Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2680

Taliban’s nexus with militant outfits in Kashmir

By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

The latest report by a US Think Tank has warned Pakistan that if it fails to take action against the terrorist outfits operating from its soil in Jammu and Kashmir and rest of India, New Delhi might consider the option of propping separatist outfits in both Balochistan and Sindh. It says there is no evidence of India doing so thus far though Pakistan has been blaming New Delhi on this account for the past five years or more. Islamabad has gone to the extent of saying that Indian Consulates in Afghanistan are indulging in this task only.

Whether India will do tit for tat is a moot question because India is not Pakistan where Generals decide the foreign policy options and counter-insurgency plans. Yes, despite the grudge that Pakistan is not doing anything to deal with the outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad. (JeM). And the growing feeling that the release from house arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohd Saeed Hafeez demonstrates Pakistan’s lack of seriousness in the fight against terrorism.
.
Pakistan looses no occasion to impulsively charge India for all the ills it is facing. Soon after the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, there were accusations against India, by responsible persons, that there was an Indian hand in this. A minister of North West Frontier Government recently said all the militants getting killed in Swat were Indians. He ignores the fact that the Taliban has joined hands with other militant outfits in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as the outfits operating from Pakistan in Kashmir.

Recently there were reports about presence of Taliban in Kashmir that raised a lot of dust across the board. There were firm denials from all quarters saying the reports could not be relied upon in the absence of any evidence. Even the militant arrested by the Security Forces from Gurez area, who was one of the group of 31 militants trying to cross over from across the LOC last month, denied such a presence. A section of local media in Kashmir thought that such reports were being circulated by those interested in spoiling the tourist season in the state.

But the matter does not end there. It may be true that so far there is no Taliban presence in Kashmir. That can not rule out the nexus between the two.

As early as November 2008, noted Pakistani Journalist Amir Mir wrote in ‘The News’ that the trouble stricken Waziristan region had become the new battlefield for the militants operating in Kashmir as they are joining hands with anti-US and pro-Taliban elements. His report appeared after British terror plot suspect Rashid Rauf was killed in a missile attack in Waziristan in which four other Al-Qaeda militants were also died. Rauf was a close relative of Maulana Masood Azhar, who the readers may recall, was released by NDA government in exchange for passengers of Indian Airlines plane hijacked to Kandahar in 2002. Amir said that the presence of Jaish-e Mohammad militants in the Waziristan region has been confirmed by the death of Rashid Rauf in the missile attack.

Another eminent Pakistani writer, Ahmad Rashid, also pointed out in his book ‘Descent to Chaos’ that the erstwhile Harkat-ul-Ansar, responsible for kidnapping foreigners in Kashmir had links with the Taliban. He said “Harkat was a key ally of Taliban and Al-Qaeda, helping in running training camps in Afghanistan for Kashmiri Militants”

The possibility of some Kashmiri militants being a part of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda can not be ruled out, considering that the outfits share fundamentalism and Jihadi tendencies. It is estimated that at least 50 percent or more militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir are foreigners.

According to Indian Army Chief Deepak Kapoor, when militants get into a radicalized or fundamentalist mode they do not worry about national boundaries or nationalities at all. They will wage a so called Jihad anywhere alongside Taliban in Afghanistan or in Jammu and Kashmir. So if there are foreign Militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir there is always the possibility of some Kashmiri militants operating within Taliban and Al-Qaeda anywhere else.

Basically, there are three Pakistan based militant outfits operating in Kashmir-Harkat-ul- Mujahideen, Jaish-e- Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba. Hizbul Mujahideen chief Yousuf Shah alias Pir Syed Salahauddin, a resident of Srinagar, is also based in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

In September 2008, US forces in Afghanistan targeted a training camp of Al-Badar, a militant outfit operating in Jammu and Kashmir, much before the International media had reported the arrest of three Hizbul Mujahideen cadres in south Waziristan. After Pakistan banned the organizations in the wake of 9/11 incident they are now operating under various other names.

The question that is being asked is whether Pakistan is sincere in dealing with these outfits. It appears Pakistan wants to act against them to convince the world community that it is one with them in the war against terror. At the same time it also wants to protect the terror outfits, for use against India. The practice of releasing militants soon after their arrest under international pressure also raises doubts about Pakistan’s credentials.

Even after a month long operation in the Swat valley and the nearby Buner and Dir, no Taliban leader worth the name has been arrested. Waziristan, the hotbed of Talibanism has been spared. There are reports about the killing of Baitullah Mehsood and Maulana Fazulullah but these reports are not independently corroborated.
There is a growing view that the refugee crisis in Pakistan has been stepped up to earn international sympathy and shift the focus away from the real problem. Given its track record, the conjecture may not be wide off the mark.

The point is the terrorist originations in Pakistan may be down for the time being in view of the military operation against them but surely they are not out. Even today they are whisking away the youth from relief camps. The suicide attacks across the length and breadth of Pakistan are a chilling message that Pakistani state has to travel a long distance before it can claim to eradicate terrorism from the country.

- Asian Tribune -

By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

The latest report by a US Think Tank has warned Pakistan that if it fails to take action against the terrorist outfits operating from its soil in Jammu and Kashmir and rest of India, New Delhi might consider the option of propping separatist outfits in both Balochistan and Sindh. It says there is no evidence of India doing so thus far though Pakistan has been blaming New Delhi on this account for the past five years or more. Islamabad has gone to the extent of saying that Indian Consulates in Afghanistan are indulging in this task only.

Whether India will do tit for tat is a moot question because India is not Pakistan where Generals decide the foreign policy options and counter-insurgency plans. Yes, despite the grudge that Pakistan is not doing anything to deal with the outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad. (JeM). And the growing feeling that the release from house arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohd Saeed Hafeez demonstrates Pakistan’s lack of seriousness in the fight against terrorism.
.
Pakistan looses no occasion to impulsively charge India for all the ills it is facing. Soon after the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, there were accusations against India, by responsible persons, that there was an Indian hand in this. A minister of North West Frontier Government recently said all the militants getting killed in Swat were Indians. He ignores the fact that the Taliban has joined hands with other militant outfits in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as the outfits operating from Pakistan in Kashmir.

Recently there were reports about presence of Taliban in Kashmir that raised a lot of dust across the board. There were firm denials from all quarters saying the reports could not be relied upon in the absence of any evidence. Even the militant arrested by the Security Forces from Gurez area, who was one of the group of 31 militants trying to cross over from across the LOC last month, denied such a presence. A section of local media in Kashmir thought that such reports were being circulated by those interested in spoiling the tourist season in the state.

But the matter does not end there. It may be true that so far there is no Taliban presence in Kashmir. That can not rule out the nexus between the two.

As early as November 2008, noted Pakistani Journalist Amir Mir wrote in ‘The News’ that the trouble stricken Waziristan region had become the new battlefield for the militants operating in Kashmir as they are joining hands with anti-US and pro-Taliban elements. His report appeared after British terror plot suspect Rashid Rauf was killed in a missile attack in Waziristan in which four other Al-Qaeda militants were also died. Rauf was a close relative of Maulana Masood Azhar, who the readers may recall, was released by NDA government in exchange for passengers of Indian Airlines plane hijacked to Kandahar in 2002. Amir said that the presence of Jaish-e Mohammad militants in the Waziristan region has been confirmed by the death of Rashid Rauf in the missile attack.

Another eminent Pakistani writer, Ahmad Rashid, also pointed out in his book ‘Descent to Chaos’ that the erstwhile Harkat-ul-Ansar, responsible for kidnapping foreigners in Kashmir had links with the Taliban. He said "Harkat was a key ally of Taliban and Al-Qaeda, helping in running training camps in Afghanistan for Kashmiri Militants."

The possibility of some Kashmiri militants being a part of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda can not be ruled out, considering that the outfits share fundamentalism and Jihadi tendencies. It is estimated that at least 50 percent or more militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir are foreigners.

According to Indian Army Chief Deepak Kapoor, when militants get into a radicalized or fundamentalist mode they do not worry about national boundaries or nationalities at all. They will wage a so called Jihad anywhere alongside Taliban in Afghanistan or in Jammu and Kashmir. So if there are foreign Militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir there is always the possibility of some Kashmiri militants operating within Taliban and Al-Qaeda anywhere else.

Basically, there are three Pakistan based militant outfits operating in Kashmir-Harkat-ul- Mujahideen, Jaish-e- Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba. Hizbul Mujahideen chief Yousuf Shah alias Pir Syed Salahauddin, a resident of Srinagar, is also based in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

In September 2008, US forces in Afghanistan targeted a training camp of Al-Badar, a militant outfit operating in Jammu and Kashmir, much before the International media had reported the arrest of three Hizbul Mujahideen cadres in south Waziristan. After Pakistan banned the organizations in the wake of 9/11 incident they are now operating under various other names.

The question that is being asked is whether Pakistan is sincere in dealing with these outfits. It appears Pakistan wants to act against them to convince the world community that it is one with them in the war against terror. At the same time it also wants to protect the terror outfits, for use against India. The practice of releasing militants soon after their arrest under international pressure also raises doubts about Pakistan’s credentials.

Even after a month long operation in the Swat valley and the nearby Buner and Dir, no Taliban leader worth the name has been arrested. Waziristan, the hotbed of Talibanism has been spared. There are reports about the killing of Baitullah Mehsood and Maulana Fazulullah but these reports are not independently corroborated.

There is a growing view that the refugee crisis in Pakistan has been stepped up to earn international sympathy and shift the focus away from the real problem. Given its track record, the conjecture may not be wide off the mark.

The point is the terrorist originations in Pakistan may be down for the time being in view of the military operation against them but surely they are not out. Even today they are whisking away the youth from relief camps. The suicide attacks across the length and breadth of Pakistan are a chilling message that Pakistani state has to travel a long distance before it can claim to eradicate terrorism from the country.

- Asian Tribune -

Share this


.