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The pakistan establishment, terror groups and geopolitics

The latest terrorist attack on a place of worship took place at the Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar at Sehwan in Pakistan through  suicide bombing. For several years,  jihadis/terrorist have attacked several Sufi shrines which are the major attraction for devotees  all over Pakistan. These include the popular shrine of Hazrat Shah Noorani in Balochistan last November and  Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore in 2010. Unfortunately, such extremists acts are still seen through a geo-strategic lens by the Pakistan s ruling elite.

violence against Sufi shrine are justified by jihadis as attacks against  impure  manifestations of the Islamic faith.  Creating a pure Islamic state encompasses killing  heretics ,   unbelievers,  and  deviants . Same belief has been a part of attacks against Shias and Ahmadis as well as Pakistan s Christians and Hindus.  To these jihadis, Pakistan   is also a  religious battlefield as India or  Afghanistan.

Despite making statements differentiating good and bad jihadis and the need to fight fundamentalism, Pakistan s   establishment hasnt really done anything substantial in reality. For Pakistan ruling elite, its international image and its external relations remains its priority  not confronting extremist ideology or elimination of terrorism . The  Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) doesn t see jihadi terrorists  as enemies though they may be targeting its own people. The tolerance of Pakistan establishment for terror groups only undermines the country.

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