Do Islamist Terrorist Groups in Pakistan Control the Country’s Illicit Tobacco Trade in Cahoots with Government Officials?
Going up in Smoke in Pakistan
By MAGDA LIPAN
There is enough evidence in public domain to show that the Islamist terrorist outfits, many of them based in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi, derive their financial muscle from the drug trade. Official patronage has been helping them to thrive and survive even as drug addiction has become what sedate Karachi daily, Dawn, terms as a silent epidemic.
It is difficult not to remark that the illicit cigarette trade is witnessing a similar Molotov cocktail involving the militants and vested interests in the corridors of power amongst others. Otherwise, it should not be difficult for Pakistan government to crack the whip, using, amongst others, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which has been making India bleed almost every day for the past several years.