Karachi is the hub of anti-India jihadist groups and criminals who often got the support from the Pakistan army, according to a report released by the Brussels-based think tank, International Crisis Group.
The report also said terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, its parent organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa, anti-Shia group Lashkar-e Jhangvi and Maulana Masood Azhar led Jaish-e-Mohammad have “umbilical links with Karachi’s large, well-resourced madrassas”. These groups are able to conduct any terrorist activities under the nose of the security agencies.
The report added the terrorist groups actively contested Karachi’s turf and resources. These dangerous groups have operated madrassas and charity fronts with no obstruction from Pakistani law enforcement authorities.
The report titled “Pakistan: Stoking the fire in Karachi” explained how ethnic, sectarian and political rivalries and a jihadist incursion are turning the wealthiest and largest city of Pakistan into a pressure cooker. It mentioned that during a crackdown on jihadists and criminal gangs, Pakistan Rangers have spared many areas in Karachi because of the Pakistan policy called the “Good Jihadi, Bad Jihadi”. The “good” jihadists like LeT-JuD and Jaish-e-Mohammed are very popular in Karachi and they have always been spared.
The ICG report quoted senior officials, journalists, elected representatives, sources from the ground and civil society activists which stated many jihadist masterminds had fled Karachi in 2013 because of the Rangers’ action but they have returned without any fear by the lack of action.
A retired senior provincial officer of Pakistan as quoted by the ICG said, “Any time Pakistan-India or Kashmir tensions flare, these groups mobilise in the heart of the city…You can’t treat (LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed) as your friends in one part of the country and your enemies elsewhere.”
ICG quoted a police officer from Karachi who said, “We tend to look at law and order challenges in isolation; we can’t. We have to also look at (them) in the context of our foreign policy choices”.
The report also explained that how anti-India activities are always planned in Karachi. Every time the terrorists planned an activity against India, especially Kashmir the groups joined hands in Karachi to plan operations.
The group said well-funded jihadist organisations in Karachi actively influence unemployed young men who have no other way of earnings. For many, jihad is a job.