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Home Media Reports 2005 Mong attack Terrorism strikes again
Terrorism strikes again
DAWN - the Internet Edition

October 8 2005
Ramazan 3, 1426


Terrorism strikes again

ONCE again a place of worship has been attacked in Pakistan, it being of no consequence what religion or sect the dead and wounded belonged to. The dastardly act occurred at Mong near Mandi Bahauddin yesterday at a mosque where firing by unknown gunmen left eight people dead and 14 injured. A diabolical feature of terrorism in Pakistan is that it focuses on places of worship. None of the major terrorist attacks in the world — 9/11, Bali, Madrid, Istanbul, 7/7 and Sharm al Shaikh — chose places of worship as their targets. It is only in Pakistan — besides isolated cases in Iraq — where terrorists have chosen to slaughter innocent worshippers. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is obvious that one of the many banned organizations must be behind the dastardly act. This brings us face to face with the reality that the mere outlawing of militant organizations has not served to check terrorism. The parties that have been outlawed include Sipah-i-Sahaba, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i-Muhammad, Tehrik-i-Jafria, Sipah-i-Muhammad and some others, but for all practical purposes they are very much alive and kicking, often with new names. The banning has driven them underground, but they continue to operate, as is evident from the events in Karachi last May and in May 2004. They have well-trained and motivated cadres at their disposal, and their sources of funding and arms supply evidently remain intact.

Over the years, the intelligence agencies have netted some big fish in the terrorism underworld. The recent arrests include Abdul Latif Hakimi, the Taliban spokesman, and Asif Chhotu, who belongs to the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and has a head money on him. However, crimes of the kind that took place in Mong yesterday point out the deficiencies in the working of the intelligence agencies. We have quite a few of them on the military and civilian sides, but the continued acts of terrorism emphasize the need for the security agencies to be more efficient and alert. These banned organizations cannot operate unless they are sustained by clandestine sources. The intelligence agencies’ failure to unearth the brains behind the militant outfits is a major cause of terrorism in Pakistan.

© The DAWN Group of Newspapers, 2005
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