It is now proven that Pakistan through the ISI and LeT has converted the Rohingya problem into global jihad. Earlier several media reports highlighted the visits of top LeT functionaries to Bangladesh- Myanmar border region, inhabited by Rohingyas to set up the structure for global jihad. Pakistan’s ISI, in concert with the LeT, has for long been manipulating to assimilate the Rohingya radicals into global jihad to destabilize Sheikh Hasina and target the Modi government.
For India, the problem is not mainly about 40,000 Rohingya refugees, but its facet of global jihad that impacts on its security.
The crackdown on jihadi groups by Sheikh Hasina dispensation, more so death sentence to top Jamait-e-Islami (JeI) leaders for war crimes has enraged jihadi outfits not only in Bangladesh but in the entire subcontinent. Khaleda Zia, it is well known, has overwhelmingly depended on these jihadi forces for her brand of politics. In fact the JeI was her partner in the government. It is a common refrain that whenever Khaleda Zia was in power, it is the ISI that ruled Bangladesh.
For India, the problem is not mainly about 40,000 Rohingya refugees, but its facet of global jihad that impacts on its security. In the year 2012, the reverberations of the Rohingya – Buddhist clashes manifested in communal riots in Kokrajhar (July 2012) and subsequently the jihadi narrative moved to Mumbai (August 2012), wherein the ‘Amar Jawan’ was desecrated, something which went viral on social media. The reverberations were then felt in Hyderabad and Bengaluru wherein jihadi threats resulted in the exodus of thousands of boys and girls from Northeast (India). Similarly in July 2013, the Indian Mujahideen tried to target pilgrims from Myanmar on Bodhgaya temple by use of bombs. Even before 2012 clashes Abudul Kareem Tunda of LeT had revealed to Indian interrogators that he had travelled from Pakistan to Bangladesh to explore the possibility of recruiting Rohingya youth for terror.
The ongoing clash between Myanmar security forces and Rohingyas has resulted in deaths of thousands and displacement of 2.5 lacs. As per Myanmar, Bangladesh and Indian sources, this upheaval has been engineered by Pakistan’s ISI and LeT. Inputs suggest that on 23/24 August 2017, intelligence agencies of these countries intercepted three long duration conversation in which one of the person was Hafiz Tohar, leader of Aqa Mul Mujahideen (AMM). The ISI authorities were heard to be exhorting the Rohingya militants to launch pre-dawn attack on Myanmar security forces.
…the ISIS after massive reverses in Middle-East is activating other theatres for its brand of global jihad. The purpose is also to dissipate the Indian focus on Kashmir and energize jihadi organizations in Bangladesh like the JMB.
Hafiz Tohar and his core team were trained by the LeT in Pakistan. He is considered to be the mastermind of deadly attack on Myanmar Security Forces last year. Subsequently, other Rohingya recruits of AMM, mobilized from refugee camps in Bangladesh, were trained in Cox’s Bazaar and in Naikhongcherri in Chhitagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
Interrogation of Jamait-ul-Mujahideen – Bangladesh (JMB) jihadi militants revealed that 63 JMB activists and 88 Rohingya militants had received training in Naikhongcherri training camp and were responsible for suicide bombings throughout the country. The training camp was raided by Bangladesh Army and six JMB jihadi militants were captured. During the raid, phone numbers of one Major Salamat and Brigadier Ashfaq of ISI was recovered. Intriguingly, another number of an ISIS recruiter based in Iraq was also part of the haul.
Bangladesh in concert with Indian intelligence agencies had subsequently kept these numbers on surveillance. The yield was critical. It emerged that Brig Ashfaq of ISI is in-charge of operations in Eastern parts, i.e. Bangladesh and contiguous areas. Bangladesh media citing intelligence sources revealed that Brig Ashfaq during his meeting with Khaleda Zia had spurred her to give impetus to the Rohingya insurgency so that the Sheikh Hasina government could be dislodged by means of the forces of global jihad. Recently on 23 August, Intelligence agencies intercepted a conversation in which Brig Ashfaq was directing Hafiz Tohar to hit multiple targets in Myanmar. There was also a call from Iraq (ISIS), which conveyed best wishes to the cadres of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) for the attacks. It appears that the ISIS after massive reverses in Middle-East is activating other theatres for its brand of global jihad. The purpose is also to dissipate the Indian focus on Kashmir and energize jihadi organizations in Bangladesh like the JMB.
Given the global jihadi dimension of the Rohingyas issue, which involves ISI, LeT, ISIS, and JMB, the Indian and Bangladeshi dispensation have refrained from labelling the Rohingya issue as genocide.
Pakistan was not created for the love of Muslims. The Rohingyas too wanted to join East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), but were spurned by Jinnah.
It is now established that in the Indian Subcontinent or the world as such, there is nothing called local jihad, every jihadi group has a global mindset and orientation. This is increasingly becoming true for radicalized Rohingyas as well. This revelation has also exposed the links between the Pak ISI, ISIS, LeT and JMB. In the wake of 2012 Muslim-Buddhist clashes in Myanmar, Bangladesh intelligence agencies unraveled Pakistan’s plan to radicalized the Rohingyas with liberal financing from Saudi Arabia. Interrogations also reveal that Al-Qaeda’s explosive expert Nur Bashar and Mufti-al-Burmi, a prominent member of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan had travelled to Rakhine in the year 2004. Burmi was earlier a university teacher in Karachi. Therefore, the ferment of metamorphosis of the Rohingya insurgency into global jihad has been taking place for more than a decade.
India was partitioned in 1947, then Pak broke in 1971 and Bangladesh was created, nevertheless the Pakistani attitude and hatred for Hindustan only accentuated over the years. Pakistan was not created for the love of Muslims. The Rohingyas too wanted to join East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), but were spurned by Jinnah. During the World War-II, the British had armed the Rohingyas to fight the Japanese, but soon in the wake of the war the armed Rohingyas turned against the State (Burma) and the Buddhists in their bid to secede and join East Pakistan.
Consequently Arakan Muslim League was formed with the objective of self-determination. Again in 1970, Pakistan’s pre-dominantly Punjabi military embarked on Operation Search Light against the Bengali Muslims. This in effect pushed a large number of Bengalis into Myanmar, thus altering the demography of the Rakhine region of Myanmar.
The presence of Rohingya refugees in India specially around Delhi and in Jammu is consciously courting global jihad.
The main culprit for the Rohingya crisis is therefore Pakistan, whose military-intelligence establishment is the biggest global jihadi enterprise. Swapan Das Gupta in an article in Times of India says, “Since the 1980s Rohingya separatism has steadily acquired an Islamist dimension. The main group on the ground is the Harakah-al-Yaqin (HaY) which, according to an International Crisis Group (ICG) report of 2016, is controlled by a 20-man group of Rohingya expatriates based in Mecca and Medina. Many of them have received military training in Pakistan and Afghanistan… Further citing the ICG report Swapan adds that the clerics of the region and other parts of the world justify the jihadi campaign against the Myanmar security forces and is perfectly legitimate because it deals with those who are opposed to Islam.”
It is a foregone conclusion that Pakistan would leverage its jihadi links amongst the radicalized Rohingya refugees in India for sabotage and anti-India activities. The presence of Rohingya refugees in India specially around Delhi and in Jammu is consciously courting global jihad. Zakir Musa, the Kashmiri terrorist and one time Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander who now subscribes to global jihad in Kashmir in his latest video release said that there will be blood bath if 8,000 Rohingyas in Jammu removed.