Foreign terrorists, many questions


Was the attack on Peshawar airport conducted by the Pakistani Taliban? If one accepts what TTP’s said-to-be shadow-spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed while calling senior Peshawar-based journalist Saleem Safi on telephone that the audacious attack was the TTP’s credit, then question arises whether the TTP has in its fold foreign fighters from Central Asia and elsewhere? As far as TTP’s so-called ‘movement’ is concerned, there had been no reports so far, and it is not even believable that foreign fighters have joined the believed-to-be Pakistan-specific Tehrik-e-Taliban. If so, are the foreign fighters remnants of al-Qaeda? It means the claims of US officials are true that al-Qaeda’s back has been broken. If its fighters have been accepted by TTP, then there is hell of ideological difference between Al-Qaeda’s Takfiris and TTP’s Deobandi cult. “The heretics are liable to be killed till the evil is eliminated. Killing them is obligatory” is the Takfiri point of view, not that of the TTP.
The hand-written letter found on Musa’b’s body, the terrorist from Dagestan (Russia) leads us to believe that the attackers have no link with TTP. First of all, to leave an identity or mark or a hand-written piece is not at all a tactic of terrorists, or even a possibility. The tattoos showing specific marks, the letter leading to certain conclusions can be an attempt that may mislead our investigators. Why the letter was in Urdu if they knew that their faces would be recognised as Uzbek, and the tattoos would prove that foreigners were involved? True that they might have been living in the tribal area for so long that they were able to read and write Urdu, but this all is not as easy to understand. There is a lot of ambiguity. This may continue to persist.
But the most important question is what would have happened if the terrorists had succeeded in their designs. While one can figure out security lapses – as DG ISPR, Maj-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said that this incident leads us to learn lessons – one must also recognise the timely role and action by our security forces, airport security force and police who failed the terrorists’ designs that could have led to disastrous situation. Whereas there a need to review the security, it is imperative that thorough investigation be made into the incident to reach the exact conclusion, which would certainly help in thwarting terrorists’ designs in future.