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Throughout history, jihad or the holy war against infidels, has been the leit motif of Islam. In the history of mankind no other religion or creed, ever expanded so much and so fast, as Islam did in the medieval times. Essentially though, it was a coercive spread of the faith of Prophet Muhammad through violent and bloody wars. The might of the sword of Islamic warriors backed by the raw courage of the faithful was the chief medium of its rapid growth in medieval times which saw Islam's emergence as a super power. That was a radical and ruthless Islam in the middle ages which countenanced no resistance to its forward march and those opposing its advancement were visited upon by swift retribution.
But in the twelfth century and thence onward the Christian Europe, acting as a sort of coalition, turned the tables on the Islamic warriors. Although ultimately the crusades achieved very little in terms of territory, the alliance of Christian kings of Europe demonstrated their resolve and ability to carry the war right into the heartland of West Asia through successive campaigns against Islam's holy warriors. From twelfth century onwards Islam started losing its prime position to Christianity and in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the European nations, invigorated by the renaissance and industrial revolution, assumed the leadership role all over the world.
The last century saw the vigorous revival of a resurgent and militant Islam worldwide. The spectacular long march of Islam across the globe during the last five decades and the manner of its striking roots in more than forty countries is one of the important success stories of the twentieth century. But the rapid advance of radical Islam during the last century did not receive adequate attention of modern historians, political analysts and think tanks for quite a few decades, despite the first alert being sounded by Sir Vidia Naipaul in early 1980s through his famous narrative, Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey. The western world woke up to the threat only in 1990s when Samuel Huntington gave a wake up call through a well researched paper on the subject. The very fact that in the early 1980s hundreds of thousand Muslim volunteers joined the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan and thereafter embarked on multiple jihads simultaneously in more than two dozen countries in different parts of the world demonstrated the resolve of the radical Islam to confront and overwhelm the universal civilization.
The story of the revival of militant Islam has a long winding history which goes back to the first half of the twentieth century when certain events taking place on the sub-continent signalled the charting of a futuristic course of pan-Islamic movement across the globe. Public memory is proverbially short but shorter still is the memory of the western powers about a macro development in the geo-strategic confines of South Asia in late 1940s which foretold the contours of the big picture which we see today on the global screen. Not many political analysts might remember and perhaps those knowing too well, mostly based in the Indian sub-continent, might loathe to admit the unpleasant truth that the ongoing long march of radical Islam had begun as early as 1947, with a single step forward, namely the creation of Pakistan, on the plea that Muslims cannot co-exist with Hindus, Sikhs and Christians in the undivided India due to which it was imperative to give them a separate homeland. And since then the warriors of radical Islam across the globe have not looked back.
When Allama Iqbal envisioned the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub-continent and sang paens to the past glory of Islam in his poems and writings, he laid the foundations of an aggressive pan-Islamic movement. Unfortunately at that time neither the British nor the Congress leadership, including the stalwarts like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, could read the writing on the wall nor assess the long-term consequences of the creation of Pakistan, not only for India but for the entire world. But at that very time India had an astute visionary and political pundit, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who had foreseen the shape of things to come. While analysing the causes for the sudden shift in the attitude of Jinnah and other Muslim League leaders in giving up the nationalist cause and instead opting for Pakistan, he found that the real explanation for the sudden transformation of the Muslim leaders was not any dishonest drift in their opinion. They saw in the creation of Pakistan the dawn of a new destiny the magnetism of which was so great that even men like Jinnah were unable to resist its pull. The new vision could be seen in a concrete form over the map. It provided to the Indian Muslims an opportunity for realizing their dream of linking with other Islamic States in the Middle East. With the separation of Pakistan from Hindustan and by joining Iran, Iraq, Arabia, Turkey and Egypt, the Muslims could form something like a confederation of Muslim countries extending from Constantinople down to Lahore.(1)
The creation of Pakistan in 1947 was thus the first step forward in the long march of the radical Islam. It laid strong foundations of the cult of secessionist movements in all those countries where Muslims constituted a sizeable proportion of the population and imparted a strong momentum and positive direction to the dormant pan-Islamic movement. Immediately after partition of the sub-continent, Pakistan started eyeing the State of Jammu & Kashmir, ruled by the Dogra ruler Hari Singh. The fact that the majority of the valley's population was Muslim but the ruler was a Hindu, had caused a great deal of consternation to the radical Muslim leaders of Pakistan. They decided to grab Kashmir by force and launched an operation code-named 'Operation Gulmarg' the plan for which was fully known to the British officers of the Pakistani army. At that time the senior officers and commanders of the three services in Pakistan as well as in India were British, and most of them had been interacting with each other.
On October 20, 1947, a trained militia type force of 15,000 to 20,000 armed tribal raiders, all Pakistanis, supported by two divisions of Pakistani army, invaded Jammu & Kashmir and after overrunning many towns and villages, including Baramulla, rapidly moved towards Srinagar. These were ferocious and unruly armed tribesmen from North Western Province of Pakistan who, acting in concert with the Pakistani army, indulged in large scale killings, looting of property and molestation of hapless women. They laid waste and plundered a number of villages and towns, including Baramulla. Unable to counter the attack of the two divisions of regular Pakistani army with his limited troops and meagre military resources, Maharaja Hari Singh decided to accede to India and signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947. The next day, on October 27, Lord Mountbatten, Governor General of India, announced that India had accepted the accession of the State "to the Dominion of India". This announcement, followed by swift military operations mounted by the Indian Army in Jammu & Kashmir for repulsing the invading troops and tribesmen, caused a serious set back to the Pakistani plan for forcible annexation of the State. The accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India was fully supported by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, leader of the National Conference, and also by an overwhelming majority of the people of the Jammu & Kashmir State. Soon a popular government was set up in Jammu under the stewardship of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah who was easily the tallest political leader of Kashmir. Unfortunately the then Indian Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, had immense faith in Lord Mountbatten and that was what led to the Kashmir issue being taken to the United Nations.
As recorded by V.P. Menon in his book, The Integration of the Indian States, Pandit Nehru had entrusted the responsibility for handling the matters concerning the accession of Jammu & Kashmir to Lord Mountbatten. There are reasons to believe the latter's commitment to the Indian cause was somewhat lukewarm - at least that is what it turned out to be. Some military strategists believe that the Government of U.K. was keen to prevent India's victory in Jammu & Kashmir. Fulfilment of this objective was facilitated by virtue of the Governor General of India, Lord Mountbatten, being the chairman of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet. There could be no other plausible reason for not allowing the Indian forces more time to proceed beyond Poonch-Uri-Domel axis ahead of which lay two strategic bridges of Domel and Kohala. Surprisingly excepting a few offensive sorties flown by the Indian Air Force, no worthwhile attempt was made to launch aggressive air attacks in support of the ground troops to force early eviction of Pakistani army and the accompanying hordes of tribal raiders.
According to V.P. Menon, within six days of the invaders entering the Kashmir, Lord Mountbatten had told him that a plebiscite would have to be held in Kashmir to ascertain the wishes of the people. In mid-December he pressed the Indian Government to complain to the United Nations about the Kashmir imbroglio. By referring the Kashmir issue to the United Nations and subsequently agreeing to cease fire and the role of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), India gave up the advantage which the army had leveraged by their superior tactical operations. Once the matter was referred to the United Nations it became more complex. By now it seems to have become almost intractable and has taken the shape of a festering sore.
Unfortunately a ceasefire was called when the Indian Army had moved ahead very well, and were only a couple of weeks short of completing the operations for clearing the State of invaders. Meanwhile, the Pakistani army overran Muzaffarabad and Gilgit, including the adjoining areas. And on November 3, 1947, a British officer, Major Brown, Commandant of Gilgit Scouts, who had earlier in October 1947 staged a coup against the Dogra Governor of Gilgit, Brigadier Ghansar Singh, hoisted the Pakistan flag over Gilgit. Moving ahead, the Pakistani troops seized the difficult terrain of Baltistan and Skardu located on the northern tip of Kashmir, very close to the Chinese border. As a result of the reference made to the United Nations by the Indian Government, both India and Pakistan were called upon to state their respective versions of the events before the Truce Sub-Committee of the United Nations. In December 1949 talks were held at Karachi between the military representatives of the two countries and it was decided that neither country should supplement and consolidate its troops on either side of the cease-fire line.
On January 5, 1949, a resolution was passed by the United Nations (Resolution No. 5) saying that to resolve the Kashmir dispute, a plebiscite may be held to ascertain the wishes of the people. Later on General McNaughton of Canada was named by the Security Council as the Informal Mediator on December 17, 1949, to prepare the ground for a plebiscite. The McNaughton formula proposed that:
(a) interpret the agreement reached by the parties and
(b) determine the implementation of the demilitarization plan;
The McNaughton formula was palpably partisan but it had the support of the Anglo-American bloc which dominated the United Nations. It found favour with Pakistan, but was rejected by India because it totally ignored the fact that under the doctrine of Paramountcy, laid down by the British, once the ruler of the State of Jammu and Kashmir had signed the Instrument of Accession, legally and constitutionally, it became an integral part of India. Moreover, Pakistan was clearly the aggressor which fact was being overlooked by General McNaughton. The people of Jammu and Kashmir were very angry and hurt at the brutal manner in which the invading Pakistani troops and accompanying tribesmen had treated the Kashmiri population. Meanwhile, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, a close associate of Sheikh Abdullah, declared that so long as a single Kashmiri was alive the McNaughton formula will not be accepted. Mirza Afzal Beg, another prominent Kashmiri leader belonging to the National Conference, said that India will lose the friendship of Kashmir if she were to bow down before the pressure of Anglo-American bloc and accept, in any shape or form, the McNaughton formula which equated the aggressor with the aggressed.(3) Pakistani press launched a fierce campaign against Sheikh Abdullah following his statement in early November 1947 that the Pakistani invasion had made it clear to the people of Kashmir that the rapidly developing situation would not allow them any time and therefore they had either to suffer the fate of their kinsmen in Muzaffarabad, Baramulla and other towns and villages or seek help from somewhere. Under these difficult circumstances, both the Maharaja and the people of Kashmir requested the Government of India to accept the accession of Kashmir.(4)
The 1947 invasion of Jammu & Kashmir by the Pakistani army signalled their ulterior designs to continue their pre-independence attitude of hostility towards India and to capture Jammu & Kashmir. But since the brunt of that first onslaught was borne by Indians, to be more precise by the peaceful Kashmiris, the West took no notice of it. In fact, all along, sympathies of the western nations were misplaced and Pakistan's misdemeanour was never condemned.
For decades the western powers refused to take cognizance of the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Kashmir by Pakistan-sponsored terrorist groups, although they were quick to react to similar ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and other parts of the world. There is a general impression among the Western political analysts that the Pakistan sponsored militancy and cross border infiltration into Jammu & Kashmir is a post Laden phenomenon. But that is farthest from truth. According to B.L. Kak, a plan to raise groups of infiltrators in Pakistan for creating chaos in Indian Kashmir was taken up for detailed discussion for the first time on August 16, 1953 - two days after Pakistan's Independence Day and six years after India's partition - when a high level meeting of leaders from Pakistan and Pak-occupied Kashmir was held in Karachi under the chair-manship of Mohammed Ali,the then Prime Minister of Pakistan.(5) It was attended by Aziz Ahmed, Cabinet Secretary of Pakistan, three former Presidents of the so-called Azad Kashmir, Maulvi Yusuf Shah, Chaudhri Ghulam Abbas and K.H. Khurshid and Maulvi Noor-ud-Din, brother of Maulvi Yusuf Shah and uncle of Maulvi Mohammed Farooq, President of the Awami Action Committee of Kashmir.(6) Although Pakistan's Prime Minister tried to debate Pandit Nehru's plea for normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan, Chaudhri Ghulam Abbas interrupted the discussion and got up to recommend to the Prime Minster, Mohammed Ali, that Pakistan should organise at least twenty thousand armed infiltrators to be sent to Indian Kashmir in civillian clothes for creating widespread insurgency and chaos. That will create serious security problems for the Indian Government. This meeting had been organised to chalk out Pakistan's plan of action in the light of disturbances in the Indian Kashmir following Sheikh Abdullah's arrest.
Subsequently, when war broke out between India and Pakistan in 1965, i.e., after a long spell of twelve years, the suggestion made by Ghulam Abbas in 1953, was implemented by sending thousands of armed guerrillas into Kashmir valley through unguarded stealth routes. On Pakistani side of the border burly Pathan soldiers were posted to ensure that no Pakistani infiltrator ran back. Some of the captured intruders told Indian military officers towards the end of August 1965 that infiltrators had been told by their masters that they would be shot dead if they returned to their camps in Pakistan.(7) On September 15, 1965, the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, G.M. Sadiq, informed the State Assembly that some infiltrators had tried to converge on the State capital, Srinagar. Soon it became clear that the Pak-sponsored intrusion had more serious dimensions. It transpired that many trained personnel of Pakistani army, equipped with modern weapons, had been infiltrated into the valley. Interrogation of the captured infiltrators confirmed that Pakistani army had trained nearly 10,000 people in sabotage, terrorism and subversive activities, even before the agreement regarding territorial dispute over Rann of Kutch had been signed. (8) At that time too the Pakistan Government had tried to create a myth which had been reiterated in President Ayub Khan's broadcast on September 1, 1965 - that the infiltrators were freedom fighters and that there was an internal revolt in Kashmir. No wonder, after a long gap of almost thirty eight years General Musharraf continues to parrot the same excuse.
On August 14, 1965, the Washington Post said that reports from a variety of sources in Srinagar and the information gained from Kashmiri and Pakistani sources during visits to Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Karachi left little doubt that at least fifteen hundred Pakistani-officered commandos have crossed the cease-fire line since August 5, 1965.(9) Similarly on August 14, 1965, the New York Times reported that on the basis of most reports received, the infiltrators appeared to have been recruited from among the people of Azad Kashmir.
This was clear from the fact that most of the prisoners captured did not speak the Kashmiri dialect. They spoke various Punjabi dialects normally used by the inhabitants of the extreme western sectors under Pakistani control. The Daily Telegraph reported on August 22, 1945, that this was a military operation launched from Pakistan with official connivance.(10) In fact, as early as May 17, 1965, the Pakistan Times, Lahore, had quoted Sardar Rahmatullah, a State Councillor, as having said that thousands of Razakars were ready to cross the ceasefire line and march into the Indian Kashmir to rescue their brethern.(11)
Thus the Pakistani Army and the ISI have been deeply involved in the strategy of training jihadi warriors from early 1960s onwards - and not since 1979, as is generally believed by most Western commentators and several Indian political analysts. And guess since when had the Pakistani establishment been trying to enlist militant jihadis from radical Muslim countries of West Asia and Northern Africa for fighting against the Hindu India in Kashmir? According to the Pakistan Times, Lahore, of January 1, 1965, an Islamic activist Maulvi Farid Khan Ahmed had claimed that "There is a great fund of goodwill for Kashmir in North Africa and Middle-Eastern countries. Almost everywhere, the question being asked is when Pakistanis or Kashmiris will take up arms for the Valley's liberation". He claimed that the Defence Minister of a Muslim country had offered to personally participate in Jihad if Kashmiris and Pakistanis launched it.(12) Apparently Maulvi Farid Khan, who used to travel often to the West Asian and Northern African countries, was closely associated with the Tablighi Jamaat [Click for the discussion of Tablighi Jamaat activity around the world, including America.] the services of which were subsequently harnessed in a big way to recruit committed volunteers from West Asian and North African countries for jihad against Russia.
And after the Afghan jihad was over, these jihadis were ultimately pushed into Kashmir. Thus when the ISI and the Pakistani Government, headed by General Zia, joined hands with the CIA to train bin Laden's soldiers in 1979 to wage war against Russia, they already had under their belt twenty-five years long expertise in the dreadful business of terrorism. They were no novices and had been into the terror business since partition - or at least since early 1960s, having trained more than ten thousand jihadis even before 1965 for operating in Kashmir. The CIA, too, had enough experience of promoting subversion and sabotage from the days of Viet Nam war. The novice, if any, in this strategic game, was bin Laden. But once initiated into the terror game, he learnt the ropes fast from the ISI which led him to the leadership role astutely but quietly. That arrangement suited the ISI. No efficient intelligence outfit, and the ISI is certainly one, would like to assume a high profile role in such activities having international ramifications. After all, anonymity is the hallmark of all successful intelligence operations.
At present Pakistan is the only country in the world possessing almost fifty years of expertise in terror industry. During the last five decades it has been enlarged from a small home-grown business into an expansive export-oriented industry with branches all over the globe, cleverly nurtured through the Pakistani diaspora. The unwavering commitment of the Pakistani establishment, especially its army and the ISI, to the cause of radical Islam has been the single most important factor responsible for speeding up the long march of Islam during the last fifty seven years.
What is most interesting is that both the KGB and the CIA, the two biggest intelligence outfits of Russia and America, the erstwhile two respective super powers of the cold war era, miserably failed to assess the deadly game being played for decades by Pakistan - a small time theocratic nation steeped in orthodoxy and obscurantism. And what was the result of the professional incompetence of the KGB and the CIA. Both Russia and the U.S.A. had to pay a heavy price in terms of human lives as well as economic prosperity. Following its defeat in Afghanistan at the hands of jihadi forces, courtesy the CIA's machinations, the Russian state disintegrated and that country went into tailspin both politically and economically. Later on America, too, suffered enormously. More than three thousand lives were lost on the Black Tueday, apart from massive financial and economic losses, and for a while the U.S. government was widely perceived as licking its wounds. Later on, after successful completion of the Afghan campaign, America appears to have gone into a belligerent overdrive and appears to be badly stuck in the quagmire called Iraq at least for now.
Undoubtedly bin Laden is an intrepid, resourceful and charismatic leader, with excellent organizational skills and totally committed to pan-Islamism. But the truth remains that bin Laden alone, unaided by the ISI and the Pakistani army, could not have achieved any substantial success. He had no infrastructure, much less the requisite trained manpower running into hundreds of thousand soldiers to take on the mighty Russian army. Without the total support of Pakistan's governmental machinery, on his own he could not have grabbed even a small strip of Afghan territory from the Russians. He was able to achieve all that he did, and then emerge as global hero of Islamists solely due to the massive support of the Pakistani government, especially the ISI and its army. It is as simple as that.
Napoleon was not far wrong when he solemnly pronounced that "the occasion produces the leader". Perhaps bin Laden was one more such occasion-created leader coming out from nowhere, just to meet the demands of the hour! Every militant movement needs a charismatic hero, a high profile role model, and at the opportune time bin Laden appeared on the scene to lead the jihadi warriors. Apart from providing the ready-made infrastructure, the ground work for jihadi blitzkrieg first in Afghanistan and subsequently across the globe, was done entirely by the ISI and the Pakistani army. The latter had lent on the sly, thousands of its soldiers plus key officers to wage jihad - many of them were found fighting shoulder to shoulder along with the Taliban as late as 2001, when America attacked Afghanistan. In all fairness, the credit or discredit for the present jihadi long march ought to be given primarily to Pakistan.
Bin Laden and his cronies, once unhinged from Pakistan, as they are just now, perhaps temporarily, have been reduced to more or less to 'terror-tape' tigers, due to lack of the much needed infrastructure, inadequacy of manpower and above all the absence of governmental support - at least for the time being. True, Al Qaeda has the capability to stage many spectacular terrorist attacks in a number of countries, as indeed they have done in Bali, Riyadh, Morocco, Jakarta and even in Istanbul, because of the vast network which they managed to build when they had total support of Pakistani government. Their ability to overrun any country or overthrow any government as they earlier did in Afghanistan, however, has been seriously impaired. The only two countries which they can hope to overrun or where coups can be staged possibly are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia because of the massive public support to Islamist ideology at the grass roots level and substantial Islamization of the state apparatus in these two countries, including their armies.
There is near unanimity among the middle rank officers and lower rungs of Pakistani army for commitment to radical Islam and the concept of jihad.The proof is there for everyone to see. In recent times quite a few middle level officers of Pakistani army were arrested for being in league with terrorists groups, including Al Qaeda. No doubt, the regular rantings of Al Qaeda against America, India and Israel and sometimes even against Musharraf, cannot be totally ignored. These are alarming, because the terrorist groups led by Al Qaeda still have the capacity to launch terror attacks at will but they no longer wield the kind of clout which they enjoyed before the collapse of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Just now they seem to be holed up in the wilderness of Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan or they could be hiding even in the Pak occupied Kashmir. Cornered as they are, it is difficult to believe that Pakistan cannot capture them. They are certainly well within the reach of Pakistani army, if it wishes to go whole hog after them!
In regard to the grooming of the Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the basic truth is that the ISI and the Pakistani army had built up a huge infrastructure for training jihadis long before the Russian occupation of Afghanistan: the madarasas were there, many training camps were there and several Arms Bazars already existed to meet the requirements of Islamist warriors. Apart from being the storm centre of Islamist terror, what distinguishes Pakistan from other south Asian countries is that it is a country awash with all kinds of weapons and armaments. Regular gun running and smuggling of weapons is big business in the rugged areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanstan.The gross abundance and easy availability of weapons in that country is to be seen to be believed. Today in the entire south Asia Pakistan has easily the most heavily armed civillian population.
The import of Sharia-based Wahabi Islam from Saudi Arabia and the joint endeavours of the ISI and the CIA for ousting the Russians from Afghanistan were financed by promoting cultivation of poppy and trafficking in drugs, notably the infamous heroin trade. Money flowed copiously into the coffers of terror groups as a result of the rapid growth of trafficking in narcotics. But drug addiction also grew very fast in certain areas of Pakistan and on a conservative estimate now Pakistan has around three million drug addicts.
The deep roots of militancy in Pakistan were further strengthened by the blatant use of religion by General-Zia ul Haq to create a fundamentalist polity for enlarging the support base of his army dictatorship with the help of Mullahs. Fairly extensive facilities for training Islamic terrorists had been in existence in Pakistan since early 1960s. For decades Pakistan was using and expanding all these facilities silently and studiously for terror attacks in Kashmir and promoting insurgency in that State.
When bin Laden plunged into the campaign against Russian presence in Afghanistan, all these facilities were placed at his disposal by the ISI. The entire spade work for launching a ferocious jihad first in Afghanistan against the Soviets and subsequently in several other countries, with special emphasis on the Indian Kashmir, was thus master-minded by the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan (ISI) which had been rightly described by the Peshawar-based newspaper Frontier Post in May 1994 as the "invisible Government of Pakistan". Till 1970s the progress of the pan Islamic movement remained somewhat tardy but nevertheless it was quite steady. Historically Islam has never been short of volunteers willing to die in Allah's cause because of the deep commitment of Muslims to the doctrine of jihad.
In any case, Pakistan did have a large population, it being easily one of the largest Muslim countries. Therefore, dedicated manpower for jihad was never a problem. The main constraint was the inadequacy of financial resources. Soon the financial muscle was provided by the sudden upsurge of unprecedented prosperity in Saudi Arabia and the adjoining Arab Sheikhdoms in early 1970s, after the 1967 Gulf War, due to sky-rocketing increase in petroleum prices and the emergence of OPEC as a powerful cartel. The Pakistan government immediately capitalized on the opportunity by enlisting the financial support of the Saudis and then roping in the CIA by playing upon the U.S. fear about the growing Russian influence in the region. Soon plans were afoot to oust the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul, a cause very close to the heart of the Americans. In doing so the ISI saw an opportunity to surreptitiously raise the pan-Islamic movement to a higher plateau by breathing a new fiery zeal among the youth of Muslim countries.
The ultimate goal was to restore the lost grandeur of Islam on the world canvas. The American strategists were too naïve to comprehend the core of the Pakistani gameplan. Roughly some three hundred thousand to four hundred thousand jihadi volunteers were trained by the ISI and the Pakistani army during the late 1970s and early 1980s. After victory in their long campaign against Russia, many of these 'holy warriors' returned to their parent countries but a sizeable number was pushed into Kashmir and some contingents despatched to the new theatres of Islamic campaigns in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechenya, Algeria, Indonesia and the Philippines where they have been waging multiple jihads. According to Mohammed Amir Rana, the well known Pakistani author of the book, Jihad-e-Kashmir and Afghanistan, even now Pakistan has 1.2 million trained militant young men possessing the experience of participation "in the activities of jihadi and religious organizations", while approximately thirty thousand had died in the holy war in Afghanistan and Kashmir.(13) This estimated strength of the jihadis spread across Pakistan tallies with the figure quoted in a New Delhi seminar by Prof. Satish Kumar, an expert political analyst. Most of them are reasonably well trained in the use of arms and armaments - some could be even battle-scarred. More importantly, they are willing cannon fodder, ready to die in jihad - like that Amrozi, the bomber of Kuta Beach in Bali who smilingly received his death sentence and the unrepentant Imam Samudra who shouted Allah-o-Akbar and pumped his clenched fist into the air, when death sentence was read out to him by an Indonesian court.
The impressive numbers of trained jihadis spread all over Pakistan and their fanatic commitment to holy war underlines the dimensions of the ongoing long march of Islam. Simultaneously the flow of petro dollars was being used by the Saudis with the help of the ISI to finance the activities of the radical Islam by setting up thousands of religious seminaries, called madarasas, first in Pakistan, Indonesia and Afghanistan and thereafter throughout the length and breadth of Asia, Africa and Europe. These religious seminaries, especially the one in Peshawar called Haqqania Madarasa and another one located in the Binori mosque of Karachi, came very handy for waging jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s. They supplied thousands of volunteers for Afghan jihad. But ultimately all seminaries became factories for producing terrorists and suicide bombers.
For instance, the Haqqania produced a galaxy of ruthless Taliban group leaders and fighters. While exporting petroleum to the West, the Saudis steadfastly exported the fundamentalist version of Islam all over Asia and Africa with the help of the petro dollars earned from the West. Many Saudi fugitives even managed to set up terror shops in Europe and America, as a recent probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CIA has revealed. The edited 28 pages of the Congressional report on the events of 9/11, produced by a joint panel of the House and Senate intelligence committees, have raised serious questions about the complicity of some Saudi intelligence agents who were believed to have indirect contacts with at least two hijackers. People familiar with the report and who spoke on condition of not being named, said that the two Saudi citizens, Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Bassnian, operated in a complex web of financial relationship with officials of the Saudi government. The sections that focus on them drew connections between the two men, two hijackers and Saudi officials.(14)
In his latest best seller, Sleeping with the Devil, Robert Baer, a former CIA operator, has described Saudi Arabia as something of an irrational state - a place that has been spawning global terrorism even as it succumbs to an ancient and deep seated isolationism, led by a royal family that cannot get out of its own greed. Baer has dwelt heavily on the funds being provided by the Saudi regime to innumerable mosque-schools, i.e., madarasas, that preach hatred of America and promote militancy and terrorism. But all this wisdom came to the Americans much later and at a heavy cost. And the Pakistani establishment promptly capitalized on the opportunity by enlisting the massive financial support of the Saudis - even that of the CIA - on the plea of ousting the Soviets from Afghanistan.
While the concept of ummah remained the sheet anchor of Islam's unique bonding because it ensures a never-drying stream of young volunteers, the Islamists soon spread their wings across to the Europe and the U.S.A. With the open support of Pakistani establishment they made the new frontiers of technology the powerful driver of the core strategy to carry forward the message of jihad to the farthest corners of the world. For attaining their objective the storm-troopers of Islam made full use of the freedom of speech and expression available in the democratic countries of Europe and the U.S.A. to promote their cause and win large support for fund raising and recruiting volunteers for their global project. How did the pan-Islamic movement spread so fast and so soon? The answer is the committed dedication of Jihadi warriors plus the adoption of new technology by them. Radical Islam has taken full advantage of the latest technological developments for spreading its message to ummah in distant lands. The rapid advancements in digital communication, easy availability of the Internet and the mushrooming of trans-continental television channels have placed a vast array of formidable tools in the hands of Jihadis. So the communication revolution spurred by technology, by annihilating the distance has re-engineered the relationship between far away groups and communities in a thematic rather than spatial manner, thus bringing them closer.
Owing to the rapid advancement of technology, in matters concerning dissemination of information and sharing of technology, the governments no longer count for much. Easy access through internet and availability of satellite phones have led to the virtual demise of distance and the blurring of national borders. The role of governments in the field of communication has been marginalized. Technology has made the traditional methods of communication irrelevant - the old concepts of distance and transnational borders are passe. Internet has facilitated quick exchange of information and made the tasks of horizontal and vertical integration of terrorist organizations easier, thereby opening new opportunities for conspiracy and collaboration, through convergence, across the continents and oceans. In the process, the unique bonding of Muslim masses, called 'ummah', has been further strengthened by facilitating regular and quicker interaction thereby consolidating the command and control structure.
Rapid organizational changes, speedy exchange of vital information and prompt decision-making have become easier and affordable; these have been the hallmark of several terror strikes. A number of jihadi oufits have registered presence on the Internet and hoisted their websites on which they regularly post their communiques and programmes, sometime even coded messages to ensure secrecy. The number of websites hoisted by the Islamists is legion. Most of these websites have been sending encrypted messages through the Internet and are using satellite phones for directing reinforcements of weapons and manpower wherever required by the terrorist operators for accomplishing the tasks assigned to them.
This was done on a fairly extensive scale during the Bosnian war when supplies of weapons and battle hardened groups of jihadis were rushed for tactical operations to Bosnia and other parts of Balkans from several Muslim countries, with the active support of the governments of Pakistan and Iran. In 1993 more than 150 battle hardened jihadis of Afghan vintage were seen to be operating in Bosnia and Kosovo. Apart from waging holy war against the Serbs, these jihadi groups indoctrinated Bosnian and Albanian Muslims in the fundamentals of radical Islam by preaching return to the purist Wahabi Islam through missionary activities called da'wah. The same strategy is being used extensively by the terror groups waging jihad in Chechenya and Jammu and Kashmir. Some Chechen rebels have been seen wearing caps and berets with the word 'Ghazwah' emblazoned across, just to revive and promote the jihadi fervour of the times of Prophet Muhammad.
New technology is also being used successfully for conveying secret strategic commands and directions to the terrorist outfits and Al Qaeda cells and action stations in far removed countries like Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the Philippines. To ensure that there is no easy snooping by the intelligence agencies, clever use of passwords is a standard practice. The Islamic websites have also been using Internet for beaming propaganda and spreading messages both to their co-religionists as well as to other communities. At one time it was believed that perhaps Hizb-ut Tehrir, an Islamist outfit having as its objective the establishment of a Muslim caliphate, which would include the U.K., had been using an Islamic site based in the Imperial College, London, which was closed down only when complaints were made to the authorities. They subsequently set up their own site as "Hizb-ut Tehrir" on which they had been posting their literature and programmes including their scheduled meetings.
Interestingly the Syrian Islamist idealogue Omar Bakri Mohammed, who had studied at Cairo's prestigious Al Azhar University, after his expulsion from Saudi Arabia in 1986, took asylum in the U.K. But Omar Bakri had a history. During his sojourn in the Middle East he had been associated with Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria and Egypt and Hizb-ut Tehrir, also known as the Islamic Liberation Party. In due course of time Bakri enlisted the of more like-minded radicals and founded the U.K. Branch of Hizb-ut Tehrir which took recourse to indoctrination of Muslims studying in the universities and started interacting with prominent members of the Muslim community for promoting the Islamist ideas.
Hizb-ut Tehrir is an international fundamentalist organization which aims at establishing a Khilafat, i.e., a Muslim state based on sharia, all over the world, including the U.K., by obliterating transnational borders. According to the doctrine of Hizb-ut Tehrir, if necessary the Islam's Khilafat has to be established by waging jihad against 'the Kufr', i.e., the non-believers. In February 1996 Bakri broke away from Hizb-ut Tehrir and set up another radical outfit, Al Muhajiroun, which means 'the Immigrants' with the help of some like-minded Islamists, including one Farid Qasim, another Syrian-based in the U.K. Bakri soon proclaimed himself as a judge of the British Court of Sharia, meant for Britain-based Muslims, which believes in the dominance of sharia laws, as far as Muslims are concerned. Omar Bakri also happens to be the founder of Al Khalifa Publications, a publishing press dedicated to propagation of the philosophy of radical Islam.
Hizb-ut Tehrir is highly critical of many Arab and Muslim regimes of the Middle East and Central Asia, for which reason it has long been banned in a number of Muslim countries, especially in the Middle East. But it was not banned in the U.K. where it continued to flourish. Full use of technology, including Internet and print media, was made for propagating the goals of Al Muhajiruon and Hizb-ut Tehrir, thereby, making them two high profile, proactive and most articulate organizations of Muslims in the U.K. Some time ago Al Muhajiroun hit the headlines on the occasion of the second anniversary of 9/11 in September 2003 for praising the "Magnificient 19" hijackers of September 11 for terror attacks in New York and Washington as a commendable deed. They have an office in a business centre in Tottenham, London. Posters inside the room glorified the hijackers for making the U.S. "taste its own medicine". In the first week of September 2003 Al Muhajiroun held a press conference and public meeting at which the hijackers were described as 'Brave Warriors' who had made the ultimate sacrifice.
Similarly the Algeria-based GIA or the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, which was involved in several bombings and terrorist acts, had reportedly been operating their Internet directed command and control system from the U.K. for a long time. Israeli intelligence agencies were struggling for quite some time to identify and destroy the highly sophisticated but decentralized multiple systems of command and control, devised by the notorious Hamas. At one time, the secret investigations by the FBI of America raised the suspicion that a part of the decentralised command system of Hamas could be located in Tampa in Florida. Subsequently it had allegedly moved to London where it started publishing "Filistine-al-Muslima", sort of a newsletter and carried out even some fund-raising activities. Similar extensive use of high tech gizmos, including Internet and sat phones was done by the Pakistan-controlled terrorists for planning and executing the dastardly attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001, in which many security personnel laid down their lives to save the Members of Parliament and several Ministers trapped inside. Recently in April and May 2003 a sophisticated command system, though not a high tech one, set up by the Pakistan-sponsored terror groups was destroyed by the Indian army during "Operation Sarap Vinash" in the Hill Kaka region of Surankote, Kashmir, after high profile operations. The command structure was being operated by the guerrilas of Lashkar-e-Tayebba for launching attacks on innocent civillians on the orders received from their "masters" located across the border in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. They had put in place a regular wireless network to remain in constant touch with their masters on the other side of the border and had the facility of satphone, too.
Similarly investigations into the assassination of Haren Pandya, a former Minister in the BJP Government of the Gujarat State, have revealed that the conspiracy was hatched entirely on the Internet.(15) According to the CBI, Internet cafes in Rajasthan and Gujarat were used by Asghar Ali, the accused who allegedly pulled the trigger on Pandya, to communicate with Rasool Khan Pathan, one of the chief masterminds, now in hiding perhaps in Karachi, Pakistan, along with Mufti Sufiyan, a co-accused. Both Rasool Khan Pathan and Mufti Sufiyan had reportedly sent a number of young men to Pakistan for training in the use of firearms and explosives. Most Islamist terror outfits, especially Al Qaeda, have made full use of modern tools like resource planning, strategic resource mobilization and acquisition and utilization of situation-specific manpower, weapons and funds from the nearest countries or action stations, located hundred of miles away. Prima facie, the initial training for such in-depth use of technology had been provided by the Pakistani army to hand-picked group leaders of Al Qaeda who, in turn, trained several hundred lower cadres of jihadis. The new frontiers of technology have played a vital role in the jihadi long march. It is evident from the examples of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechenya, Palestine and Kashmir that terrorists have made extensive use of technology for strategic movement of men, moneys and materials for strengthening the Islamist campaigns. In short, the adoption of new technology has made tech-savvy terrorists a cut above the rest, even placed them a notch above the average soldier of security forces.
In addition, there were quite a few other geo-political developments all favouring the votaries of radical Islam. One important factor which contributed substantially to the spread of radical Islam was the Iranian revolution of 1979 which united the Muslims across the globe to wage jihad against the western powers, especially the U.S.A., to break their hegemony over the Islamic countries of the Middle East and central and southeast Asia. The Islamic revolution in Iran, like the French and Russian Revolutions with which it resembled in many ways, had a huge impact not only at home and among its own people but also among all the countries and peoples with whom it shared the fundamentalist ideology. (16) And like the earlier revolutions, and particularly the Russian one, it has its own network of agents and emissaries striving in various ways to further the cause of the revolution or at least the regime that seemed to embody it. (17) The success of the Iranian revolution was a great inspiration to the Islamists of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and several North African countries.
The victory of jihadi groups in Afghanistan over the powerful Russian army in 1980s, achieved largely by the endeavours of the ISI and Pakistani army, albeit with substantial support of the CIA, both in terms of financial resources and tactical inputs, proved to be a shot in the arm of the Islamists. It gave them dream visions of grand success ahead. The militant factions of Taliban, warlords like Gulbudin Hekmatyar, the fundamentalist faction of Abu Sayyaf and several other groups, all trained by the ISI, were able to baptise their warriors, sharpen their terror tactics and combat skills in the Afghan war against Russia. The sudden collapse of the Russian power structure after the Afghan jihad and the resultant disintegration of the Soviet Union created a political vacuum in Central Asia thereby facilitating the emergence of radical Islam in several former Russian territories like Uzbekistan, Turkeminstan and Dagestan. In the Russian province of Chechenya it virtually led to a revolt against the Russian authority. The break-up of the Soviet Union opened up a new arena of religion-based faultline conflicts and ethnic strifes in quite a few Islam-dominated states which were formerly part of the Soviet Union. It has exposed the soft underbelly of Russia to the growing Islamist threat. The terrorist groups are likely to make full use of this godsend opportunity to extend the field of their operations against Russia.
The success of terror tactics and prolonged guerrilla wars waged by multiple Islamic groups in Kosovo and Bosnia with the active support of Iran, Pakistan and a host of Muslim countries was an important milestone in the jihadi compaign. The subsequent defeat of Serb nationalists largely due to the intervention of NATO and the U.S.A. in the years 1998-99 resulting from incessant bombing of Serbia for nearly 2½ months gave a thumbs up signal to the jihadi forces across the globe. After the defeat of Ottoman Turks at Vienna in 1683, for the first time in the history of Europe, the warriors of Islam were able to score a credible victory in their religious and idealogical war against the Christian nations of Serbia and Croatia. It was the fulfilment of a long cherished ambition of the Islamists, worldwide. This success has invigorated the Muslim identity of Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia and the growing numbers of Muslims in Balkans are already consolidating themselves further.
The disastrous debacle and humiliation faced by the American troops in Somalia in October 1993 was another important event. It gave tremendous impetus to the growth of radical Islam across the globe. The ignominy heaped upon the U.S. troops by the militant Somali Islamists, aided by Iran and Islamists of Sudan, duly backed by the Al Qaeda, raised hopes among Muslims of an imminent victory of jihadi warriors over the West. As pointed out by Bernard Lewis, bin Laden and his associates repeatedly cited the American retreats from Viet Nam, from Lebanon and the most important of all in their eyes the retreat from Somalia.(18) Bin Laden's views about the U.S. soldiers turning tails while facing jihadi warriors, expounded in an interview with John Miller of television channel, ABC News, on May 28, 1998, were interesting. He claimed that in the last decade there was a visible decline in the strength of America and the combat capacity of American soldiers, who could only wage cold wars but were unfit to fight long wars. This, he claimed, was proved in Beirut when the U.S. Marines fled after two explosions and ran away in less than twenty-four hours. The same story was repeated in Somalia where Islamic warriors were surprised at the low morale of American soldiers. After receiving a few blows, they ran away in defeat and forgot all about the U.S. being the world leader. Finally, he claimed, that Americans ran away from Somalia, dragging their corpses after suffering a shameful defeat.(19 )
Operation 'Caustic Brimstone", as the Somalia campaign was dubbed, turned out to be a major setback to the prestige of America. Although prima facie it appeared to be a successful operation, the general perception was otherwise, because of the horrid finale shown on television in which the corpses of U.S. soldiers were dragged across the town by Somali guerillas. In Washington, Defense Secretary Les Aspin was most unhappy. The toll of casualties read: 18 Americans and 1 Malaysian dead, 84 Americans and 7 Malaysians wounded, 312 Somalis dead and 814 wounded.(20) While on the face of it the Americans had successfully carried out their mission of capturing some senior leaders of Somali militia, the world did not view it as such. The American public were shocked when they saw on television the pictures of the captured pilot Michael Durant, badly wounded and beaten, in agony. More revolting still was what the Somalis did to the five dead, including Seargents Gordon and Shugart. The bodies were defiled, one of them being dragged naked through the streets of Mogadishu in front of the CNN camera by jubilant Somalis.(21) Thus the turning of a victory into defeat, through the medium of television visuals, became a great morale booster for the Islamists.
The Islamists have also been making full use of the freedom of speech and expression and of belief, faith and worship available in democratic countries. By taking advantage of the freedom of speech and expression, greatly valued in the U.K. and most other western countries, a statement was put out in a London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Quds al-Arabi, on February 23, 1998, directing all Muslims worldwide to kill Americans and Jews. The historic statement was simply a typical call for jihad issued by bin Laden and his associates and among its signatories were Ayman al-Zawahiri of Jihad of Egypt, Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmed Taha of Egyptian Islamic Group, Shaykh Mir Hamzah, Secretary of Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan and Fazlur Rahman of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh. This pronouncement was more or less a religious ruling or "fatwa" issued against 'the crusaders and Jews', whether civillians or military men. Issuing such threats publicly, through print media, would have been a taboo, almost impossible, in the totalitarian Muslim regimes of the Middle East and Central Asia. But it could be easily done and was conveniently done, in a free democratic society like the United Kingdom. This "fatwa" or declaration of war against the crusading Christians and Jews was extensively broadcast across the world by several television channels thereby raising the stature of bin Laden in the eyes of militant Muslims in scores of countries. Subsequently after 9/11, bin Laden's Al-Qaeda group, in October 2001, added the name of 'Hindu India' to the list of the communities and nations marked for being targeted by the Jihadi groups. In a video-taped message, released through Al-Jazeera television network, an unnamed Al-Qaeda spokesman added that the "U.S. support to the Hindus against the Muslims of Kashmir" to the familiar list of grievances that include the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian issue and the situation in Iraq.(22) This happened immediately after the U.S. froze the assets of Jaish-e-Mohammed which reacted by alleging that the freezing of its funds had been done at the behest of Indian Government which was in cahoots with America. The announcement that the so-called 'Hindu India' had been added to the target-countries of jihad announced by the Al Qaeda made banner headlines in the Indian and Pakistani newspapers and was beamed all over by television channels. The news proved to be a shot in the arm of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba terrorists operating from Pakistan. It is anybody's guess whether or not the subsequent December 13, 2001, attack on the Indian Parliament was a sequel to the threats issued to the 'Hindu India' by the Al-Qaeda and Jaish-Mohammed, two well-known terrorist outfits.
Although India has a surfeit of left-oriented analysts who try to underplay the threat of Islamist terror, Al Qaeda and its allied terror groups have no qualms about targetting 'the Hindu India'. They have done it time and again from Kashmir to Kanya-kumari. Recently on the second anniversary of 9/11 an Al Qaeda tape showing bin Laden and his close associate, Ayman Al Zawhiri, was released by Al Jazeera which spat venom against the Hindus. It is a chilling reminder to the Indian people of the future dangers from Islamist terrorists. After September 11, 2001, it is for the second time that the Hindu India has featured prominently in an Al Qaeda tape. Although a major portion of the tape was directed against General Musharraf, who was dubbed as "traitor Musharraf" for betraying Islam and choking the jihad in Kashmir, there were many provocative references against India, warning the Pakistanis of the day when they will "wake up from their slumber to find Hindu soldiers" raiding their homes "in complicity with the Americans". It has an ominous ring of the likelihood of a new terror storm blowing across India in the shape of more serial bombings and killings. Close on the heels of Laden's taped terror came the pronouncement made by the notorious Jaish-e-Mohammed of Pakistan to kill the top leaders of India.
It is well-known that India has hundreds of active ISI modules and moles in the local population. Without the latter's active support the kinds of bomb blasts which Mumbai has been witnessing could not have occurred with such daring and impunity. Laden's tape and Jaish's open threat should give enough food for thought to all those critics who proclaim that the Islamic threat to the country is being exaggerated. The message of terrorists is loud and clear: Christian America, Hindu India and Jewish Israel are the enemies of Islam and will therefore remain on the hit list of Al Qaeda and related militant Islamist groups. It may be recalled that radical Islam has been aggressively hostile to these three civilizations now for almost one thousand years.
In making jihad a global phenomenon the audio-visual media too has played a key role. The daily menu of the heroics of Islamic warriors attacking and killing the so-called 'kafirs', the numerous battles waged by Klashnikov crazy mujahideens and the flashbacks of young Muslim lads coming forward as suicide bombers, served on the television and in print media, have been providing grist to the mill of Muslim militancy. The visuals of the frequent bloody strifes in hotspots of faultline clashes across Palestine, Indonesia, Chechenya, Afghanistan and Kashmir, regularly shown by the television channels, CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera, have imparted a new vigour to the resolve of jihadi Muslims, worldwide. For instance, the broadcasting of the so-called bin Laden tapes at intervals by Al Jazeera has helped in rallying massive support of the faithful to the cause of the ongoing jihad in several countries. It has to be acknowledged that the audio visual media has become a powerful tool, a great unifying force for like minded Islamists; it has contributed substantially to spreading the cult of suicide bombings.
For Islamist martyrs the ideal of carrying the Quran in one hand and a Kalashnikov in the other has become the standard badge of honour. The arrest and subsequent conviction by the trial court in America of a 34 years old Kashmir-born truck driver, Iyman Faris alias Mohammed Rauf, now a naturalised U.S. citizen, a few months ago for plotting to blow up New York's Brooklyn bridge and launch another unspecified attack in Washington, gives an insight into the modus operandi of Muslim terrorists. Faris had reportedly travelled in late 2000 and subsequently to Pakistan and Afghanistan, where on one occasion he claims to have met Osama bin Laden and his senior lieutenants, one of whom was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was captured on March 1, 2003 in Pakistan.
Investigation revealed that Faris was living a "double life" of a truck driver as well as of an Al Qaeda operator. The latter assignment included carrying cash for Al Qaeda, providing vital information about 'ultralight' aircraft and scouting equipment for blowing up railroad tracks and cutting suspension bridge cables. Faris who had been earlier in touch with Al Qaeda leaders, had one more confederate based in America who sent coded messages for him to a senior Al Qaeda operative in Pakistan between April 2002 and March 2003. During his trip to Pakistan in late 2000, Faris had also met an un-named friend he had known since the Soviet-Afghanistan war in the mid-1980s. Together the two had travelled to an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, where that friend of Faris, described as bin Laden's "right foot" was involved for providing supplies of materials to Al Qaeda. There, he had been introduced to Osama bin Laden. In 2002 Faris was introduced to an important Al Qaeda leader, identified by the law enforcement officers, as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to whom he had delivered a bag containing cash and cellphones. On being told by Faris that he worked as a truck driver, involving deliveries of consignments to cargo planes, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told him that he was interested in cargo planes because they would hold 'more weight and more fuel'. Khalid Mohammed had informed Iyman Faris that al-Qaeda was planning two simultaneous operations in New York city and Washington D.C. and asked him to obtain "gas cutters" to severe the bridge cables and the tools to damage the rail road tracks. He was further advised to refer to the torches as gas stations and the tools as mechanics shops in the communications sent by him. Faris tried to look for gas cutters on the Internet and asked a friend about them but did not succeed and sent a coded message to Khalid Mohammed. He also carried out a recce of the Brooklyn bridge in early 2003 and concluded that the plot would fail because of the sound security and structure of the bridge and then sent another coded message to his unnamed friend saying that "the weather was too hot". The following three tasks had been assigned to Iyman Faris:
The arrest of Faris also exposed the close links between Al Qaeda and the Tablighi Jamaat, a radical Muslim missionary outfit, indulging in proselytizing activities all over the world. Not many U.S. intelligence agencies knew that the two organisations had been brought close to each other by the ISI during the Afghan campaign against the Soviet Russia. It was a simple task because the Tablighi Jamaat is a Pakistan-based radical missionary group enjoying enormous popularity and high visibility in that country. One of the Al Qaeda's first assignment for the truck driver, Iyman Faris, named in a terrorist plot to target and destroy the Brooklyn Bridge, was to visit a travel agency while he was in Pakistan in late 2001 to have some old airline tickets re-issued. Because the tickets were not in his name, Iyman Faris needed an explanation to validate his request. Investigators say he used the one that other Qaeda recruits have relied on to disguise their intentions: he pretended to be a member of Tablighi Jamaat, a fraternity of travelling Muslim preachers that is well known in Pakistan and other Muslim countries.(23) The services of Tablighi Jamaat were specially sought by the ISI of Pakistan for recruiting 'committed Islamic volunteers' both from Pakistan and North African countries in 1970s and 1980s to wage holy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. It is a 75-year old pan-Islamic Wahabi organisation, which originated in India, but is now headquartered in Raiwind (near Lahore) in Pakistan where it wields huge influence due to official patronage and regular liaison with the ISI and the Pakistani Army.
It was only after the Black Tuesday that the Tablighi Jamaat attracted attention of American security agencies. It has been used either as part of a cover story like that of Faris or as a springboard for leaping into militancy, as in the case of John Walker Lindh, an American, serving term for aiding the Taliban. Interrogation of John Walker Lindh revealed that his path to militancy began in California, where he met Tabligh missionaries in 1999 after converting to Islam. He joined them on a proselytizing tour but soon left them behind. One year after his association with Tablighi Jamaat mission, looking for a place to study Islam, Mr Lindh contacted one of his visiting Tabligh preachers, who enrolled him in a madarasa or religious school, in Pakistan. It was there that Lindh became convinced that he should help the Taliban. He then signed up for a military training camp that ultimately sent him to fight American and Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan. He was captured there.(24)
The Tabligh is fairly well entrenched in America. According to Michael J. Heimbach, the Deputy Chief of the FBI's International Terrorism Section, Tablighi Jamaat have a significant presence in the United States and it was known that Al Qaeda had used them for recruiting, now and in the past. Another senior law enforcement official described the group as a natural entrée, a method of gathering people together having common interest in Islam. The official added that the extremists use that as an assessment tool to evaluate individuals with particular zealousness and interest in going beyond what is offered.(25) Similarly in another case six Yemeni-American men from Lackawanna, a Buffalo suburb, had told some friends a similar story - that they were going to Pakistan in the spring of 2001 for religious training with the Tablighi Jamaat. But once in Pakistan, the men went on to take military training at an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. This only shows how a number of Islamist moles and Al Qaeda sleeper Cells have been established in almost all democratic countries and open societies, including the U.S.A. and the U.K. Of course, India has been pock-marked by hundreds of ISI modules and terrorist action stations of radical Islam now for several decades. It is well known that Al Qaeda and allied terror groups have organised a very efficient system of operations through networking, by using Pakistan as their focal point. As a modest estimate, the Sleeper Cells established by Al Qaeda and its associate outfits are said to exist in at least fifty countries - some analysts place the number as high as eighty nations, both Islamic and non-Islamic included. These Cells, manned by trusted battle-hardened operators, can be readily converted into action stations at short notice through the medium of Internet, and satellite telephones.
It is obvious that the long march of Islam will continue to be a multi-pronged and low-intensity no-holds-barred war, more specifically as series of violent incidents staged at irregular intervals, in which several groups of fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, guerrillas, drug smuggling Muslim gangsters, indoctrinated insurgents and highly motivated ethnic tribal factions like the Moro Islamists of Southern Phillipines, Arab militants and Pakistani veterans are likely to play a key role. Having started their long march almost five decades ago, the radical Islam is in no frantic hurry. They know that the dynamics of demography and the resolute commitment of millions of Muslims in more than forty countries to die in the cause of jihad have been working in their favour. The universal civilization ought to realize that Islamists are not going to wage a large scale war by involving regular armies of Muslim nations like Pakistan or Iran or by regrouping the soldiers of Islam, spread in many countries, most of whom are Pakistanis, Arabs, and Afghans - at least not until they are able to develop and deploy nuclear weapons, in support of their jihadi long march.
With the successful completion of the U.S.A.-led military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, the possibility of Islamic countries taking recourse to conventional warfare is practically over - perhaps for all times to come. At present no country in the world, leave alone Pakistan and Iran or any other combination of Muslim countries, is in a position to match the military strength of the USA. But even though the RMA, i.e., Revolution in Military Affairs, has catapulted America into the exclusive one-member club of hyper-power, there will always be the threat of Islam's suicide bombers trying to use a 'dirty nuke bomb' or other rudimentary radioactive weapons against the universal civilization for inflicting mass casualties - perhaps more specifically against America, India and Israel. The Islamists have abundantly demonstrated their determination and long reach by staging the 9/11 attack on the WTC by using hijacked planes as deadly weapons, by using suicide squads for targeting the Indian Parliament in New Delhi on December 13, 2001, in broad daylight and subsequent spectacular bombings in Bali, Morocco and Saudi Arabia and Turkey. As disclosed by the Russian first Deputy Foreign Minister, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, both Russia and the U.S. now see the threat of Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists as no more purely a theoretical possibility, implying that it was quite a possibility. The two countries have been repeatedly discussing the issue.
The threat of Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists is growing because of the presence of large number of extremist groups in Pakistan. The matter deserves the attention of the world community. It will be always necessary to keep in mind the grim possibility of some fundamentalist Army commanders of Pakistan suddenly seizing control of Pak nukes and then taking the extreme step of attacking India and Israel, the two most hated countries' in their immediate neighbourhood. They could perhaps mount a suicidal nuclear attack even against the American troops and the CIA functionaries based in and around Pakistan and Afghanistan. At the same time the test-firing by Iran of their medium range missile 'Shahab 3' in July 2003, in the presence of their supremo, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, should alert the world to the possibility of Pakistan and Iran joining hands in the near future in a renewed bid to advance the cause of radical Islam by pooling their nuclear assets and technical know-how. Shahab-3 is a medium range ballistic missile having a range of 1300 kilometers and can reportedly carry a warhead weighing 700 to 1300 kgs. It has brought Israel within the target range of the fundamentalist Iranian regime. The long-term implications of Shahab-3 for India are being studied but may not be made public. In the Persian language, 'Shahab' means a "meteor". For sometime past, Iran has been under pressure from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director, Mohamed ElBaradei, to allow surprise inspection of its nuclear facilities. The IAEA has been advising Iran to sign and ratify an additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But Iran is quite reluctant. The reasons are obvious.
By virtue of its commitment to radical Islam, Pakistan has always played a key role in the propagation of jihadi culture. Looking to the praise which the U.S. President and Collin Powell have been showering on Musharraf for helping them fight the Al Qaeda, often describing Pakistan as a 'stalwart ally',many Indians presume that perhaps Washington is not fully aware of Pakistan's role in international Islamist terrorism. But that presumption is wrong. A mere glance at the comments of senior analysts in the U.S. media and occasional proceedings of the congressional committees will convince anyone that Pentagon has complete knowledge of the active role of the Pakistani and Saudi regimes in fuelling the Islamic jihad. A question often asked during animated discussions in the drawing rooms of New Delhi is that why and how did the fundamentalist Pakistan government, headed by a jingoist army General, manage to jump on to the bandwagon of America's fierce campaign to destroy the global advancement of Islamist cause? The answer is the TINA factor. Neither Pakistan, nor the U.S.A. had any alternative. It is a marriage of convenience. The immediate need of the U.S.A. was to secure a firm and multi-pronged toehold in Pakistan for the twin purposes of mounting a no-holds-barred aerial-cum-ground assault on Afghanistan, where bin Laden and his legions were well entrenched and to set up within Pakistan an extensive network of electronic intelligence, supported by multiple teams of seasoned ground operators, to maintain a hawkish vigil. The CIA is fully aware that Pakistan is teeming with scores of militant outfits and thousands of armed jihadis committed to radical Islam. Although India had offered to help the U.S.A., the latter's foremost priority was to secure a number of high perching places in Pakistan for maintaining a long term watch on that country and its neighbourhood. Otherwise their operations could end up in a fiasco. Moreover, the Americans knew that, by virtue of being a vibrant democracy, it was impossible for them to secure any bases in India nor was the Indian political class purchasable or pliable.
In sharp contrast, Pakistan under Musharraf was available - at least temporarily, maybe for a few years. And therefore when Collin Powell came calling on phone, Pakistan's military dictator had no option but to kneel down and submit to America's demands. The U.S. request was virtually a stern command. And another reason for the American decision to virtually 'buy out' Musharraf could be the realization that the direct launching of a war against a country of Pakistan's size would require enormous resource mobilization, apart from committing more than half a million defence personnel and sink several billion dollar worth equipment in a war which could turn out to be a long drawn affair. Even for attacking the teeny weeny Afghan army, known as the Taliban, the U.S.A. had to make one month long preparation, canvass and rally the support of world opinion to form a global coalition of the willing nations to fight the threat of Islamist terror. Even so during the operations in Afghanistan there were anxious moments, sometimes days and weeks of grave doubt, when it looked that the progress on ground in the war against Taliban was painfully slow. But for the mobilization of troops of the Northern Alliance, the U.S.A. could not have easily captured Kabul. Even carpet bombing does not guarantee physical control on the ground. And if the U.S. had to attack Pakistan, a country much bigger in size and nuclear-armed, flaunting nearly a million strong army, including the Rangers and para military outfits, they might have had to take at least six months or more for preparation. Obviously they chose the path of least resistance, by securing Pakistan as the launching pad for operations in Afghanistan by promising economic aid and other doles. That was the major predicament facing the U.S.A. which restrained them from attacking Pakistan. Since Viet Nam war the American public has been mortally afraid of body bags and so is the U.S. government.
It may be recalled that in his famous speech of September 19, 2001 pledging total support to the U.S.A. in the war against terror, Musharraf had boldly referred to Pakistan as the "fortress of Islam" which expression fits that nation very well in view of the pivotal role it has played in promoting the radical Islamist ideology since its birth in 1947. After all, the Pakistani army had fathered the Taliban and ultimately managed to secure Afghanistan through a regime change, making it more or less an adjunct of Pakistan. The aim was to secure "strategic depth" for Pakistan in order to wage war against the so-called 'Hindu India', an eventuality which the military leadership of Pakistan considers inevitable. As a prominent India-baiter of Pakistani army Musharraf was the chief architect of the plot to capture Afghanistan, to secure strategic depth. What made him join the U.S. led Coalition can be assessed from the alternatives open to him and the sombre ground reality after Black Tuesday.
Musharraf was fully aware of Pakistan's deep involvement in the international Islamist terror enterprise and knew that the details thereof had been known to the U.S. Not long ago when the former U.S. President Bill Clinton, visited India in March, 2000, and during return journey stopped over for a day in Pakistan, the American intelligence officials were quite apprehensive about his security. As a measure of abundant security precaution they decided to stage a 'dummy run' before landing Airforce One, carrying Bill Clinton, at Islamabad. The Pentagon knew about the close liaison between Pakistani Army, Al Qaeda and the Taliban and the deep inroads which Islamic militancy had made into the state apparatus and the fundamentalist societal structure of that country. Anyway post 9/11 Musharraf knew too well that if he declined to help the U.S.A., all those cruise missiles and daisy-cutter bombs which devastated Afghanistan, would rain on Pakistan and reduce all military installations and all major cities to rubble! He loved Taliban from the innermost depths of his heart and wanted to save them, but dare not help beyond a point. And then he had an urgent twofold agenda: first to protect Pakistan's nuclear assets; and second to stay on course to keep alive the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir for ensuring that the army and the mullahs were happy. Indian political analysts seem to have forgotten that in his speech of September 19, 2001, Musharraf had recounted certain important concerns which made him join the world coalition against terror. (26)
The first concern listed by Musharraf in his speech was to ensure the security of Pakistan and avert any external threat. The second was to work towards the revival of economy. Third concern was to protect Pakistan's strategic nuclear and missile assets. And the fourth concern was to remain steadfastly committed to "the Kashmir cause". He specifically referred to the fact that "some scholars and religious leaders are inclined towards taking emotional decisions." While countering their viewpoint, he reminded them of "the events of the first six years of the history of Islam." Musharraf is no greenhorn; he is a shrewd strategist, as was demonstrated by him when he ousted Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup.
Musharraf also reminded the people of Pakistan that the Islamic calendar started with the prophet's migration. The significance of migration was clear from the fact that the Prophet went from Mecca to Medina. He migrated to save Islam. Migration was not, God forbid, an act of cowardice. First, the Prophet had signed the Charter of Medinah (Meesaq-e-Medinah) to keep peace with the Jews at a time when he was facing the hostile non-belivers of Mecca. It was an act of sagacity. This treaty remained effective for six years during which three battles were fought with non-believers of Mecca - the battles of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. The Muslims emerged victorious in these battles with the rulers of Mecca because the Prophet had signed a treaty with the Jews to ensure peace on that front.(27) By implication he reasoned that if Prophet Muhammad, when hard pressed, could sign an opportunistic treaty with the Jews (i.e. the Charter of Medinah), it was perfectly kosher for Pakistan at this juncture to join hands with America. Musharraf asserted that there was a lesson in this historic episode of Islamic history. "The lesson was that when there is a crisis situation, the path of wisdom is better than the path of emotions. Therefore we have to take a strategic decision". The question of weakness of faith or cowardice did not arise.(28) He further emphasized the need for pragmatism by referring to Islam's history for compromising with principles by alluding to the treaty of Hudabiyah, signed by the Prophet in 628 A.D. with his ememies, the Makkahns (rulers of Mecca) for keeping peace with them when he was engaged in a war with the Jews. Later on the treaty of Hudabiyah was abrogated before its expiry when the Muslims sensed that the right time to attack Mecca had come. In the subsequent battles the Jews were vanquished and finally banished from Medinah. In dwelling upon the example of the Prophet's treaty of Hudabiyah,
Musharraf had taken cue from a speech made by Yasser Arafat in May 1995 before his Palestinian-Arab constituency to justify his negotiations with Israel by referring to the strategem used by the Prophet who later on repudiated the treaty of Hudabiyah, perhaps eighteen months before its expiry. By referring to the repudiation by the Prophet of that opportunistic treaty, Musharraf sent out a clear and loud signal to the people and the Pakistani army that he was joining the world coalition led by America solely because of the adverse circumstances in which Pakistan was placed. Implicit in his statement of September 19, 2001, was an assurance that he would try to repudiate the commitment to the world coalition as soon as the circumstances changed in favour of Pakistan.
There is a significant commonality between the pronouncement made by Yasser Arafat in 1995 and that made by Musharraf in September 2001. Both proclaimed that they would honour their commitments but in practice neither did. Yasser Arafat continued to hobnob with the Palestinian terror groups like the Hamas and Islamic Jihad and gave them both shelter and support, mostly on the sly till he was exposed by the Israelis and then George Bush sidelined him. Musharraf has been using the same scheming technique of sheltering the Al Qaeda and Taliban leadership and allied terror outfits in Pakistan, right under the nose of the U.S.A. But George Bush is yet to catch him in the act of cheating and double dealing!
The important aspect of Musharraf's speech in which he publicly said that he was making a compromise with his principles by joining the U.S.-led coalition, with an implicit rider that he could repudiate it when the circumstances turned favourable, did not receive much attention of the western political analysts and media or for that matter, even a critical scrutiny by the American think-tanks. Similarly neither the Indian political analysts nor our hyper-active media mandarins bothered to examine what Musharraf was saying and what could be his game plan. But one must be fair to Musharraf; he minced no words in spelling out his compulsions as well his ultimate intentions. It was time that the Pentagon realized that the wily fox that he is, Musharraf has every intention of reneging on the promise he made to Collin Powell. But he will do that only at an opportune time. The reference by him to the compromise made by the Prophet with his enemy when the former was in dire straits but subsequently reneging on the treaty as soon as he had an upper hand, is pregnant with several possibilities. Surely in his speech he gave a subtle public assurance to this effect to the people of Pakistan as well. It is learnt that his confidants in the Pakistani army feel fully reassured about Musharraf's ultimate intent to make an about-turn at the appropriate juncture. But for his public commitment and his tacit, but sure, assurance to the army, Musharraf's continuance in power would have been impossible.
At heart, Musharraf remains a faithful jihadi soldier of Islam down to his toes. In his speech, he had also referred to his friends' worry about the fate of Afghanistan. His immense love for Taliban oozed overwhelmingly in his speech when he said that he and his government were much more worried about Afghanistan and Taliban. He went on record saying that he had done a lot for Afghanistan and Taliban when the entire world was against them. He met about twenty to twenty-five world leaders and spoke to each one of them in favour of Taliban and requested that sanctions should not be imposed on Afghanistan.(29) He went on to assure his Pakistani audience that "we are trying our best to come out of this critical situation without any damage to Afghanistan and the Taliban." "This is my earnest endeavour and with the blessings of Allah I will continue to seek a way out." (30) But Americans just won't spare Al Qaeda and the Taliban despite whatever Musharraf tried to do. They carpet-bombed Afghanistan and tried to destroy the Taliban lock, stock and barrel. It is a different matter that many leading lights of Al Qaeda and Taliban continue to be sheltered in Pakistan by the ISI - and perhaps with the knowledge of Musharraf himself. Now they are growing both in size and strength.
Many Pakistani political analysts and columnist have been lamenting that Musharraf did not try to secure a better economic and financial deal from America in lieu of the services most humbly rendered and the consequential enormous loss suffered by Pakistan's economy. It has been pointed out that between 1951 and 1981 the U.S.A. had provided $5 billion as direct economic aid to Pakistan, while General Zia had negotiated $3.2 billion as assistance for 1981-1985, and another $4 billion for subsequent six years, in return for Pakistan's help in the anti-Russian war in Afghanistan. Apart from the bilateral economic aid, at that time the U.S. had helped Pakistan get additional funds from the IMF and the World Bank. But critics forget that the two situations are not comparable. They forget that in the current global scenario the Pakistani establishment has been virtually in the dock because of their neck-deep complicity in promoting and exporting Islamist terror. On earlier occasions there was no such ignominous charge against Pakistan. After Black Tuesday, Pakistan dare not refuse to meet the demands made by America nor was there any time for negotiations to seek a better financial deal. For Musharraf it was a question of saving his own skin and protecting Pakistan from being bombed out by the mighty U.S. war machine. All his options were closed. Beggars could not be choosers. Pakistani columnists ought to thank Musharraf for managing to divert the fury of U.S.A.'s aerial arsenal to Afghanistan, a country which was made the sacrificial lamb. But for Musharraf's abject surrender, the Washington would have come down on him as well as Pakistan with the proverbial ton of bricks, albeit in the shape of cruise missiles and daisy-cutters.
Perhaps it was a great civilizational tragedy or call it a quirk of destiny, that the innocent people of Afghanistan got bombed out and were ravaged for no fault of theirs by the relentless fury of America's B-52 bombers and cruise missiles. Every one knew that the vast majority of Afghans were no better than mere captives of the Pakistani army and the ISI and that the Afghan territory had been seized through the Taliban by Pakistan as an extension of their own country. Logically all those missiles and bombs which killed thousands of Afghans and destroyed their hearths and homes should have rained on Pakistan which was the birth place of both the Taliban and the Al Qaeda and where mujahideen were trained in hundreds of ISI-run terror-training camps for decades. After the exit of Russians from Afghan soil as soon as the Americans turned their back, the Pakistani establishment in pursuit of their goal of strategic depth managed to enslave the Afghan people through a cleverly manipulated regime-change in which the Taliban took charge of Afghanistan. That was how a fundamentalist Islamic dictatorship was foisted on the innocent and gullible populace of that country by Pakistan.
The Pakistan-sponsored Islamist terror is now like a genie out of the bottle; it cannot be pushed back. Before attempting a conflict resolution at national and international levels, the concerned nation-states forming part of the universal civilization have to fight the menace jointly on multiple fronts and destroy the roots of terrorism. Otherwise it will devour a number of nation-states, especially of the soft variety and also those which have become effete because of their ageing populations. Unless engaged frontally and combated globally, the ongoing terrorism has the potential of causing immense damage to the civil society and universal civilizational values. It needs to be understood that the two nation theory is implicit in the orthopraxy of Islam when it makes the division of the world into two distinctly opposite and perpetually conflicting camps: the "us" and the "them", namely the 'faithful' and the "infidels". Islam speaks about two entities and labels them as two different nations: one the Dar-ul-Islam where supremacy of Islam has been established and there is peace; and the second, the Dar-ul-Harb, i.e., the land of war or conflict, where Muslims are in a minority and there is no peace for which reason it is the duty of the ' faithful' to preach and carry forward the message of prophet Muhammad in Dar-ul-Harb to enlighten the infidels and convert them to Islam and if necessary, to wage jihad to transform it into Dar-ul-Islam i.e., 'the 'Abode of Peace'.
Thus Islamic theology is manifestly divisive. That explains why Muslims everywhere start demanding the right to secede and form a separate country, long before their numbers approach the majority status. Alija Izetbegovich of Bosnia has been openly saying so, at least for the last three decades. Recent events have shown that the concept of jihad against 'kafirs' is an integral part of the theology of Islam and is deeply ingrained in the psyche of a large majority of Muslims, including many scholars and intellectuals of the community. The theocratic state of Pakistan, created in 1947 by the British by partitioning the Indian sub-continent on the ground that the Hindu and the Muslims were two separate nations and therefore Muslims could not live with the Hindu majority, stands out as the role model for radical Islamists seeking secession from the parent countries. For protagonists of radical Islam, decades ago Pakistan had emerged as the first major milestone on the jihadi highway. Since then many new encampments have been established in Palestine, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechenya, Indonesia and the Philippines on the long route charted for attaining the goal envisaged by the Islamists.
Currently numerous jihads are being waged in several countries across the globe and the faithful hope to establish more milestones of success on the pattern of Pakistan - with every successive victory which they secure. Pakistan has been the breeding ground of Islamist doctrine ever since 1947 when the British decided to divide and quit the sub-continent, leaving behind a bloody trail of murders, mayhem and plunder, the like of which were never witnessed in the twentieth century. While India, despite its overwhelming population of Hindus and Sikhs (which stood at approximately 85% post partition, as against approximately 82% today) opted for a modern, secular and multi-cultural State guaranteeing equal rights to all citizens, Pakistan emerged as an Islamic theocracy - despite Jinnah's pretentious claim of believing in secularism. Every ruler of Pakistan, from Liaqat Ali Khan to General Yahya Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, General Zia-ul-Haq, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif to General Mushraff have unabashedly stoked the fires of Muslim fundamentalism and invoked the time-honoured Islamic doctrine of jihad against India for one reason or the other, mostly using Kashmir as an excuse.
In retrospect, one gets the impression that the creation of Pakistan and the latter's attack on Jammu & Kashmir in the year 1947, following the partition, signaled the revival of the radical Islamic philosophy of aggression and marked the beginnings of their long march to conquer the world. During the last five decades Pakistan has been in the vanguard of every pan Islamic movement to wage holy wars in support of all sorts of Muslim claims in different parts of the world. It is not for nothing that Musharraf calls Pakistan the ' Fortress of Islam'. One must give the devil his due. It is entirely due to the tireless efforts of the Pakistani leadership and tremendous organizational inputs provided by its Army and the ISI, that the radical Islam has advanced so soon and thus far and continues to burst upon the world horizon in successive multiple waves of violence and terror. Courtesy Pakistan's strategic planning, now the jihadi movement has acquired hundreds of thousand armed foot soldiers worldwide and their long march has become a formidable force to reckon with.
The first wave of Islamist terror started around 1969-70 with the spectacular hijacking of three aeroplanes by the Palestinian terrorists, just a few years before the massacre of Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics in 1972. These terrorist strikes were occasioned by the expulsion of Palestine's radical Islamists by Jordan. The forced-out hordes of radical Palestinians, scattered across the West Asia, started a series of retaliatory terrorist campaigns, including frequent attacks on the Israelis. Abu Jihad, a trusted lieutenant of Yasser Araft, emerged as the kingpin of the first wave of Islamist terrorism spawned by the Palestinian conflict. On August 30, 1993, Israel agreed to give a limited autonomy to Palestinians following which on September 13, 1993, the historic accord between Israel and the P.L.O. was signed at Washington granting limited Palestinian self-rule in Gaza and West Bank, which had been occupied by Israel in the "Six Days War" in 1967. But while the Palestinian Liberation Organization which had masterminded this terrorist movement, announced their abandoning of terror in 1993, a more radical Islamist outfit 'the HAMAS' emerged on the scene and took over as the principal opponent of Israel to continue open recourse to terror as a means. Till recent times HAMAS has been opposing any proposal for peace with Israel, short of the creation of an independent Palestinian state, on the terms set by its leadership. For a while Hamas agreed to hold back their notorious suicide bomb attacks but soon restarted its 'mission mayhem'.
The second wave of Islamist terror came in early 1980s in the shape of Afghan jihad to oust the Soviets from Kabul when more than two hundred thousand militant Muslims from several countries, an overwhelming majority of whom were from Pakistan, indoctrinated by Mullahs, trained and armed with the funds provided by the CIA and the strategic political support of U.S.A. and Saudi Arabia were let loose on the Russian troops. Osama bin Laden and his infamous Al Qaeda, in tandem with the ISI of Pakistan, played a pivotal role in the Afghan jihad. The success in Afghan jihad whetted the appetite of the leaders of radical Islam, especially Osama bin Laden and his associates and collaborators in the Pakistani establishment. We have seen that how, after overthrowing the pro-Russian Najibullah regime in Afghanistan the rabid jihadis, led by hordes of Arab Afghans swearing allegiance to bin Laden, fanned out worldwide to a number of countries to push forward their long march. The result is there in the open, for everyone to see.
The big picture of geo-political faultline conflicts shows that since 1990s there have been outbreaks of parallel jihadi movements in more than twenty countries enumerated in Appendix-II (31), including Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Croatia, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Palestine, Chechenya (Russia), Dagestan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, India (including Jammu & Kashmir), Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. In these countries the rumblings caused by the footfalls of terrorists can be heard all over. The governments and the people of each one of these countries have been drawn into relentless bloody conflicts with radical Islam which has been trying to destablize these nations by bleeding them white through organised politico-religious upheavals and the resultant financial strain. By now all these countries, dotted with cells of Al Qaeda and allied terrorist organisations have become important camping sites on the route charted by Jihadis for their long march. The terror cells in these countries are also being used as operational "action stations" of mujahideen. This is done by promoting internal subversion by establishing one or more militant outfits for radicalizing the local Muslim populations and then motivating the younger generation to get involved in terrorist activities and terror tactics.[In India, the emergence of SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), the Muslim Defence Force, Deendar Anjuman and innumerable fundamentalist and terrorist outfits operating in Jammu & Kashmir, North East and southern India, are typical examples of the clandestine work being done by the suspected Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist cells and action stations]
The strategy of engineering internal faultline conflicts by fomenting inter-communal and intra-cultural strifes has considerably helped the Islam in its long march. At micro level the well-planned establishment of terror cells by Al Qaeda or similar other militant outfits, mostly based in Pakistan, has been in progress at a fast pace for the last twenty years or more in several countries, including the U.S.A., the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, India, Bangladesh, Malayasia and Indonesia. These Cells, mostly manned by four to five committed jihadis, have become pivots of organised militancy and are regularly used both for collection and dissemination of vital information and provide safe havens for sheltering the designated terrorists, before or after the launching of attacks. One of the duties enjoined on the Terror Cells is to remain on the look out for Islamic causes which are then used for spreading disaffection among Muslims and thereby build a provocative atmosphere of hate and rage. The Al-Qaeda cells-cum-action stations are like important buckle-links on the zig-zag route charted by Jihadis for their ongoing long march. Pakistan has been the storm-centre of this new radical phenomenon, albeit massively aided by the Saudi regime, and even by the fundamentalist Iranian regime. Buoyed by the heady appetiser of successful jihad in Afghanistan, the rulers of Pakistan have been cleverly using hundreds of thousands armed jihadis, drawn from more than two dozen countries, for fighting a series of renewed high profile war of terror in the above mentioned countries.
The third wave of terror, revealing its global dimensions and the long reach, was launched by bin Laden on 9/11 with vicious attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon. This was the first major attack by the Islamist terrorists on America, that is on American soil. Undoubtedly it took a very heavy toll of more than three thousand lives. It naturally angered the Pentagon and the American people no end. Yet America decided to sign up the Pakistani establishment, headed by Musharraf, as its key ally in the war against terrorism. And after the U.S. victory against radical Islamists in Afghanistan and Iraq, came the FBI disclosure that the source of money used in the 9/11 attack was funnelled from Pakistan asserting that it underscored the necessity to take conclusive steps at ensuring an end to terror links in the region.(32) The FBI investigators had traced the funding for the World Trade Centre twin tower attacks to Al Qaeda accounts in Pakistan. The revelation was made before a senate panel by John S Pistole, deputy assistant director of the FBI's counter terrorist division.(33) According to an FBI report the investigators traced the origin of the funding of 9/11 back to financial accounts in Pakistan, where high ranking and well known Al Qaeda operatives played a major role in moving the money forward, eventually into the hands of the hijackers located in the U.S. According to FBI estimates the September 11, 2001 attacks cost between $175,000 and $250,000. That money which paid for flight training, travel and other expenses, flowed to the hijackers through associates in Germany and the United Arab Emirates. Those associates reported to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who managed much of the planning for the attacks from Pakistan.(34)
But the Indian intelligence agencies had known all along that Pakistan was playing a pivotal role in planning promoting and financing of all terrorist activities through the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) because India had been been subjected to innumerable such attacks during the last two decades. After two unsuccessful attempts to seize Kashmir by force, in the years 1947 and 1965, Pakistan has devised the strategy of waging a proxy war against India through cross border terrorism and to bleed India by what is known as the war of 'a thousand cuts'. According to the South Asian Intelligence Review, a well known Delhi-based group of analysts, this proxy war claimed 26,226 lives between 1988 and 2000 in an estimated 43,956 incidents of violence. Of these casualties 10,310 (40 per cent) were civillians, 3,520 (13 per cent) security personnel, and 12,396 (47 per cent) terrorists.(35) And this campaign of Islamic jihad continues to take its heavy toll in India, notwithstanding the claims of grand success made by the U.S.A. in containing the terror across the globe. Just take a look at some of the examples of the so-called grand success of the world coalition. During the year 2002 there were 2 successive attacks, in a single year, on the historically famous Raghunath temple in Jammu on March 30, 2002, and November 24, 2002, a brutal attack on the families of Army personnel living in Kaluchak residential complex (Jammu) in May 2002, plus a bloody attack on the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, on September 24, 2002. There were a series of bomb blasts in Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, later on. And before that during 2002 itself quite a few daring attempts were made to stage similar terrorist strikes in New Delhi, the Indian capital.
These were clear manifestations of the Pakistan sponsored jihadi's nefarious designs to destroy the Indian civilization (Hindu civilization in fact) which has long been its target, almost for more than nine hundred years now. Earlier on August 6, 2002, Muslim terrorists had launched an unprovoked vicious attack on innocent and unarmed Hindu yatris going for pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave in which nearly a dozen Hindus were killed and over 37 injured. In fact, by now attacks on the Amarnath Yatris are almost a regular annual feature. The year 2003 saw even an attack on the Hindu pilgrims going to Vaishnodevi temple in Jammu. Hundreds of Hindu temples all over the country, starting with the Ram temple at Ayodhaya to Goddess Vaishnodevi in Jammu, Somnath and Ambaji temples in Gujarat, Tirupathi temple in Andhra, Jagannath temple at Puri (Orissa) and the Lakshminarayan Mandir (Birla Mandir) and Hanuman Mandir in Delhi are under continuous threat of the radical Islamists who have murder in their minds. This creates confusion and anger in the minds of law abiding civil population and leads to a law and order problem in many cities.
As mentioned earlier, the Islamist terror displayed its overarching reach right into the heart of India on December 13, 2002, when Pakistani militants tried to storm the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) in New Delhi. And Islamist terror ugly face was unmasked in the dastardly attack on the hapless women and children of army soldiers at Kaluchak on May 14, 2002, when they launched a savage attack on a residential camp of the Indian Army at Kaluchak resulting in the butchery of over 30 hapless innocent persons, mostly women and children, while their menfolk, all soldiers, were far away on duty. These grisly slaughters of the innocents marked a new low of depravity in terrorism-sponsored by Pakistan. According to the U.S. State Department's latest report, titled "Patterns of Global Terrorism", India has been the world's worst victim country in terms of terror. India was subjected to over 67 terrorists attacks in 2002, compared with nine in Israel and seven on the West Bank.(36) The report also notes that extremist violence in Kashmir fuelled by infiltration from Pakistan across the Line of Control threatened to become flashpoint for a wider India-Pakistan conflict during most of the year.(37) After recording these facts the report glosses over Pakistan's role by referring to it as a "key ally" in Washington' anti-terror campaign. It was also lauded for handing over 500 suspected Al Qaida and Taliban suspects. Perhaps in order to maintain its military and intelligence bases in Pakistan, America has adopted a softer approach on Pak leadership. It is a known fact that many radical outfits have continued to function in Pakistan and Pak-Occupied Kashmir, after changing their names. These facts are well known to Washington but the U.S. seems to be having its own compulsions for not going against Pakistan.
For decades the Pakistani rulers and their army, which always had the final say in the running of that country, kept on promoting fundamentalism and the militant Jihadi culture with the help of American funds and active connivance of the CIA. Finally in mid-1990s Pakistan was able to bring about a "regime change" in Afghanistan and set up a radical Islamic government headed by the Talibans, a protégé of Al Qaeda. That is how the tyrannical rule of militant Talibans was foisted on Afghan people. The Taliban government was all along nurtured and groomed by the ISI and Pakistani army with a view to holding Afghanistan as a hostage, for use as natural extension of Pakistan so as to provide it with "strategic depth" in the event of a war with India. Pakistani army has always believed in the inevitability of war with India for fulfilment of their wild dreams of ruling over Hindu India once again, as Muslims had done in the past - something about which successive Pakistan rulers have been gloating for decades.
The establishment of a network of thousands of madarasas, the Islamic seminaries, initially designed to indoctrinate and motivate the students, i.e., the Taliban, in the fundamentalist ideology of Islam, for waging 'holy war' against heathen Russians, was an important step by Pakistan towards launching a mission jihad worldwide. Bin Laden soon laid the foundations of Al Qaeda with the full support of ISI and backing of the military establishment of Pakistan and managed to set up hundreds of 'Terror Cells' in more than 50 countries by funneling petro dollars received from Saudi Arabia and other Sheikhdoms through numerous Islamic charities. And the ISI worked overtime to set up scores of well-equipped training camps to arm and train militant Jihadi volunteers recruited from more than 20 countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bangladesh and a few even from the U.K. and the U.S.A. Most of these training camps were positioned in Afghanistan, the adjoining border areas of Pakistan and Pak-occupied Kashmir. For strategically advancing this long-cherished goal of Pakistan's founding fathers and its ideologue, Mohammed Iqbal, fulsome credit must be given to the genuis of the leading lights of Pakistan's ISI and that country's Army leadership for training and galvanising hundreds of thousand Muslim volunteers, coming from diverse socio-political background, and recruited from far away countries, into a cohesive Islamic army of Jihadis. These warriors have already joined the long march on the Jihadi highway across Asia, Africa and Europe, as charted out by the ISI, with the blessings of Al Qaeda. Since 1998 jihad has been openly declared against the infidels, namely the Christian west, the Hindu India, the Jewish state of Israel, and heathen Russians in Chechenya. In other words, the die has been cast and it might turn out to be a no-holds-barred civilizational conflict, all over the world.
Surely bin Laden has played an important role by assuming leadership of this long march. But frankly, the entire spadework was done by the Pakistani leadership, their committed Islamist cadres of the ISI, who despite decades of trials and tribulations of adversity through which Pakistan had to plod along quite often, stayed tenaciously focussed on their goal of restoring the medieval glory of Islam. While plans of the proposed global 'long march' by the Islamists were being rehearsed and finalised by the Pakistani establishment and bin Laden in the rugged mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the American establishment slumbered and remained totally bereft of any futuristic vision of the likely events. Could they be so lackadaisical that they had no about what the ISI was planning on the ground? And all this time the Afghan jihad was gaining support in Washington and more money was being appropriated for covert and not-so-covert support for the Afghan mujahideen.(38) The United States was convinced that it was supporting a genuine national struggle albeit with a strong Islamic foundation and Islamabad went to great lengths to ensure that the United States did not discover first hand the kind of mujahideen the American tax payers were sponsoring. Toward this end the CIA was isolated by the ISI from the training infrastructure it financed.(39) Although Bodansky is quite convinced of this fact on the basis of the testimony of Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, then head of the ISI's Afghan Bureau, it is very difficult to believe that the ISI, which ate out of the hands of CIA, could have bluffed the latter so easily and effectively.
There is a widespread belief in Pakistan that everything in that country is managed by the grace of Allah, America and Army - in that order. It is therefore inconceivable, that the CIA could not know the ISI's game plan of training thousands of Muslim jihadis for launching a series of jihads all over the world in a number of countries. If that is true then at least in this clever cover up of their ultimate design, the ISI top brass proved to be superior to their American counterparts. Brigadier Yousaf emphasized that the ISI was the sole provider of training in Pakistan and Afghanistan and that no "American or Chinese instructor was ever involved in giving training of any kind of weapon or equipment to the mujahideen.(40) In any case, the CIA ought to have known better because they were funding the radical Islamist outfits and their operatives had actively helped the successive Pakistan governments in training and equipping young mujahideen for fighting the Russians and their communist stooges in Afghanistan, to throw them out. After accomplishing that task, the hordes of Jihadi outfits were let loose on hapless Kashmiris for carrying out ethnic cleansing. In due course of time Pakistan was transformed from being the epicentre to the status of the storm-centre of Islamist terrorism. The journey of Islamist terror from Pakistan to Afghanistan was quick, almost meteoric, and led to the ignominous exit of the Russians from Kabul in 1988-89. And finally Afghanistan, the chosen land of 'strategic depth' for Pakistani Army, started producing thousands of armed Jihadis in Islamic seminaries and training camps set up by the ISI and nurtured by Al Qaeda. Soon the growing numbers of trained Jihadis started clogging the assembly line and the output became far in excess of what could be gainfully employed in Kashmir Valley, or deployed for Jihad against the so-called Hindu India.
Consequently the Islamist outfits, groomed by the ISI, accumulated a big exportable surplus of thousands of mujahideen, moulded and manufactured in hundreds of terror factories of Pakistan and Afghanistan. A sizeable spill over of these jihadi warriors was despatched to Chechenya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Indonesia, Malaysia and even to the far away Mindnao and Sulu Islands of Philippines. Let us not forget that the dreaded Abu Sayyaf band of Moro jihadis, giving sleepless nights to the Christian President of Phillipines, Gloria Macapagal Arroya, are a product of Pakistani training camps patronised by the ISI and financed by the CIA. The ruthless leader of this militant group,originally known as Professor Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, was an Afghan intellectual belonging to the Ittihad party who had established himself in Peshawar, Pakistan, which became his home. He was inspired almost entirely by the ultra conservative Wahabi ideology of Saudi Arabia. This was a core group of jihadi warriors comprising several hundred guerrillas who fought the Russians in Afghanistan. After the end of Afghan war, they moved from their Peshawar base to the southern Philippines where they operated under the name of Abu Sayyaf group to fuel the Moro Muslim terrorism in collaboration with Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In the 1990s it was the most violent and radical Islamist group in the Far East, using its CIA and ISI training to harass, attack and murder Christian priests, wealthy non-Muslim plantation owners and merchants and local government in the southern Philippines island of Mindnao.(41)
Meanwhile by early 1998, driven by their hatred of America and Israel, the P.L.O. (Palestine Liberation Organisation), the Iranian regime, and Iraq led by Saddam Hussein, had all cosied up to each other and joined hands for promoting Islamist terror worldwide, including India. Apparently the Indian government did not come to know of this fact, or perhaps they conveniently ignored it because of our tradition of having infinite faith in the friendship of the Islamic regimes of the Middle East. For instance, India had always lionised the PLO which organisation had acted as pioneers in promoting Islamist terror, especially against Israel. We even ignored that several PLO leaders had been associated with the radical Muslim Brotherhood in their younger years. They were most receptive to the call for international jihad and had started sending some of their most promising radical youth to the terrorist camps in Pakistan for special training. It may be recalled that Yasser Arafat had made a fiery speech on October 15, 1985, proclaiming commitment to jihad or holy war. His military chief, Khalil al-Wazir, popularly known as Abu Jihad, was the first one to claim that Islam's terrorism was the "wave of the future", and subsequent events proved that prophetic indeed were his words.
Within 15 years Abu Jihad's wave of the future had metamorphosed into an intercontinental islamist terror missile, which crossed both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and hit the U.S.A. In early 1995 a number of secret meetings were held in Khartoum, Sudan, and some other locations to coordinate terrorist activities between high ranking intelligence officers of the terror sponsoring Muslim nations and some of these were attended by bin Laden, Palestinian leaders of HAMAS, representatives of Egypt's Islamic Jihad, Algeria's AIS and GIA and Qazi Hussein Ahmad of Islamic Jihad in Pakistan, and certain plans were finalized. In one of these meetings it was decided to establish a number of new offices all over the world to aggressively promote international Islamic movement. The new offices were meant for carrying forward the Islamist agenda and among other things the operations in Kashmir and other parts of India, Afghanistan and Albania and Kosovo were entrusted to the headquarters at Karachi. Simultaneously the office at Teheran was also assigned the task of supporting the operations in Central Asia, India and Bosnia.(42) Apparently there was some sort of an overlap in the allocation of responsibilities. That could be due to the priority accorded to the task of advancing the goal of radical Islam both in Bosnia and India - two Islamist missions in which Iran and Pakistan had come together because of Al Qaeda. In early 1998, hectic efforts were made in the Middle East to forge unity among all major Muslim countries to meet the growing challenge of the U.S.A. and Israel in the region The turning point occurred in Feb. 1998 with the formalization of the strategic cooperation between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Egypt. (43)
There is a widely held wrong belief in India that Iraq being a secular nation, never joined hands with Iran and other fundamentalist countries of Middle East to promote terror. Nothing could be farther from truth. Sensing imminent U.S. intervention in the region, in middle of January 1998 Iran had sent out clandestine messages to all its neighbours, including Iraq, urging closer cooperation and coordination. Baghdad reacted quickly, by suggesting the formation of a common front against the American build-up. Baghdad also offered various concessions to entice Tehran and promised to cut support for the Iraq-based Iranian opposition group, the Mujahideen-ul-Khalq, and showed willingness to re-examine Iran's demand for some $100 billion in compensation for the Iran-Iraq War.(44) As pointed out by Bodansky, in January 1998 Muhammad Said al-Sahaf, Iraq's Foreign Minister and Saddam's secret Emissary, who earned quite a bit of notoriety during the 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' by colourfully trying to out-lie Goebbles and became a source of merriment to television viewers, had visited Tehran and signed a memorandum of understanding with Kamal Kharrazi, his Iranian counterpart. Later on it was followed up by a visit by Saddam's son Qusey and Rafia Daham al-Takriti, chief of Iraqi general intelligence, to meet Iranian Intelligence Minister in the border town of al Shalamja and the two delegations reached agreement on certain key points, including sponsoring joint terrorist operations.(45) They even carried out some joint surveys. Among other things, in all probability they also agreed to escalate any American attack on Iraq into a regional war against Israel-that promise of reprisals against the Jews remained a total non-starter during the recent Iraq war.
Subsequently Azzam's famous 'dua' to Allah and Laden's declaration of jihad in early 1998 were loud pronouncements of their intent to attack American people and their interests everywhere. But even that did not bother the U.S. establishment which kept on slumbering till 1998 when Osama bin Laden issued an edict announcing the "classic" Islamic call for Jihad against the Americans and the Jews. For a while it did attract the attention of the U.S. President, Bill Clinton, in August 1998. But ultimately like all jolly good Yankees, after ordering the launching of a score plus cruise missiles which hit a few training camps of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan nearabout Khost on August 20, 1998, Clinton soon reverted to his favourite pastime!
Come September 2001, and lo and behold, much to the bewilderment of the CIA and America's large retinue of defence strategists and security analysts, the deadly reach of Pakistan's exportable surplus of jihadis hit the U.S.A. like a raging tornado. And finally on 9/11 the dastardly terrorist attacks woke up the Pentagon from its deep slumber, but only when it escaped being bombed out. Perhaps that was for good reasons too, because most terrorists, like classical anarchists and ungrateful dogs, always prefer to bite first the hand that feeds them. Surely, the CIA with its vast expertise in espionage and counter-espionage plus archives full of case studies should have known better when it chose to pump in billions of dollars for training hundreds of thousand holy warriors through the ISI and the Pakistani Army. The denouement was graphically described by the Washington Post on December 30, 2001, when it highlighted the end result of Pakistan's Zia ul Haq joining as America's foremost ally and the CIA openly recruited Islamic warriors from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Algeria for holy war in Afghanistan to oust Russians. The result was that radical Islam went into overdrive because its superpower ally and mentor funnelled support to Mujahideen. Ronald Reagan feted them on the White House lawns and the Saudis and Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence became partners in the project. The U.S. saw in this game a double advantage of thwarting the Russians in Afghanistan and diverting militant Islam away from the Middle East to fight in Afghanistan. Withdrawal of Russian troops from Afghanistan in February 1989 was a dramatic turning point and good news. Unfortunately what should have been an unalloyed victory for the U.S.-Saudi strategy of diverting and controlling the new energies of militant Islam, however, gave birth to a new "transnational terrorist force."
It was astounding that the Americans did not know that only a fundamentalist State like Pakistan, born out of the unremitting hatred of the infidels, alone could act as a legitimate midwife to the birth of Islamist terror. For sure, the Americans had missed out on their radar screen the blips showing the zeal with which the founding fathers of Pakistan had mounted a violent campaign for ethnic cleansing of the Hindus and the Sikhs first from that country in 1947 and later on from Jammu & Kashmir - two important events that set the tone for the growth of radical Islam across the globe. Historically the process of ethnic cleansing by driving out, converting and killing the Hindus has been going on in northern parts of the Indian sub-continent, now for centuries, ever since Muhammad bin Qasim and Mahmud of Ghazni invaded the Indian sub-continent. At the time of creation of Pakistan there was a sizeable population of Hindus and Sikhs in that country. But just within 2 years, most of them were either driven out to India or killed or converted to Islam. Just 150 years back, there was a considerable Hindu and Sikh population in Afghanistan but no more today.(46)
The last chapter of the systematic ethnic cleansing was concluded when Pakistan came into being and subsequently in recent years the ethnic cleansing programme was conducted in the valley and areas of J&K Doda, Rajouri and a few other districts of Jammu region.(47) This sustained campaign of ethnic cleansing in Jammu & Kashmir, fully supported by the Pakistani establishment, continues till date. The real challenge to the Indian state has come from the failure of successive governments to analyse and assess the menace of radical Islam which has already made massive inroads into various parts of the country. The overarching display of sympathy by almost every party across the political spectrum, often in defence of the known subversive outfits like the SIMI and Deendar Anjuman has made it even more difficult to identify and uproot the deeply planted cells of terrorists because even a long overdue and legitimate action against them is often protested and played up by some left-oriented groups as discriminatory and vindictive. The failure of the country's political leadership to squarely confront and destroy the terrorists operating both within India and in the neighbouring Pakistan bodes ill for the future of the country. The ouster of Saddam Hussein and the U.S. occupation of Iraq have further fuelled the anger of Islamists of the sub-continent, thus making the task more difficult. The turmoil in Iraq is not going to die down easily. In the decades ahead the indignities heaped on Iraqi detainees in Abu Gharaib prisonwill continue to fuel hatred against the Christian West and promote radical Islam throughout West Asia.
Post 9/11 there has been no perceptible change in the ground situation in Pakistan, even after General Musharaff pledged his total support to the U.S. in war against terrorism on September 19, 2001 and became a frontline ally of America. In March 2003, while speaking in New Delhi on "Reassessing Pakistan as a long term strategic threat", Prof. Satish Kumar, a well known expert on international relations presented a research document containing a candid appraisal of the situation. Satish Kumar's conclusion, empirically supported by facts and figures, was that the long term challenge which our hostile neighbour, dominated and ruled by a rogue military establishment, poses not only to us but to the entire neighbourhood was enormous. Prof. Kumar drew attention to the fact that the armed forces dominate every sector of national life in Pakistan ranging from toppling the elected governments to controlling the real estate, investments in stock market, producing electricity and taking over the jobs normally meant for civil services. Prof. Kumar's analysis of the malaise of Islamic extremism emanating from Pakistan is very illuminating. He draws "a parallel between the ideologies of the Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden on the one hand and the ISI-supported Maulana Masood Azhar on the other".(48) According to Prof. Kumar the 'jihadi infrastructure' in Pakistan is largely intact and now includes 40,000 to 50,000 madarasas, with an estimated two million students.
There are today 200,000 armed jihadis in Pakistan, backed by over one million young people, jihad-oriented but not yet armed.(49) Astonishingly these estimates of the presence of Jihadi warriors within Pakistan are fairly close to the figures given by Mohammed Amir Rana in his book, Jihad-e-Kashmir and Afghanistan. Prof. Kumar draws attention to a poll in Pakistan some time ago which showed 88 percent of the people believe that the Quran and Sunnah should be the source of all laws in Pakistan; 84 per cent of those polled agree that Pakistan's security interests were served by supporting jihadi outfits in "Occupied Jammu & Kashmir" (i.e. Indian Kashmir). In such a socio-political scenario how can democracy strike roots? According to Prof. Kumar there are two reasons which make Pakistani military believe that despite India's vastly superior conventional military and economic strength, they can continue to bleed India in Kashmir and elsewhere.
First, from 1987 onwards India has been deterred from responding militarily to its provocations because of the fear of nuclear escalation. Second, the Pakistani army is somehow convinced that it has the support of the United States not only in ruling the country but also in receiving American economic and military assistance, despite their provocations to India. Unfortunately this old belief may no longer be valid looking to the fact that lately the U.S.A. has not only allowed Israel to sell Phalcon early warning system along with several other tech-savvy weapons systems to India but also blessed the growing defence and political ties between the two democratic countries. Prof. Kumar also referred to the growing trend of Islamisation within the army and quoted in support of his thesis the assessment of the well known American scholar Stephen Cohen according to whom the present arrangement of a military led or influenced government will prevail indefinitely but not transform Pakistan. Rebuilding weakened institutions is pointless if the central operating principles of the Pakistani establishment remain hatred and distrust of India and intolerance of diversity at home.(50)
Now at long last there are some positive signs that lately America's neo-conservatives are becoming wary of Pakistan's attempts to hoodwink the West and carry on with its old agenda of promoting terror. They are worried about the resurgence of the Taliban ideology in Afghanistan because of Pakistan's support. They are worried about the resurgence of the Taliban ideology in Afganistan because of Pakistan's tacit support to radical Islam.
1. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or Partition of India, publishers Thacker & Company Ltd., Bombay, 1945, p.326.
2. B.L. Kak, The Fall of Gilgit: The Untold Story of Indo-Pak Affairs from Jinnah to Bhutto, pp. 21-22.
3. Ibid, pp.22-23.
4. Ibid, p.23}
5. B.L. Kak, The Fall of Gilgit: The Untold Story of Indo-Pak Affairs from Jinnah to Bhutto, p.53.
6. Ibid, pp. 53-54.
7. Ibid, p. 54.
8. Ibid, p.54.
9. Ibid, p.54.
10. Ibid, p.54.
11. Ibid, p. 51.
12. Ibid, p. 51.
13. Mohammed Amir Rana, CIA' s Cyclone spawned Pak madrasas (excerpted from Jihad-e-Kashmir and Afghanistan), The Pioneer, New Delhi, March 31.
14. James Risen and David Johnston, 'Report on 9/11 suggests a role by Saudi spies, The New York Times, August 2, 2003.
15. News Item 'Pandya murder plan was hatched on the Net', The Times of India, New Delhi, September 15, 2003, p. 8.
16. Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam - Holy War and Unholy Terror, p.15, published by Weldenfeld & Nicolson, London.
17. Ibid, p.16.
18. Ibid, p. 25.
19. Ibid, p.125.
20. James Adams, The Next World War, part One, p.71.
21. Ibid, p.72.
22. Chidanand Rajghatta, The Times News Network, The Times of India, New Delhi, October 15, 2001.
23. Susan Sachs, A Muslim Missionary Group Draws New Scrutiny in U.S., The New York Times, July 14, 2003.
25. Ibid, Susan Sachs.
26. India's National Security Review 2002, Editor-in-Chief, Satish Kumar, p.494, Source: http://www.forisb.org/CEO1 06.html
28. Ibid, p.495.
29. Ibid, p.496.
30. Ibid, p.497.
31. Appendix-II, p. 426
32. News item 'Pak attacked for 9/11 connection', The Economic Times, August 2, 2003. 33. Ibid. 34. Ibid.
35. South Asian Intelligence Review, Jammu & Kashmir Backgrounder, April 29, 2003.
36. Audit of Terror (editorial), Times of India, May 2, 2003.
38. Yossef Bodansky, Bin Laden - The Man who declared war on America, p.17.
41. John K Cooley, Unholy Wars, Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism, p.64.
42. Yossef Bodansky, Bin Laden - The Man who declared War on America, p.108.
43. Ibid, p. 218.
44. Ibid, p. 218.
45. Ibid, p. 218.
46. Bullet Rules Kashmir (Foray) by Dina Nath Mishra, The Pioneer, New Delhi, March 30, 2003.
48. G. Parthasarthy, Pakistan: Under Indian Eyes, Daily Pioneer, New Delhi, March 13, 2003.
Ram K. Ohri is a retired senior police officer of the Indian Police
Service (IPS) and author of "Long March Of Islam: Future Imperfect"
and "The Bell Tolls: Tomorrow's Truncated India."
This is Chapter 5 of Mr. Ohri's book, "Long March Of Islam: Future Imperfect". Chapter 1 was printed in the September-October issue of Think-Israel. It is available here. Each following issue contains the next chapter of the book. The book was published by Manas Publications in New Delhi in 2004. Its ISBN # is 817049186X. It is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. Mr. Ohri writes that the book is "Dedicated to my sweet grand daughters, Saloni and Jaisal and my soulmate, Pushpa."
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