New York: For a wannabe terrorist like
Faisal Shahzad, accused in the Times Square bombing plot,
shopping for help in Pakistan is no problem as the country is
like a supermarket with money and weapons freely available for
Pakistan is the hub of dozens of jihadi organisations
like Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al Qaeda, Jalaluddin
and Siraj Haqqani`s network, Tehrik-e-Taliban and the list
goes on, Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek, writes in its
He says that some of the major separatist groups like
the Lashkar-e-Taiba, operate openly via front groups
throughout Pakistan, noting that none of these terror outfits
seem to have any difficulty in getting money and weapons.
Thus, Shahzad, the 30-year-old Pakistani-American would
-be terrorist of Times Square in New York, seems to have
followed a familiar path, he writes.
"We may never be sure what made him want to kill
innocent men, women, and children. But his story shares
another important detail with many of his predecessors: a
connection to Pakistan," he says.
The British government has estimated that 70 per cent of
the terror plots it has uncovered in the past decade can be
traced back to Pakistan.
Pakistan remains a terrorist "hothouse" even as jihadism
is losing favor elsewhere in the Muslim world, he says while
pointing out that from Egypt to Jordan to Malaysia to
Indonesia, radical Islamic groups have been weakened
militarily and have lost much of the support they had
Zakaria analyses that jihadism is thriving in Pakistan
since the country`s founding, the Pakistani government has
supported and encouraged jihadi groups, creating an atmosphere
that has allowed them to flourish.
"It appears to have partially reversed course in recent
years, but the rot is deep," he comments.
Though Pakistan`s government and military have taken
tougher actions than ever before against terrorists, Zakaria
points out that the generals continue to make a dubious
distinction among terrorists.
"Those that threaten and attack the people of Pakistan
have suffered the wrath of the Pakistani Army. But then there
are groups that threaten and attack only Afghans, Indians, and
Westernersand those groups have largely been left alone," he
Zakaria concludes that until the Pakistani military
truly takes on a more holistic view of the country`s national
interests one that sees economic development, not strategic
gamesmanship against Afghanistan and India, as the key to
Pakistan`s security terrorists will continue to find Pakistan
an ideal place to go shopping.