In our earlier paper titled "Musharraf, bin Laden & the Lashkar" disseminated on July 1, we had, inter alia, stated as follows about the links of Gen.Pervez Musharraf, the self-reinstated Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), the self-styled Chief Executive and the self-promoted President of Pakistan, with Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) and the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM), terrorist organisations active in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).
"Musharraf denies any links of the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) with the LET and other jihadis. What more, he denies their very presence in Pakistani territory. On June 24, a fortnight after the famous rebuke of the Ulema of June 5, which was more shadow-boxing than reality on the eve of the Washington visit of Mr.Abul Sattar, Major-Gen.Rashid Quereshi, the media spokesman of Musharraf, was asked about the activities of the LET and other jihadi organisations. He replied without batting an eye-lid: "No group operating in Kashmir has any base in Pakistan." ("The Hindu" of June 25).
"In the past, Musharraf had been saying that if there was progress on the Kashmir issue in the bilateral talks with India, he might appeal to the jihadis to deescalate their activities. Now, his spokesmen have been saying that since these are indigenous Kashmiri organisations, Pakistan has no influence over them just as they have been telling the US that Pakistan has no influence over the Taliban and bin Laden.
"Pamela Constable of the "Washington Post", who was one of the foreign correspondents briefed by Musharraf last week on the forthcoming summit, has reported as follows: "Musharraf brushed aside questions about whether he would rein in armed Islamic groups that support fighters in Kashmir, insisting that the Kashmiri insurgency is "indigenous".
"It is, therefore, likely that whatever be the outcome of the forthcoming summit, Pakistan will continue its proxy war against India through its jihadi surrogates even while denying any links with or control over them. Any optimism of a reduction in violence and cross-border terrorism as a result of the summit would be misplaced. Musharraf will continue to play his double game---overtly friendly, warm and seemingly accommodating and covertly continuing to make our security forces bleed. To expect anything different from him and to lower our guard against him could be suicidal. India will continue to pay a heavy price for its failure to evolve and implement consistently an effective counter proxy war policy. The policy of "kabi naram, kabi garam" (sometimes soft, sometimes hard) doesn't pay against Pakistan. It will only confirm Musharraf in his perception that India is a soft State, which lends itself to easy manipulation."
During his televised breakfast discussions with Indian editors at Agra on July 16 and his press conference at Islamabad on July 20, Musharraf described the terrorists operating in J & K as "indigenous freedom-fighters" and denied that they were based in Pakistan or that they were receiving any assistance from Pakistan. A similar stand was taken by Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, the Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi, during a TV interview on July 22 when he was asked about the post-summit massacre of some Hindu pilgrims going on their annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave by the Al Umar Mujahideen and the massacre of the Hindu residents, including women and children, of a village in the Doda district of Jammu by the LET on July 22.
In its issues of February 13,1995, and March 27,1995, the "News" of Pakistan had carried two detailed investigative reports by Kamran Khan, a well-known Pakistani journalist, on an international terrorist network consisting of the HUM (then known as the Harkat-ul-Ansar) and other Islamic terrorist organiZations operating from Pakistani territory with the knowledge and connivance of the Pakistani authorities. He reported that about 200 HUM members from Pakistan had died in clashes with the Indian security forces in J & K since 1991 and that its cadres were also active with the Abu Sayyaf group in Southern Philippines and with the terrorists in Chechnya. He also brought out the links of these organiZations with Ramzi Yousuf, now undergoing imprisonment in the US for his role in the New York World Trade Centre bombing in February, 1993, and their role in the explosion at a holy shrine at Mashhad in Iran on June 20,1994, killing 70 people and in training Saudi fundamentalist elements opposed to the ruling family.
Subsequently, a number of other reports from equally well-known Pakistani journalists and published in the Pakistani press brought out in great detail the role of the Pakistani Army and the ISI in sponsoring terrorism against the Indian security forces in J & K in order to achieve their political objective of annexing J & K without the direct involvement of the Pakistan Army.
During the Kargil war of 1999 too, Musharraf used these terrorist groups to initially occupy the mountain heights before sending the Pakistan Army. In the transcript of the telephone conversation between Lt.Gen.Mohammed Aziz, then Chief of the General Staff (CGS) at the GHQ, and Musharraf, then on a visit to Beijing, which was released by the Government of India, Musharraf was assured by Aziz about his effective control over the terrorists in the following words: "The scruff of their neck is in our hands."
The US State Department's annual report on Patterns of Global Terrorism during 2000 released by Gen. Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, on April 30,2001, gave the following detailed account of Pakistani involvement with the terrorist groups in J & K and Afghanistan:
"The Government of Pakistan increased its support to the Taliban and continued its support to militant groups active in Indian-held Kashmir, such as the Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM), some of which engaged in terrorism.
"Islamic extremists from around the world--including North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central, South, and Southeast Asia--continued to use Afghanistan as a training ground and base of operations for their worldwide terrorist activities in 2000. The Taliban, which controlled most Afghan territory, permitted the operation of training and indoctrination facilities for non-Afghans and provided logistics support to members of various terrorist organizations and mujahidin, including those waging jihads (holy wars) in Central Asia, Chechnya, and Kashmir.
"Throughout 2000 the Taliban continued to host Usama Bin Ladin despite UN sanctions and international pressure to hand him over to stand trial in the United States or a third country. In a serious and ongoing dialogue with the Taliban, the United States repeatedly made clear to the Taliban that it would be held responsible for any terrorist attacks undertaken by Bin Ladin while he is in its territory.
"Massacres of civilians in Kashmir during March and August were attributed to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT) and other militant groups.
"Pakistan's military government, headed by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, continued previous Pakistani Government support of the Kashmir insurgency, and Kashmiri militant groups continued to operate in Pakistan, raising funds and recruiting new cadre. Several of these groups were responsible for attacks against civilians in Indian-held Kashmir, and the largest of the groups, the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, claimed responsibility for a suicide car-bomb attack against an Indian garrison in Srinagar in April.
"In addition, the Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM), a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, continues to be active in Pakistan without discouragement by the Government of Pakistan. Members of the group were associated with the hijacking in December 1999 of an Air India (author's comment: it was actually the Indian Airlines) flight that resulted in the release from an Indian jail of former HUM leader Maulana Masood Azhar. Azhar since has founded his own Kashmiri militant group,Jaish-e-Mohammed, and publicly has threatened the United States.
"The United States remains concerned about reports of continued Pakistani support for the Taliban's military operations in Afghanistan. Credible reporting indicates that Pakistan is providing the Taliban with materiel, fuel, funding, technical assistance, and military advisers. Pakistan has not prevented large numbers of Pakistani nationals from moving into Afghanistan to fight for the Taliban. Islamabad also failed to take effective steps to curb the activities of certain madrassas, or religious schools, that serve as recruiting grounds for terrorism. Pakistan publicly and privately said it intends to comply fully with UNSCR 1333, which imposes an arms embargo on the Taliban.
"In South Asia, the United States has been increasingly concerned about reports of Pakistani support to terrorist groups and elements active in Kashmir, as well as Pakistani support, especially military support, to the Taliban, which continues to harbor terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan."
The State Department's report gave the following details of the HUM, the JEM and the LET:
"Formerly known as the Harakat ul-Ansar, the HUM is an Islamic militant group based in Pakistan that operates primarily in Kashmir. Long-time leader of the group, Fazlur Rehman Khalil, in mid-February stepped down as HUM emir, turning the reins over to the popular Kashmiri commander and his second-in-command, Farooq Kashmiri. Khalil, who has been linked to Bin Ladin and signed his fatwa in February 1998 calling for attacks on US and Western interests, assumed the position of HUM Secretary General. Continued to operate terrorist training camps in eastern Afghanistan.
"Has conducted a number of operations against Indian troops and civilian targets in Kashmir. Linked to the Kashmiri militant group al-Faran that kidnapped five Western tourists in Kashmir in July 1995; one was killed in August 1995 and the other four reportedly were killed in December of the same year. The new millennium brought significant developments for Pakistani militant groups, particularly the HUM. Most of these sprang from the hijacking of an Indian airliner on 24 December by militants believed to be associated with the HUM. The hijackers negotiated the release of Masood Azhar, an important leader in the former Harakat ul-Ansar imprisoned by the Indians in 1994. Azhar did not, however, return to the HUM, choosing instead to form the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM), a rival militant group expressing a more radical line than the HUM.
"Has several thousand armed supporters located in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and India's southern Kashmir and Doda regions. Supporters are mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris and also include Afghans and Arab veterans of the Afghan war. Uses light and heavy machineguns, assault rifles, mortars, explosives, and rockets. HUM lost some of its membership in defections to the JEM.
"Based in Muzaffarabad, Rawalpindi, and several other towns in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but members conduct insurgent and terrorist activities primarily in Kashmir. The HUM trains its militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"Collects donations from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf and Islamic states and from Pakistanis and Kashmiris. The sources and amount of HUM's military funding are unknown."
"The Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) is an Islamist group based in Pakistan that has rapidly expanded in size and capability since Maulana Masood Azhar, a former ultrafundamentalist Harakat ul-Ansar (HUA) leader, announced its formation in February. The group's aim is to unite Kashmir with Pakistan. It is politically aligned with the radical, pro-Taliban, political party, Jamiat-i Ulema-i Islam (JUI-F).
"The JEM's leader, Masood Azhar, was released from Indian imprisonment in December 1999 in exchange for 155 hijacked Indian Airlines hostages in Afghanistan. The 1994 HUA kidnappings of US and British nationals in New Delhi and the July 1995 HUA/Al Faran kidnappings of Westerners in Kashmir were two of several previous HUA efforts to free Azhar. Azhar organized large rallies and recruitment drives across Pakistan throughout 2000. In July, a JEM rocket-grenade attack failed to injure the Chief Minister at his office in Srinagar, India, but wounded four other persons. In December, JEM militants launched grenade attacks at a bus stop in Kupwara, India, injuring 24 persons, and at a marketplace in Chadoura, India, injuring 16 persons. JEM militants also planted two bombs that killed 21 persons in Qamarwari and Srinagar.
"Has several hundred armed supporters located in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and in India's southern Kashmir and Doda regions. Following Maulana Masood Azhar's release from detention in India, a reported three quarters of Harakat ul-Mujahedin (HUM) members defected to the new organization, which has managed to attract a large number of urban Kashmiri youth. Supporters are mostly Pakistanis and Kashmiris and also include Afghans and Arab veterans of the Afghan war. Uses light and heavy machineguns, assault rifles, mortars, improvised explosive devices, and rocket grenades.
"Based in Peshawar and Muzaffarabad, but members conduct terrorist activities primarily in Kashmir. The JEM maintains training camps in Afghanistan.
"Most of the JEM's cadre and material resources have been drawn from the militant groups Harakat ul-Jihad al-Islami (HUJI) and the Harakat ul-Mujahedin (HUM). The JEM has close ties to Afghan Arabs and the Taliban. Usama Bin Ladin is suspected of giving funding to the JEM."
"The LT is the armed wing of the Pakistan-based religious organization, Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad (MDI)--a Sunni anti-US missionary organization formed in 1989. One of the three largest and best-trained groups fighting in Kashmir against India, it is not connected to a political party. The LT leader is MDI chief, Professor Hafiz Mohammed Saeed.
"Has conducted a number of operations against Indian troops and civilian targets in Kashmir since 1993. The LT is suspected of eight separate attacks in August that killed nearly 100, mostly Hindu Indians. LT militants are suspected of kidnapping six persons in Akhala, India, in November 2000 and killing five of them. The group also operates a chain of religious schools in the Punjab.
"Has several hundred members in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, and in India's southern Kashmir and Doda regions. Almost all LT cadres are foreigners--mostly Pakistanis from seminaries across the country and Afghan veterans of the Afghan wars. Uses assault rifles, light and heavy machineguns, mortars, explosives, and rocket propelled grenades.
"Based in Muridke (near Lahore) and Muzaffarabad. The LT trains its militants in mobile training camps across Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Afghanistan.
"Collects donations from the Pakistani community in the Persian Gulf and United Kingdom, Islamic NGOs, and Pakistani and Kashmiri businessmen. The amount of LT funding is unknown. The LT maintains ties to religious/militant groups around the world, ranging from the Philippines to the Middle East and Chechnya through the MDI fraternal network."
In its annual report for 2000 presented to the Canadian Parliament on June 20,2001, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) stated as follows: " Pakistan’s long-standing support of the Sikh extremist issue is a major factor in its endurance. The effects of ongoing support by Pakistan’s intelligence apparatus of the Jammu and Kashmir conflict, with its growing linkage to the Taliban, have spilled over into east-Asian expatriate communities around the world. "
While Musharraf's spokesmen have been projecting the jihadi organizations as indigenous Kashmiri organizations with no base in Pakistani territory, the HUM and the LET themselves, in their propaganda literature and official web sites, project themselves as Pakistan-based organisations. They give their addresses and telephone/fax numbers in Pakistan and particulars of the Pakistani banks in which their accounts are held to which their supporters should send their contributions. These details as given in their web sites are shown below:
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen Head Office: House No. B-154/, Khayban-i-Sir Sayad, Near C.D.A. Bus Stop, Rawalpindi. Pakistan, Phone/Fax No. 4414810 . Account: Current Account No. 2758-9, Muslim Commercial Bank, Aabpara Branch, Islamabad. Pakistan.Monthly Journal Sada-e-Mujahid Office: I -10 Markaz, Usman Plaza, Islamabad. Pakistan. Phone No. 051-431776.
Markaz Dawa al Irshad , the political wing of the LET: 5-Chamberlane Road, Lahore – Pakistan. Tel: (92-42) 7231106
Lt.Gen.Mahmood Ahmed, Musharraf's DG of the ISI, was reported to have attended the annual conference of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) held at Muridke from April 13 to 15, which passed a resolution calling on its cadres in India to emulate the example of Mahmood Ghaznavi, capture Hindu temples, destroy the idols and then hoist the flag of Islam on them.
Last year, Musharraf, under pressure from the Clinton Administration, denied the LET permission to hold its annual conference at Muridke in November. This year, anticipating that there would be no similar pressure from the Bush Administration, he initially allowed them to hold the deferred confertence of 2000 in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK), but subsequently, when the LET insisted on holding it at Muridke, he let it do so and asked the ISI to ensure that no journalists, Pakistani or foreign, was able to have access.
Despite this, some Pakistani journalists managed to have access. The "News" of April 22 reported as follows: "The Lashkar operates six private military training camps in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir where several thousands of cadre are given both military and religious education…. With more than 2200 unit offices across the country and over two dozen launching camps along the Line of Control (LOC), the Lashkar boasts of the biggest jihadi network in Pakistan… The followers of the Lashkar come from all walks of life from the defence and nuclear establishment to the industrial labour."
The March issue of "Herald", the monthly journal of the "Dawn" group of Karachi, quoted Dr.Khalid Mehmood Soomro, Secretary-General of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema Islam (JUI), Sindh, based in Larkana, as saying as follows: "Why is the Pakistan Army not fighting for Kashmir? Why are they getting our youth killed there? They are using our young men for their own goals…Let's be clear on one thing. These jihadi groups can't function and survive without official patronage. Is there a single militant training centre in Pakistan which can operate without the consent of the Pakistan Army? All militant groups are created and run by Pakistan's secret agencies. They have mobile phones, land cruisers and weapons. Where are they getting the funds from? Surely, it can't be all funded through public donations. Because if that were so, we would be getting similar donations, if not more."
Irfan Hussain, a Pakistani columnist, wrote in the "Dawn" of March 3,2001, as follows: " For years, successive governments have been denying military support for Kashmiri militants while jihadi outfits have been openly collecting funds to buy arms and train infiltrators at camps established in Punjab and Azad Kashmir. In these efforts, these groups have received more than a wink and a nod from shadowy agencies that have sought to keep the Kashmir pot on the boil while preserving official deniability."
Najam Sethi, the distinguished 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."
State-sponsors of terrorism generally tend to project the terrorist groups backed by them as "freedom-fighters", just as Musharraf has been doing since he captured power on October 12,1999. How to differentiate between terrorists and freedom-fighters is one of the questions considered by President Reagan's Special Task Force on Terrorism headed by Mr. George Bush (Sr.), his Vice-President and the father of the present President. It said that while freedom-fighters confine their attacks only to security forces, who are in a position to defend themselves, terrorists are those who kill innocent civilians. It defined a State-sponsor of terrorism as a State "supplying money, weapons, training, identification documents, travel documents, or safe haven for terrorists."
The USA's Department of Defense Directive 2000.12 issued in 1996, finetuned the definition of terrorism in order to bring under its ambit acts directed against civilians as well as security forces. Its definition of terrorism is as follows:" Unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against individuals or property, with the intention of coercing or intimidating governments or societies, often for political or ideological purposes."
It laid down the following other definitions:
International (or Transnational) Terrorism. Terrorism in which planning and execution of the terrorist act transcends national boundaries. In defining international terrorism, the purpose of the act, the nationalities of the victims, or the resolution of the incident are considered. Those acts are usually planned to attract widespread publicity and are designed to focus attention on the existence, cause, or demands of the terrorists.
Non-State Supported Terrorism. Terrorist groups that operate autonomously, receiving no significant support from any government.
State-Directed Terrorism. Terrorist groups that operate as agents of a government, receiving substantial intelligence, logistical, and operational support from the sponsoring government.
State-Supported Terrorism. Terrorist groups that generally operate independently, but receive support from one or more governments.
The State Department's report on the Patterns of Global Terrorism during 2000 has further expanded the definition of terrorism to bring under its ambit even attacks on military installations. It said: "We also consider as acts of terrorism attacks on military installations or on armed military personnel when a state of military hostilities does not exist at the site."
A Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the UN approved by the UN General Assembly on October 24,1970, has laid down that "every State has the duty to refrain from organising, instigating, assisting or participating in acts of civil strife or terrorist acts in another State or acquiescing in organised activities within its territory directed towards the commission of such acts."
Subsequently, while speaking during a debate on another Declaration on the strengthening of International Security, which was passed as Resolution No. 2734 on December 16,1970, delegates from the USA, the UK, Canada, Italy, Australia, Japan and the then USSR described the sponsoring by a State of acts of terrorism at another State as indirect aggression.
The right of a victim-State to defend itself against such indirect aggression by the use of appropriate conventional as well as non-conventional means was underlined in an address delivered by Mr. George Shultz, the then US Secretary of State, after the signing on April 3,1984, by President Reagan of a National Security Directive on this subject and again later in a foreword contributed by Mr. Bush Sr to a study on Terrorist Group Profiles in November, 1988.
Mr. Schultz described State-sponsored terrorism as a new form of warfare and said that the success of diplomatic options in dealing with State-sponsors of terrorism would depend on the readiness of the victim-State to hit back, through conventional military and non-conventional clandestine means if the diplomatic options failed. He, therefore, expressed the determination of the US to follow a strategy of active defence, that is, taking the counter-terrorism operations into the territory or against the interests of the State-sponsor of terrorism, if left with no other alternative.
In his Foreword, Mr. Bush Sr reiterated the determination of the US to demonstrate to State-sponsors of terrorism that their actions would not be cost-free.
Pakistan has been sponsoring terrorism in the Punjab since 1980, in J & K since 1989 and in other parts of India since 1993. It instigated the hijacking of a number of aircraft of the Indian Airlines by Sikh terrorists when Zia-ul-Haq was the military dictator, of another aircraft under Musharraf by the HUM in December 1999, caused the massacre of over 9000 civilians in J & K since 1989 and of over 350 civilians in Mumbai in March, 1993 and committed other shocking acts of terrorism, the like of which would not have been tolerated by hard States such as the US or Israel.
Even though international law and practice give us (India) the right of active defense against Pakistan, we have not exercised it even once. We do not have even after 20 years a credible counter proxy war policy to demonstrate to Pakistan that its proxy war will not be cost-free.
Is it any wonder that Musharraf behaves towards us with such impudence? There is not even a sense of outrage in us as was seen by the way we fell over each other in welcoming and lionizing Musharraf. (23-7-01)