Eye on Pakistan

Extremist Islamicist Organisations and Punjab

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on June 11, 2009

In response to a recent article on the Talibanization in the Southern Punjab, a commentator had this to say:

Lashkar-e-Jangwe, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Sepae Sahaba, Sepae Muhammade, Jaishe Muhammadi and so many countless other terrorist organizations are born, grown up and now well-based in Punjab. Most of the culprits behind the most dangerous destructive terrorist attacks- viz Bombay attack, Attacks on american consulates in Karachi, attacks on Benazir Bhutto in Karachi, terrorist attacks in Lahore (Manawa, Liberty, Srilankan team and the recent one on Rescue 15, as well others in Islamabad/Rawalpindi -belonged to Punjab. Muslim Khan is on record to have said that even those responsible for beheading the police and security personnel in swat are from punjab (Lal masjid affectees). Unfortunately no one of them has yet been dealt with or brought before justice or before media. After every attack, the authorities start arresting pushto-speaking pedestrians in the cities and ignore the actually involved punjabi terrorists. The leadership and root of terrorism is here in the Punjab, which must first be addressed here and not elsewhere in swat or waziristan.

Whereas I don’t agree with much of what the commentator said, I think he does make an important point: many of the extremist Salafi movements are deeply rooted in Punjab, yet the establishment chooses to see Islamic extremism as spreading from the Pushtoon lands into Punjab and Sindh.

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2 Responses

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  1. IZ said, on June 11, 2009 at 10:45 am

    What part of the above do you not agree with? Apart from the beheading-in-Swat bit, pretty much all of the rest is pretty much commonly accepted. And I wouldnt be surpised if the beheading stuff is also true (there’s just no evidence either way).

  2. onpakistan said, on June 11, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I’m not sure that we can categorically place the “root of terrorism” in Punjab, or at least not in the way (most probably) envisaged by the writer. Why not in Egypt, or within a broader socio-economic understanding of Pakistani society. And then ofcourse there are the competing narratives which blame General Zia, Afghanistan, or American foreign policy.

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