January 2000 News

Peshawar's IJO trains additional jehadis for J&K

27 January 2000
Daily Excelsioir

NEW DELHI, Jan 27: With the level of threat from Islamist jehadi terrorist activity having increased in Jammu and Kashmir in recent days, the International Jehad Organisation (IJO) has been reported to have recruited additional `volunteers', numbering several hundred, from Muslim outfits in several countries of West Asia, North Africa and even parts of Europe for intensive training in handling highly sophisticated weapons and explosive devices.

This sensational disclosure is contained in highly classified intelligence inputs just made available to the Government. According to these intelligence inputs, the International Jehad Organisation, which is guided, if not fully funded, by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has India-specific training programme. Hundreds of Islamist jehadis, trained under the auspices of IJO, have already been involved in the anti-India campaign in Kashmir and parts of the Doda, Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu region.

Evidence, according to intelligence sources, has also been obtained from some captured foreign mercenaries vis--vis the unhindered passage of millions of rupees into the headquarters of International Jehad Organisation from various countries from time to time. The IJO headquarters, established in Peshawar, is being funded by many individuals and agencies in West Asia, North Africa and Europe.

Anti-India and anti-Hindu recruits, these sources say, are trained in different camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. At least two Pakistani subversives, recently captured in Poonch sector, are said to have revealed that small batches of highly motivated Islamic mujahideen are sent by Peshawar's IJO to Sudan and Yemen for specialised and advanced training.

Yet another sensational report obtained by intelligence sleuths from across the border: Pakistani ISI has favoured hit-and-run operations by the militants and mercenaries on members and sym-pathisers of village defence committees in J&K. One of the intercepts carried a clear hint about the possibility of Pakistan-aided ultras in engineering selective killing in some places, particularly in Udhampur district, in the coming days and weeks. Obviously, the ISI has been irritated by New Delhi's latest decision to arm village-level teams and associate village defence committees with the counter-insurgency operations.

There is no denying that Pakistan has already succeeded in extending militancy and anti-Indian activity to quite a few areas in Udhampur and Kathua districts. Higher-ups in Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Border Security Force's intelligence organisation, better known as BSF(G), have admitted that Udhampur and Kathua districts have been included by the "other side" in the zone of violence.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Mr LK Advani, who is directly handling Jammu and Kashmir affairs, has received a paper, which inter alia makes a pointed reference to the camps in Pakistan, Muzaffarabad, capital of PoK(Pakistan occupied Kashmir) and other places on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, which have become for Sunni Islamist terrorists what Lebanon used to be for political Leftist terrorism earlier.

Stating that this phenomenon should be seen as an event of far-reaching ideological significance, the paper has argued that it also signifies the coming of age of radicalist Islam, providing a doctrinal underpinning for the kind of "clandestine support extended to Islamist militant activism in countries like India".

The paper, while asserting that a jehadi mindset prevails in Pakistan at present, has made a pointed reference to the military ruler, Gen Parvez Musharraf and recalled that Pakistan became directly involved in the militancy in Kashmir in the early `90s when Gen Musharraf was Director-General of Military Operations.

Washington, according to official reports fed to New Delhi, has come across "substance" in certain details from Indian Government in connection with Islamabad's role in aiding and abetting militancy and terrorism in Kashmir. Significantly, however, Washington has not supported the "hands off" policy advocated by India. The US President, Mr Bill Clinton, has been reported to be displeased with Islamabad's flirtations with pro-Osama bin Laden Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

But at the same time, the US President has also been reported to be of the view that it will be risky to leave Pakistan on its own given the tension in the region and the nuclear capability of both Pakistan and India. And as the US Administration has not ruled out the possibility of Mr Clinton touching Pakistan during his projected South Asia visit in March, Washington has chosen, at least for the time being, to avoid entertaining the demand for Pakistan to be declared a nation that supports terrorism.


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