The HUM: The Harkat-ul-Ansar (HUA) of Pakistan was started in central Punjab in Pakistan in the early 1980s by certain religious elements under the name the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) with headquarters at Raiwind in Punjab, where it holds its annual conferences. It then changed its name to HUA. After the US notification in October 1997, designating it as a foreign terrorist organisation under an anti-terrorism law of 1996, the HUA has reverted back to its original name of HUM and, hence, it will hereafter be referred to as HUM.
Initially, its objective was stated to be to organise humanitarian relief for the Afghan refugees in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan. It is a Sunni organisation, close to the Deoband school of thought. Like the Markaz Dawa Al Irshad, it holds the sufi tradition of tolerance of other religions and the importance of the teacher (guru)-taught (sishya) relationship as the corrupting influence of Hinduism on Islam.
Like the Markaz and the Taliban, it also holds that a woman’s place is at home and denounces pluralistic, parliamentary democracy and equal rights for women as the corrupting influence of the West on Islamic societies.
The money came from Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia (Osama bin Laden was an important contributor), the arms and ammunition from the CIA through the ISI and the Pakistan Army gave the training.
It draws its volunteers from the Tabligi Jamaat (TJ), which ostensibly carries on missionary and charitable work amongst Muslims, not only in Pakistan, but also in other countries. Amongst prominent personalities of Pakistan who had been closely associated with the TJ are Mohammad Rafique Tarar, former President of Pakistan, and Lt Gen (retd) Javed Nasir, who was the Director-General of the ISI during Nawaz Sharifs first tenure as Prime Minister and who subsequently became intelligence adviser to Sharif during his second tenure. Even while in service, Lt Gen Nasir was closely associated with the TJ.
A few months after its formation, the HUM decided to send volunteers into Afghanistan for assisting the Afghan Mujahideen groups. Initially, the recruitment was done in Pakistan and the PoK. It was estimated to have sent about 5,000 volunteers into Afghanistan. The money came from Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia (Osama bin Laden was an important contributor), the arms and ammunition from the CIA through the ISI and the Pakistan Army gave the training.
Subsequently, the HUM recruited volunteers from the Muslim communities in other countries too. About 6,000 volunteers were thus recruited from Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Jammu & Kashmir of India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and the Philippines. The CIA, which was aware of this recruitment, closed its eyes since the HUM’s activities served the US purpose of bringing about the defeat of Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
The CIA, which was aware of this recruitment, closed its eyes since the HUMs activities served the US purpose of bringing about the defeat of Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
The initial batch of HUM volunteers was trained in the use of arms and ammunition and explosives in training camps in the Paktia province of Afghanistan run by Jalaluddin Haqqani, the leader of the Hezb Islami (Khalis) Afghan Mujahideen group. Haqqani has since joined the Taliban.
Subsequently, the HUM set up its own training camps in Afghan territory just across Miran Shah in the NWFP. Some of the best fighters of the Afghan War came from the HUM training camps. Impressed by their motivation and prowess, the CIA issued Stinger missiles to them and trained them in their use for bringing down Soviet planes and helicopters.
After the Afghan Mujahideen captured power in Kabul in April 1992, the HUM converted itself into an international network of fighters for defending the rights of the Muslims all over the world. The name of the organisation was changed to HUA in 1993 and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, another organisation of Afghan vintage, merged with it. As already mentioned above, after the US notification of October 1, 1997 the HUA reverted to its original name of HUM.
From 1992, the HUM, at the instance of the ISI, spread its activities to Jammu & Kashmir of India.
From 1992, the HUM, at the instance of the ISI, spread its activities to Jammu & Kashmir of India. It also expanded its activities to Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Bosnia, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Myanmar and the Philippines. In an interview to the News, a daily newspaper of Islamabad, on February 13, 1995 an unidentified HUM activist, who had claimed to have fought against the Indian Army in Kashmir, said: “We try to go wherever our Muslim brothers are terrorised, without any monetary consideration. Our colleagues went and fought against the oppressors in Bosnia, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Burma, the Philippines and, of course, India. Although Pakistani members of the Harkat are not participating directly in anti-government armed resistance in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Jordan, many of the fighters in those countries had remained our colleagues during the Afghan War and we know one another very well. We are doing whatever we can to help them install Islamic governments in those states.”
“¦since the demolition of the Babri Masjid in India in December 1992, the HUM had been receiving funds from some members of the Indian Muslim community in the UK.
The daily further quoted the HUM office-bearer as stating as follows: “Separate cells look after the training, operations and funds within the organisation. A typical Harkat sympathiser first contacts one of its offices and offers his services for jehad anywhere in the world. The sympathiser, after the necessary in-house security clearance, is then sent for a ten-day training programme. Later, he is sent to the relevant Harkat commander, who arranges weapons and selects routes to transport the Mujahid to the area of operation to work under a field commander. Each worker volunteers his services for 40 to 120 days.
“The Mujahid is told in advance that in case of martyrdom, his body would not be brought back to Pakistan and he would be buried at the place of the operation. The Harkat takes full care of the families of the martyrs. Our brave warriors are buried in Kashmir, Tajikistan, Bosnia, Burma and the Philippines. Muslims in those countries would never forget these courageous boys from Pakistan. We always tell those intending to join us that we are devoted to Islamic jehad and, by joining us, you have chosen a path that may take you to death. “