The Bold Voice of J&K

Fight against terror, double standards

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Balbir Punj 

The other day, while the world was condemning the terror attack in Nice, France, which left 84 dead and over 200 injured, a farce was exposed nearer home. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on that very day announced that July 19 would be observed as “black day” to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani, who was killed by Indian security forces.
Can there be a bigger contradiction? In one part of the world, while the civil society is reiterating its resolve to fight terror, on the other part, Pakistan, an ally of the US in it’s war against terror, is glorifying the terrorists and has declared support for their sympathisers and supporters.
Terrorism is a scourge, a curse and a bane for society. And it’s glorification makes society’s fight against this menace even more difficult. One cannot hail terror in Kashmir and hope to win a war against terror elsewhere.
The ideology which motivates militants like Wani and his supporters in Kashmir, or a 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel who ploughed his truck in Nice, is common. They both hate kafirs and are committed to cleanse the world of non-Muslims, as a part of their divine duty.
While Europe and the US have become victims of terror only recently, the Indian subcontinent has been suffering for a long time. From Kashmir to Kerala, from Delhi to Dhaka, the new disruption plan of the Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI)-mullah combine is currently at play. The world will be falling into a trap if it looks at the current unrest in Kashmir as a localised law and order problem and ignore the larger Islamist plan behind it.
Even Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, following the Dhaka cafe attack, claimed that it was Pakistan’s ISI and not so much the Syria-based Islamic State that was behind the attack, although there was some doubts about this assertion. But over the last few days, Hasina is increasingly proving to be correct.
The entire world knows that the civilian Government in Pakistan is on the edge and governance in Islamabad is subject to the jostling between the military’s ambition and the mullahs’ aim. While the two are at loggerheads over where to draw the line with the civilian Government, for the international consumption will not let any peace with its neighbours, especially with India to prevail.
Therefore, when posters appeared in Pakistan, asking Pakistan’s powerful Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to take over the Government, the true game in the present context became clearer. The posters are, perhaps, a warning to Prime Minister Sharif to either let the Army go ahead with its subversion targeted at India and Bangladesh or else risk another coup. Remember, it was this same Sharif who as a Prime Minister, was pulled out from power by the Army in 1999, after the infamous Kargil adventure of the Army behind his back. So nobody needs to read out the posters now to the same leader after 17 years.
Having virtually quarantined the elected Prime Minister, the ISI’s plan is on to get the Indian state to give up on Kashmir. The display of the secessionists manufactured ‘popular anger’ against India in the valley is necessary for the Pakistani military and the fundamentalist movers within Pakistan like the Jaish-e-Mohammed. Their often repeated bluff nowithstanding, the all powerful military in Rawalpindi knows that it can’t win a direct confrontation with India.
Since the Kargil adventure, the military there knows that no foreign power is going to support it- except perhaps North Korea. So the larger plan is to fan discord and display anti-India sentiment, cause more deaths in security forces’ attempts to control the created unrest and with each such death, get more people to cross over to the Islamist side.
This is the classic ‘thousand cuts’ strategy to bleed India dry, and get India to genuflect to Pakistan’s demands – the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto formula of the 1970s. But every such attempt ends up with the Indian state showing enough determination not to succumb to the military-mullah blackmail and Kashmir’s freely elected Government standing by New Delhi.
The pro-Army posters in Islamabad are also telling: Every such confrontation raises the threat level of an umpteenth take over of the elected Government in Islamabad by the
military!
We have to be firm in our minds about what the Pakistani and Islamist game is – not just in India and Bangladesh, but in the global scenario. The moderate Muslims have themselves come out blaming the Wahhabi cult among their co-religionists for the spread of fundamentalism with the idea drilled into them that their religion is all set to conquer the world and all that they have to do is to keep up at disruption of the civilised world forjihad to succeed. The shot down Wani had announced his aim as flying the Islamic flag on the Red Fort.

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