Are Al Qaeda And Pakistani Taliban Zeroing In On Kashmir As Their Next Battlefield?

Are Al Qaeda And Pakistani Taliban Zeroing In On Kashmir As Their Next Battlefield?

29 November 2013
India Today
Ashraf Wani

Srinagar: Are foreign terrorist organisations zeroing on Kashmir as their next battlefield? In an exclusive interview with indiatoday.in, Asiya Andrabi, the founder and president of the lone women separatist wing in Jammu and Kashmir Dukhtaran-e-Millat, has claimed that some people from Saudi Arabia, belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al Qaeda met her at her residence in Srinagar in 2012. Asiya said six people came to meet her claiming they were the press but later revealed themselves as associates of al Qaeda and the TTP. Despite claiming to be Saudi Arabians, two of the six spoke in Urdu and one of them was a local Kashmiri. She said their conversation revolved around jihad in Pakistan and India. These people wanted Asiya Andrabi to forward the cause of al Qaeda and TTP in Kashmir. However, Andrabi says she rejected their demands as she does not agree with the TTP's terror agenda in Pakistan. The Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of Faith) is a puritanical Islamist women's group and has been accused of actively recruiting and providing logistic support for jihadists in the state. It is worth mentioning here that a relative of Asiya Andrabi is already under arrest in Islamabad for his alleged links with al Qaeda. Pakistani Intelligence agencies claimed that Syed Mohammed Shoiab Andrabi, an aeronautics engineer was designing anti-drone missiles. Assertions are rife that following the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban may enter Kashmir to fight the Indian Army. Al Qaeda is a global terror network, while TTP is an extremist group operating from the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan and currently engaged in a protracted war with the Pakistan army. Intelligence and security agencies have now launched an investigation into the revelations made by Andrabi. However, while separatist leaders in the restive region have been critical of Taliban and al Qaeda ideology, Andrabi's revelations have sent a ripple of worry across the security apparatus in the state. Security agencies are now focusing on whether there is any such kind of terror group affiliated with the al Qaeda or TTP present in Valley and was there any security lapse if such a group was or is inside the Valley.