Pakistan 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.
2. 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.
3. 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:
4. 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 1980s.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. The following characteristics of these organisations have not received from the rest of the world the
attention they deserve:
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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).
11. 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.
12. 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 interrogation:
13. "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 back."
14. 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 strike.
15. "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.
16. 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.
17. 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 Central
18. 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."
19. 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
20. 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."
21. 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.
22. 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
23. 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.
24. 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:
25. The misgivings of India about the sincerity of his intentions were subsequently proved correct by the
26. Like all member-States of the UN, Pakistan too has the following obligations with regard to terrorism:
27. 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.
28. Keeping in mind his past record of insincerity, the people of India have valid reasons to be skeptical
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 viability."
29. 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
30. 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.
31. 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
32. 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.
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, and, presently,
Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai)
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