Open letter to new ISI Chief Lt. General Rizwan Akhtar

To: Lt. General Rizwan Akhtar, new DG ISI

On the continued progress of the  Zarb-e-Azb operation, which resulted in the death of a senior Taliban terrorist this weekend, we congratulate the appointment of Lt. General Rizwan Akhtar to the position of new ISI chief.


However, much more needs to be done to ensure that Zarb-e-Azb is eventually successful.   The operation needs to be expanded to areas like Karachi and Dera Ismail Khan where the Taliban’s urban allies like the ASWJ-LeJ, Jundullah etc are engaging in daily acts of terror against Sunnis, Sufis, Shias, Christians and Sikhs.  Similarly, the situation in Hangu needs to be closely monitored to ensure that the Taliban and their various different offshoots and avatars are not allowed to migrate there and resume their destabilizing activities against the Pakistani state.

In particular, ASWJ-LeJ hatemongers and terrorists have been given a free reign by the Sindh CM, Qaim Ali Shah as well as Sindh Governor, Ishrat-ul-Ibad.  This has resulted in the death of dozens of Sunni and Shia intellectuals, moderates, doctors, social workers etc by the Deobandi terrorists of ASWJ-LeJ.  Both PPP and MQM have not only failed to stop these killings but some of their leaders are complicit due to their alliance with ASWJ-LeJ – the urban allies of the Taliban.

Since the last few months, Dr. Tahir ul Qadri, SIC, MWM, ST and Julius Salik must be commended for uniting Pakistan’s Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Christian and Sikh population.  This is a significant achievement and must be fully supported and backed all over the country.  Those like ASWJ-LeJ who oppose alliance and pluralism of uniting different sects and faith groups must be taken to task under the law.

In this regard, the biggest impediment to religious harmony are the thugs, cronies and bigots that form the majority of the PML N leadership. The PML N-GEO-ASWJ-LeJ alliance threatens to convert Pakistan into another ISIS dominated wasteland.  This nexus which wants to make Pakistan into another ISIS-like hell includes Mir Shakeel ur Rehman, Hamid Mir, Saleem, Safi, Najam Sethi and Ludhyanvi (ASWJ-LeJ chief).  This PML N-GEO-ASWJ conspiracy to hand over Pakistan to ISIS-type elements must be resisted at all costs. Under the watch of the PML N, their terrorist allies from the banned ASWJ-LeJ have attacked Sunnis (Model Town Massacre), Sufi shrines and Shia mosques and Imambargahs in Rawalpindi.

It is not in the interests of the ISI and Pakistan army to allow the local ISIS (ASWJ-LeJ, Taliban, Jundullah, Jaish e Mohammad) to continue their attacks on the Pakistani state. The ISI must take note of this central threat to Pakistan.  The overall success of Zarb-e-Azb depends on the correct threat assessment to Pakistan which it is facing from within by the sectarian PML N thugs.

Ali Taj is the Director of Interfaith Unity against Terrorism and Editor of Let Us Build Pakistan. Follow him on Twitter @aliabbastaj