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Attack in Lahore – Qui Bono [who benefits]

Guest Blog by Azhar Aslam and Shaista Kazmi

Pakistan is in a classic ‘cry wolf’ situation. Now that the wolf has come one risks shouting about it at the peril of being called paranoid, liar, crazy or conspiracy theorist. But this unfortunate ‘wolf cry’ of the ‘foreign hand’ may have given a room to manoeuvre and protection to the external players and handlers. Fourteen ( or twelve) gunmen attacked Sri Lankan cricket team and their guards in a coordinated, well planned attack and got away (until now). But fool may be the one who thinks this was a senseless attack with the aim of terrorising ordinary Lahorites. So let us just look at the facts and let everyone draw their own conclusion. The attack has raised many questions which are pertinent and of utmost relevance and must be answered in a forensic manner.

Attackers: These observations are made on the basis of TV footage available.

Attackers were young (apparently 14 in number). They were heavily armed, had latest equipment for communication and had enormous firepower. They were wearing trousers and shirts and shalwar and shirts and travelled by rickshaws and car. They were not classic Taliban lookalike. They managed to transport all this heavy weaponry to Liberty. That must have required planning and human resource.

They must have had more accomplices who helped them escape. After they ran off there must have been transport waiting to ferry them away. So the routes and roads must have been well known. Some of the attackers were already positioned in the roundabout itself.

For escape there must have been at least seven rickshaws (unlikely), 3-4 cars or couple or mini vans or a mixture of these (to carry 14 people unless some of them walked to escape in the ensuing chaos). This means there were at least 3 to 8 other people involved. This brings a group total to about twenty.

Surely keeping a lid on this operation between twenty people must have been difficult. So it must have been very highly disciplined gang who has already committed such acts and whose members knew each other well. Or if for security these people were being told at the very last minute what to do, then that indicates a certain amount of professionalism that comes with lot of money and lot of previous training and expertise. So while attackers on Mumbai may have time on their side and planners could have chosen a complete novice and trained him at their leisure, this could not have been the case in Lahore attack, which could only involve pre-trained group of people, who in all likelihood have worked together before. Although possibility of two or three separate gangs being knitted together with specific tasks cannot be ruled out. We should expect this should make the tasks for investigators relatively easy. But where were the handlers?

Before pointing fingers we must recognise the fact that it is us who have given anyone a chance to do this shameful actPlanning of the attacks: The planning for this attack must have started only after, when Srilanka decided to visit Pakistan. It may have been soon after, but not before. There must have been a decision made and approved, attackers chosen, trained, route analysed, security arrangements analysed for the weaknesses and some sort of simulation must have taken place. This again leads to the conclusion that these attacks and level of sophistication indicates previous expertise, not a new outfit, where equipment, training and manpower had to be present and in place before hand. The attackers (or at least those caught on the camera) clearly looked, ordinary regular guys. They must have been Punjabi speaking to make it easy to mingle in with the populace to get away.

The nature of the attack: The attack itself well coordinated, well planned, and systematically executed. The place of attack, a large well known junction in Lahore ( ironically called Liberty chowk) was clearly chosen to create maximum impact and to attract wide media attention. There was clear element of dramatisation. Lahore is an iconic city called heart of Pakistan. The choice was calculated. Most importantly it was not suicide attack, and attackers successfully got away as they intended to. It is being claimed that food stuff they carried indicates that they may have wanted to kidnap the cricketers. That may be true. But it is unlikely that the purpose behind that would have been any other than creating more mayhem and chaos. The planners for the attack clearly knew that these attacks will be immediately seen in the background of Mumbai attacks and will have certain specific ramifications. The sophistication of the attack was like a commercial operation carried out in the field levelled by the ferocious insurgency by ‘Islamist’ militants.

Targets: The choice of Sri Lankan cricket team as target is most interesting. While the attack clearly has the international dimension that attackers wanted to have, it is not a classic jihadist anti-white, anti-western attack. Cricket as a sport cannot considered immoral ( by strictest of conservative standard), by any stretch of imagination and Pakistani cricket team is full of Tablighi players. This alone shall put Taliban at the bottom of the suspect list, if not rule them out completely. The sole purpose of attacking a visiting international team was to get international media attention to focus on terrorist activities in Pakistan. This they did very successfully.

Circumstances: There was clear lack of through security planning and somebody had become lax somewhere. Some claim that recent change of police chief may have contributed to this. This is unlikely. Although there was no route protection, and certainly not the level of security that had been promised to the visiting guests. This alone must put us to shame. The attackers carrying rocket launchers; hand grenade, Kalashnikovs and Mousers fought for about half an hour ( as reported) without even being recognized and chased. Despite of receiving the information of the attack in advance, apparently, it is shocking to see no pre-emptive measures for the incident. It clearly points towards the lack of or no coordination at all between the institutions responsible for taking care of the security.

SriLanka had agreed to visit after Indian team had refused to come following Mumbai attacks. Indians were annoyed with this Srilankan decision and had made it known to SriLankans. There is also a backdrop of growing and deep security relationship between Srilanka and Pakistan which has earned SriLanka Indian ire. One must not forget that Indian supported Tamils tigers been recently defeated at hands of Srilankan army (supported by Pakistan). Worst has been the Indian reaction. Instead of rising to the occasion as great power , the status Indians do not tire of claiming, to its shame Indian Foreign Minister Mr Mukerjee had this to say: ‘Until the infrastructures of terrorists are dismantled in Pakistan these incidents will continue to happen…… Pakistan must address terrorist organisations’. There was the usual narrow mindedness of Indian politicians with no sympathy for its neighbour.

Consequences: There is the up roar in the western media, led by usual rabid Murdoch ( AngloSaxon) pack, and it is being claimed ‘Pakistani state cannot handle itself; militancy is spreading; it needs external support, no one is safe in Pakistan, SriLanka’s decision was crazy etc etc’. That this same media never thought Britain was at risk when Irish terrorists were blowing up hotels where British Prime Minister was staying or Spain when Spanish trains were blown apart, or Israel is going to fall when Palsetinian suicide bombers attack the streets of Tel Aviv despite highest security does tell us a lot about its intentions and impartiality. There is a clear case building happening. One by one different pieces are being out in place to fit in the jigsaw. With the single and sole purpose: To isolate Pakistan internationally; establish it as an unstable and highly dangerous pariah state, and then deal with it accordingly.

Qui Bono: The prime and the first suspects in any crime is the one who benefits. So who benefits here? Any one who wants to portray Pakistan as an unstable country and wants to isolate it in the international community and degrade its standing. Anyone who wants to see and portray Pakistan as a weak country which has become a hub of international terrorism.

It is likely that many will blame Alqaida, Lashkar e Tayyibah or Taliban or such like because it is the easiest story to believe in the town. The attack has put Pakistan’s position in the sports world and the possibility of hosting an international event of 2011 cricket world cup in jeopardy. How the above mentioned, may benefit from this fact, is difficult to comprehend. But how certain powers and regional interests may do is obvious.

But before pointing fingers we must recognise and accept the fact that it is us who have given anyone a chance to do this shameful act. Our political and economic destabilization, the situation of insurgency and worsening condition of law and order has left us with hardly any options but to take the most inane nonsense on the chin. It is the internal weakness of our own system that has made the country vulnerable to the acts of terrorism. The militant image of Pakistan is a ready theatre for the international terrorist mafia. The fledgling democracy, conflicting coalitions, dispersed leadership, protesting judiciary and sinking economy are enough to allow assailers to attack Pakistan and its progressive image.

Will we wake up ?


26 Comments

  • Zafar Iqbal |

    Nope, I don't think we would even lift our lids a bit. Sure there are good people around us, who would raise their voices, but I don't see our common man or elite waking up on this.

    Reason for that, I think is that as a community we have lost our self-respect, and have broken the bond which had jelled our community together, the patience and tolerance for other's mistakes.

    But don't think that what wrong is happening around us, we should ignore, at least we should raise our voice against it, raise our hand if possible.

    But at least some gestures should be present, which as an individual we don't do.

    That is the sole reason I think we won't wake up after all this drama.

  • temporal |

    qui bono?

    the co-chairman of the hand written will?

    citing security he could clamp down on the "march"

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    @azhar aslam and shaista kazmi!

    nice post.

    completely agreed.some one should ask the indians about that.this is the greater damage than mumbai attacks with lesser casualities.

    its like cutting the diamond with a petal of a flower.

    well done india.

  • Indian |

    AUTHOR VERY INTELLIGENTLY ASKS the following:-

    "The prime and the first suspects in any crime is the one who benefits. So who benefits here?"

    The answer is TALIBAN.

    how?? Economic destruction of Pakistan will

    RESULT in increase in massive poverty .

    it will RESULT in more and more people falling into the Taliban trap. it will RESULT in establishment of Taliban rule in Pak.

  • Indian explains WHY |

    Lets Suppose if Pakistan gets destabilized with anarchy and chaos ..Few things will happen:-

    1>>>>>>> Millions of refugees will move to WHICH COUNTRY?????

    note: Afghans moved to Pakistan. Pakistanis will move to WHICH COUNTRY???

    2>>>>>>> If Pakistani refugees arrive demographics will change in WHICH COUNTRY?????

    3>>>>>>> If taliban come to power in 'nuclear armed' Pakistan……….first target will be WHICH COUNTRY???

    4>>>>>>> Oil suppiles from middle east will be affected permanently of WHICH COUNTRY?????

    note: Talibans surely will not allow oil to go to 'infidels'.

    Answer to all these questions is same.

    THE COUNTRY IS INDIA.

    you decide if India wants destabilization of Pak or not.

  • Indian explains WHY |

    India has 150 million MUSLIM population.

    If radical militant Islamist fanatics come to power in Pakistan , there is a HUGE POSSIBILITY that a significant amount of RADICAL IMPACT will be felt on Indian Muslim,mostly among the poor muslims.

    India then will have a MASSIVE TERROR problem.

    __________________________

    You decide if India was involved in Lahore attacks or not.

    India will NOT do anything that destabilizes Pakistan.

  • Danial Burki |

    You had me at "(AngloSaxon) pack".

    The national IQ just plummeted some more.

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    @INDIAN!

    nice questions? logical conclusion..i am impressed.

    now dear ask this question to the RAW officials,CONGRESS GOVT, PRADHAN MANTARI, LOK SABHA AND RAJYA SABHA and RULING CLASS of india and CHANAKIYA POORIS.

  • farrah k raja |

    Instead of Basant

    Let us have Inter –Pakistan Cricket Match Day

    Let us make spring of 2009 History

    Not to be remembered for assassinations

    Instead National Cricket Day

    One Day Cricket Matches around Pakistan.

    Come on Lahore!! Gaddafi Stadium must have a match,

    Inter-College Matches, for the charity the money should be donated to the people who died. Come on Lahore.

    Come on Formanites and Ravians !!!

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    wow!farrah you are so fast.

    but please beaware.

    we have mr DENIAL burki here.he might get angry by these kinds of suggestions.

  • Indian |

    Dear Doctor jawwadkhan

    Even during the HEIGHT OF TENSIONS after the Mumabai attacks

    Curiously Why do u think INDIA DIDNOT Tell the international community to CUT OFF AID to Pakistan??????

    Answer lies in my above posts.

    Please consider the fact that GOVT. OF INDIA GOT A LOT OF SYMPATHY after the mumbai attack from the international community.

    Still govt. of india DIDNOT talk abt cutting international aid to pakistan.

    Answer lies in my above posts.

    ______________________

    India also SUPPORTED pakistan's IMF loan.

    You guys NEED TO UNDERSTAND that a stable pakistan is in INDIA'S NATIONAL INTEREST.

    A stable Pakistan WILL PROVIDE HUGE MARKET for Indian goods and services.Look how popular BOLLYWOOD is in Pak. Indian producers can make a lot of money from Pak.Same with other industries.

    Also Capitalists DONT DESTROY their markets.They help CREATE ONE.

  • Danial Burki |

    Farrah, I fully support your suggestion. The country needs a lift, and we shouldn't let ourselves be intimidated by these events. Let there be cricket!

    p.s. Dr Jawad, why would I be angered by a perfectly reasonable suggestion? Last I checked, it was your beloved Tallies that detested any kind of entertainment.

  • Indian |

    If u analyze ONLY TIME INDIA WILL ATTACK PAKISTAN if somehow taliban comes even close to power.

    A taliban ruled Pakistan is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE.

    Pre-emptive attacks by India on TALIBAN INSTALLATIONS are an absolute possibility.

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    "Still govt. of india DIDNOT talk abt cutting international aid to pakistan.

    now that is disappointing!

    what make you think that we are ignorant of what happened after mumbai attacks.

    india considered every option.surgical stikes or war was the first option. India built a case and try hard to convince other countries to back india in case of war. not a single country approve this idea except america.that was the failure of india.america gave the green signal but refuse to help india openly. then india considered the option of surgical strike in spite of all out war.

    indian air force was ready, navy was ready but the army official informed the authorities that their preparedness is hampered because of necessary equipments for a war.

    indian journalist disclosed this whole story in asia times

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KA21Df02….

    india tried every thing from arm embargo to diplomatic ties but not a single country gave a positive response.

    the press conference of British forign minister milli band was a high point of this failure. they even fail to convince sri lankans to cancel their tour.

    the only success indians got was from ICC and australian cricket.

    then what option india had.

    tit for tat was the only option.and they did.

    mr indian!

    you draw a horrible picture of pakistan.it make us laugh also. because every pakistani believe that we have a strength we have the talent and we have the will to survive from this mess. the day when we get rid of american puppets, the day we will be out of the mess.

    rest assured that there will be:

    1) no MILLIONS OF REFUGEES

    2) not a SINGLE pakistani is come to seek refuge in india.

    (man! your dreams are terrible)

    3) this state will not fail. because we are not the corporation.(remember that)

    4) but it is true that this country is going to convert in true islamic state soon.and i am sure the people who rule this country will be more competent,loyal and sincere to the pakistan.

    5) your superiority complex is a matter of joke for pakistanis.

    because india is suffering more than us.even worst because we do not have separatist movement except some rag tag

    baloch while in india :

    "231 out of 608 total districts are affected by insurgencies.in Jammu & Kashmir (affecting 12 of the States 14 Districts), in different States of the Northeast (54 Districts) and Left Wing extremism (affecting at least 165 Districts in 14 States, estimate based on end-2005 data) continue to pose serious challenges to the country’s security framework. In addition, wide areas of the country appear to have ‘fallen off the map’ of good governance, and are acutely susceptible to violent political mobilization, lawlessness and organized criminal activity”

    http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/ind

    please instead of giving us bhashan, first fix your own mess.

  • Danial Burki |

    Dr Jawad, are you schizophrenic? Point 3 of your post announces that the state of Pakistan will not fail. But then Point 4 says that the country will soon convert into a "true Islamic state", which REQUIRES the current model of the nation-state to collapse.

    I'm confused. Please enlighten my secular-fascist zionist RAW Mossad CIA Qadiyani Dajjali Hindu Israeli mind.

  • Danial Burki |

    p.s. And within that paradox lies the answer: it is in the interest of the terrorist groups to destabilise Pakistan. India has nothing to gain from a destabilised Pakistan, as the Pakistani state is essentially the last defence against the cancer that is spreading from Afghanistan eastwards. On the other hand, the brave soldiers of Islam thrive on chaos.

  • Indian |

    dr.jawwadkhan,

    India considered 'surgical strikes'……..You are right.

    >>>>My question: against whom???

    NOT against Pak cities……BUT against TERROR CAMPS.

    Which is IN LINE with what i said.

    You write:

    ""indian air force was ready, navy was ready but the army official informed the authorities that their preparedness is hampered because of necessary equipments for a war.""

    >>>>Considering our neighbourhood ARMY MUST BE KEPT ALWAYS READY.

    >>>>By the way, Indian economy PREVENTED the war more than anything else.

    According to your figures from this website

    "Fatalities in Terrorist Violence in Jammu and Kashmir"…..VIOLENCE IS CLEARLY DECREASING!.

    Now KINDLY READ SOMETHING WORTHWHILE:

    http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/publications/India_co

    ""In analyzing the trajectory of India's urban market, MGI forecasts urban consumption both to accelerate and to continue to grow faster than the overall economy, and estimates compound annual growth of 9.4 percent over the next 20 years.""

  • Indian |

    dr.jawwadkhan SAYS:

    "4) but it is true that this country is going to convert in true islamic state soon.and i am sure the people who rule this country will be more competent,loyal and sincere to the pakistan."

    Thats what we call a TYPICAL PAKISTANI SPEAK.

    Others call it plain stupidity!

    ___________

    You call TALIBANIZATION "convert in true islamic state".

    You, just like many other Pakistanis , are doing a great disservice to your nation

  • Sam |

    This is what i posted on a different article on this site

    ==========================================================

    Please do not rule out Muslim extremist groups in Pakistan involved in this killing.

    Remember Sri Lanka’s team does not have muslims. It is Hindu and Buddhist.

    Taliban blew up Bamiyan Buddha’s.

    Their hatred towards Buddhists is well known.

    Obviously there could be a religious angle in killing anybody who is not Muslim.

    Let us speculate, why these terrorists did not target Pakistan’s cricket team. They could have targetted them at the same spot, as they would be coming to the stadium.

    I think it fits perfectly with extreme elements of the religion.

    If they kill only Hindus & Buddhists, they are doing their part towards the jihad.

    So it is likely that they chose the Kuffar as their targets.

    It is incidental that some police who are protecting the Kuffar got killed.

    Is this is a possibility ? or am I crazy ?

    It is only the Kuffars who got killed.

    Isn’t it a good riddance and part of the jihad every muslim is obligated to do ?

    I dont think you understand the true spirit of Pakistan.

    It was created for Muslims.

    So if some stupid Hindus & Buddhists come to Lahore, they should have know what is in awaiting them. Didnt they read the history what happened to all Hindus in Lahore in 1947 ?

    So in some way, Sri lanka’s players should have anticipated this. If not they are stupid and deserve what they got

    (I am not advocating violence or killing, but people need to know the history and the risks they are taking in going to Darul Islam’s lands).

  • dr.jawwadkhan |

    @denial!

    DENIAL is your first name.why you expect me to convince a person who deny every thing even ALLAH(SWT) and RASOOL ULLAH(SAAW).i do not have a time for this bullshit.

    but interestingly i found some thing common in YOU, SAM (JARAM) and INDIAN.you know what it is?

    no need to tell,every one knows that.

  • Indian-Why are u bri |

    Dr Jawwad khan

    Why are u bringing ISLAM into the discussions???

    Islam is a PEACEFULL RELIGION.

    ____________

    here we are discussing terrorism.

    We are NOT discussing religion.

  • nabil turner |

    Rupert Murdoch's original family name is Mordecai. Murdoch is of Jewish descent and has been honoured many times by Zionist organisations. He is a Zionist Jew.

    Since its creation, Israel has seen Pakistan as its deadliest enemy among the Ummah. What you are seeing now is the destabilisation of Pakistan by the usual suspects, the US, UK and Israel possibly leading to the breakup of Pakistan into tribal areas.

    Certainly now the world will turn a blind eye when US forces increase their attacks into Pakistan in pursuit of the elusive al CIAda. Cui Bono?

    As for Sri Lanka a funny story comes to mind. Sri Lanka's problems did not really get going until she signed an agreement with Israel regarding security matters. It was then the trouble with the Tamil's got serious.

    Victor Ovstrovsky is an ex Mossad agent who has written two books on the Mossad, By Way of Deception, and The Other Side of Deception. In one of them he describes a visit to a training camp in Israel where foreign groups received training. On one side of the camp the Israelis were training Sri Lankan Army troops in anti-terrorist techniques and on the other side of the camp the Israelis were training Tamil Tigers in terrorist techniques.

    Its a funny old world.

  • readinglord |

    All the Paky nation would benefit from the 'crime'as:

    1. It would put an end to corruption of cricket which is no longer a sport but a commercial extravaganza.

    2. The policemen who were killed but would go to heaven by becoming martyrs (shaheed) and their families who would get lot of money as compensation.

    3. LET and Dr. Israr (indirectly) who may also hope for heaven due to stoppage of this unholy game of cricket.

    4. And, of course, Zardari, for whom there are 'moujaan ei moujaan' as he is riding the wave of luck these days.

  • Indian Muslim (Decca |

    Why RAW can't be involved:

    – Indian Police is as corrupt as Pakistani police.

    – If Pakistanis can commit Mumbai carnage, RAW can commit the same crime at even higher magnitude.

    – You guys can't imagine what Muslims youths have gone through after the Mumbai incident and believe me Hindus didn't target the Muslims with beards, they targeted the Muslim youth who wouldn't even care to go for Juma prayer.

    – Indian Police has been picking up Muslims under the guise of investigation and the torturing them to the extreme. I bet when they come out, they would even have more hate for India.

  • Indian |

    @ Indian Muslim (Deccan)

    How much 'Indian' you are can be understood by ur COMMENT ABOVE.

    Lying cheating and decieving is a PAKISTANI QUALITY.

    You are a Pakistani Lying cheating and decieving by TAKING AN INDIAN NAME.

  • Sam |

    Is cricket unislamic as per this fatwa ?

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,2519

    Islamists wage war against cricket, ‘the other religion’

    Amanda Hodge, South Asia correspondent | March 06, 2009

    Article from: The Australian

    CRICKET is akin to a religion in Pakistan, which might explain why it is so loathed by Islamic extremists there.

    While few believe Tuesday’s terror strike on the Sri Lankan team was designed as a specific attack on the sport of cricket, the ambush has highlighted one of the more peculiar preoccupations of Islamic extremists.

    Following the Indian cricket tour of Pakistan in 2004 — the first in a decade — the Lashkar-e-Toiba terror group in Pakistan issued what amounted to a fatwa against the sport.

    “The British gave Muslims the bat, snatched the sword and said to them: ‘You take this bat and play cricket. Give us your sword. With its help we will kill you and rape your women’,” the LET magazine Zarb-e-Toiba said in its April 2004 edition.

    The magazine article commented: “It is sad that Pakistanis are committing suicide after losing cricket matches to India. But they are not sacrificing their lives to protect the honour of the raped Kashmiri women. To watch a cricket match we would take a day off work. But for jihad, we have not time!”

    More fitting for a mujahid (or holy fighter), the magazine said, were the sports of archery, horseriding and swimming.

    “The above are not just sports but exercises for jihad,” Zarb-e-Toiba told its readers.

    “Cricket is an evil and sinful sport. Under the intoxication of cricket, Pakistanis have forgotten that these Hindu players come from the same nation that raped our mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and daughters-in-law.”

    The Punjab-based LET is a prime suspect for the Lahore attack, with analysts suggesting it could be motivated by a desire to retaliate for the recent arrests of six top operatives linked to November’s Mumbai terror strike.

    The other major suspect for the ambush, the Tehrik-e-Taliban — which has waged a bloody campaign for control of the northwestern tribal areas and Swat Valley — has also made clear its distaste for flannelled fools.

    Just days before Tuesday’s attack, Sufi Mohammad, the Taliban-linked cleric who brokered the dubious peace deal between militants in the Swat Valley and the Islamabad Government in return for the imposition of sharia law, condemned cricket as a distraction that needed to be curbed.

    But cricket is not universally condemned among Islamists. During its years in power, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan applied — unsuccessfully — for membership of the International Cricket Council. The sport was played in Afghanistan during that time, although with a distinct Talibani flavour. Players were forbidden from wearing short-sleeved shirts, and crowd participation of any sort was banned, as were women spectators.

    Several of Pakistan’s national cricket team are devout Muslims.

    But there is a growing movement against the sport among Pakistan’s increasingly powerful Islamist militants now waging war within Pakistan for the overthrow of the civilian Government.

    The Hindu newspaper noted yesterday that the weekly radical Islamist magazine al-Qalam last year attacked Pakistan’s plans to reform its religious schools, or madrassas, which included plans for an inter-schools cricket tournament it branded as “evil”.

    “We, the ulema (arbiters of sharia law) of the Deoband school, will have nothing to do with this tournament,” al-Qalam’s editors wrote in April last year, saying the West was “promoting obscenity” in Pakistan’s schools.

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