Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism, says Chris Alexander, Canada’s Immigration Minister

Toronto Sun comment masthead
“Attacking journalists is a time-tested Pakistan ISI method used to intimidate the media into silence. Sardar, Niedringhaus and Gannon were not the only journalists targeted. In Pakistan, an assassination attempt was made on the country’s leading liberal commentator, TV anchor Raza Rumi. Eleven bullets hit his car in Karachi, killing his driver. In Pakistan-occupied Balochistan, many journalists have been killed with little notice from the public. Lyse Doucette, a Canadian who is the BBC’s chief international correspondent, told me she couldn’t enter the territory because the Pakistan government won’t permit her.”

Speaking frankly about Pakistan

Chris AlexanderTarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun

Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has whipped up a diplomatic storm with his unambiguous statement Pakistan is a state sponsor of international terrorism.

Speaking on CBC TV’s Power and Politics about Canada’s legacy in Afghanistan, the minister who was once Canada’s ambassador in Kabul, said the world has only recently caught up with Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan.

“This is state sponsorship of terrorism. It’s covert. It’s been denied. Not even Western analysts agree that it’s happening on the scale we know it to be happening,” he told host Evan Solomon.

Predictably, the Pakistan government lashed back, accusing Alexander of pursuing a “personal and prejudiced agenda.” In a statement, the High Commission for Pakistan said Alexander’s remarks reflect “a lack of any objective appreciation of the ground realities in our region.”

The Pakistan-Canada diplomatic spat came in the wake of a deadly shooting attack on a Kabul hotel in which four Taliban gunmen killed nine civilians, including AFP reporter Sardar Ahmad, his wife and two of their three children.

Immediately after the attack the Afghanistan government accused Pakistan’s intelligence service of having planned and executed the massacre.

The Afghan statement said, “(Our) investigations and findings after the tragic incident reveal that Pakistani intelligence services were involved in planning this heinous attack.” In addition, outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry by phone, urging Washington to put pressure on Pakistan’s spy agency to stop sponsoring Taliban attacks meant to disrupt the Afghan elections.

Pakistan dismissed the allegations. Islamabad’s advisor on national security, Sartaj Aziz, suggested the Afghan complaint was merely “election-season politics in Afghanistan.” Perhaps it was arm-twisting by the Americans that ensured no more spectacular terrorist attacks took place after the Kabul Hotel slaughter, although a day before the Afghanistan elections two more journalists became casualties.

An Afghan police officer shouting “Allah O Akbar” shot dead Pulitzer Prize-winning German photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus and wounded Canadian AP reporter Kathy Gannon, as the two women sat in a car while covering the election campaign in rural areas of the country.

Despite this cloud of fear, nearly seven million Afghans defied the Taliban and lined up for hours in long queues at 6,000 polling stations. For them, exercising their franchise was a triumph of sorts.

It takes a lot of courage for politicians to speak frankly in these days of vote bank politics.

Alexander seems to have the integrity to not gloss over issues that stare us in our face. Yet most of our intelligentsia are either oblivious to the threat of Islamism and jihadi terrorism that Pakistan exports, or choose to not rock the boat.

Attacking journalists is a time-tested Pakistan ISI method used to intimidate the media into silence.

Sardar, Niedringhaus and Gannon were not the only journalists targeted.

In Pakistan, an assassination attempt was made on the country’s leading liberal commentator, TV anchor Raza Rumi. Eleven bullets hit his car in Karachi, killing his driver.

In Pakistan-occupied Balochistan, many journalists have been killed with little notice from the public.

Lyse Doucette, a Canadian who is the BBC’s chief international correspondent, told me she couldn’t enter the territory because the Pakistan government won’t permit her.

Will Chris Alexander’s voice echo around the world or will we choose to appease one of our worst enemies again?

2 comments for “Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism, says Chris Alexander, Canada’s Immigration Minister

  1. SHREE
    November 10, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    The world governments should declare pakistan as terrorist state, sponsor of terrorism around the world.

  2. Abdul Malik
    November 10, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Realization dawns rather late, after letting in all types of jihadis into Canada.

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