Pakistan Vows To Fight Terrorism
Nov. 25, 1997
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Government leaders on Monday pledged to wipe out the ``scourge of terrorism'' that they claim Pakistan inherited from neighboring Afghanistan.
The promise came a day after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak blamed Islamic radicals living abroad for the deadliest assault in a five-year campaign by Islamic militants in Egypt.
Mubarak named Afghanistan and Britain as havens for Islamic fundamentalists.
Pakistan's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mohammed Saddiq Kanju said the ``scourge of terrorism'' was the direct result of the 1980s war in neighboring Afghanistan.
Pakistan's military dictator Gen. Mohammed Zia-ul Haq invited Islamic radicals from around the world to fight invading Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan.
Kanju said the United States, which heavily bankrolled Afghanistan's anti-communist insurgency, often armed and trained these radicals.
When the communists were thrown out of Afghanistan in 1992 and Islamic rebels took control of the beleaguered country, many Islamic militants were left without a cause.
Many returned to their homes in Egypt, Algeria and several Gulf countries to wage insurgencies of their own against governments they said were secular and pro-American.
One of these groups was Egypt's al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, or the Islamic Group, which claimed responsibility for last week's brutal attack at Egypt's Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor which left 58 tourists dead.
A slip of paper found on the body of one of six attacker linked the attackers to the Islamic Group's leader Mustapha Hamza, who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.
Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian billionaire who is suspected of bankrolling Muslim radicals worldwide, is also thought to be living in Afghanistan.
A spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said Pakistanis were ``sick and tired of terrorism.''
On Nov. 12, gunmen shot and killed four American oil workers in the southern port city of Karachi.
A previously unknown radical group claimed responsibility for the attack, which they said was to avenge the conviction of a Pakistani man, Mir Aimal Kasi, who killed two CIA agents in the United States.