South Asia Research and Analysis Studies

Forces behind Karachi massacre
Dr. Muhammad Khan

FOLLOWING the Karachi massacre where 45 people belonging to Ismaili community were killed on May 13, 2015, there arose question, as to who is behind this strategic targeting of those communities and what could be the objective, behind. Ismaili community is the most peaceful community living anywhere in Pakistan. Similarly, the children of APC Peshawar were innocent and so were the Christians, killed during multiple attacks. They all had no enmity or clash with any sect or ethnic group. Then, why these people were being targeted, in a sudden rise of terrorism in Pakistan.

Just a week ago, it was revealed during the Corps Commandersí conference that, the Indian spying network, RAW is involved in organizing the terrorism in various parts of Pakistan. It was also revealed that, RAW is sponsoring the activities of TTP as well as Baloch sub-nationalists. In a recent press conference, a senior police officer of Karachi Police also revealed that RAW is involved in the target killing of Karachi. There are deep-rooted linkages between some political groups of Karachi and RAW.
It is worth mentioning that, the very establishment of this spying network (RAW) in 1968 was aimed at destabilizing the neighbouring states. It was RAW, which planned the insurgency through instigation of locals in former East Pakistan and paved the way for Bangladesh. The activities of RAW in todayís Pakistan are reality. According to Indian media, RAW is the most powerful tool than ever before in the dispensation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, while dealing with Pakistan. Destabilization of Pakistan is part of Indian strategy and India is doing that since decades.
The current wave of terrorism under the RAW is aimed at sabotaging the economic development of Pakistan, which has just concluded a $46 billion project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The project connect Gwadar Port with the Kashgar, a traditional Chinese business centre in Xinjiang autonomous region. On its part, Kashgar connects China with South and Central Asia, the Gwadar Port provides an excess to Middle East, Persian Gulf and Africa through Arabian Sea besides providing shortest possible land access to Central Asia and Afghanistan. For the development and generating economic activities in Western China, Gwadar port provides shortest possible route to China. CPEC would be a strategic linkage between Pakistan and China, which will benefit not only these two historical and friendly neighbours but other regional countries including India and ASEAN.
In many ways, the CPEC offers a panacea to most of its problems, facing the state and society of Pakistan at economic, social and political level. Besides, the corridor provides China, an alternative overland route for the transportation of its energy needs, especially from Africa and Middle East, avoiding the Chinese Malacca Dilemma. CPEC is a historical opportunity for strategic linkage, but there are many domestic and external challenges, which may be confronted in the completion of CPEC. The security situation in some of the areas along the CPEC route may present a challenging situation, thus need a special consideration. Pakistan Army has already taken the responsibility for the protection of this corridor and facilities linked with CPEC.
Whereas, dealing with the security challenges and desire of people that the CPEC must pass through their areas is a domestic factor, Pakistan can handle efficiently, the regional and global forces, opposing the very construction of Gwadar Port and the CPEC need proficient handling through seasoned diplomacy and political engagements. Upon construction, CPEC will not only benefit Pakistan and China, but contribute towards regional peace, harmony, stability and economic opportunities for all even including India.
The abrupt increase in the terrorist activities after it was known that, Pakistan and China has finally worked out the modalities to implement this gigantic task means a lot. Indian Shipping Minister made a visit to Iran and offered this Pakistani neighbor to complete the Chabahar port, long pending for its completion. The objective one can abstract from this visit and offer for financial and technical assistance is very clear. India is making all out efforts to counter the operationalization of Gwadar Port and create all out obstructions and hurdles in the construction of CPEC. This speaks of a very narrow approach Indian Government is following.
Apart from this RAW has strong linkages with some political parties in Pakistan. All the terrorists belonging to such political parties get training, weapon and finances from RAW and carry out terrorism in Karachi and even other parts of Pakistan. The massacre of Ismaili community has to be analyzed keeping in view various angles. Murder of Sabeen Mehmood and killing of Ismaili community has to be seen in the same context. It may an attempt to divert the attention of the LEAs, people of Pakistan and even the media, from the ills and evils of this group. Let us not through the blame of all killings in the credit of TTP or religiously mislead people. Sabeen Mehmood was killed to defame security and intelligence agencies and Ismaili community to de-track the LEAs from chasing the terrorists of political and ethnic parties.
Although the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has chaired a high-level meeting on Karachiís security situation at the Governor House on May 13, 2015, and assured the grieved families for justice, yet there is a need that the real forces, and their abettors are exposed and brought to justice. It is high time that the province of Sind be governed through rules of governance and justice should be given to the people who have been deprived of this. Pakistan cannot afford such a law and order situation in any part of the country and Karachi is the economic hub of entire Pakistan. This is a clear conspiracy against the state and its perceived economic development. Let us join hand against the enemies of Pakistan and those among us, working against the interests of the state.