Where Are The Kashmiri Militants?

Where Are The Kashmiri Militants?

5 December 2012
Tehelka
Ali K Chishti

Srinagar: In 2011, the number of terrorism-related incidents fell drastically to 189, from 488 the previous year. Several Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) districts have been declared completely free of militant control, including Kargil, Leh, Doda, Reasi, Jammu, Kathua and Samba.In a number of other districts - Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Shopian and Ganderbal - militancy rates have plummeted to single digits, according to J&K Home and Tourism Minister, Nasir Aslam Wani. One of the main reasons as to why violence has reduced in Kashmir and India in general is that all of the hardcore militant groups had turned on their masters.

Years

Incidents**

Civilian Fatalities

SF Fatalities

Terrorist Fatalities

Total Fatalities

Explosions

Infiltration Attempts**

2006

1667

349

168

599

1116

215

573

2007

1092

164

121

492

777

109

535

2008

708

69

90

382

541

43

342

2009

499

55

78

242

375

13

485

2010

488

36

69

270

375

36

489

2011

189

34

30

119

183

42

NA

2012*

NA

4

0

3

7

2

NA



The question remains, where have the Kashmiri militants gone too? The easiest answer is that they turned against Pakistan and are now called, the 'Punjabi Talibans' who are on a killing rampage all over Pakistan with the Pakistani version of Taliban, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Today, Pakistan faces one of the deadliest decades in its history with over 40,000 Pakistani civilian and military men killed by al-Queda and its affiliates, the TTP, the Punjabi Talibans and sectarian outfits after 9-11 alone. We fell prey to the temptation of nurturing militancy in the name of Islam and thought this to be an easy option as a means of promoting our strategic goals in the region, particularly in Afghanistan and India. Most Pakistanis called it ‘Jihad’ and paid the Jehadis after every Friday prayers at hundreds and thousands of mosques all over Pakistan' obviously the intention was to mobilise and motivate our great, 'martial' Pakistani Army and irregular armed forces (Mujahideens) of all kinds in the name of Islam. Pakistan first employed this so called, ‘Islamic Strategy’ against the Soviets forces in Afghanistan from 1979 onwards. By labeling it as an Islamic cause, Pakistan managed to receive financial support from Saudi Arabia and various other Muslim countries. Pakistan’s ‘Islamic Strategy’ got support form the US and China merely because it was directed against the Soviet Union, and they are now reaping its bitter consequences as they are now finding it difficult to contain this Frankenstein’s monster which has probably now turned into a Godzilla. The involvement of 'our' ISI and the participation of Jamaat-i-Islami workers and activists of its student wing, the Islamai Jamaat-e-Taliba in the Afghan Jihad, is no secret. For Pakistan, the Afghan Jihad served well and after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan, it started applying the Jihad strategy against India. Pakistanis called it, 'Intafada' (grand uprising) forgetting that Kashmiris ditched us in 1965 (refer to Ayub Dairies).

 

Civilians

Security Force Personnel

Terrorists/Insurgents

Total

2003

140

24

25

189

2004

435

184

244

863

2005

430

81

137

648

2006

608

325

538

1471

2007

1522

597

1479

3598

2008

2155

654

3906

6715

2009

2324

991

8389

11704

2010

1796

469

5170

7435

2011

2738

765

2800

6303

2012

2760

647

2399

5811

Total*

14908

4737

25087

44737



*Data till December 2, 2012

2012*

 

Civilians

Security Force Personnel

Terrorists/Insurgents

Total

January

177

117

234

528

February

208

59

193

460

March

207

72

454

733

April

239

36

124

399

May

247

76

193

516

June

303

64

289

656

July

303

60

207

570

August

258

70

304

632

September

278

22

164

464

October

252

40

166

458

November

288

31

69

388

December

0

0

2

7

Total

2760

647

2399

5811



Then we believed that the Taliban, our brainchild, who once controlled Afghanistan will be 'obedient' and would give our army strategic depth vis-à-vis India. The Taliban’s who’s who began as reformers, following an 'imported sect' (Wahabism) and those who imposed a holy war against infidels sent out mercenaries from Afghanistan to kill our people (Pakistanis) who disagreed with there version of Islam - causing more than 6,000 sectarian killings in Pakistan between 1996 and 2001 alone. Jihad however, does not sanction the killing of fellow Muslims on the basis of ethnicity or sect. Yet the Taliban used it for just that. Statistically, more than 80,000 Pakistani militants, mostly from South Punjab, whom we originally nurtured as a proxy against India, had fought with the Taliban since their emergence in 1994, which provides for a ‘huge militant’ fundamentalist base for a Talibanesque Islamic revolution in Pakistan. The Taliban have thus established close ties not only with the military but with many sections of the Pakistani society. The result? From the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket Team to the attack on the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) to the recent massacre of the Ahmediya community to the killing of Shias everyday, we have a 26-11 everyday, in Pakistan. Did we not create and nurture the Taliban and the al-Queda for transnational terrorism to achieve predominance in the Islamic world? Our establishment apparently felt that by facilitating the various partners in the Taliban-Al-Qiada, it can obtain their help in pursing its own foreign policy objectives. The most commonly stated rationale for this belief given by people like Hamid Gul and Aslam Baig was that our collective effort succeeded in defeating the Soviet Union forgetting the role of the Allied Forces and the Afghanis completely. Nawaz Sharif the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) shouldn’t forget that the Lashkar-e-Jhanvi a Sunni sectarian group attempted to assassinate him in 1999 too? Besides, our government has encouraged the establishment of such a large number of Islamic militant organisations and groups (such as the Taliban, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, the Lakhkar-e-Taiba, the Hizb-ul-Mujhadhideen, the Hizb-e-Wahadat, the Supah-e-Sahaba, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Sipah-e-Mohammad and the Jaish-e-Mohammad) in the last two decades. The growth of such organisations continued unchecked even during the post-Zia democratic movements and the enlightened moderation guy, former President Pervez Musharraf didn’t do much either. In fact, he played a 'bluff.' Unfortunately, Pakistan and no-one else will have to take the blame for the backlash of its Afghan and India policy in terms of increased militancy and terrorism at home. The decade-long involvement and investment by our agencies in Afghanistan and India had backfired, and the experience gained by militants in the use of explosives and light and heavy weapons are now being applied against our own people. One classical example of how good Jihadi-turned-bad is that of Sheikh Omar who beheaded foreigners in Kashmir and was rescued along with Masood Azhar after elements of the Pakistani establishment during Musharraf’s tenure hijacked, Indian Airline 814. Sheikh Omar returned to Pakistan after 9-11 and allied himself with al-Queda’s Khaled Sheikh Muhammad, the 9-11 Mastermind who resided in Karachi in 2002 and helped him hijack and later behead Wall Street journalist, Daniel Pearl ruining Pakistan’s image for-ever. Besides, thousands of volunteers affiliated with the militant religious organisations trained in guerilla warfare in Afghanistan and in training camps in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistani-administered Kashmir continue to report at the military camps in the Taliban controlled Federally Administered Tribal Areas of the country every month. The sad part is that the Islamic parties and militants outfits have given rise to what may be called a Jehadi culture with Jihadi movements and Jihadi strategies which are deployed inside and outside the country by vested interests. The consequences, in terms of instability, disruption, disaffection, conflict and contradiction, within Pakistan and outside is there for every one of us to see. Our leadership irrespective of its personal values, attitudes and lifestyles has chosen to ride the Islamic tiger for electoral gains and is now finding it difficult to dismount it. In the wake of their successes, the militant Islamic parties have started pressurising our government on domestic and foreign policy. And while there seems to a change of heart from GHQ, (probably because it’s too busy fighting its babies) al-Queda along with its ex-partner is another strategic player in the region which orchestrates incidents like 26-11 in Mumbai to kill peace between India and Pakistan. Where’s the Lashkar-e-Taiba and what is it thinking? Ali K Chishti is a Karachi-based journalist