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Separatists Are One Family PDF Print
Written by John Wilson   
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 00:00

The recent meeting of the All Party Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq with terrorist leaders in Pakistan, besides raising several questions, clearly points out to one simple fact: Pakistan still shelters terrorist groups which are clearly inimical to India in particular, and the military and its intelligence wing, the ISI, has considerable clout with them. Besides, according to news reports, it was Al Umar chief Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar who persuaded three mid-level commanders of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Jaish-e-Mohammed to meet the Mirwaiz.

Zargar, one of the three terrorists released as part of the swap during the Kandahar hijacking (1999) along with JeM leaders Maulana Masood Azhar and Syed Omar Sheikh, works closely with the ISI and has been quite close to the Mirwaiz family when he was in Srinagar. He is known as the Pandit killer with at least 15 murder cases registered against him. Zargar, after his release, has maintained a low profile and was last spotted in Islamabad a couple of years ago. He now works for the ISI helping the Jammu & Kashmir unit to run its jihadi operations.

The Mirwaiz meeting was obviously facilitated by the ISI, and without guessing whether the Indian Government tacitly agreed to such an interaction, it is fair to assume that Pakistan is cleverly playing the jihadi card on the table, bringing in likes of Hafiz Saeed and Zargar as participants in the broader debate on Jammu & Kashmir and its future while agreeing, on the other hand, to work on setting up a joint terror mechanism with India.

Talking to LeT, JeM and Al Umar is like requesting the rapist to marry the victim. Besides being obnoxious, it is counter-productive for both India and Pakistan. India has suffered immensely because of terrorist acts masterminded by the three terrorists whom the Mirwaiz talked peace with. None of these terrorist groups have shown any change in their attitude towards India.

In fact, they have only hardened their stand on Jammu & Kashmir, strengthened their association with Al Qaeda and Taliban and worked towards their avowed mission of creating a pan-Islamic umbrella over Asia, at least for the time being.

In this context, it is important to document what LeT and JeM, two of the notorious terrorist groups involved in terrorism in India, think about Jammu & Kashmir. Three days after the Mirwaiz met Lashkar leaders, Hafiz Saeed, the group's chief, addressing a congregation before Jumma' (Friday) prayers at Jamia Masjid Al Qadsiah in Chowburji, Lahore, said "Kashmiris and their Pakistani brethren will not be fooled into believing that the 60 year-old Jammu & Kashmir issue can be resolved within three months on the negotiating table."

Hafiz Saeed told the gathering about the "rumour going around among certain circles that the Jammu & Kashmir issue is about to be resolved as a result of the ongoing negotiations and back-channel diplomacy between India and Pakistan" and said it was just a "figment of their imagination and, in reality, is just a charade being played out by our rulers to please their foreign friends."

Saeed, who has always maintained that jihad, was the only option to 'liberate' Jammu & Kashmir, said the issue will not be resolved through negotiations nor through any of the "preposterous and absurd suggestions offered by various entities from time to time". He said India "just wants to gain more time to crush the freedom movement and using dialogue process for its bad intentions."

Addressing the Friday prayers at Lahore a week earlier, Saeed said, "The strengthening of the Jammu & Kashmir struggle is imperative to the strengthening of Kalima Tayyibah (declaration of Muslim faith) in the region." He said, "The Kashmiris had already been cheated before" and were disheartened and unhappy with Pakistan's continuing unproductive and negative negotiations with India. He said, "Our rulers are taking steps, like open borders and preferential trade, which will only result in guaranteed slavery to India." On December 22 last, Saeed in his Friday sermon said, "Kashmir will be liberated through jihad only. Muslims will earn respect through jihad only."

Maulana Azhar has been equally vitriolic on his stance against India. In his weekly column in Al Qalam, a publication of JeM (December 2006), Azhar said, "Kashmiris are keeping the fire of jihad burning through their sacrifices. LeT and JeM are working actively in Jammu & Kashmir and they are giving Hindus a tough time." He said, "Mujahideens in Jammu & Kashmir were coming from Dir, North West Frontier Province and it was not possible for Gen Pervez Musharraf to stop them. Mujhahideens are carrying out attacks on the Indian soldiers. Their courage deserves to be saluted. India has gained nothing despite killing more than 100,000 Kashmiris and suffering a loss of thousands of its soldiers."

In Pakistan, it is clear that the fires of jihad are far from being extinguished. In fact, there is growing evidence of re-alignments and re-formations of various terrorist and sectarian groups taking place, particularly in Waziristan which has, after Gen Musharraf's handshake with Mullah Omar in September 2006, turned into a special terrorist zone for Al Qaeda and Taliban. JeM is sending its recruits to terrorist training camps in Dir (NWFP). LeT is known to be forming suicide-bombing squads to help the Taliban fight the NATO forces.

According to an Afghan National Television report of October 5, the group has been recruiting Afghan refugees to take up arms against the Afghanistan Government and NATO forces. Citing a known instance, the report said LeT recruits went to the Ahl-e-Hadith mosque in the Jalozai refugee camp in Peshawar where they were promised training and money if they were to join jihad. A large number of these new trainees will return to Jammu & Kashmir in the near future.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 September 2010 22:02


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