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  • The BLA was also suspected to have been behind the terrorist bombing in Lahore's historic 'Anarkali bazaar' - some headway in that particular investigation:

    Lahore Old Anarkali blast: 3 suspected BLA terrorists arrested
    By Web Desk
    Published: October 21, 2013

    LAHORE: Police arrested three suspected terrorists allegedly involved in the recent blast in the Old Anarkali area of Lahore, Express News reported on Monday.

    Twenty-three-year-old Jafar Khan, 26-year-old Ameer Baqi and 29-year-old Saleh Baloch were arrested from Jail Road in Lahore on a tip-off provided by terrorists arrested earlier.

    According to sources, the suspects have connections with the banned Balochistan Liberation Army.

    The blast had occurred in a restaurant on October 10, claiming one life and injuring at least 16 others.

    According to the restaurant owner, an unknown person had left a bag in the dining area prior to the blast.

    On the same day, three other blasts took place in Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar killing at least a dozen people.
    Lahore Old Anarkali blast: 3 suspected BLA terrorists arrested – The Express Tribune
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah


    • Afghan Taliban Suspect Kabul of Targeting Them in Pakistan
      Two Commanders Have Been Killed in Recent Attacks in Quetta

      By Saeed Shah in Islamabad and Margherita Stancati in Kabul
      Jan. 5, 2014 3:14 p.m. ET

      Two senior Afghan Taliban commanders were killed in recent days in Pakistan, in what the insurgent group suspects is an unfolding cross-border assassination campaign run by Kabul's security operatives.

      The killings, in the volatile western city of Quetta, could demonstrate a new capability of Afghan security forces to work inside Pakistani territory. They could also further complicate efforts to persuade the insurgent group to enter peace talks.

      Some Taliban figures accused the Afghan intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security, or NDS, of being behind the killings. However, some Afghan Taliban commanders inside Pakistan said they believed the powerful police chief of Afghanistan's Kandahar province, Brig. Gen. Abdul Razzik, had organized a group of assassins to target them.

      Gen. Razzik's spokesman declined to comment on the Quetta killings.

      A senior Afghan intelligence official also declined to confirm or deny the involvement of Afghan security forces in the killing of the two Taliban leaders.

      "The war is now shifting to the Afghan leadership," he added, however.

      Another Afghan intelligence official said the deaths were the result of internal rifts within the Taliban movement.

      "We wouldn't do something that would hurt the peace process and our government's policies," he said.

      That process hasn't precluded direct attacks. The Taliban have frequently assassinated senior Afghan government officials. In late 2012, a Taliban suicide bomber severely injured the then head of the NDS. Gen. Razzik, too, has survived Taliban assassination attempts.

      The killings in Quetta, which is near the border with Kandahar province, follow November's unexplained assassination in Islamabad of Nasiruddin Haqqani, a top leader of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network.

      Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Baluchistan province, became known as the home of the Afghan Taliban's leadership, allegedly with Pakistani support, after the Taliban regime was toppled by the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The Taliban's top decision-making body is often referred to as the "Quetta Shura."

      Senior Afghan Taliban commander Noorullah Hotak was gunned down in Quetta on Dec. 26, according to the Afghan Taliban. This was followed on Dec. 29 by the shooting in the same city of Mullah Abdul Malik, also known as Baryalai, along with two guards, Taliban officials said.

      Pakistani officials haven't confirmed or commented on the killings in Quetta. "I am unaware of this," Baluchistan's chief minister, Abdul Malik Baloch, said on Sunday.

      Quetta city police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema didn't respond to calls seeking comment.

      Two Afghan Taliban commanders said that the insurgent group had captured six members of the assassination ring targeting them in Pakistan. They alleged that, under interrogation, the detainees confessed to being part of a special cell created by Gen. Razzik.

      "The group was also assigned to monitor our movement and collect information about our whereabouts in Baluchistan," said one of the Taliban commanders. "The detainees told us that they are awarded 500,000 rupees [about $4,750] after a target is eliminated."

      Taliban attacks, meanwhile, continued across Afghanistan this weekend.

      In the first combat death of 2014, an American soldier was killed on Saturday by a suicide bomber in the eastern province of Nangarhar. The Taliban attack, which targeted a joint U.S.-Afghan base, triggered a clearing operation in the area, a provincial spokesman said.

      Later Saturday, two explosions shook Kabul, a reminder that the capital remains a prime target. The Taliban claimed responsibility for a blast that took place near the entrance of a coalition base in central Kabul, despite the many layers of security around it. An hour earlier, a bomb exploded near a police station. Both explosions were small and no one was hurt, coalition and Afghan officials said.

      —Ghousuddin Frotan and Ehsanullah Amiri contributed to this article.


      • All within the space of 4 days, and seemingly all unrelated attacks. Mastung is just south of Quetta, and borders Qandahar province in Afghanistan.

        Attacks on Shiites intensify in Pakistan | Asia | DW.DE | 22.01.2014

        Gunmen torch Nato container in Mastung - DAWN.COM
        Blast on bus kills 22 Shia pilgrims in Mastung - DAWN.COM
        Seven Levies men killed, Spaniard wounded in Mastung clash - DAWN.COM

        BBC News - Bomb targets bus of Shia pilgrims in south-west Pakistan
        BBC News - Pakistan guards die escorting Spain cyclist Javier Colorado

        This particular part of Balochistan looks like it is out of control and is an area where a combination of Taliban, pro-Taliban, sectarian and Baloch rebels are all active. Insecurity in Mastung definitely poses a challenge to the security of Qandahar.


        • Baloch jihadist group in southern Afghanistan announces death of commander
          By Bill Roggio August 5, 2014

          A Baloch jihadist group that has pledged allegiance to the Taliban and calls Ayman al Zawahiri its emir recently released a statement praising one of its commanders killed during fighting in southern Afghanistan.

          Junood al Fida, the Baloch jihadist group, eulogized Abdul Hafeez, who is also known as Maulvi Abu Baseer, in an English-language statement that was released on its Twitter account on Aug. 3. The statement was obtained by the SITE Intelligence Group.

          According to the statement, Hafeez had waged jihad for four decades. He fought against the Soviets, the Northern Alliance, and against US, Western, and Afghan forces after 9/11. Junood al Fida described him as "a well-known commander in Zabul, Helmand & Kandahar Province of The Islamic Emirates Of Afghanistan," the official name of the Taliban.

          He was killed while leading "a group of 6 Mujahideen brothers who were Istish'hadi (Martyrdom Bombers)" against three Afghan military "camps" in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. His death occurred sometime during the month of Ramadan.

          Junood al Fida said that Hafeez was from the district of Jhal Magsi in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan.

          The jihadist group has also released at least three videos since mid-May that show the group fighting in the Shorawak district in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar.

          On July 8, the Junood al Fida released a statement on the jihadist Jamia Hafsa Urdu Forum in which it threatened the United States and pledged bayat, or allegiance, to Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

          "We gave our bayat to Amir al Mumineen (the commander of the faithful) Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid, may God protect him, and we are his soldiers ..." the statement said, according to a translation obtained by the Long War Journal.

          "As for the United States' future in Afghanistan, it will be fire and hell and total defeat, Allah willing, as it was for their predecessors: the Soviets and the British before them."

          The July statement described Junood al Fida members as "Muhajireen," or emigrants who were welcomed by the Taliban, and said the "Khorasan," a region in central Asia that encompasses Afghanistan, is "one of the greatest battlegrounds for warriors of Tawheed (Monotheism) and has served as a lion's den for Allah's soldiers."

          In the same statement, Junood al Fida indicated its loyalty to al Qaeda. The jihadist group described Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's leader, as "Our Shaykh al Habib [beloved leader]" and "Amiruna [our chief]."

          Baluchistan province in Pakistan is known to host several jihadist groups. The Afghan Taliban have an extensive presence in Baluchistan, particularly in the districts bordering Afghanistan. In these districts the Taliban are known to run madrassas, training camps, supply depots, and other critical infrastructure to support their fighters in Afghanistan. Additionally, the Taliban raise funds and recruit fighters in Baluchistan. The Taliban's executive council is known to be based in Quetta, the provincial capital.

          A group known as the Movement of the Taliban in Baluchistan also operates in the Pakistani province. The group is known to have attacked numerous NATO supply convoys moving through the province, and also fights in Afghansitan.

          Al Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan maintain a presence in Baluchistan as well. Younis al Mauritani, a member of al Qaeda's military committee, and two other al Qaeda operatives known as Abdul Ghaffar al Shami and Messara al Shami were captured in Quetta in September 2011.

          Junood al Fida is the second foreign jihadist group to swear allegiance to the Taliban in the past month. On July 21, Zawahiri renewed his pledge to Mullah Omar. [See LWJ report, Al Qaeda renews its oath of allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar.]


          • This is a very interesting report that goes back to the original curiosity of this topic regarding the potential for clashes between Baloch rebels and the Afghan Taliban and/or other jihadists that have taken up base in Balochistan. There's some quite strange allegations in this piece from Baloch nationalists regarding IS/ISIS training camps in Balochistan and collusion between IS fighters and Pakistani agents. I find the collusion quite unlikely, but who knows. But the rebels do confirm what others have reported regarding some TTP defections to IS and an IS recruitment drive over there.

            Pakistan's "Other" Insurgents Face IS | Inter Press Service
            By Karlos Zurutuza

            SARLAT MOUNTAINS, Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Dec 24 2014 (IPS) - The media tend to portray Balochistan as “troubled”, or “restive”, but it would be more accurate to say that there´s actually a war going on in this part of the world.

            Balochistan is the land of the Baloch, who today see their land divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is a vast swathe of land the size of France which boasts enormous deposits of gas, gold and copper, untapped sources of oil and uranium, as well as a thousand-kilometre coastline near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.

            In August 1947, the Baloch from Pakistan declared independence, but nine months later the Pakistani army marched into Balochistan and annexed it, sparking an insurgency that has lasted, intermittently, to this day.

            Now senior Baloch rebel commanders say that Islamabad is training Islamic State (IS) fighters in Pakistan´s southern province of Balochistan.

            IPS met Baloch fighters at an undisclosed location in the Sarlat Mountains, a rocky massif, right on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and equidistant from two Taliban strongholds: Kandahar in south-eastern Afghanistan and Quetta in southwest Pakistan.

            The fighters claimed to have marched for twelve hours from their camp to meet this IPS reporter.

            They are four: Baloch Khan, commander of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), and Mama, Hayder and Mohamed, his three escorts, who do not want to disclose their full names.

            “This is an area of ​​high Taliban presence but they use their own routes and we stick to ours so we hardly ever come across them,” explains commander Khan, adding that he wants to make it clear from the beginning that the Baloch liberation movement is “at the antipodes of fundamentalism”.

            “Today we speak of seven Baloch armed movements fighting for freedom but all share a common goal: independence for Balochistan,” says Khan. At 41, he has spent half of his life as a guerrilla fighter. “I joined as a student,” he recalls.

            The senior commander refuses to disclose the number of fighters in the BLA’s ranks but he does say that they are deployed in 25 camps throughout “East Balochistan [under the control of Pakistan]”.

            Khan admits parallelisms between his group and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), also a “secular group fighting for their national rights,” as he puts it

            “We feel very close to the Kurds. One could say they are our cousins, and their land is also stolen by their neighbours,” says the commander, referring to the common origin of Baloch and Kurds, and the division of the latter into four states: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

            Historically a nomadic people, the Baloch have had a moderate vision of Islam. However, Khan accuses Islamabad of pushing the conflict into a sectarian one.

            “Until 2000 not a single Shia was killed in Balochistan. Today Pakistan is funnelling all sorts of fundamentalist groups, many of them linked to the Taliban, into Balochistan, to quell the Baloch liberation movement,” claims the guerrilla fighter, adding that target killings and enforced disappearances are a common currency in his homeland.

            The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, a group advocating peaceful protest founded by some of the families of the disappeared, puts the number of people from Balochistan since 2000 at more than 19,000, although exact figures are impossible to verify because no independent investigation has yet been conducted.

            However, in August this year, the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Pakistan’s government “to stop the deplorable practice of state agencies abducting hundreds of people throughout the country without providing information about their fate or whereabouts.”

            Baloch insurgent groups, however, have also been accused of murdering civilians. In August 2013, the BLA took responsibility for the killing of 13 people after the two buses they were travelling in were stopped by fighters in Mach area, about 50km (31 miles) south-east of the provincial capital, Quetta.

            Pakistani officials said they were civilians returning home to Punjab to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Commander Khan shares another version:

            “There were 40 people in two buses. We arrested and investigated 25 of them and we finally executed 13, all of whom belonged to the Pakistani Security Forces,” assures Khan, lamenting that a majority of the foreign media “relies solely on Pakistani government official sources.”

            Could an independence referendum like the one held in Scotland possibly help to unlock the Baloch conflict? Khan looks sceptical:

            “Before such a step, we´d need to settle down both the national and geographic borders as many parts of our land lie in Sindh and Punjab – the neighbouring provinces. Besides, there´s a growing number of settlers and the army is in full control of the country, election processes included,” the commander claims bluntly.

            Instead of a consultation, the rebel fighter openly asks for a full intervention, “not just moral support but also a military and economic intervention.”

            “The civilised world should support us, not Pakistan. Why help a country that is struggling to feed fundamentalist groups across the world?” asks the guerrilla commander before he and his men resume the long way back to their base.

            Balochistan and beyond

            The meeting with the BLA leader was only possible via Afghanistan, because Pakistan’s south-western province remains a “no go” area due to a veto enforced by Islamabad.

            “The province has the worst record in Pakistan for journalists being killed so local journalists usually censor themselves to avoid being harassed, jailed or worse. Meanwhile, foreigner journalists are deported if they try to access the area,” Ahmed Rashid, a best-selling Pakistani writer and renowned Central Asia commentator, who was an activist on behalf of Balochistan in his youth, told IPS.

            The visa ban over this reporter after working undercover in the region was no hurdle to get the viewpoint of Allah Nazar, commander in chief of the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF).

            Through a satellite phone, this former medical doctor from Quetta corroborates commander Khan´s statements on a “common goal for the entire Baloch insurgency movement”. He also endorses the BLA commander´s analysis of Islamabad’s alleged backing of fundamentalist groups.

            “Pakistan is breeding fundamentalists to counter the Baloch nationalist movement but it has entirely failed. Now they are trying to use the instrument of religion in order to distract attention from the Baloch freedom movement,” Nazar explains from an unspecified location in Makran – southern Balochistan province – where the BLF has its strongholds.

            According to the movement´s leader, such threat could well transcend the boundaries of this inhospitable region. Commander Nazar gave the coordinates of “at least four training camps” where members of the Islamic State would reportedly be receiving instruction before being transferred to the Middle East:

            “There´s one is in Makran, and another one in Wadh, 990 and 315 km south of Quetta respectively,” says the guerrilla fighter. “A third one is in the Mishk area of Zehri – 200 km south of Quetta – and there are more than 100 armed men there: Arabs, Pashtuns, Punjabis and others who are based there with the help of Sardar Sanaullah Zehri [a local tribal leader]. The fourth camp is near Chiltan, in Quetta.”

            Nazar adds that Pakistan’s ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) is “both activating and patronising the Islamic State.”

            “The Islamic State is overwhelmingly present among us. They even throw pamphlets in our streets to advocate their view of Islam and get new recruits,” denounces Nazar.

            In October 2014, six key Pakistani Taliban commanders, including the spokesman of Tehrik-e-Taliban – a Pakistan conglomerate of several Pakistani insurgent groups – announced their allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

            “IS is simply an upgraded version of the Talibans and finds sympathy with the ruling establishment in Pakistan,” human rights activist Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur told IPS.

            Talpur, who has been challenged and attacked repeatedly for writing about such uncomfortable issues for Islamabad, claims that creating the Taliban is “the core of state policy which has not yet given up on this megalomaniacal scheme of Islam ruling the world.”

            Despite repeated calls and e-mails, Pakistani officials refused to talk to IPS. However, the issue is seemingly a well-known secret after the Minister of Interior himself, Nisar Ali Khan, recently told Parliament that even in the naval base in Karachi –Pakistan´s main port and commercial city – there is support for the activities of radical religious groups.

            (Edited by Phil Harris)


            • Hundreds Protest After Gunmen Target Ethnic Pashtuns in Southern Pakistan
              By SALMAN MASOOD and ZIA ur-REHMAN
              MAY 30, 2015

              ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Tensions were running high on Saturday in southwestern Pakistan after dozens of heavily armed gunmen, wearing the uniforms of security forces, stopped two buses, singled out ethnic Pashtuns and fatally shot at least 22 of them on Friday night.

              Hundreds of protesters are holding a sit-in outside the Governor’s House in Quetta, the provincial capital of restive Baluchistan Province, as they demand punishment for the killers. Most roads in the city were deserted, and businesses were closed to protest the killings.

              No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but similar attacks have been carried out by Baluch separatists, who since the mid-2000s have waged a low-level insurgency in the oil- and mineral-rich province. The insurgency is an outgrowth of past calls for greater autonomy and a greater share of the natural resources there.

              The attack took place in Mastung, about 40 miles southeast of Quetta. The buses had been on their way to Karachi, the southern port city in neighboring Sindh Province.

              One of the two buses was carrying passengers from Chaman, a Pakistani town on the border with Afghanistan.

              Many traders from the town visit Karachi daily for business. Haji Saad Zai and his son Muhammad Naeem, were among those killed in the attack, their relatives said. A family member, Hashmat Ali, said that passengers had urgently called their loved ones, asking them to contact paramilitary forces so they could reach the site. “Despite it, paramilitary forces reached too late,” Mr. Ali said.

              Ashraf Jan, who runs a Karachi-Quetta bus service, said that such attacks would heighten the sense of insecurity among the travelers.

              “Already, the ethnic Hazara community prefers to travel to Karachi by air because of continuous attacks on them on the roads,” Mr. Jan said, referring to a minority group.

              Before Friday’s shootings of the Pashtuns, militants from banned sectarian groups used to target buses of Shiite pilgrims, mostly in Mastung District, forcing them to also give up road travel in the province.

              While attacks on Pashtuns in Baluchistan have occurred in the past, killing them after stopping buses and checking identity cards for their ethnicity is a new development.

              A Pashtun lawmaker from the province, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retribution, said that the attack was aimed at disrupting a planned economic corridor through the province that would offer China easier sea access. The $46 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects, pledged last month by China, center on a network of rail and road and pipeline projects.

              The lawmaker said that on Thursday, during a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, representatives of all political parties had reached a consensus about the project as the government tries to calm suspicions that some regions will be left out of the project and Punjab Province, the political base of Mr. Sharif, would be the only beneficiary of the increased economic activity with China.

              On Saturday, Mr. Sharif spoke to Dr. Abdul Malik, the chief minister of Baluchistan, and directed him to raise security and arrest the attackers.

              Security officials say a search is being carried out by 200 troops across Mastung District.

              Speaking during a news conference in Quetta on Saturday, Maulana Abdul Wasay, a lawmaker, said that the attack was “conspiracy against Pakistan.”

              “Our enemy country is trying to spread anarchy in the province,” he said in a veiled reference to India.

              Later, Mr. Sharif said he was concerned about the involvement of “foreign intelligence agencies” in destabilizing Pakistan.

              Pakistani officials accuse India of supporting terrorism inside the country, and in recent months, the country’s top civil and military leaderships have accused India of backing separatists in Baluchistan. India has denied involvement.


              • Afghan President Points Finger at Pakistan After Bombings in Kabul
                By MUJIB MASHAL
                AUG. 10, 2015

                KABUL, Afghanistan — Under pressure after a wave of deadly bombings in the Afghan capital, President Ashraf Ghani on Monday accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to mass gatherings of Taliban fighters in its territory, where such attacks are planned.

                Mr. Ghani’s words, a sharp break from the conciliatory tone he had taken toward Pakistan for much of his first year in office, came just hours after a suicide car-bomb struck a crowded entrance of the international airport in Kabul, leaving at least five people dead and 16 wounded. Attacks in the Afghan capital over the last four days have left nearly 70 people dead and hundreds wounded.

                At a news conference flanked by his war cabinet, Mr. Ghani said that Afghanistan’s relationship with Pakistan had reached a critical point and that the steps taken by the neighboring country in the coming weeks would have long-term repercussions.

                His comments suggested that the nascent peace process facilitated by Pakistan, where some representatives of the Taliban met with Afghan government officials for the first time last month, was effectively dead for now.

                “We hoped for peace, but war is declared against us from Pakistani territory,” Mr. Ghani said, referring to his 10-month effort to establish a friendlier relationship with Pakistan. The effort has cost him some political support at home, given the persistent belief here that the Pakistani military has still been actively guiding the Afghan insurgency as a proxy force.

                “The incidents of the past two months in general, and the recent days in particular, show that the suicide training camps and the bomb making facilities used to target and murder our innocent people still operate, as in the past, in Pakistan,” he said.

                Mr. Ghani said he had spoken by phone with the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan, who had promised to “chart an action plan against terrorism” that would be discussed with a delegation of Afghan officials visiting Pakistan on Thursday.

                The Taliban’s escalation of violence in the past week has come after a slight lull, while internal rifts over the group’s leadership deepened after confirmation of the death of the group’s supreme leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, which had been kept secret for two years, finally came last month.

                The wave of bombings was seen by some here as an indication that the new leader, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, is not immediately interested in continuing the peace process facilitated by Pakistan as he tries to consolidate his position in the face of dissent within the Taliban’s ranks.

                As the violence escalated inside Afghanistan, Taliban leaders held large gatherings in Quetta, a city in the Pakistani province of Balochistan, to mediate the differences between Mullah Mansour and other members of the movement, including the family of Mullah Omar. The gatherings broke promises made to Mr. Ghani by Pakistani officials, a senior Afghan official aware of the discussions said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss diplomacy.

                After the news of Mullah Omar’s death, Mr. Ghani told his ministers that Pakistan had promised him that no new Amir ul-Momineen, as the Taliban call their leader, would be selected on its soil and that no large gatherings of the Taliban would take place to give him legitimacy. But within days, not only had Mullah Mansour replaced Mullah Omar and been endorsed in large ceremonies in Quetta, but also he had announced that his new deputy would come from the Haqqani network, an aggressive organizer of terrorist attacks that has strong links to the Pakistani military intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence.

                On Monday, after days of attacks in the capital that bore many of the hallmarks of Haqqani planning, Mr. Ghani said he no longer wanted Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the table, but instead wanted it to aggressively attack the group’s sanctuaries in Pakistani territory. And after a year of pressing Pakistani officials to broker a peace process with the Taliban, he said he now wanted the process to be entirely controlled by the Afghan government.

                “In the middle of the night, at 1:30 a.m., doomsday descended upon our people. It wasn’t an earthquake, it wasn’t a storm, it was human hand,” Mr. Ghani said, referring to a truck bomb on Saturday that killed at least 15 people, wounded hundreds and left a huge crater in a residential area in the Shah Shaheed neighborhood. “We want the origin of that hand, we want their centers, we want action against them. This is our main demand, everything else is peripheral.”

                Mr. Ghani said it was time for Pakistani officials to prove through action “that the enemies of Afghanistan were the enemies of Pakistan,” quoting a statement that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan made during his visit to Kabul in May.

                Mr. Ghani added: “I ask the people and the government of Pakistan: If a massacre such as the one that occurred in Shah Shaheed had happened in Islamabad and the perpetrators had sanctuaries in Afghanistan, had offices and training centers in our major cities, how would you react?”