Date: 21 Dec 2008

LETTER TO EDITOR: Pakistani jihad
Sunday, December 21, 2008 
The Monday Commentary column "Mumbai's theological terror," while making the right inferences, has overlooked the contributions of the most important player responsible for the Mumbai massacre: Pakistan's military. 

That the group responsible for the massacre, Lashkar-e-Taiba, is a clandestine arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is no longer in question. However, the Pakistani intelligence agency is staffed on a rotational basis by Pakistani military officers. 

The motto of Pakistan's army reads: "Imaan, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah" or "Faith, Piety, Holy War in the path of Allah." In other words, jihad or waging terror is the motto of Pakistan's army -- and is designed to conquer land and subjugate infidels in violation of the Geneva Conventions. The Pakistani military, no doubt, takes this motto very seriously. The cold-blooded murder of innocents in Mumbai, including many Americans, is an act of the Pakistani army. The ignominy of Pakistan stonewalling the massacre aftermath is entirely expected. Pakistan's role in the way of sponsoring the Taliban and al Qaeda before and after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks is also no longer in dispute. Last week, the visiting prime minister of Britain noted in Pakistan that "Three-quarters of the most serious terror plots being investigated by UK authorities have links to Pakistan." 

Under the "constructive engagement" of the Bush administration, nearly a quarter of Pakistan's defense budget of $4 billion comes from Washington. Do we still want to be identified with funding a sworn enemy who is killing us and our allies? This funding goes against the U.S. Army motto: "This, We'll Defend." Indeed, Pakistan is very similar to what Nazi Germany was in the late 1930s. A responsible great power knows when political options run out. This forgotten art is sorely needed in Washington today.