Pakistan: The Jihad Factory
Pakistan ultimately turned out to be the most dangerous place in the world. After witnessing the massacre of thirty-five innocent Indian citizens in the Valley, the American President travelled to Islamabad in a decoy plane. Unusual security precautions were in order as the visit was to the Jihad Factory, famous for export of terrorism worldwide. A significant political statement indeed for an administration which at regular frequency dished out anti-India rhetoric and refused to accept our legitimate concerns.
Jihad contradicts the sovereignty based on defined territoriality of a nation state. It is an interventionist ideology, which divides the world between Dar-ul-Islam (Muslim majority) and Dar-ul-Harb (land under a Non-Muslim majority, secular or otherwise, which needs to be converted to Dar-ul-Islam). Thus in the recent past we observe that footloose Jihad warriors are radiating outwards to Kashmir, Chechnya, Bosnia, Dagestan, Xinjiang and many other nation states.
Contours of the Jihad Factory in our backyard are such that India has little or no option but to impose severe limitation on Pakistan.
The purpose is to install pristine Islamic rule as interpreted by the Wahhabis. With scant regard for inter-state boundaries, Mujahideen in numbers that equal combatants in a regular army division have infiltrated the Valley. They are hard core trained Jihad soldiers of the ISI. It is an outright incremental invasion of India and not indigenous terrorism as the international community would like to believe. This is aggression under international law and the legitimate response can be war. Thus, Russia’s action in Chechnya is by a nation state in defence of territoriality.
Contours of the Jihad Factory in our backyard are such that India has little or no option but to impose severe limitation on Pakistan. Either jointly with the international community or individually. Osman bin Laden and his Brigade from time to time made statements to the effect that it was the sacred duty of the Muslims to kill the Americans, the British and the Israelis. The Islamisation drive by the Taliban with the throw back to the Middle Ages is overtly couched with a deception plan. They have been at their diplomatic best to dispel the impression that Taliban under the influence of Pakistan attempts to export armed Islamic fanaticism to India, China, the Central Asian Republics, Chechnya and Dagestan. Simultaneously, post Kargil, Pakistan’s intelligence agency is indulging in psywar campaign that India has provided facilities in Kargil to Americans to launch clandestine operation in capture of Laden!
On the one hand, the Jihad Force seeks American intervention in Kashmir and on the other, it arms groups, which seek to attack American targets. Such dangerous contradiction exists in Pakistan’s policy towards Saudi Arabia too. Saudi Arabia is a close ally of Pakistan. Yet, Pakistan ISI shelters and trains groups which are committed to subvert the Saudi ruling family as they receive protection from the US troops. The Jihad Factory is quick to exploit opportunities within India to further its avowed interest of de-stabilising India. The demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 was used to drive a wedge between Hindus and Muslims in India. It also activated extremist groups in Kashmir to launch ethnic cleansing of Hindus from the Jammu Division.
The reality check here is the simple fact that no matter what India does to usher harmony, the mindset of the Jihad Factory cannot be changed for the better without strategic assertion.
Pakistan’s Jihad in 1957, confined to Naga and Mizo insurgencies, gradually extended to the Sikh and Kashmiri extremists and finally to any alienated group in India. Lately it has infiltrated such groups to marginalise and take over the leadership from the locals. Further, Pakistan not only twists history easily to teach its students that Aurangzeb was the greatest ever leader the subcontinent produced, but also laws to suit itself. This is the first instance in law anywhere in the world that Nawaz Sharif is accused of hijacking a plane he was not travelling in! In a similar vein, the Pakistani Ambassador was seen blaming India for derailing the Lahore peace process recently. In addition, Aurangzeb’s Pakistan encourages more than 150 Jihad web sites internationally, which incite violence and give spin to the so-called perceived threats to Islam. The factory churns out such massive doses of cunning, deceit and treachery that it is impossible to trust our neighbor anymore.
The end game of the Global Jihad Factory in our backyard is the balkanisation of India. The immediate aim is to carve pockets of Dar-ul-Harb and convert them to Dar-ul-Islam through creeping invasion. Kashmir’s slow Talibanisation and demographic changes in Assam and borders of Uttar Pradesh are clear pointers. Let me illustrate an operation of this phenomenon. Imagine, over a period, four blocks in New York got inhabited with Islamic Fundamentalist majority. The first step they will take is to destroy the existing Church and replace it with a Mosque. Compare this to the inhabitation by a secular Indian majority. The latter in addition to the Church, will construct a Temple, Gurudwara and a Mosque!
That India has not learnt from history the necessity to manage its Western (and now in addition the Eastern) Borders by ruthlessly imposing its influence across is a repeat of the historical blunders committed from 10th century onwards. The cost imposed on India in the past, both in terms of money, manpower and loss of lives of innocent citizens by the Jihad Factory is incalculable. Under no logic is it possible to condone the vicious poison being injected by Pakistan in the secular and free society of India.
Therefore, despite all arguments (which include vague peace plans and singing with Musharraf in Islamabad or on Wagah border) a stable Pakistan is not in India’s interest. The reality check here is the simple fact that no matter what India does to usher harmony, the mindset of the Jihad Factory cannot be changed for the better without strategic assertion. In any case, if India cannot resolve and ensure peace in its own backyard, I am afraid, the dream of becoming a great power will remain a mere delusion for New Delhi.
To protect the democratic and secular fabric of society, India and Indians need to grapple with this bottom line.
This article first published in IDR Vol. 15 (1) January-March 2000.