The New Face Of Kashmiri Militancy
26 December 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: After the October 29 blasts in Delhi it has now become clear that an increasing number of Indian nationals, especially from Kashmir, are participating in most of the terrorist attacks and terrorists' suicide missions in the country. What is more, these merchants of death are not the usual stereotypes of uneducated fanatics coming from poor families but those who went to colleges, come from the middle class and often hold good jobs. In their outward behaviour and deportment they betray no ill-will against India or its people and like to be accepted as normal human beings. The media has termed this development as the new face of militancy, one that has become a matter of deep concern for authorities in India. Public attention has been drawn to this phenomenon because of the two men arrested after the Delhi blasts one, 33-year-old Tariq Ahmed Dar, held a senior managerial post in an MNC pharmaceutical firm, while the other, 23- year-old Mohammed Rafiq Shah, was pursuing a post graduate course. Their interrogation has revealed that Dar, who holds an MBA degree, was the 'chief conspirator, coordinator and financier' of the October 29 blasts and was a 'high-ranking' operative of the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, while Shah is a trained fidayeen (suicide bomber) who is believed to have planted the bomb in a DTC bus that had exploded in Govindpuri in south Delhi. Mohammed Rafiq Shah is reportedly such a committed fidayeen that rather than express any remorse he smiles heartily whenever he is asked why he wanted to kill innocent men and women. Dar, despite his well-paid job and education that gave him no reason to feel insecure or deprived, has been for some years a keen supporter of the Lashkar and all that it stands for. Of course, both men had travelled to Pakistan clandestinely, obviously to be trained by the jihadi masters in the 'art and craft' of snuffing out innocent lives that Pakistan's ISI has patented. Also part of the 'new face' of militancy in India is the fact that the merciless killers who are assigned terrorist missions in Delhi stay in neighbouring towns and their forays into the capital are confined to a few hours of spreading death and destructions. The stepped up vigilance in Delhi has forced the change in search for safe hideouts as the ones in Delhi are likely to be under police watch. What this means is that a network of jihadi terrorists has encircled Delhi. The Pakistan army's ISI has been pumping in a lot of money in states bordering Delhi while governments in these states, especially in UP, has not perhaps done enough to checkmate the growth of Pakistani agents in their territories. It will be hard to believe that the so- called new face of militancy in Kashmir grew out of the blue. Its emergence is not a matter of surprise. Anyone who has been to the Kashmir valley at any time, before or after the spurt of terrorism around 1989 will know that the majority population in the area was already under the influence of rabid anti-India propaganda from across the border. If you were not a Kashmiri, most ordinary people in the valley called you 'Indian' even though the world did not-and does not-recognise Kashmir as a separate or independent 'nation'. The Pakistan propaganda that was constantly bombarding Kashmiris through the airwaves and other sources including the print media told them that Muslims had no place in 'India' which was inhabited by the wily kafirs. The Pakistani job was easy because through the long Dogra rule in the state of Jammu and Kashmir the majority of Muslims had had lesser opportunities to advance themselves than the minority community. All that the Pakistani battery of Gobbles had to do was to keep inflaming the latent resentments of the majority population. The anti-India line appealed to ordinary Kashmiris of poor means who were short of education and money as well as opportunities even after the end of the Dogra rule. The government of India made little efforts at countering the Pakistani propaganda. The reach of All India Radio in Jammu and Kashmir remained poor for decades after Independence; the pace of development in the state was slow while corruption started to climb to new heights. Later when television arrived, New Delhi did not do enough to make it reach all corners of the state. Pakistan did not face handicaps in beaming its pernicious messages through the radio and TV signals, especially when the officials in that country have always been very focused on keeping a non-stop diatribe against India in every possible form. Not that this Pakistani predilection has waned lately. Since its inception Pakistan has fed Kashmiris with horrific stories about India and the alleged 'atrocities' committed by this country in Kashmir. Not only the Pakistani media, especially the Urdu press, but also the school textbooks too have contributed handsomely to injecting anti-India poison into successive generations of Pakistanis. Jihad remains the credo of the Pakistani army, though Gen Pervez Musharraf wants the world to believe that his countrymen are 'moderate' and he is taking them towards 'enlightenment'. The theme set out by the Pakistani army is spelt out more clearly by men like Amir Hamza, the 'intellectual supremo' of Jamat-ud- Dawa (earlier known as Lashkar-e-Taiba): 'Hinduism is the enemy of Islamů friendship (with India) is impossible unless the enemy comes within the fold of Islam.' He goes further to exhort in his book on 'Hinduism' that Pakistanis should raise weapons because 'the Hindus are hell-bent on implanting Hindu rule over Pakistan'. Pakistan should destroy India, which is 'playing Holi with the blood of the innocent Muslims.' Such messages are regularly reflected in the Pakistani media which constantly reminds its readers that the two- nation theory (the basis for carving Pakistan out of India) will remain vindicated as long as the Hindus keep worshiping the cow and the Muslims will, therefore, keep on slaying the cow and eat its flesh! The 'Hindu' stereotype portrayed in the Pakistani media, including the government-controlled electronic media, consists of description of 'bizarre' practices of the Hindus, their 'unhygienic habits' and their 'strange' rituals. The perverted views on India and the Hindus titillate the Pakistani masses and those across the border who are sought to be influenced by the Pakistani view of India. The Pakistani propaganda machine concentrates on showing India as the 'oppressor' of the Kashmiri Muslims while it predictably ignores the subjugation of people in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). It also underlines the differences between the Hindus and the Muslims to justify the Pakistani belief that co-existence between the two communities is impossible. The Pakistani success in spreading poison among the Kashmiris is clear from the fact that every local militant gunned down by the Indian forces is hailed as a 'martyr' while merciless killing of Indians evokes no sympathy. In all probability, the family of the 'martyr' is assured a handsome 'reward' by Pakistan which is distributed through one of the many pro-Pakistani outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir. Only little attention has been paid in the country to the fact that many, if not most, of the pro- Pakistani elements in Kashmir lead a life of comfort and luxury unrelated to their humble origins. Pakistan has been sending money to the Kashmir separatists almost openly. There have been quite a few incidents of Kashmiris emerging out of the Pakistani high commission in Delhi with bags full of cash, sometimes fake currency notes too. After nearly 15 years of aiding and abetting militancy in Kashmir, Pakistan may not be in much need of sustaining it only with the help of its own citizens. Pakistan has now a sufficiently trained numbers of Indian militants not just in Kashmir but in many other parts of the country too. This is supplemented by the creation of a number of sleeping cells doted all over the country. And all this goes on when Islamabad is said to have-going by the periodic 'certificates' from Bush, Blair and Co-turned its back on terrorism and started a 'peace process' with India, Pakistan's only 'enemy'.