In the near future, Taliban and Taliban like groups will impose Afghanistan type Taliban regime on Pakistan.
The civil war raging inside Pakistan in search of elusive ‘purity’ of philosophy is shrinking rapidly the space held by civil society. After expelling other religious minorities from Pakistan, the Islamic fundamentalists are determined to eliminate Ahamadias, cause heavy destruction of Shias and now the Ismailis. Anybody who does not confirm to extreme Wahhabi Sunni philosophy will be eliminated from the political canvas.
The dangerous divisive vote-bank politics within India in the last 10 years have created adequate groups of ‘sleeper cells’ and sufficient pockets of influence which are highly Talibanized in their thinking.
The elected civil government is in no position to take on the Jihad factory. Pakistan Army too is losing the war against the jihad factory. In fact, the Pakistan Army is so heavily infiltrated by Islamic fundamentalists that it stands fairly neutralized inside. In the coming years, it will be unable to dominate and maintain Pakistan’s territorial integrity, unless it joins hands with Taliban as a Talibanized Army.
Two trends are discernable inside Pakistan — first, as the Western Forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Taliban style militias will hold sway causing destruction of the elected government and the democratic institutions. Second, to maintain unity and focus within the different jihadi groups, attacks on India will be enhanced and enlarged.
The Jihad factory considers India as the next prize to be won to impose regressive laws like Sharia and Taliban style government. The dangerous divisive vote-bank politics within India in the last 10 years have created adequate groups of ‘sleeper cells’ and sufficient pockets of influence which are highly Talibanized in their thinking. The ‘soft target’ India appears to be ripe to become the largest sanctuary of the jihad factory in Asia in times to come.
Some of the politicians and the policy makers in India are unable to look beyond and visualize the dangers lurking in the vicinity of India. Many in India out of their so-called ‘liberal’ philosophy maintain that Pakistan or Afghanistan for that matter has a right to live and practice their beliefs, which includes imposition of extreme philosophies. While one respects the rights of the people to run their house with their beliefs even if they are regressive and out of sync with 21st century, the same ‘liberals’ forget that the Islamic fundamentalists are an expanding force based on ‘spoke and hub’ principle. They will export their philosophy ruthlessly to undermine India’s multicultural space and values. The jihad factory will expand, will export terrorism and is occupying sufficient destructive space inside India. India must gear up to grapple with the subversion that is creeping in.
At the initial stage, the Taliban game plan is based on the following:-
First, eliminate all opposition consisting of minorities or different sects of Islam.
In times to come, Pakistan will need assistance not only from the international community but as well from India.
Second, with withdrawal of the Western Forces, capture large territories to re-impose old Taliban regime inside Afghanistan. Imagine the havoc Taliban like regime from running from Afghanistan to Pakistan can cause in the neighbourhood.
Third, pretend talks and negotiations with the elected government in Islamabad, while at the same time undermine the democratic institutions, and the Pakistan Army. The Pakistan Army had to raise a special protection force of 25,000 personnel to guard its nuclear arsenal, lest they fall into the hands of Taliban.
In the subsequent phase, the Taliban strategy will be the following:-
Ensure takeover of entire Afghanistan and Pakistan.
To maintain unity between differing groups and to avoid inter-gang rivalry, task adequate groups to create mayhem inside India to unhook Kashmir, thereby providing external focus to the jihadis. The aim will be to begin the unraveling of India, and maintain unity between different groups of the jihad factory at the same time. The activation of Masood Azhar group is in this direction.
Similarly export Taliban like forces into resource rich Central Asia and put Russia under pressure.
The Nawaz Shariff government is likely to sink unless it joins hands and accepts harsh conditions being imposed by Taliban in Pakistan. In times to come, he will need assistance not only from the international community but as well from India. New Delhi is in deep slumber oblivious of the factor that to safeguard its own interests, it will have gear up to actively assist Pakistan in the near future.
This article was first published in IDR Apr-Jun 2014 (29.2) issue.