Khwaja’s murder points to home truths By Zaffar Abbas
Dawn, 03 May, 2010
ISLAMABAD: Horrific as it was, the brutal killing of an ex-ISI man and pro-Islamist campaigner Khalid Khwaja by members of an Islamist group is also a stark reminder of how the sudden intensification of militancy over the last couple of years, especially by the so-called Punjabi Taliban, is to a large extent a direct reaction to the events of Lal Masjid.
It’s been almost three years since the Pakistan Army stormed the militant-infested Lal Masjid and its adjacent Madressah Hafsa, killing more than a hundred people, including many women and the firebrand cleric Abdur Rasheed Ghazi.
As it turned out, such use of military might was an overreaction by the then president Pervez Musharraf to the killing of some army commandos. Ignoring the advice of some of his commanders against the abandoning of negotiation process, he had ordered the use of brute force against a handful of militants and others holed up inside the mosque and the Madressah.
As it soon dawned on the authorities the killing of armed militants and razing of the women’s Madressah in the heart of Islamabad to the ground sent a wave of anger and hatred amongst Islamist groups.
The blowback was so severe that the country’s security establishment is still trying to cope with the situation.
Khalid Khwaja’s abduction and violent death have added an entirely new dimension to the militant movement. Indications are that his abductors and a few other new factions of the so-called Punjabi Taliban, mostly drawn from the former mainstream pro-Kashmiri groups, regard the Pakistan Army and its intelligence outfits as their biggest enemies.
And Mr Khwaja’s taped ‘confessional statement’, which he was forced to record, clearly shows such militants are not prepared to forget the Lal Masjid saga.
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In Pakistan, ex-spy Khalid Khawaja's killing is surrounded by mystery - Washington Post
Who killed the ex-ISI official? - AfPak channel