Pakistan producing 10,000 jihadists a year
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 12:50
  
Washington: Pakistan is still producing an estimated 10,000 potential jihadis a year despite claims made by Islamabad of taking strong action against terrorists in the country.

"Pakistan is still producing an estimated 10,000 potential jihadis a year out of 500,000 graduates from Pakistan's 11,000 madrassas - young gung-ho boys, mostly 16-year-olds..." wrote Arnaud de Borchgrave, foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large at The Washington Times.

"A true-green jihadi believes the enemies of Islam (principally the United States, India and Israel) are on a crusade to push back the frontiers of Islam and deprive the Muslim world of its principal means of defence - Pakistan's nuclear arsenal," Borchgrave wrote in hard hitting column.

Borchgrave said the motto of the Pakistani army is "faith, piety and jihad in the path of Allah."

A military manual on jihad, "The Quranic Concept of War," is required reading at officers training schools.

"Mercifully, the United States is no longer seen as the enemy by most Pakistanis. Taliban, an organization originally patented by Pakistan's intelligence service (ISI), is now Public Enemy No.1," he said.

"The game-changer is the Pakistani army, whose volunteers came principally from the ranks of the poor. But the officers, if not the rank and file, now understand that religious extremists are no longer their allies," he wrote.

"With 3,500 killed by terrorists in a year and more than 10,000 injured and many small businesses closed, coupled with the government's neglect of their plight for lack of funds, and US aid spread thin over a multitude of unrelated projects, those who cherry-pick suicide targets to make matters worse are faced with an embarrassment of riches.

"The government, such as it exists, is left with a grim menu of inadequate medical and police responses, followed by vigils and commemorations," Borchgrave said.

Meanwhile, Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator of Office of Coordinator for Counterterrorism, has said that the threat of al-Qaeda has morphed despite the setbacks suffered by the group in recent times.

"Al-Qaeda has proven to be an adaptable and resilient terrorist group whose desire to attack the United States and US interests abroad remains as strong as ever," he said.

The group remained under pressure due to Pakistani military operations aimed at eliminating them in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and as a result, it's had a number of leadership losses and is finding it more difficult to raise money, recruit and plan attacks outside the region, he said.

"Despite these setbacks, the al-Qaeda threat has morphed, which partially offset the losses suffered by al-Qaeda's core in Pakistan," Benjamin said.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, May 05, 2010, 12:50


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