The Pakistan Army, which is in the forefront of battling terrorist groups in Fata, is now facing a progressive campaign from the top terror outfit al-Qaeda to damage its standing and credibility.
“We have seen some developments that indicate that al-Qaeda has launched a vicious attack on Pakistan Army which is a major threat to its designs,” well-connected sources here in the federal capital revealed.
The sources said that in July 2010, a message by al-Qaeda had first discussed the role of Pakistan Army in the global war against terror in detail and offered twisted justifications for launching a Jihad against Pakistan.
A video was then released in January 2012 by the TTP, which is hands in glove with al-Qaeda, discussing the role of the army in defending the Muslims. The video stated that “the units of this Army played a singular role alongside the British in the World War I in handing over Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque to these Infidels”. It also claimed that during the 1800s, Syed Ahmed Shaheed was killed by the Pakistan Army soldiers.
Then in March 2012, the al-Qaeda propagandists again justified a holy war against the Pakistan Army while making a hitherto unverified claim that Pakistani forces were holding 10 senior Taliban leaders in jail.
Similarly, on the first death anniversary of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2012 the al-Qaeda in its rhetoric on the internet launched a tirade against the army, even threatening to assassinate senior army officers.
“What we are witnessing is a progressive attack on the Pakistan Army and its credibility. The al-Qaeda and its allied organizations are under tremendous pressure and they are battling for their life. It is a desperate attempt to fight back.”
The sources pointed out that the TTP had also recently launched a psychological campaign for its recruits against the Pakistan Army showing forged and doctored photographs of an alleged Pakistan Army tank destroyed in Swat, torturing of Taliban prisoners, Pak Army troops resting and enjoying themselves with the US troops in mountainous areas, etc.
The sources pointed out that the army had faced numerous attacks from al-Qaeda and its allied terrorists, which had instead boosted the morale of soldiers and officers and they were now taking on the terrorists with greater zeal. “The attacks on the army had the totally opposite effect. Instead of demoralizing the forces, they have reinvigorated their spirits as they understand they are fighting a war against the enemies of Pakistan.”
They added that the people of Pakistan would not buy into al-Qaeda’s obnoxious propaganda campaign that aimed at the elimination of Pakistan armed forces.
The sources also pointed out the al-Qaeda’s claim that all Jihadi factions were willing to mount attacks on Pakistan Army were baseless as under the directions of Mulla Omer, Maulvi Nazir, Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Haqqani network had recently concurred to end the killing of innocent people, kidnappings for ransom, suicide attacks in Pakistan and aggressive operations against the security forces of Pakistan.
— Waqar Ahmed