Pakistan: Left accuse military of backing Islamists

132 school children were deliberately killed in this cold-blooded attack.

In a statement condemning the “senseless and merciless slaughter of innocent school children” by by religious fanatics in Peshawar, Pakistan, the left-wing Awami Workers Party (AWP) accused the Pakistani state and military of complicity in “Islamist terrorism”.

A hundred and thirty-two students were killed in the December 16 suicide attack by the Pakistani Taliban on the the military-run Army Public School, AWP general secretary Farooq Tariq told Green Left Weekly.

While the Pakistani Taliban said this attack was in retribution against the military for carrying out massacres of civilians in it war on the remote tribal territories along the border with Afghanistan, the AWP says that the Taliban and other fundamentalist terrorist groups would not have been a significant force without the support of the Pakistani military.

“The AWP expresses its sincere condolences to the parents and family of the innocents killed in this latest act of inhuman brutality, fueled by the genocidal, millenarian ideology of militant Islamism.

“The Pakistani state and military's decades-long support of jihad as an instrument of policy (including the failed policy of strategic depth) is directly responsible for the brutal menace of Islamist terrorism that is engulfing this country today.

“Apart from creating and supporting jihadist groups, for decades, the state and military (with the financial and political assistance of imperial powers) has indoctrinated millions with conservative Islamist ideologies for the purposes of keeping safeguarding its strategic interests, leading to the killing of innocent people in the country today.

“The AWP also holds complicit in this slaughter those political parties who maintain links with these groups for their narrow political interests and/or subscribe to the same millenarian ideology of the fascist jihadists.”

Tariq said that among those parties was the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“The AWP strongly believes that until the state completely abandons the 'national security state' paradigm and its support for jihadist groups as 'strategic assets' and ceases the use of religion in matters of the state, this violence will not end.”

The Awami Workers Party demands the end of all state support for all forms of terrorism and an end to the abuse of religion as an instrument of state policy in Pakistan. On December 17, workers around Pakistan went on a sympathy strike with the victims of the Peshawar massacre.