Pakistan - The Threat Within: CNN
Indiantelevision.com: July 4, 2007
MUMBAI: 52 commuters were killed and London was in shock after the deadliest attack on British soil since World War II. Three of the four suicide bombers were British-born and of Pakistani origin.
In CNN’s Pakistan: The Threat Within, Nic Robertson tracks the footsteps of one of the bombers from the UK to Pakistan and uncovers how groups in Pakistan have become support centers for terrorists. Along with another of the bombers, 22-year old Shehzad Tanweer visited Pakistan months before the suicide attacks in July 2005.
After 9/11 Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was quick to sign up as an ally in President Bush’s war on terror. Now Musharraf appears to be involved in a near impossible juggling act – trying to combat terrorism while not appearing to Pakistanis to be a creature of the West.
Twelve months after the bombing Al-Qaeda released Tanweer’s suicide message. It included words from Ayman al Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda’s number two, and revealed that Tanweer not only attended a madrassa – a religious school - but also an Al-Qaeda training camp where he was tutored in terror and sent back to Britain to complete his mission.
The evidence is that Al-Qaeda is alive and well and recruiting in Pakistani madrassas, which attract hundreds of thousands of children each year.
This worries former Pakistani police officer and current Harvard fellow Hassan Abbas who said that “According to all accounts, about 10 to 15 per cent of madrassas in Pakistan are involved in militancy, support of the Taliban, terrorism and religious extremism.”
After the London bombings then British Prime Minister Tony Blair called on President Musharraf to crack down on the militant madrassas. But Pakistan’s former Interior Minister Aitazes Ahsan tells CNN it was “an entirely half-hearted initiative, one step forward and a step back.”
One of Musharraf’s steps was to send troops to Mullah Abdul Rashid Ghazi’s madrassas in the Pakistani capital. Ghazi told CNN: “It was just to please [America]…please Blair. He’s an agent of the United States…he is doing all kind of things against the Pakistanis just to please America. Although with the passage of time, I have realized that he is not sincere to even America.”
Ghazi is not the only one who believes that Musharraf is playing both sides in the war on terror with the apparent aim of staying in power. Ahsan also told CNN that “When [Musharraf] goes to the United States he convinces the Americans there that if I do not remain the mullahs will take over. And he comes back to Pakistan and he convinces the mullahs that if I do not remain then the Americans will come and take over.”
For CNN link, click here