KARACHI, Pakistan -
The international war on
terror will prove a long drawn-out battle as militants
reorganize themselves into smaller groups, Asian defense
experts said Monday.
"Al Qaeda has broken its organization into smaller units of
elements, making a network in third world nations," Wan Usman,
head of strategic studies at the University of Jakarta in
Indonesia told a seminar on the changing global security
The network had penetrated institutions, and managed to fan
destructive radical anti-Western teachings in some Muslim
schools in the region, he said.
A Pakistani soldier stands guard near the venue of a defense exhibition in Karachi September 13, 2004. Pakistan, striving to make a niche for itself in the global arms market, is touting locally-built tanks and other weapons during a four-day defense exhibition which opens on September 14. REUTERS/Zahid Hussein
Pakistan, a key ally of the United States in the war on
terror, organized the seminar as part of an international
defense exhibition that formally opens in Karachi Tuesday.
Exhibitors and delegates from more than 50 nations,
including the United States, Britain, Russia, China and France,
are participating in conditions of tight security because of
fears of terror attacks from al Qaeda or local supporters.
More than 10,000 policemen and thousands of paramilitary
rangers and army soldiers, backed by helicopters and sniffer
dogs, have thrown a security blanket over the city.
Many main roads were closed to traffic.
Usman said that in the Asia-Pacific region, the threat of
al Qaeda was most potent in Southeast Asia.
He said a sense of unfairness was the force that motivated
terrorists, who seek to destroy the modern globalized system
they regard as unfair.
"The fight against terrorism can only succeed when the
ideology upon which it is based is shown to be wrong," he
Maj. Gen. Zhu Sheng Hu, a Chinese expert and former director of
the Institute for Strategic Studies at the University of
Beijing, called for an increased role for the United Nations in
the fight against terror.
"Double standards in fighting terrorism will not work," he
said. "The focus should be on removing the root causes of
Some countries used the war on terror to increase their
influence and were interfering in the affairs of other
countries, he said, warning that it could weaken the
international coalition against terrorism.
Pakistan Defense Minister Rao Sikandar Iqbal said political
and economic disparities and the denial of the right of self
determination to the people of Kashmir and the Middle East were
key causes of terrorism.
© Copyright 2004 Reuters Limited