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Old 12-14-2005, 06:02 AM   #1
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Seeds of terrorism

""Seeds do not germinate by themselves. They need a congenial soil to grow.

This is what Mohammad Amir Rana, a Pakistani journalist who says he is under surveillance in his country, tries to convey in his new book The Seeds of Terrorism. The Lahore-based Friday Times journalist says he is on the hit list of Pakistan officials after he expressed his views on state sponsored terrorism in his first book The Gateway to Terrorism.

The book says that the 'new' face of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, as a fighter against terrorism is not the result of any progressive thinking but compulsion. A compulsion aimed at not inviting the wrath of US after 9\11.

Rana recalls that "in 1979 General Zia-ul Haq, on the urging of Americans and in collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states, established a mujahideen army based in Pakistan to take on the Soviet Union in Afghanistan."

The author believes that it is the same move which culminated in the deadly attack on 9\11 and says the "Frankenstein monster had returned to haunt its creators."

According to the book, Osama bin Laden, the most wanted man in America after 9\11, was only one among the 35,000 mujahideen recruits from 40 countries enrolled to take on Russia in Afghanistan with US support.

"Osama reached Afghanistan after receiving training at the Islamic Centre in New York which was run under the patronage of the CIA," says the book.

Rana underlines the American misery by quoting an Islamic scholar Dr Iqbal Ahmad, "These are all the chickens of the Afghan jihad coming home to roost."

The seeds of Terrorism goes into detail about the role of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence and the CIA in the creation and nourishment of various mujahideen groups initially meant to fight the Soviets in Afghan, who later vowed to take on US, Israel and India.

The writer names senior Pakistan officials who nurtured the Taliban and other jihadist groups.

From the roots and growth of jihadist groups and the al-Qaeda the author tries to examine the contemporary situation after 9/11 and the Indian Parliament attacks. He says that a nominal ban on jihadist groups will not yield any results since the nexus between top officials and these groups is still strong. "The jihadis have many supporters in Pakistan's army and secret services. It is extremely unlikely they will turn against their allies."

The book also questions the general belief that the people in Pakistan do not support militant groups. "In January 2002, a Lashker-e-Toiba man told me that before the imposition of ban on collecting funds after 9\11, Lashkar had installed 250,000 fund collecting boxes all over the country and the daily income was about Rs 12 billion from these boxes alone."

The book reveals the links of terrorist groups in a systematic manner and even examines Pakistani claims that they had no role in the hijack of an Indian aircraft to Kandahar in Afghanistan. But the author wonders that how it is possible for Masood Azhar who was released on the demand of the hijackers, to lead victory processions in Pakistan soon after his release.

On the propaganda front, Rana explains how the jihadists enjoy the support of the people in Pakistan's streets. "The common man in Pakistan is not that well educated and is, therefore, more susceptible to even the most ridiculous conspiracy theories or claims." He offers a new term to the media scholars -- jihadi journalism -- which plays a major role in promoting support to various militant groups and their ideology.

The author is hopeful of a solution to the Kashmir issue as "there is a widespread feeling among a large number of jihadists and others that it is time to abandon guns and give peace a chance."

Rana's books also shows he is haunted by the miseries of the people around him, relatives of recruits of various jihadist groups. And he never goes into an Islam thrashing mode while searching for the root causes of terrorism as many contemporary western intellectuals do. ""

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