Ominous signals from overseas Islamic rebels
16 December 2002
The Daily Excelsior
B L Kak
Jammu: New winds have started blowing, sending in ominous signals vis-a-vis new thinking, new line of helpers or sympathisers of Muslim fugitives from India, including Jammu and Kashmir. Latest incident, which does substantiate the changed thinking of some Muslim countries, pertains to anti-New Delhi move of the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was, undoubtedly, a big catch, when Anees Ibrahim, underworld don and main accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blast case, walked into the police trap in the vicinity of Dubai. The UAE authorities were not ignorant of the fact that Anees Ibrahim was one among the 20 fugitives India had, since December 2001, been trying to get back with the help of Pakistan Government. The UAE had been apprised of the necessary details, in this regard, not only by India’s premier investigating agency, CBI, but also by the Interpol. The higher-ups in the CBI in particular and the mandarins in Delhi’s North Block in general had reasons to be in a state of readiness to get hold of Anees Ibrahim, after his arrest by the Dubai police authorities. Alas, New Delhi had a sad, bad news from Dubai, soon after Ibrahim’s arrest! The CBI, which was working on his extradition, received a rude shock when Anees Ibrahim, younger brother of the Karachi-based Dawood Ibrahim, was freed in Dubai. And chances of his deportation to India disappeared, literally, when he was permitted to return to Pakistan. It was a bolt from the blue. The Government of India was not to blame as it swung itself in action after the first report about the arrest of Anees Ibrahim was received. The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr LK Advani, like many others, seemed confident that the UAE authorities would, once again, oblige New Delhi. United Arab Emirates, earlier this year, had obliged the Vajpayee Government by permitting the deportation to India of Aftab Ansari, main accused in the shootout case at the American Centre at Kolkata. Totally indifferent attitude adopted this time by the UAE authorities towards New Delhi was, significantly, noticed at a time when anti-India Islamic rebels and radicals had become more active than before in quite a few Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, UAE, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. With this, the strong presence of Pakistan’s ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) in these countries and elsewhere, in recent times, also became a reality. Intelligence inputs have suggested that UAE authorities have, of late, allowed themselves to be influenced and motivated by the dreaded official agency of Pakistan, the ISI. And the ISI, it has already become an open secret, continues to favour and foster Dawood Ibrahim and his company. It was, apparently, in this context that the passage of Dawood’s younger brother to Pakistan from Dubai was not only prompt but also dramatic. Monstrosity of anti-Indian forces, ISI in particular, in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), it is generally felt, cannot be done away with as long as Islamabad enjoys— indeed, patronises—their exploits. Months ago, after the tremendous pressure from the international community, particularly the USA, Islamabad ordered a nationwide crackdown that led to the arrests of nearly 3,500 extremists and leaders of the two dreaded organisations, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). But, within just one month, more than 1,500 of these were released. Worse, indeed, offices of LeT and JeM reamined open, minus signboards and collection boxes. And Islamabad turned a new leaf in its anti-Delhi hsitory by setting free, in November this year, LeT’s exprit de corps, Prof. Hafiz Saeed. Nor was it all. Islamabad’s sympathy for Islamic radicals and rebels became too evident to be missed just the other day when the chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Masood Azhar was released. More importantly, Pakistani authorities never brought a single religious activist to task. No member of LeT and JeM was charged under the much-publicised Anti-Terrorism Law of Gen. Parvez Musharraf. And on this side of the border, Indian leaders, particularly the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, aren’t, happily, tired of repeating their assertions that India won’t rest till it defeats Pakistan in its proxy war. In this, the New Delhi- based US Ambassador to India, Mr Robert Blackwill, is equally active. The United States, Mr Blackwill has reiterated, is with India in the war against terrorism. His latest assertion ran thus: India and the US are together in the war against terrorism. That war will not be won until all terrorism against India and America is ended, permanently. At the same time, America’s ''stalwart ally'', Pakistan is allowed to call the shots—by way of continuing its proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir.