Peshawar's IJO trains additional jehadis for J&K
27 January 2000
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
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-à-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.