'Foreigners escalate Pakistan civil war'
Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:8AM
Interview with Liaquat Ali Khan, author and professor of Law at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas
At least 34 people have been killed and more than 80 injured after two massive explosions ripped through a crowded supermarket complex in Pakistan's Peshawar.
Press TV interviewed Liaquat Ali Khan, author and professor of Law at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, to discuss the issue.
Press TV: First of all give us your assessment on this blast that has taken place and also the area that it's targeting. What is you assessment of the situation, and what are they trying to achieve with the attacks on the specific areas of facilities?
Ali Khan: I think, I have repeated it so many times that there is a civil war going on in Pakistan. And the civil war is between the militants who dislike the foreign policy, [who] dislike the US occupation of Afghanistan, [who] dislike and resent and protest against the drone attacks in the tribal areas; and the enforcement agencies and the Pakistani military, and the Pakistan intelligence agency, they are all to perceived to be siding with the United States and foreign elements. So I think this is a continuation of a civil war that has been raging for the last several years and it escalates when foreign leaders like [CIA chief] Leon Panetta come to Pakistan.
Press TV: So, in your assessment you do see a link between the attack that is taking place and the visiting, basically, outgoing CIA chief Leon Panetta in the country, is that so?
Ali Khan: Well, I think there are two people who are in Islamabad right now, one is [Afghan] President [Hamid] Karzai, and the other is Leon Panetta. Because Leon Panetta came unannounced, so I don't know to what extent the militants were preparing for his visit. But I think it is a continuation of a war and a lot of the American leaders are coming to Islamabad these days, because the war in Afghanistan is winding up, and the militants know that this is the last leg of a failing war, and they have to punish both the government in Afghanistan and the government in Pakistan.
Press TV: Well, another question is that, in the past we have seen most recently that Peshawar has been on the receiving end of attacks and blasts in the manner of the one we are discussing right now. Why isn't Islamabad doing more to increase the security in the region and prevent such attacks from happening?
Ali Khan: Well, I think the security forces, simply, don't have the resources to fight militants in the country, and the militants, they attack all cities. Militants have attacked Karachi, militants have attacked Lahore, militant have attacked Quetta, militants have attacked Peshawar, and militants have attacked small towns all over Pakistan.
So, I think this is a war going on over which Pakistan's security forces do not have the intelligence or do not have the resources or the will to fight these militants.
Press TV: Going back to you first comment that there is a civil war taking place in Pakistan between the government and the militants, can you elaborate on who the militants are?
Ali Khan: Well, first of all, you should put the civil war of Pakistan in context. There are civil wars going on in at least seven Muslim countries from Tunisia, to Libya, to Syria, to Afghanistan, to Iraq and now to Pakistan, and they are also trying to foment a civil war in Iran, so it seems like the foreign elements want each Islamic country to have a civil war, so that there is economic stagnation, so that there is total chaos, so that there is political chaos.
So, the Pakistani civil war is a part of that pattern, and of course we know that the militants, who are fighting with the government, are the militants who strongly oppose the occupation of Afghanistan and the drone attacks in the tribal areas.
So, there is a pattern and there are foreign elements in every civil war in a Muslim state, and I think Muslim states will have to be careful on how to prevent a civil war without being too hard on their own people. So, I think they have to strategize and they have to think about it, and see how these civil wars can be eliminated.