LeT, not Taliban poses biggest threat to take over Pak: US Expert

June 18th, 2009 - 12:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, June 18 (ANI): While fears are rife that Pakistan could fall into the hands of the Taliban, an American expert on the South Asian issues has warned that it was not the Taliban, but Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which possess the real danger to the sovereignty of the troubled nation.

Famous author and thinker, Selig Harrison, warned that the LeT is could topple the democratic set-up of Pakistan and take over the reigns of the country.

In his article carried out in the The Boston Globe, Harrison stressed that there was an immediate need to disarm the group’s militias.

“It does not come from the Taliban guerillas now battling the Pakistan Army in the Swat borderlands. It comes from a proliferating network of heavily armed Islamist militias in the Punjab heartland and major cities directed by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a close ally of al Qaeda, which staged the terrorist attack last November in Mumbai, India,” Harrison said.

Harrison asked the United States not to make any new aid commitments to Pakistan until it takes decisive action to disarm LeT.

“Disarming Lashkar-e-Taiba should be the top US priority in Pakistan because it would greatly reduce the possibility of a coup by Islamist sympathizers in the Armed Forces,” The Nation quoted Harrison, as saying.

“The Islamists in the Army and the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are not likely to risk a coup in Islamabad unless they can count on armed support from Lashkar-e-Taiba and its allies to help them consolidate their grip on the countryside,” he added.

Harrison underlined the need to reduce the escalating tension between India and Pakistan, which he feared could trigger a war between the two nuclear countries.

“A strong US stand on Lashkar-e-Taiba is necessary to defuse India-Pakistan tensions that could lead to another war and to sustain the improvement now taking place in US relations with India, a rising power eight times larger than Pakistan,” he stated.

Referring to the Pakistan government ordering a crackdown on the LeT operative after intense international pressure following the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Harrison said all such efforts were mere hogwash.

“The Pakistan government did make a show of cracking down on Lashkar-e-Taiba after the Mumbai tragedy, but the government stopped short of breaking up the militias and destroying the weapons stockpiles at their four training camps near Muridke and Muzaffarabad,” wrote Harrison.

“It has yet to prosecute the six prisoners or to arrest Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, identified by US and Indian intelligence sources as the ringleader of the Mumbai attack,” he said. (ANI)

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