M.M.Khajooria Al Qaeda chief Zawahiri has for the first time posted a video on the As-Sahab channel with the photo of Zakir Musa flashing on the screen. It may be recalled that Musa has since been eliminated by the Security forces. “I am of the view that the Mujahideen (armed terrorists) in Kashmir- at this stage at least-should focus with single mind on inflicting unrelenting blows on the Indian Army and government so as to bleed the Indian economy and make India suffer sustained losses in manpower and equipment.” he said. This reminds me of a researched report I had published in Fortnightly Shivalik Chronicle of second a fortnight of 1992. The front page heading read; “Pak Game Plan Under Review New Thrust in Kashmir on the Anvil’ According to information gathered, Pak government had set up a select group of specialists who were tasked “to recommend measures to speed up de-accession of Kashmir (read Jammu & Kashmir) from the Indian Union and its final amalgamation with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. The group recommended that: “The freedom fighters should launch operations in such a manner that it takes more the 400 soldiers to secure the supply line to maintain 100 soldiers in place in Kashmir. The ultimate aim should be to make occupation of Kashmir cost prohibitive for India.” India will leave Kashmir only when it becomes economically impossible for her to hold the state in subjugation”. It further adds “Soldiering is an occupation in India, a means to provide sustenance to the poor. A soldier killed is expendable and easily replaceable. An oil tanker or even six tyres of the tanker that carry oil would be hard to replace. The attacks should therefore hence forth aim more and more on defence establishments, oil depots, gas plants and food grain stores”. The theme running through Zawahiri video and Pak commitees’ Report focus on “bleeding the India economy.” He made two other very significant points; one.”All the Pakistani Army and government are interested in exploiting the Mujahideen for specific political objectives, only to dump or persecute them later,” “conflict with India is essentially a secular rivalry over borders managed by the American intelligence.” This position on Jihad is supported by majority of Muslin scholars and clergy. They argue that only war for Islam, Allah and Caliphate can be Jihad. A conflict over territory between two countries is essentially secular in character and could not be Jihad. However, this distinction does not help us in practical terms. All major terrorist groups in a conclave in Muzafarabad in 2014 decided to keep ‘ideological’ differences over the concept and contours of Jihad aside and collaborate in ‘Freedom struggle’ in Jammu & Kashmir. Hafiz Syed agreed to oversee major operations. Consequently the Hafiz was reported to have personally directed some of the BAT Ops in Poonch area. In fact, he was known to have surveyed on two occasions the target zone a day before ‘BAT action’. Two. The “fight in Kashmir” is not a separate conflict but part of the worldwide Muslim community’s “Jihad against a vast array of forces.” This is a reality. Gen. Zia plugged Kashmir terrorism into the international terror grid during the US promoted Islamic Jihad in Afghanistan. The boys from Kashmir were trained in far off Afghanistan in Mujahideen, US financed training facilities. Some of the consignments of weapons, communication hardware etc meant for fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan were diverted to Kashmir with the connivance of CIA. What exactly is Al Qaeda? Al Qaeda has been perceived as partly an ideology, partly a political-cultural force and a state of mind. It draws strength from the huge amount of alienation amongst the Muslims the world over. Vast majority of Muslims treat the war against terrorism as war against Islam. Al Qaeda is not a structured organization. Though very loosely structured its command and control is absolute. “It offers inspiration and, depending upon the operation and/or the group, it offers training, logistical support, financing. Since the Taliban was overthrown in Afghanistan, obviously, there is not even this much of a centralized command. But they are still working, they are still organizing, they are still implementing attacks. Just in the last month we have seen attacks in Yemen, in Kuwait, in Pakistan, and most significantly in Bali, Indonesia, where more than 180 people died” (UNICEF Histrycom. Editors). There is a firm consensus amongst AlQaeda watchers that “real strength of Al Qaeda lies in its affiliates spread across four continents.” As is known Kashmir has been on Al Qaeda radar since mid- nineties. Jaish and Lashkar, two prominent Terrorist groups operating in Kashmir have enjoyed affiliate statusas well as the patronage of Osama bin Laden. The connections deepened with the emergence of Khurasan chapter of Al Qaeda which is also responsible for India. It has to be remembered that both ISIS and Al Qaeda are inspired by Whabbi/ Salfi interpretation of Islam. So is Jamat-e-Islami. What began with the waiving of ISIS flags in Jama Masjid Srinagar after Friday prayers led Burhan Wani to declare that the Jihad in Kashmir was the “Fight for Islam, Allah and Caliphate”-the Wahabbi/ Salfi version. This culminated in the formal organization of Indian cell of al-Qaeda, titled “Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.” under Zakir Musa. He had spread its tentacles’ to neighboring Punjab before his elimination by the Security forces. Taking into consideration the above scenario it would be, to say the least gravely naïve to ignore the Zahwari threat. In any case, it is dangerous to lull the people of India into a state of complacency because the terrorist war is primarily aimed at the people of India and their morale. They have a right to know about the dangers that confront them the correct government response should be to share the threat, and assure them of our Security forces capability to crush any mischief by the Al Qaeda and its likes . They must also be exhorted to keep their eyes and ears open and share any suspicious movement or event that comes to their notice immediately with the nearest police Station. All said and done, this is a war without borders that finally targets the people of India and their morale. On the other hand Government agencies must step up their vigil and do what is required to be done in the face of this threat which enhances the challenges with which they are already battling.
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