Another Round Of Jihad Is To Start
Soon In Kashmir
By Dr Shabir Choudhry
10 February, 2010
Pakistan government has once again obliged people of Jammu and Kashmir by having another holiday in our name in disguise of ‘Solidarity Day’. Indeed we are grateful to them. The whole show was impressive. They managed to get Kashmiri collaborators and some so called Kashmiri nationalists, mainly belonging to JKLF factions, dancing in various parts of the world on tune played by Islamabad.
No Kashmiri nationalist or even a Kashmiri loyal to his nation could support the drama of Pakistan which they perform to fool people of Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir on 5th February; yet stalwarts of JKLF Aman Group happily go to a function arranged by Kashmir Centre, London, which is funded by Pakistan. The Centre ‘specialise’ in promoting pro Pakistan policies and protecting interest of Pakistan; and only invites those people to their functions who endorse their pro Pakistan policies.
In the function of 5th February held in the Kashmir Centre London all those who were present were pro Pakistan, and among them was a JKLF leader. Of course this function could not complete without the presence and a lecture of Pakistani officials. This time, Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan Asif Ali Durani was there to honour the audience and pass on messages of President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Another leader of one JKLF group, who hails from the Valley, on TV programme Q & A with PJ Mir said: ‘Their struggle is to get right of self determination as enshrined in the UN Resolutions on Kashmir’. JKLF Yasin Leader in UK said: ‘Kashmiris should hold a conference for unity and solidarity of Pakistan’. This in nutshell explains the ideology of the JKLF groups and yet they have nerve to call themselves – ‘Kashmiri nationalist’.
That aside, despite ‘militancy’ and ‘jihad’ going on in their own country, Pakistani government have kindly assured people of Jammu and Kashmir that they will continue their support – a kind of support that started in disguise of Tribal Invasion in1947 and which resulted in plunder, loot, destruction, rapes and which forced the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir to accede to India against his will.
This ‘support’ has seen different phases and has brought many disasters to Kashmiris and politics of South Asia. It is beyond the scope of this article to encompass all details of this ‘support’; and I will only try to explain likely problems which the people of Jammu and Kashmir could face as a result of more ‘support’ of this kind in future.
We understand that Pakistan is also facing violence and terrorism, but it is also known fact that those who are committing these crimes were, at one time, their ‘own boys’ who were supported and trained by them. Our concern is that despite these serious problems some sections of the Pakistani establishment have not changed their policy regarding ‘Jihad’ in Jammu and Kashmir and in India.
In my article, ‘Contradictions in a war against terrorism’ 18 June 2009, I wrote:
‘On one hand Pakistan appears to be actively engaged in the fight against terrorism, but on the other hand leaders with history of terrorism and violence are enjoying their freedom. Moreover Lashker E Tayeba, a banned terrorist group has purchased a land of 200 kanals in district Muzaffarabad in Pakistani Administered Kashmir.’
‘This land transaction could only be done with the help of Pakistani establishment, as legally no Pakistani individual or organisation could purchase land in any part of the State. It is clear that Lashker E Tayeba is known for its terrorism and violence and could not be expected to run courses on peace studies, conflict resolution or human rights.’
This was confirmed by news of BBC on 29 June 2009 in the following words: ‘Police in Pakistani Administered Kashmir have reported that banned militants have become active in the area once again. Information with the BBC reveals that Jamat ul Dawa (parent organisation of Lashkar e Taiba) have purchased land in Muzaffarabad in March 2009, to establish their offices and houses.’
Presence of militant groups was more visible and aggressive this time during the functions held in Muzaffarabad to show ‘solidarity’ with Kashmiris. In public meetings militant commanders openly and aggressively supported jihad; and vowed to continue their jihad to teach lesson to India.
Apart from leaders of Lashkar e Taiba and Jamat e Dawa who openly support jihad in Kashmir; retired General and former ISI Director General Hamid Gul also addressed the gathering. According to BBC, he said: ‘With India we have only relationship of animosity. They are our enemy and we their enemy. They are enemy of Kashmiris, enemy of their independence and honour. We openly say we are their enemy and we will go to any length for this.’
Jamat e Dawa leader Abdul Rehman Makki in his speech said: ‘Thousands of mothers have sent their sons to Kashmir to be martyred; but we have lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of young men ready to fight India’.
He further said: ‘We are not against dialogue, but India always used dialogue as a strategy which caused damage to the Kashmir dispute. On behalf of the Pakistani nation I am here to deliver a message of Jihad, killing and blood. Kashmir is important, but so is water. Water is in Kashmir, water lakes and sources are in Kashmir. We want all of Kashmir’. He threatened the India Prime minister that ‘if India stopped Pakistani water the India will have to face serious consequences’.
Head of Mutaida Jihad Council, Syed Salahuddin also addressed the Conference and emphasised that the only solution to the Kashmir dispute is jihad, which will continue until Kashmir is liberated. The leaders of Jaish e Mohammed and other militant groups also participated in the conference.
I have only produced brief messages of these militant groups, but it is more than enough to tell what is likely to come our way in near future. It is unfortunate that still there are many people who believe they can put out fire by pouring petrol on it. They don’t realise that violence generates more violence. Violence which ensued in name of jihad shattered basic fabric of the Kashmiri society; and it has also seriously harmed the Pakistani society.
Thinking in Pakistan is that:
India is having edge over Pakistan in Afghanistan due to massive investment and due to close contacts with various players in Afghanistan. Also they think problems in FATA and other parts of Pakistan are not due to their wrong policies; but because of ‘Indian involvement’. Furthermore they think India is stealing ‘their water’; and best way to have India on back foot is to be more assertive with India and revert back to old policy of exporting ‘Jihad’.
In this regard, apart from activating jihadi groups who are too willing to pick up their guns to wage jihad against India in Jammu and Kashmir and in India; other ‘movements’ within India are also encouraged to continue their struggle. It is believed that both countries have been encouraging and supporting insurgents in each other’s countries.
The government of India is of course aware of these developments, and P Chidambaram, India’s Union Home Minister reacted angrily by saying that, "Let me make it clear: these dark forces will not succeed in their designs. We will defeat them whenever and wherever we confront them."
The last ‘jihad’ in Jammu and Kashmir started in 1988/9; and that brought death, destruction and loss of a generation. That ‘Jihad’ or a ‘proxy war’ further divided the Kashmiri people, as it communalised the Kashmir polity and divided people in name of religion. The wounds of that ‘jihad’ which has not ended yet are still fresh; and signs are that our ‘friends’ in Pakistan want to add a new chapter to the ‘Jihad’ in Kashmir.
As a Kashmiri, my concern is that this new wave of ‘jihad’ will bring more misery and suffering to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially in areas of Neelam Valley and along the LOC will face brunt of oppression. Furthermore another Mumbai like incident, no matter who commits it, will have very serious repercussions and could lead both countries to an armed confrontation with disastrous consequences.
Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org