An depth look at the terror threat coming out of Pakistan has revealed more evidence the country poses a greater threat than Afghanistan.
Special reports from correspondents including Stuart Ramsay and Alex Crawford have highlighted the extent to which extremist and terrorist groups have taken a grip on the country.
They have shown how this hold is leading to the growth of terror exports to the West.
Here are the main points from the reports:
– The conflict in Afghanistan has now spilled over the border into Pakistan. The issues are almost indistinguishable.
– The Taliban have recovered from their 2001 defeat to become a growing influence in both countries.
– The Taliban have taken control of Swat Valley and are committed to spreading their rule across Pakistan.
– Sharia Law courts, complete with often severe public punishments, have been imposed by the Taliban in several areas of Pakistan.
– Vigilante militias have been set up by the public in towns like Peshawar because they don’t believe the Pakistan police and military are strong enough to protect them from insurgents, criminals and terror groups.
– Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Kashmiri terror group blamed for the Mumbai attacks, are now seen by the CIA as the next big threat to the US and the UK. They’re becoming so powerful they could soon overshadow al Qaeda.
– Lashkar-e-Taiba raises the majority of its funds in Britain.
– No major terror attack has yet led to a successful conviction in Pakistan.
– The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the Mumbai attacks, the ambush of the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore, the truck bombing of the Islamabad Marriott Hotel and a number of other high profile terror outrages are still unsolved, with no group identified or prosecuted.
– Pakistan Intelligence sources told Sky News 20 young Britons, trained in militant camps in Pakistan, are now back in the UK – potential terror sleeper cells. They will be handing the names over to British Intelligence officers.
– British authorities say 75% of all terror plots being investigated in the UK can be traced back to Pakistan.
– US security agencies now see Britain as the most likely springboard for terror attacks to be launched on American soil.
– Security officials expressed concern over the ‘visa waiver’, which means potential extremists living in the UK can enter Pakistan freely with their Pakistan passports and fly into the US without a visa using their British passports.
In a rare TV interview, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari said he was determined to win the war on terror, but he could not do it without a lot more help from countries like Britain and the US.
The British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the UK and Pakistan were co-operating to counter terrorism.
But he hinted the British Government would like to see President Zardari’s administration doing more, saying: “Pakistan must face up to its responsibilities.”
Powerful opposition leader Nawaz Sharif said political parties in Pakistan must work together and put aside their differences.
“Only through a strong democracy can we beat extremism, not through a return of military rule here.”
Imran Khan, the legendary cricketer who now heads up his own political party, said the best news this week was President Obama’s talk of an exit strategy from Afghanistan.
“Only when foreign troops leave Afghanistan will Taliban influence begin to weaken on both sides of the border,” Mr Khan said.
“Then traditional tribal leaders will regain their control of the border areas.”
And during reports on the terror threat, a suicide bomber attacked a police station in Islamabad little more than a mile from where Sky News was broadcasting live on Monday evening.
It seemed to emphasise Pakistan’s unwanted tag as “terror’s new frontline”.
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