Fears rise over militants in Punjab

  • in south punjab

    Why it is growing and no one cares ?

    Why government and agencies do not take action before ?

    When bahawalpur will become Sawat or Waziristan then Government and Army will take action and take money from USA .


    This is Osman-o-Ali, the headquarters of Jaish-i-Mohammad, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group which has a long record of violence including an assassination attempt on former president Pervez Musharraf.

    While Pakistan's attention is focused on the Taliban and al-Qaeda threat on the Afghan border in the remote northwest, there are fears that the militants are quietly expanding their influence and winning recruits in the country's heartland.

    ‘South Punjab is a fertile ground for extremists and militants,’ said security analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi.

    The flourishing Jaish complex in Bahawalpur, in the south of Punjab province, illustrates the ambivalence that Pakistani authorities have long shown towards hardline Islamists.

    Islamist factions were nurtured by the security agencies during the 1980s and 1990s when they sent their fighters into Afghanistan to take on Soviet occupiers and later into Indian-administered Kashmir region to battle security forces.

    But Jaish was officially outlawed by Musharraf in early 2002 after it and another group, Lashkar-i-Taiba, were blamed for an attack on the Indian parliament which brought Pakistan and India to the brink of their fourth war.

    Despite the ban, and repeated vows by governments to root out militancy, Jaish is thriving. It and an allied group are believed to have thousands of young cadres fighting western forces in Afghanistan and the Pakistani army in the northwest.

    Plots hatched here on the dusty plains and shabby towns of southern Punjab can reach around the world.

    Rashid Rauf, a British-born al-Qaeda operative and suspect in a 2006 plot to blow up transatlantic airliners, was a member of Jaish and was known to have lived in Bahawalpur with his wife.

    ‘Jihad hub’

    Security analyst Ayesha Siddiqa says south Punjab has become ‘the hub of jihadism’ and the authorities are in denial.

    The region is critical to planning, recruitment and logistical support for terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she wrote recently in Newsline magazine.

    Punjab provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah acknowledged the hardliners have many thousands of sympathisers but he dismisses talk of a threat to the state.

    ‘There is no challenge to the government,’ Sanaullah, who is also responsible for security, told Reuters in an interview in his office in the provincial capital of Lahore.

    ‘They can detonate bombs or carry out suicide attacks but they cannot establish their bases in Punjab,’ he said.

    On the outskirts of Bahawalpur, the Jaish group has acquired a plot of land of about five acres (1.7 hectares) which some people fear could be a militant training camp.

    The plot is surrounded by a brick wall but from a nearby road one can see cows and buffaloes feeding in stables.

    A security official said authorities had turned a blind eye to the acquisition of the land by an outlawed group but said they would not be allowed to pursue militant activities.

    ‘Let me assure you they don't have the guts to challenge the government,’ said the official, who declined to be identified.

    Mohammad Riaz Chughtai, a cleric with links to Jaish leaders, said the group planned to build a madrassah on the land and no militant training was going on.

    But youngsters are being recruited in Punjab and sent for training on the Afghan border. Police recently detained five teenagers on charges of receiving militant training in South Waziristan, the main stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban.

    ‘They wanted me to become a suicide bomber. They told me that jihad was obligatory,’ 16-year-old Mohammad Ibrahim told interrogators, according to a police transcript.

    Sanaullah said there were tens of thousands of such people all over Pakistan, including many who previous governments trained for war in Afghanistan and then discarded.

    ‘We can't kill all of them, arrest them or detain them for interrogation,’ Sanaullah said. ‘What we can do is that the one who is very active will be arrested and interrogated.’

    Rizvi said government negligence and lingering sympathy for the militants in some quarters were to blame.

    ‘There is still sympathy for these militant groups,’ Rizvi said. ‘But they cannot establish a mini-state of their own as they did in the tribal areas.’


  • Assalam-o-Alaikum-Warahmat-ULLAH ALL,

    The govt. is lying to everyone. Nothing is happening in South Punjab.

    America wants to open another front where Pak Army kills its own people. In the end, US won't give Pakistan money against it, because US won't be satisfied with Pak Govt. + Pak Army's efforts. Its a lost cause.

    It will only increase the hate of people of Pakistan against Pak Army, against Pak Govt.

    ALL of this is a deliberate ploy by US to destroy credibility of Pak Army forcefully, make people of Pakistan hate Pak Army, and then attacks Pakistan from ALL sides, once Pak Army is defamed to a certain level within its own people.

    Pak Army is being run by such fools, who can't understand, that US is using THEIR GREED for money, for luxuries, for military toys against them, against!! the interests of Pakistan as well as Pakistani poeple/Muslims

  • this is not lie ,One of my friend is from Bahawelpur and he said that this used to be the strong hold of Sipahesahaba who has involved in terrorism in 90s .

    Azher Masoud was arrested in India and was released when the plan was hijack ,Azher masoud released in sent to Khandhaar and the next day He was in Karachi in Madersa Manori town ,Azher masoud is from Bahawelpur and he established Jaish-e-Mohammad and camps in south pujab

    This is know by all agencies ,Army and government ,There is hidden support which is giving them money and making them powerful and later killing them

  • in 90s the same terrorist was in the form of Sipah-e-sahaba ,was USA present in pakistan or afghanistan that time ?

    All SP workers have become taliban now

  • Sipah sahaba hub is Jhang ...as much as i know .

  • netgre

    Present since 1959, did you know this?

    Try to educate yourself through this brief overview from BBC.


  • good informative article JJ khan.

  • Thanks, interesting to see kind of response zulfiqar bhutto got when he showed interest in visiting a base in Pakistan -cafeteria only-

  • Assalam-o-Alaikum-Warahmat-ULLAH ALL,

    Americans MADE their nation a powerful super power.

    I believe, people of Pakistan are TOO SCARED to make Pakistan a super power. They think it isn't even possible.

  • Americans made their nation powerful by first getting freedom from britishers by kicking them out, not through something like British Indian Act of 1946.

    Pakistan came into existence through an act of british parliament not because movement of people kicked colonials out.

  • USA made Jamaat islami ,USA made Sipaphesahaba ,USa made Ziaul Haq and USA made drone

  • USA made Mush to rule longer .

    USA made present Govt to be formed.

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  • The government tends to agree that there are bases and camps of terrorists in Pakistan; therefore by gating the amount pledged in KL Bill the government will eradicate that. Now to make this happen, a new area is targeted, where the government could launch a new offensive to please the master! After all that is why Mr.10% has made the president of the country and people like Rahman Malik are brought to power!!!!

  • Right, waziristan operation is only pending because they can't finalize the deal. As soon as they finalize the deal, operation will be started.

    Of course first there will be a media campaign on the foot steps of swat to gain public support.

  • Bhai Loog Taliban of Islamic Emirate of Waziristan are the most peaceful creatures on entire planet Earth, then why they are going to be targetted ???

  • Because of their poor location on this strategic resourceful world!