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Islamic militancy emanates from Pakistan: Daily

The review of Pakistan's security paradigm should start with Islamic militancy that emanates from within the country, a leading Pakistani daily has said while noting that it is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in New Delhi-Islamabad relations

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Saturday told the parliamentary committee on national security that the Nov 26 NATO attack that left two dozen soldiers dead and the May 2 Abbottabad raid to kill Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden may "compel us to revisit our national security paradigm".

An editorial in the Dawn Monday said: "No doubt this is a welcome move - and one that should have been made more than a decade ago."

"But any review of the country's security paradigm, which has several aspects, should start with the nature of the threat emanating from within the country, i.e. Islamic militancy.

"...the US is not the only one to have raised the issue of militant groups finding safety within Pakistan. Iran and even China have expressed similar apprehensions, while for India, Islamic militancy remains one of the biggest stumbling blocks in its relations with Islamabad," it added.

It said that Pakistan is "yet to frame a policy that is clear and that can become the basis for a comprehensive security plan".

"Since the 1980s, when the Mujahideen in a US-led effort were supported in their resistance against the Soviets in Afghanistan, Pakistan has legitimised the idea of militant Islam.

"Its `security paradigm' has included using Islamic militants when convenient, with crackdowns occurring mainly after 9/11 when external pressures became too great to withstand," the editorial said.

It went on to say that "the security establishment has been accused of having links with Afghan militant groups using Pakistani soil to launch attacks across the border".

"The lack of a cohesive policy means that even as we lose men and money to the fight against extremism, Islamic militancy cannot be controlled."

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