Thursday, June 13, 2024
 
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Pakistan’s Complicity on Kashmir : Unrelenting Terror Agenda




Sindhiya Gupta

Pakistan has gained the international reputation of being the world’s foremost exporter of Jihadism. Ignoring of this fact by the international community, despite of enormous proofs available, is beyond understanding. Numerous observers find that there are clear indicators that the Pakistani government is involved in sponsoring terrorism. In the case of Pakistan, state-sponsored terrorism is not only caused by a severe defect in the country’s political & administrative system or by unhealthy civil-military relations, but also due to the known fact that ‘Kashmir’ on the name of religious bonhomie remains the sole uniting factor for the nation. Whenever ethnic or economic fault lines of the country starts emerging, anti-India campaign is launched by the power centres of Pak to divert attention of its populace from these internal disturbances.

Since the 9/11 attacks on the USA, Pakistan has come to be perceived as the world’s epicentre of jihadist activities. Virtually every terrorist incident since the attack on the twin towers in New York has some connection with Pakistan. Either the terrorist is a Pakistani citizen, of Pakistani origin, or has supporters and contacts in Pakistan.

Sponsored Terrorism
The most suited example of state sponsored terrorism in the world is the terrorist initiated incidents (TII) in Kashmir where India is fighting a battle to counter terrorism from past four decades and had reduced now with abrogation of Art 370. The latest terrorist incidents in Kashmir have revealed only blood bath with major examples of terrorist incidents are 2016 attack at Uri, Pathankot and Nagrota Army Base, 2017 at Amarnath Yatra, 2018 at Sunjawan Army Base, 2019 at Pulwama and Awantipura. These attacks have openly attracted criticism for Pakistan sponsored terrorism. Though attempts by Pak sponsored terrorists have not stopped till now, proactive operations by Indian armed forces and overwhelming support of the locals to security forces post abrogation of Article 370 has resulted in failure of such terror attempts. In a recent infiltration bid across LoC , one of the captured terrorist (whose handler is Colonel Yonus Chaudhary of Pakistan Army and working for ISI) had revealed that now ISI is training youth to become suicide bombers. Moreover, terrorist putting Headcams and carrying out terrorist assault on security Forces is the new tactic being adopted by militants gp. Former President Asif Zardari had publicly admitted that the country deliberately created and nurtured terrorist groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), as a policy to achieve short-term tactical objectives.

Pakistan has not only exploited instrument of Kashmir against India to mobilise national sentiments in the country but also to keep its own populace, party and military busy which is confirmed in one of the report of US Congressman as cited below.

“For Islamabad, the liberation of Kashmir is a sacred mission, the only task unfulfilled since Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s days. Moreover, a crisis in Kashmir constitutes an excellent outlet for the frustration at home, an instrument for the mobilisation of the masses, as well as gaining the support of the Islamist parties and primarily their loyalists in the military and the ISI” - Yossef Bodansky (Director of the US Congress Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare).
Terrorism as State Policy
In Pakistan, Islam has been blatantly misused as an ‘instrument of policy implementation’, not only by influential non-state actors but also by government agencies to achieve certain societal and political goals. Furthermore, the government and military remain convinced that terror groups can be useful assets against India. With response to anti-terrorist action Pakistan approach is dubious. The discrepancy lies between the claims and true ambition of the government as it assesses Pakistan’s recent counterterrorism activities. Pakistan has only acted against militant groups that developed an anti-Pakistan agenda and are considered a threat to the regime or to save its face in International forums to evade ‘Black Listing’ by FATF. Terrorist organizations on Pakistani soil that mostly operate abroad, especially in Afghanistan and/or India, are not clearly targeted by the country’s antiterrorism campaigns.

Dis Information Campaign
ISI had also sponsored the longest disinformation campaign in Kashmir. Kashmir has most closely witnessed both instruments of warfare against India and, in the most brutal fashion, cross border armed insurgency and persistent information warfare. Unlike other fault lines, the role of masterminds behind the Kashmir conflict is more explicit and defined. However, all the competing narratives about Kashmir ignore the fact that Kashmir has been systematically turned into a conflict industry which is run as a family business by a select few under the patronage of Pakistan's establishment in Jamate-E-Islami supported by ISI. Another major aim is to internationalise the Kashmir issue, contrary to the spirit of the 1972 Shimla Agreement, by raising the bogey of the denial of the Kashmiri people’s right of self-determination. As per latest data available on open source, the new generation of so called educated separatist operating from western part of the globe had taken the reins of disinformation campaign against India and continuously using umbrella organisation and institution like OMFI (Organisation for Minorities in India) IAMC (Indian American Medical Council), JFA (Justice for All), HFHR (Hindus for Human Rights) to keep raising the issue of fake human right violations on international platforms.

Security Challenges
The abrogation of the special status of J&K on August 5, 2019 led many to speculate that there would be a substantial increase in terrorism-induced violence in the region following the decision. However, the security scenario has continued to improve from the preceding years to the extent that Doda was declared a terrorist-free district which had happened for the first time in the history of Kashmir. The improvement in security situation can majorly be contributed to local populace of Kashmir who have welcomed abrogation of article 370 with full zeal & spirit. With G20 Tourism summit being conducted in Srinagar had put Kashmir on a Global centre stage. The surge in tourist footfall had proved the return of normalcy in the heaven. However, eradicating militancy remains a major challenge to the development, thanks to Pakistan’s unrelenting sole agenda for keeping its populace united.

International Body Action
Pakistan has been on the FATF grey list continuously since June 2018, working to comply with the requirements of the watchdog to combat money laundering and terror financing. Pakistan first entered the list in 2008, left it, and then was on it from 2012 to 2015 and now since 2018, which explains its spurious track record with terrorism. UN-designated terror groups, including Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, and famous OBL(now killed) have safehouses in Pakistan, still FATF had not moved Pakistan from Grey to Black list. The question is why and till when?

With recent natural calamity and struggling economy of Pakistan, IMF had bailed out Pakistan with $ 1.1 billion package but there is no guarantee that this money will not be pumped to fuel to the terrorist camps. Both India and the west have been victims of terrorism perpetrated by individuals trained and equipped in the same schools of crime near India’s borders. The international community has so far been reluctant to list Pakistan as a sponsor of international terrorism “because of warnings by Pakistani Prime Ministers that such action would unravel the country’s fledgling democracy and drive the nuclear arsenals into the hands of the virulently anti-American extremists.” The world needs to be convinced that turning a blind eye to Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism neither augurs well for peace and stability in the Southern Asian region, nor is it in the US’ own long-term interest.

The fear of nuclear arsenal falling into hands of religious extremists & terrorist groups may be driving west to prevent Pakistan from failing miserably by bailing it out time & again, but if terror menace is not taken seriously, days are not far when this terror factory start exporting its products to the west. Helping Pakistan economically & continuing to provide aids & bailout package may be serving political agenda of the west, but it is also providing an opportunity for the terror industry to grow rapidly. Pakistan has always been neck deep in inciting cross-border terrorism, international community must take a serious view of terror mess that Pakistan has entangled itself in and take actions accordingly for larger good & world peace. As such, it is strongly argued that Pakistan must be identified as a “state sponsor of terrorism”.


(Sindhiya Gupta is a Media Analyst based in Jammu & Kashmir and she can be reached at [email protected])


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