Homeland Security

Jihadi and Maoist Rivers through Nepal
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 29 Sep , 2018

On 26 September, the NIA busted a jihadi terror funding module in Delhi, operated from Pakistan by Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF)   through the Dubai route and by hawala transactions. FIF, an LeT affiliate has been banned by the UN, yet it continues to function under different guises. Ostensibly the FIF pretends to be an organisation devoted to humanitarian relief, especially during natural calamities. In reality it is engaged in funding jihadi terror. Three operatives of the said module have been arrested, two from Delhi and another, a Kashmiri. Apart from other incriminating material, the raid yielded substantial Indian and Nepalese currency. Quiet clearly therefore, Nepal like Dubai is an important link in the LeT network  for Pakistan’s proxy war against India.

In the last 20 years, therefore, Pakistan’s proxy war from Nepal narrative has not changed. Feeding into this proxy war are also Maoists in Nepal, who are now part of the ruling dispensation.

Pakistan’s proxy soldiers have been operating from bases in Nepal. There has been a bid to resurrect the Indian Mujahideen (IM) from the Nepalese soil. Saudi Arabia based, Riaz Batkal, had entrusted this responsibility to Aziz Khan alias Junaid, originally from Azamgarh. He is an expert bomb maker and is responsible for blasts in Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmadabad and in a Uttar Pradesh Court between 2007-2008.  He is responsible for the killing of 165 Indians. He is also an escapee from the Batla House encounter in 2008. Those politicians who raised doubts and wept for those involved in the killing of Inspector Mohan Chander Sharma in the encounter, were doing so at the behest of powers across the border, who manipulate the proxy war against India for their political gains. This includes an influential lady politician and a Chief Minister. The Indian security agencies have exposed these anti-India forces by arrest of Aziz Khan in February this year.

What is significant in this case is the ease with which the jihadis belonging to Pakistani outfits or affiliated outfits move in and out of Nepal. Aziz Khan had managed to obtain Nepalese citizenship based on fake documents arranged by his accomplices in Nepal.

Recently in this ensuing September, unidentified assailants killed an IM operative Khurshid Alam Ansari. Allegedly, he was an ISI operative, operating against India from Nepal. He was killed 7 kilometers away from the Indo-Nepal border in Sunsari. Ansari too was an escapee of Batla House encounter. 20 years ago, in 1998, an ISI operative Dilshad Beg was killed in a similar manner. Both Ansari and Beg, apart from being ISI operatives, were also close to the Dawood Ibrahim.

In the last 20 years, therefore, Pakistan’s proxy war from Nepal narrative has not changed. Feeding into this proxy war are also Maoists in Nepal, who are now part of the ruling dispensation.

Following the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BISMTEC) summit in Nepal, a military exercise MilEx was held between September 10 and 16 in Pune. This was an important message that the seven-member organization, like other regional groupings is concerned about the security facets that impinge on the Bay of Bengal region. Nepal did not participate in this modest platoon level exercise. The Chief of Nepal Army Puran Chander Thapa was to attend the closing ceremony of this exercise. Nepal spurned this BISMTEC initiative. The Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gaywali maintained that the BISMTEC is only a forum for development and does not have any military colour. The minister clearly confused between security and military.

…there is a Communist takeover of Nepal and the Maoists also share power, the resonance in terms of Maoist terror is on an upsurge in India. It has given fillip to the urban Indian Maoists.

This move by Nepal at the 11th hour was clearly to placate China and partly Pakistan. Both Nepal and Pakistan have been urging for full membership of China into SAARC. Since BISMTEC is an alternative to SAARC, and is devoid of Pakistan, it is natural that both China and Pakistan would use every machination to sabotage the grouping. Towards that Nepal could serve as a useful instrument.

Given its desperation to be a major player in the Bay of Bengal, BISMTEC is an anathema to China. In pursuit of the Belt Road Initiative (BRI), the Chinese envisage penetration from Tibet into Bhutan and the Siliguri Corridor, leading all the way to the waters of Bay of Bengal. This author is of the conviction that the Dhoklam stand-off between India and China is a consequence of this BRI. Moreover the BISMTEC is working on a dense rail, road, air and port network linking South Asia and South East Asia. The Chinese seem to be construing it as a challenge to their supremacy.

The decision by the leftist and ultra-leftist government in Nepal was a clear indication or even invitation to the enemies of India regarding the availability of Nepalese territory for anti-India activities. Now that there is a Communist takeover of Nepal and the Maoists also share power, the resonance in terms of Maoist terror is on an upsurge in India. It has given fillip to the urban Indian Maoists.

The Maoists in Nepal, even as they are sharing power, have not relinquished the membership of Coordination Committee of Communist Parties of South Asia (CComPOSA). This is a grouping of all Maoists parties in different countries of Asia. The Nepal experiment has been hailed as the most successful and is being sought to be replicated in other countries including India. It is for this reason that we witness the Urban Maoists on an overdrive. To imagine these Urban Maoists conspiring to kill prominent Indian leaders is not farfetched. Political killings by the Maoists did not stop at Mahindra Karma or VC Shukla. Only recently, on 23-September, a TDP MLA, and an ex-MLA were felled by the Maoists.

The present Prime Minister of Nepal KP Oli, yet again unabashedly reiterated his pro-China leanings. This is the wont of all leftists and ultra-leftists. These leftists do not dare to condemn China for its ban on namaz, burkas, beards and ramzan in Muslim dominated regions of the country. KP Oli in total disregard to Indian sensitivities has allowed China’s Gezhouba Group Corporation to build the biggest hydro-electric plant on the River Budhi-Gandaki. The previous government had cancelled the contract due to lack of transparency and Indian sensitivities.

The Buddhists in Tibet were buffers against Communist China. We failed to protect that buffer status… The same can be said about Nepal.

The Buddhists in Tibet were buffers against Communist China. We failed to protect that buffer status. Consequently we have to contend with more than 3400 kilometers of frontier with China manned by non-Tibetan Communists. The irony is that borders are red but the interior of Tibet is still largely Buddhists and pro-India.  The same can be said about Nepal. This is a lesson for India that in countries ruled by totalitarian forces, it is not the people who decide the colour of the frontiers but the usurpers of power.

Both Jihadism and Communism are being facilitated through to impact on India by its enemies. The former PWD Minister of J&K Mr Naeem Akhtar in an interview to a newspaper had categorically stated that India must realize that the principal player in J&K is China, and JeM is an adopted child of that country. Some Hindus of Bangladesh recently met this author and conveyed that the Chinese are using jihadis in Bangladesh to distract India so as to spread their economic footprints unchallenged by any other neighbouring country.

The tryst between Jihad and Maoism through the aegis of Nepal is therefore a very serious threat to India.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

RSN Singh

is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW and author of books Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and The Military Factor in Pakistan. His latest book is The Unmaking of Nepal.

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One thought on “Jihadi and Maoist Rivers through Nepal

  1. As usual very informative article. We lost the Tibet buffer zone due to mis calculation of Mr Nehru and we are paying for it every day. Nepal is leaning slowly but decisively towards China, and we have less space to manoeuvre. Our own politicians are more anti Indians than any one else dividing the country in to many fault lines in the name of vote bank politics we better call it democracy. Tough times await for India.

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