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