Terrorists consider themselves truer Muslims: Pakistani editorial

March 31st, 2009 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Islamabad, March 31 (IANS) With Pakistanis killing Pakistanis and Muslims killing Muslims, terrorists consider themselves truer Muslims than those who oppose them, an editorial in a leading English daily said Tuesday, a day after the brazen assault on a Lahore police academy that left 18 dead.
Another editorial maintained that in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, the authorities should have been prepared for such an event, “whether carried out as an act of retaliation or by ‘copycat’ terrorists raised and trained at home”.

“It doesn’t matter who the paymasters might be. What we have now are Pakistanis killing Pakistanis, Muslims killing Muslims,” Dawn said in an editorial headlined “Pakistan under attack.

“And while we are at it, let us discard once and for all the absurd notion that the people who carry out such dastardly acts cannot possibly be Muslims. They are Muslims.

“In fact, these terrorists and militants consider themselves to be far truer Muslims than those who oppose them,” the editorial maintained.

Heavily-armed terrorists stormed into the Manawan police academy on Lahore’s outskirts and just 12 km from the Indian border and held some 800 trainees hostage for more than eight hours before Pakistani security forces recaptured the complex.

Eight terrorists were killed and three were captured alive. Eight trainees and two civilians also died in the assault.

Holding that “it should be clear by now that we are at war with ourselves as the enemy within grows more audacious by the day”, Dawn said the militants involved in Monday’s siege may have been overcome “but it is time to hammer out a political and social consensus on this issue.

“It is time to show the kind of fervour the obscurantists demonstrate in abundance but the well-meaning couch in carefully chosen words,” it added.

Stating that the fight against terrorism “cannot be won without throwing punches”, the editorial noted that the country’s mainstream political parties “need to draw a line in the sand and show the people, with no room for ambiguity, where they stand in this battle for the soul of Pakistan”.

Urging the religio-political parties to “make their positions clear”, Dawn noted that US President Barack Obama had said US ground forces will not enter Pakistan in the war against terror along the Afghan border.

“We would be well advised to not give them the chance. If we can’t do the job ourselves, others might do it for us. And that way lies disaster,” the editorial contended.

The News wrote much in the same vein.

“Surely, since the events in Mumbai last November we should have been prepared for such an event - whether carried out as an act of retaliation or by ‘copycat’ terrorists raised and trained at home,” its leader, headlined “Another outrage”, said.

The March 3 attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers, “executed by experts with immaculate training, should have strengthened our resolve to tackle terrorists. This has not happened”, it lamented.

In this context, it noted that the police “remain ill-equipped to deal with the urban guerrilla warfare that is being fought in our cities. This lack of preparedness has already cost us hundreds of lives. Who knows how many more will die”, The News added.

Calling for a “drastic change” in Pakistan’s approach to terrorism and militancy, the editorial said: “Our entire security strategy needs to change. We need, too, to assess the status of our intelligence apparatus. Our allies must assist in this.”

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