Ex-army chief Pervez Musharraf has told Der Spiegel that he trained and sent terrorists into Indian-administered Kashmir. An army-loyalist Foreign Office was somewhat shamefaced denying his “confession”. Musharraf was obviously trying to get back on the same page with General Ashfaq Kayani’s army. He should have remembered that the terrorists he trained for Kashmir also tried to kill him.
If the army hasn’t read Machiavelli it should go to the page where he tells the Florentine “prince” not to fight wars through non-state actors because “they have their own agenda”. But on September 30, 2010, UN-banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa was allowed to stage a rally in Islamabad promising India another bout of jihad. The media followed with loyal agitprop. Earlier, Dawa also held a mammoth “farmers’ rally” in Lahore, protesting India’s stealing of river waters. Even the army chief issued a statement naming “water” as the new issue.
The government rightly dissociated itself from the grand falsehood. Quoted in daily Pakistan (1 Oct 2010) federal minister water and power Pervez Ashraf said that India had not violated the Indus Treaty. He said India had the right to divert some water from rivers apportioned to Pakistan, but it was not even taking the water it was entitled to!
The world is not with Pakistan on Kashmir because the level of Pakistani terrorism there threatens all states. Pakistan remains myopic about the frankensteins it has created, becoming weak enough in the process for an al Qaeda takeover. A Pakistani journalist Arif Jamal in his book Shadow War: The Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir (Melville House, New York, 2009) has revealed the details of Musharraf’s braggadocio.
In December 2001, the Indian parliament was attacked. The Indian government blamed the attacks on Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. The attack nearly led to an India-Pakistan war in which Pakistan would have habitually lost to an internationally supported India. The attack capped a decade of covert war organised by Pakistan. In 2008, Jamaat-ud-Dawa carried out the Mumbai attacks and the evidence of Pakistani non-state actors’ involvement was provided by the US through David Headley.
And who sat front-row on the dais with the Dawa chief during the latest show of strength in Islamabad? The PML-N trouble-shooter Siddiqul Farooq! Is the big Punjabi party once again on board with successors of Musharraf? In fact, it had gone a step further by earlier hobnobbing with terrorist Sipah-e-Sahaba in Punjab.
Musharraf is not the only army chief confessing to proxy war. The book says: “At the end of his term in 1991, General Mirza Aslam Beg admitted that Pakistan had helped train thousands of Kashmiri militants” (p.243). Musharraf was to destroy culture (cinema, music) in the then NWFP by bringing in the MMA. In Kashmir, the same kind of culture-cleansing was done by the mujahideen.
And what happened when the moderate Kashmiri leaders protested the destruction of Kashmiri culture? The book says: “On May 21, 2002, Abdul Ghani Lone was killed while walking to his car. His elder son, Sajjad Lone, blamed a coalition of forces, naming in particular the ISI, Pakistan, and [Ali Shah] Geelani” (p.258).
Asiya Andrabi, leader of pro-Pakistan Dukhtaran-i-Millat, “spoke for both the ISI and jihadis” when she said the Hurriyat leaders should not go to Pakistan “because they would not be able to persuade groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and al Badr” (p.253). The latest unrest in Indian Kashmir offers a great stimulation to the old Pakistani reflex of using terror. But the terrorists are now all aligned with al Qaeda and are killing innocent Pakistanis. And they can kill army chiefs too, as Jaish nearly did Musharraf.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2010.
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