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Pakistan must shun 'your terrorist is our freedom fighter' policy


The horrific attack at Lahore which claimed the lives of 72 persons has not only rocked Pakistan, but has left the world aghast.

The victims were mainly women and children at a park who were out enjoying Easter Sunday.

Pakistan must shun 'your terrorist is our freedom fighter' policy

There is a loud message for Pakistan in this attack and that is it cannot have double standards when it comes to fighting terrorism.

(Lahore blast: Pakistan in mourning, Sharif vows to avenge the attack)

The approach that one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter needs to be shunned.

While Pakistan going after the Tehrik-e-Taliban or the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar is commendable, it needs to re-think on its strategy when it comes to the Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Haqqani network which are primarily anti India outfits.

Shun India's terrorist is Pakistan's freedom fighter attitude:

For Pakistan, groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad are only fighting a legitimate battle in Kashmir. However have these outfits restricted themselves to Kashmir. Most certainly not.

The Parliament attack, Pathankot strikes, 26/11 massacre and the serial train blasts are all the handiwork of either the Lashkar-e-Tayiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad. These attacks have occurred outside of Kashmir and innocent lives have been lost.

Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a Washington, DC-based think-tank, makes an interesting note on this issue.

In the CNN he writes, "ultimately, for Pakistan, it's all about India. Terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, both based in Punjab, along with outfits like the Haqqani network, are useful to the Pakistani security establishment because their violent activities either target India directly or seek to limit its presence in Afghanistan. Up to now, their strategic utility has outweighed the dangers they inherently pose to Pakistan's stability.

So long as Pakistan perceives or projects India as a core threat, it's unlikely to turn on its strategic assets. They're regarded as useful proxies that help neutralize the India threat -- one that Pakistan frequently flags.

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