& the Pro-Bin Laden forces
waged unsuccessfully its first proxy war against India in the
North-Eastern frontier areas between 1956 and 1971 from the then
East Pakistan. Since1981, the military-intelligence establishment of
the Government of Pakistan has been waging a second proxy war
against India in the hope of thereby achieving its strategic
objective of annexing the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir
(J&K). This second proxy war, which involves the use of
State-sponsored terrorism to keep the Indian Security Forces and the
civilian population bleeding without provoking a conventional war,
was first started in the Indian State of Punjab in 1981 and extended
to J&K in 1989.
The activities of Pakistan's State-sponsored terrorists in Indian
Punjab have been brought under control by the Government of India
since 1995, but the terrorist violence in J&K has not yet been
brought under control due to the involvement of a large number of
Pakistani Punjabis and other foreign mercenaries trained, armed and
infiltrated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and the
surviving remnants of bin Laden's Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Between 1989 and 1993, Pakistan's military-intelligence
establishment relied largely on indigenous Kashmiri organisations
for promoting terrorist violence in the Indian territory. Following
their perceived failure to make headway on the ground, it started
infiltrating into J&K since 1993 trained and armed cadres of a
number of Pakistani organisations, mainly of Pakistani Punjabis, in
order to intensify the proxy war. The more prominent of these
Pakistani organisations are:
The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), which was designated by the USA as a
Foreign Terrorist Organisation in
October,1997 under its then name of Harkat-ul-Ansar (HUA).
The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), which was designated by the USA as a
Foreign Terrorist Organisation in December, 2001.
The Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM), which was also designated by the USA as
a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in December 2001.
The Harkat-ul-Jihad-Al-Islami (HUJI), which has not yet been so
The Al Badr, which too has not yet been so designated.
Of these, the oldest is the Al Badr, which was got floated by the
ISI through the intermediary of Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) in
the then East Pakistan before 1971 in order to use it to massacre a
large number of Bengali Muslim intellectuals, which shocked the
civilised world in 1971. After the birth of Bangladesh, the Al Badr
was shifted by the ISI to Pakistan and was amongst the organisations
used by the ISI against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the
The HUM, the LET and the HUJI came into being in the 1980s and
played an active role against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. The
JEM was formed in the beginning of 2000 through an ostensible split
in the HUM.
These Pakistani organisations, whose cadres were infiltrated in
increasing numbers into J&K after 1993, have virtually taken
over the leadership of the terrorist movement and given it a
pan-Islamic direction. Their objective has nothing to do with the
interests and welfare of the Kashmiris. They project J&K as the
gateway to India and describe their final objective as the
"liberation" of the Muslims of India and the creation of
two more 'Muslim homelands" in South Asia.
The following characteristics of these organisations have not
received from the rest of the world the attention they deserve:
They describe Western-style liberal democracies as anti-Islam since
they advocate that sovereignty lies in the people. According to
these organisations, sovereignty lies in God and the clerics, as the
interpreters of Islam, should have the decisive role in law-making
and implementation. They look upon the successful functioning of the
Indian democracy as a corrupting influence on Pakistan's civil
society and elite.
They say that they do not recognise national frontiers and that they
recognise only the frontiers of the Ummah and assert the right of
the Muslims to go and wage a jihad (holy war) in any country where,
in their perception, Muslims are suppressed, even if it be in a
They describe Pakistan's atomic bomb as the Ummah's and advocate
that Pakistan's bomb and nuclear technology should be available to
any Muslim country which needs them to protect itself.
They support bin Laden's argument that the Muslims have the right
and even a religious obligation to acquire and even use Weapons of
Mass Destruction (WMD), if necessary, to protect their religion.
Their office-bearers and cadres are largely Pakistani Punjabis.
Their training and logistics infrastructure was based in Afghanistan
and Pakistan before October 7, 2001, and is now totally based in
Pakistani territory after they were driven out of Afghanistan by the
international coalition led by the USA. Many of the training camps
in Taliban-controlled territory destroyed by the USA's cruise
missile strikes in August,1998, belonged to the HUM and the HUJI
All of them look upon the US, India and Israel as the principal
enemies of Islam and are members (except the Al Badr, which is not)
of bin Laden's International Islamic Front For Jehad (Crusade)
against the USA and Israel, which was formed in 1998. The HUM was
the first to join it in 1998 and the others followed later. Their
cadres, believed to have been trained by bin Laden's 055 Brigade in
Afghan territory, played an active role in assisting the Al Qaeda
and the Taliban initially in their fight against the Northern
Alliance before October 7, 2001, and then in their fight against the
international coalition led by the USA thereafter.
These organisations imported into J&K bin Laden's brand of
suicide terrorism, which was unknown in J&K before the middle of
1999 and have been responsible for most of the acts of terrorism
since 1999. The only important Kashmiri organisation, which is still
carrying on a campaign of terrorism, is the Hizbul Mujahideen, the
militant wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) of J&K, which is an
appendage of the JEI of Pakistan. Thus, what we have been witnessing
in J&K since 1999 is no longer just Kashmiri militancy as it is
often described, but Pakistani Punjabi terrorism in the name and
under the guise of Kashmiris and drawing its inspiration from its
post-1998 association with bin Laden.
According to the Pakistani media, about 6,000 trained terrorists of
these organisations, the largest component of them belonging to the
HUM and the HUJI, were killed in the operations of the US-led
international coalition in Afghanistan. The surviving remnants,
estimated to be 40,000 plus, have entered Pakistan from Afghanistan
along with the surviving remnants of the Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
They initially took sanctuary in the tribal areas of Balochistan,
the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the
Federally-Administered Tribal areas (FATA) of Pakistan, but have
since spread over to other parts of Pakistan away from the
Pakistan-Afghan border, including Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK)
and the Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan).
This became evident during the capture of Abu Zubaida, stated to be
the No.3 in the Al Qaeda, and 19 other members of the Al Qaeda by
the Pakistani security forces, when they were reportedly pressurised
to act by the US counter-terrorism officials on the basis of precise
intelligence, from hide-outs in Faislabad in Pakistani Punjab. It
was reported that they had been given shelter there by the LET.
This also became evident during the interrogation of one Fazal Karim,
a terrorist of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) by the Karachi Police in
connection with the investigation into the kidnapping and murder of
Daniel Pearl, the young American journalist, while he was doing an
investigative story on the Pakistani links of Richard Reid, the
so-called shoe bomber. The "News" (May 23, 2002), the
prestigious daily of Pakistan, reported as follows on the
"Pakistani security officials believe that because of increased
monitoring activities by the military services in the tribal areas,
scores of the foreigners, earlier hiding there, have now moved with
the help of their trusted Pakistani religious supporters to the
populous urban centres, such as Karachi. "There are scores of
Arabs and their Pakistani loyalists who are desperate to blow
themselves up to settle score with the Americans and other
westerners," an official quoted Fazal Karim as saying.
"These Arabs residing in various neighbourhoods in the
outskirts of Karachi are on do-or-die missions," he added.
Fazal told his investigators, "Our Arab friends hosted us in
Afghanistan when we were on the run, now it's our turn to pay them
The paper added: "Giving more specific information about the
new terrorist threat in Karachi, Fazal is believed to have disclosed
that the Airport hotel near Karachi airport, where the western
military personnel of International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF)
were staying, had been selected by his group for a possible suicidal
"Informed diplomats in Islamabad termed "a watershed"
and "very dangerous" the evidence that previously friendly
groups have merged operationally. Al-Qaeda signatures, not seen
previously in Pakistan, were starkly visible in the recent attacks
apparently carried out principally by the Pakistanis: detailed
planning, western targets and, in the two attacks, suicide bombers,
" the paper concluded. The two attacks with the Al Qaeda's
signature referred to by the daily were the grenade attack on
Christian worshippers in an Islamabad church on March 17, 2002, in
which five persons, including the wife and daughter of an American
diplomat, were killed, and the car bomb explosion in Karachi on May
8, 2002, in which 11 French nationals were killed.
Since December, 2001, sections of the Pakistani media have been
reporting about the movement of the Al Qaeda survivors towards
Pakistani Punjab as well as the POK with the complicity of the ISI-supported
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET). This movement has continued, despite the
ostensible ban on the LET imposed by Gen. Pervez Musharraf on
January 15, 2002, under US pressure.
The role played by the LET's headquarters at Muridke, near Lahore,
in facilitating the movement of Al Qaeda cadres to and from
Afghanistan was highlighted by the prestigious "Friday
Times" of Lahore in its issue for the week from December 14 to
20, 2001. It wrote: "Muridke, a city within a city, was built
with Arab (My comment: bin Laden's) money.....Its (the LET's)
contact with the Wahabi camps in Kunnar in Afghanistan has never
been disowned although Muridke carefully mutes its obvious
connections with the Arab warriors in Afghanistan. Its connections
with Osama bin Laden have also been carefully hidden although news
appearing in the national press have linked the two....Lashkar's
office in Muridke used to receive a large number of Arabs on a daily
basis and was a transit camp for those leaving for Afghanistan and
With the complicity of the ISI, the LET started moving the Al Qaeda
survivors to private homes in different towns in Punjab as well as
to its camps in the POK. The "Friday Times" reported in
its issue for February 1 to 7, 2002: "Sources say that when
Dawatul Irshad (Markaz Dawa Al Irshad since re-named as Jamaat al-Dawa),
parent organisation of the now banned Lashkar Tayyaba (Lashkar-e-Toiba),
shifted its activities to Azad Kashmir (POK), it took with it many
non-Pakistanis suspected of links to Al Qaeda. All these
organisations were loosely affiliated and their activists moved
across organisations and cells with a great degree of ease, an
intelligence source said."
The "Friday Times" added: " Just before the Musharraf
Government took action against the organisation, there were quite a
few foreigners residing at Dawa's headquarters in Muridke. Most of
these people had infiltrated into Pakistan in the initial stages of
the war, says an insider. Some of these people shifted along with
other Lashkar cadres to Azad Kashmir (POK) after Hafiz Mohammed
Saeed resigned under pressure from the Government. After his
resignation, he also constituted another jehadi group called Jamaat
al-Dawa while the supreme council nominated Abdul Wahid Kashmiri,
another senior member of the Dawatul Irshad, as its new Amir.
Insiders say some of these foreigners are also said to be linked to
Hezbul Tehreer and work under the supervision of Abdul Qadeem Zaloom,
a Saudi-based person with links to the Al Qaeda," it concluded.
In its report on "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000"
released on April 30, 2001, the Counter-Terrorism Division of the US
State Department had warned as follows: "Taliban-controlled
Afghanistan remains a primary hub for terrorists and a home or
transit point for the loosely-organised network of "Afghan
alumni", a web of informally linked individuals and groups that
were trained and fought in the Afghan war. Afghan alumni have been
involved in most major terrorist plots or attacks against the United
States in the past 15 years and now engage in international militant
and terrorist acts throughout the world. The leaders of some of the
most dangerous terrorist groups to emerge in the past decade have
headquarters or major offices in Afghanistan and their associates
threaten stability in many real and potential trouble spots around
the globe----from the Philippines to the Balkans, Central Asia to
the Persian Gulf, Western China to Somalia and Western Europe to
South Asia. That is why the Taliban's continued support for these
groups is now recognised by the international community as a growing
threat to all countries."
These Afghan alumni of the 1980s vintage were responsible not only
for most acts of terrorism against the USA, but also for most acts
of terrorism against India during the last nine years in J&K and
other parts of India. The surviving members of these Afghan alumni
of the 1980s vintage have now been joined by the surviving members
of the Afghan alumni of the post-October 7, 2001, vintage. They have
made Pakistan, including the POK and the Northern Areas (Gilgit and
Baltistan), the new primary hub for terrorists and a home or transit
point for terrorists operating against India, the USA, Bangladesh,
Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, the
Central Asian Republics, Russia and West Europe. These new alumni
are being guided in their operations by serving and retired officers
of the ISI. Among the retired officers playing an active role in
keeping up their trans-national terrorism alive are former heads of
the ISI such as Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul, Lt. Gen. Javed Nasir, Lt. Gen.
Naseem Rana, presently Pakistani High Commissioner to Malaysia, and
Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed. Lt. Gen. Nasir and Lt. Gen. Rana were active
members of the Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) even when they were in service.
Unless and until the international community led by the USA
recognises that Pakistan's continued support for or complicity with
these groups constitutes a serious threat to all these countries and
acts against it as determinedly as it acted against the
Afghanistan-based alumni, the world will not be free of this evil.
The Government and the people of India have reasons to be grateful
to the Government and the people of the USA for their solidarity
with India in its fight against Pakistan's State-sponsored terrorism
after the barbarous attack on the Indian Parliament at New Delhi on
December 13, 2001, by elements of these Afghan alumni, which
fortunately failed due to the brave fight put up by the Indian
Police and other security personnel guarding the Parliament, many of
whose members, including a lady officer, died while thwarting the
They are also grateful to President Bush and his colleagues for
mounting pressure on Pakistan's military regime to stop supporting
cross-border terrorism against India. Stopping support to
cross-border terrorism has two aspects: firstly, destroying the
terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani territory, including the POK
and the Northern Areas, and, secondly, stopping cross-border
infiltration of trained and armed terrorists into India.
As a result of the US pressure after the attack on the Indian
Parliament, President Pervez Musharraf announced a series of
measures to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani
territory. These included the following:
Freezing the bank accounts of organisations based in Pakistani
territory, which were named by the UN and the US as terrorist or
suspected terrorist organisations.
Arrests of about 2000 cadres and the leaders of the LET, the JEM,
the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which is a Sunni extremist
organisation, the Tehrik Jaffria Pakistan (TJP), which is a Shia
extremist organisation, and the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi
( TNSM), a terrorist organisation based in the FATA.
ban on the above-mentioned organisations.
The misgivings of India about the sincerity of his intentions were
subsequently proved correct by the following developments:
As pointed out by the Pakistani media itself, the freezing of bank
accounts and the seizure of terrorist funds proved to be a farce.
The terrorist organisations were told in advance of the impending
action, thereby enabling them to withdraw the amounts from their
accounts or to transfer them to other accounts in different names.
The two accounts of the HUM had a total of Rs.4,742 (US $ 70 ), the
JEM had Rs.900 (US $ 12), the Al Rashid Trust, which handled the
accounts of the Taliban and the LET, had Rs.2.7 (US $ 40,000)
million in Pakistani currency and US $ 30. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, of the
Al Jihad, Egypt, who operated the accounts of the Al Qaeda, had just
US $ 252. Pakistani Rs.68 are equivalent to one US dollar. The
"News" of Islamabad reported as follows on January 1,
2002: " Experts said the policy to freeze the accounts in
"pieces" gave ample time to most of these account-holders
to withdraw their money."
Most of the cadres arrested performed duties such as running the
offices of the organisations in small towns, collecting funds in
streets, distributing pamphlets, pasting propaganda posters on walls
etc. Most of them were released after three months on the ground
that there was no evidence of their involvement in terrorism. The
ISI and the Police raided only the offices of these organisations in
small towns, but not their headquarters. No raids or arrests were
made in the POK and the Northern Areas. There were no arrests
anywhere of trained terrorists.
The ban on the above-mentioned five organisations was not made
applicable to the POK and the Northern Areas and the trained
terrorists were shifted there. No ban has been imposed on the HUM
and the HUJI, which have close links with the Army, anywhere in
The compliance report sent by the military regime to the Monitoring
Committee of the UN Security Council (UNSC) as required under UNSC
Resolution No.1373 has been a farce. This Resolution called upon all
member-States not to give active or passive support in their
territory to terrorist organisations acting against other States or
nationals from their territory and to stop their actvities. The
questionnaire issued by the Monitoring Committee required each
member-country to give specific examples of the action taken in
matters such as closing down sanctuaries. The Pakistani regime has
avoided giving any such specific examples because it has not taken
any of the specific actions laid down in the Resolution.
It has not complied with the request of the Government of India for
the extradition of 20 terrorists, 14 of them Indian nationals, who
have been given sanctuary in Pakistan.
Like all member-States of the UN, Pakistan too has the following
obligations with regard to terrorism:
Comply with the provisions of international conventions regarding
mutual legal assistance in matters relating to aircraft hijackings.
Since 1971, there have been seven hijackings of Indian Airlines
aircraft by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. All of them were carried
out when the military was in power. Pakistan has not carried out its
Comply with the red-cornered notices issued by the International
Police Organisation (INTERPOL) to locate and arrest terrorists and
transnational criminals wanted by India, who were in its territory.
It has not complied with them on the ground that they were not in
its territory. It has not complied with the requests of the Govt. of
India and the notices of the INTERPOL to arrest and extradite to
India Dawood Ibrahim, the mafia leader, and others involved in the
Mumbai (Bombai) blasts of March, 1993, which killed nearly 300
innocent civilians. During his visit to India in July, 2001,
Musharraf denied they were in Pakistani territory, but "Newsline",
a prestigious monthly of Pakistan, reported in September, 2001, that
they were living in Karachi under the protection of the Pakistani
intelligence agencies. When Mr. Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Pakistan's
former High Commissioner to India, was asked about it in a TV
interview, he replied: "Newspaper reports are no
Comply with the UNSC Resolution 1373. Its compliance has been
After the recent massacre of the family members, including children,
of Indian army personnel by Pakistani terrorists near Jammu on May
14, 2002, the US Government has mounted further pressure on the
Musharraf regime to stop cross-border infiltration. During the visit
of Mr. Richard Armitage, US Deputy Secretary of State, to Islamabad
on June 6, 2002, Musharraf is reported to have stated that he has
already given instructions to stop this permanently.
Keeping in mind his past record of insincerity, the people of India
have valid reasons to be skeptic about this new commitment by him.
Mr. Najam Sethi, the distinguished Pakistani Editor, wrote in the
"Friday Times" ( May 18 to 24, 2001) as follows: "
The Musharraf model seeks to covertly ally with the jihadi groups
while overtly keeping the mainstream religious parties out of the
power loop. This is to enhance and sustain its covert external
agenda, while internally maintaining an overtly moderate
anti-fundamentalist stance for the comfort of the international
community whose economic support is critical to Pakistan's financial
Mr. Sethi's observations remain as valid today as they were when
they were made a year ago. There is no evidence so far to indicate
that Musharraf is a changed man, who has genuinely realised the
criminality, the barbarity and the futility of the use of terrorism
as a weapon to achieve Pakistan's strategic objective against India.
Religious fundamentalism is not unique to Pakistan. It has swept
through other Muslim countries too. What is unique to Pakistan is
the advocacy by its jehadi groups of the right and the obligation of
Muslims to acquire and use, if necessary, WMD. One does not come
across this advocacy in the statements and writings of Islamic
fundamentalist organisations of other countries. There is a
disturbing similarity in irrationality in the arguments relating to
the use of WMD employed by Musharraf and bin Laden.
The only difference is that whereas bin Laden and other Afghan
alumni say that they would be prepared to acquire and use WMD
against the USA if left with no other means of protecting Islam,
Musharraf says he would be prepared to use his Chinese-given nuclear
weapons against India, if left with no other alternative to protect
It would be unwise and dangerous for the US and other members of the
international community not to take notice of this irrational hub of
WMD-threatening terrorism in Pakistani territory and act as
determinedly against it as it acted against the hub in Afghanistan
and dismantle not only the terrorist infrastructure, but also
Pakistan's WMD capability in order to prevent it from falling into
the hands of the new and more irrational Afghan alumni of the
post-October 7, 2001, vintage.
writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of
India, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies,
special arrangement with South Asian Analysis Group, New