday | Photograph: Reuters

Tahir Ali in Islamabad