LAHORE – Vital installations in all the four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) are put on high alert as the country faces a fresh terror threat.
Country’s leading intelligence agencies including the Military Intelligence (MI) have alerted the Interior Ministry that al Qaeda has planned terror attacks, mainly being aimed at the security forces besides the nation’s soft targets in the big cities.
“In order to accomplish their nefarious designs, al Qaeda has prepared its strategy to target Pak Army through terrorist attacks, assassination of senior officers through targeted killings and executing Pak Army personnel for collaborating with US once US/NATO troops withdraw from Afghanistan,” a senior intelligence official disclosed to TheNation on Wednesday.
When asked about the seriousness of the terror threat, the officers said, “al Qaeda poses real threat to Pak Army and hence (the threat) must be taken seriously.” Unfortunately, al Qaeda is also propagating that Jehad against Pak Army is justified as it is a force siding with the US, the source added, and preferred not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Another source in the Interior Ministry quoted the “Threat-Alert” issued to the governments in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber PK,Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan saying, “at tactical level strict vigilance (should) be maintained against any possibility of terrorist attacks and suicide bombings.”
Security experts say that after killing of Osama bin Laden by US Navy Seals in Abbottabad, al Qaeda has stepped up propaganda against Pak Army.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has published highly negative contents of al Qaeda’s hostile propaganda against Pak Army.
The study titled “Emerging al Qaeda strategy targetted at damaging Pakistan Army in Muslim eyes, assassinating its senior officers, annihilating it after US drawdown from Afghanistan in 2014”, has been written by Tufail Ahmed, Director MEMRI South Asia Study Projects on May 9th, this year.
The study frequently refers to audio and video statements of al Qaeda and Taliban militants and tends to allegedly prove that Pak Army is an apostate force having historical links with anti-Muslim crusaders and therefore is symbolically anti-Muslim force.
Not enough, it cynically criticises the role of Pak Army Generals in 1965-71 Indo-Pak wars, partition of 1971 leading to creation of Bangladesh, Kargil conflict, Afghan wars and collaboration of Pak Army with US.
“Anti Pak Army propaganda campaign by al Qaeda is aimed at damaging the image of the world’s leading military force not only in the eyes of Muslims worldwide but also among the Pakistani nation,” a Lahore-based retired military officer said. The style, tone and tenor of propaganda by al Qaeda indicates that it has come from a defeated and exhausted mind uncovering the inner disorganisation and structurally damaged outfit, he added.
Defence analysts argued that Taliban factions including Maulvi Nazir, Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Haqqani network recently agreed under the directions of Mullah Omar to avoid kidnapping for ransom, killing innocent people, stop suicide attacks in Pakistan and discontinue violent actions against security forces of Pakistan.
“This proves that al Qaeda claims are baseless that all Jehadi factions were getting ready to inflict damage to Pak Army,” said a recently released report, prepared by the South Asian Research and Analysis Studies (SARAS).
Al-Qaeda’s consistent assertions pose serious threat to Pak Army as the terrorist outfit aims at total annihilation of the institution of Pakistan Army.
Their propaganda contents contain divisive message for the masses to abandon their loyalty to the idea of Pakistan. Security experts believe that the terrorists propaganda is aimed at dividing the loyalties of Pakistani soldiers to their commanders, creating mistrust in the minds of Pakistani nation.
and soldiers that Army Officers get inspired from non-Muslim crusaders while Muslims draw their inspirations from great heroes of Islam only.
They also suggested that since the al Qaeda’s propaganda to tarnish image of Pak Army is frustrating and irritating, it requires quick and assertive counter measures by the government and security apparatus as well.
“Pak Army has braved numerous terrorist attacks and has the will and capability to annihilate cowardly outfits of terrorists. The security forces have successfully thwarted several terror attempts and smashed many gangs of terrorists by capturing the most wanted terrorists,” an official in the Defence Ministry said.
According to him, the personnel in security and law enforcing agencies have been directed to remain on their toes to thwart the nefarious designs of the enemies of Pakistan. The successful military actions in Swat and South Waziristan are a case in point, he said, adding, ideology and creation of Pakistan is a stark reality and will of God. Pak Army and people of Pakistan would protect the ideology and sovereignty of their country at all costs.