LeT, JeM ,Taliban troika posing existential threat to Pak

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New York, Oct.16 (ANI): Thursday's blatant spree of terror attacks in Lahore has made it clear that the terror groups such as the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which the Pakistan government had once nurtured to fulfill its own nefarious aims, are fast spiraling out of Islamabad's control.

The style and format of the recent commando style terror attacks also points out that the tripartite ties between the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the other militant groups based in South Punjab are taking dangerous proportions, The New York Times reports.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik, in a rare admittance, had also accepted that the terror alliance is aimed at weakening Pakistan's 'democratic' set-up and declaring it as a 'failed state.'

"The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi are operating jointly in Pakistan," Malik said.

The rise in more penetrating terrorist attacks may now add its own pressure on the Gilani government to crack down on the militant groups based in Punjab.

Intelligence sources said that there are about 5000 to 8000 militants from South Punjab who are currently fighting in Afghanistan and Waziristan.

Once trained and patronized by Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies, these terror groups have spiraled out of their control, and now comprise thousands of militants many of whom have been engaged in fighting for years in Kashmir and Afghanistan.

Experts, however, point out that tackling the terror menace would not be an easy task for the Pakistan government as most Pakistanis do not consider the 'jihadi groups' as their enemy, rather it is the US which is the real culprit for them.

"They feel America is in the region and the Pakistani Army is fighting for an American army and the jihadis have a right to retaliate," said Farrukh Saleem, Executive Director of the Center for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad.

Analysts believe that the prime reason why these terror groups flourish in Punjab is that they maintain a covert relationship with some former top military officials.

Punjab is the major recruiting center for the Pakistani Army and it hosts more army divisions than any other province in the country.

"Yet these groups proliferate and operate with impunity, literally under the nose of Pakistan's army," said Christine Fair, Assistant Professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. (ANI)

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