Pakistan-Sponsored Terror Groups May Hurt Their Masters
Pakistani terrorist groups, emboldened by the success of their Taliban brethren in Afghanistan, could turn on their benefactors in Islamabad.
Shashi Tharoor, an MP for the Indian National Congress, in an article in the Japan times said that the ISI knows, the problem with creating and sponsoring militant groups is that they do not always remain under your control.
- Pakistan created and sponsored a mujahideen group calling themselves the Taliban, or “students” of Islam, who swiftly took over Afghanistan and ruled it as a wholly owned Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) subsidiary.
Lt Gen Hamid Gul, late head of Pakistan’s powerful ISI agency, use to boast that when Afghanistan’s history will be written, it would record that the ISI, with the help of America, defeated the Soviet Union. And next, he would slyly add, historians would state that the ISI, with the help of America, defeated America.
He was right to argue that it was the ISI’s tactic of sponsoring the terrorists — amply armed, supplied and financed by the United States — against the Red Army in Afghanistan that forced the Kremlin to withdraw ignominiously, wrote Tharoor.
Things were rosy for Pakistan until Osama bin Laden, a former mujahideen fighter who enjoyed the hospitality of the Taliban’s new Islamic Emirate, ordered the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the US from his Afghan hideout.
America’s furious response resulted in the overthrow of the Taliban and the exile of bin Laden, under ISI protection, to refuge in a Pakistani military post of Abbottabad.
The ISI cover was blown out when US tracked down bin Laden to a secure compound in Abbottabad and special forces killed him there in 2011.
But as America wearied of being bogged down interminably in Afghanistan, and the ISI helped its Taliban clients to rearm, reorganize and resume their operations against the US-backed regime in Kabul, the tide turned in the ISI’s favour, wrote Tharoor.