India and Pakistan
CRACKDOWN A SHAM
or NO WAR
AS IMPORTANT A TOOL AS ANY WEAPON
CRACKDOWN A SHAM
raids on terrorist groups in Pakistan were a sham because the terrorists
fled earlier after prior warnings, The Sunday Telegraph has reported
following investigations in Karachi.
Terrorist leaders have hidden their money and are in comfortable
quarters, not in jail, the newspaper investigation reveals.
Terrorist factions based in Pakistan “have eluded a military crackdown
ordered by Islamabad,” The Telegraph reported. “They have moved
offices, changed their leadership and hidden their funds,” The
The investigation by the newspaper revealed that “although more than
300 radicals have been rounded up in recent days, the impact on the
operations of the Kashmiri separatist guerrillas is thought to be
Describing the scene at the offices of Lashkar-e-Toiba, the paper
reports: “Three empty tables, half a dozen chairs, two broken
cupboards, a disconnected telephone and a sign reading ‘Allah’ are
the only remnants of the once-bustling headquarters of Lashkar-e-Toiba
following last week's police raid.”
The paper says the Lashkar-e-Toiba “used the offices to recruit 3,000
young men to fight the Indian army in Kashmir and to raise millions of
pounds for its guerrilla wing,.”
But, the paper reports: “By the time the building was raided,
activists had removed all documents in large briefcases and replaced a
big hoarding carrying Lashkar's name and calls for jihad (holy war) with
the ‘Allah’ sign. The organisation apparently had prior warning of
the raid, fuelling speculation that they had been tipped off by
sympathisers in the security services.”
The newspaper reports that Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and Maulana Masud Azhar,
the heads of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, were asked to
surrender, but they did so “after handing over responsibilities to
their senior aides.”
The paper reports: “The two men are being held in relatively
comfortable government-run premises. They were not in police stations or
Hafiz Ilyas, a Lashkar leader is quoted as saying: "We are well
aware of the cost of confronting the government on this issue but the
country can't afford such an internal crisis at this crucial
Ilyas said: "The recent arrests and related police actions do not
show that the government's commitment with the freedom struggle in
Kashmir has weakened."
A senior police official in Karachi was quoted as admitting: "We
know that arresting 300 to 400 people is like a drop in the ocean but
these groups have plenty of hideouts, including the 15,000-plus
The newspaper reports on the basis of its investigations that “both
groups have also managed to hide their funds, which they had amassed
over the years in the name of jihad.”
The State Bank of Pakistan was reported to have frozen dozens of
accounts of religious organisations and individuals, but more than 50
blocked accounts contained just $150,000.
A senior bank official was quoted as saying: "This is a tiny amount
compared to their resources, but ever since September 11 it was obvious
that the government might freeze their accounts. Most of these activists
had plenty of time to withdraw their money."
A military official was quoted in the report as saying: "There is
no way that we will take up arms against the religious elements at home
and ignite a new fire while India is getting ready to attack us. A
negotiated compromise with the militant leaders is the best option for
or NO WAR
Dr M S Jilani
about thirty years back hardly anybody in Asia was concerned about nuclear
weapons except Japan, which had suffered them. It was in 1974, that the
nuclear explosions by India made them an issue. South Asia was disturbed
in particular, as India was generally feared to have hegemonic designs -
or at least, dreams of leadership in Asia. For the next twenty years,
India and its closest rival, Pakistan were engaged quietly in the
development of nuclear weapons of higher grades and the missiles to carry
them. The Indian nuclear explosion in 1998 broke the entire hell loose.
Pakistan had to - and did - retaliate. So a new nuclear power was born, in
fact two, as India had already proven to be one. Since then, during the
last three years - nuclear capability and state of preparedness have been
the oft-debated issues in India and Pakistan - in fact at all places where
peace was the topic.
after September 11 attacks on the United States, and later, the
US-sponsored operation in Afghanistan, have brought the question of the
use of nuclear weapons to the forefront. Increasingly, most people in
areas antagonistic to the United States and many others in the Developed
World are growing apprehensive of nuclear conflicts in parts of the world
where nuclear powers were party to an altercation. At the beginning of
year 2002, no other area is more vulnerable to nuclear confrontation than
India and Pakistan, where Kashmir stays as an extremely emotional issue on
both sides of the border between the two countries.
is natural for all sorts of scenarios to float in such a situation.
Equally prevalent are speculations about what steps the two antagonist
governments intended to take against each other. There is little among
these ‘predictions’ that is likely to come true, yet they are liable
to become common talk - and as such the center of powerful speculations
about the future. The more recent controversy has been about the use of
nuclear weapons in case of confrontation between India and Pakistan. There
is no doubt that both countries have the nuclear know-how and the
capability of seriously hurting each other.
does not want to indulge in cursing and incriminating the leadership of
India - whether in the government or outside. To be blamed are all who
want to make war wherever they are located. At what price and at what
amount of pain and misery? Anybody - whether the perpetrators of the
September 11 attacks in New York and Washington or the carpet bombers in
Afghanistan - responsible for destroying life should be condemned. Nuclear
arms are denounced because they cause mass killings. But American arsenal
in Iraq, and now in Afghanistan, has shown that the world has developed
weapons of mass destruction, and that they are as lethal as the nuclear
devices. Even the conventional weapons have been made more deadly than
those used in the World Wars. The Air Forces have been equipped with more
sophisticated machines and armament and more deadly tactics. This
situation has reduced the entire debate on nuclear and conventional
warfare to an academic joke. War is a war, and it means destruction!
prompted one to write this piece, were the various disturbing opinions
about the possession and use of nuclear weapons. The story starts with the
question of developing a nuclear program in a country having limited
resources and with more than one-third of its population living under the
poverty line. This question should, actually, be addressed to India, which
had been developing its nuclear program for at least two decades before it
tested is product openly. Pakistan would have been foolish to sit quiet,
particularly when a large part of the Indian establishment had never
reconciled with the rationale behind the creation of Pakistan.
second opinion centers around our nuclear tests in 1998. Although the
economic and political consequences of those tests were painful, yet they
did boost the morale of the nation, while also proving to India that any
untoward adventure against Pakistan would prove to be costly. There is
hardly any dispute over the necessity of a nuclear deterrent against a
nuclear - and belligerent - neighbor much large in size and
the recent turn of events has proven, an all-out war between India and
Pakistan has been checked by the nuclear weapons in the armory of both
countries - besides internal and external pressure against the use of
nuclear weapons. In fact, both the countries had to, repeatedly, assure
the world that their nuclear programs were designed to develop only the
deterrents and peaceful uses, and that, whatever they have, is in safe
spite of deep awareness of the results of a nuclear war and a general
disapproval of armed conflict in both India and Pakistan, there are groups
of people who favor the use of nuclear weapons on the enemy - even if it
is located across the street. The argument is lamentable: use it because
we have it, and anyway, it was developed to be used! One cannot ignore
this line of thought - even though highly unsound, as it goes well with
the inflammatory sentiments inciting people to wage war on infidels -
whatever that means in India, and in Pakistan. One has to thank one’s
stars that the control of nuclear weaponry is nowhere near the reach of
these elements. But they can definitely affect the opinion of common
person, weakening nation’s resolve on a crucial issue like security.
the sake of argument, even if Indian armed forces and the population in
our opinion deserve a nuclear blast, one should remember some home truths.
The Muslims of India and Pakistan happen to have a common heritage in many
different forms - most of it is located in India - shrines, mausoleums,
forts, palaces gardens - besides not less than 150 million people who
profess to have the same faith as, practically, the whole of Pakistan.
Having vowed to preserve the Muslim culture and the Muslim way of life in
the subcontinent by creating Pakistan, do we have the moral justification
to turn the major part of it into ruins with our own hands? The same
argument, if extended to majority of the population of India, reveals that
it does not have much of a heritage in Pakistan - and what it can claim is
Aryan or Buddhist. If license for mass destruction is granted, India,
theoretically, should not have any qualms about vaporizing into air, any
part of Pakistan! This argument is based on history, culture, feelings and
living beings; as such it cannot be ignored. Better keep your ‘The
Bomb’ for the day that you decide to destroy yourself along with the
last word: Pakistan has made a respectable place for itself through
graceful restraint and immense patience - yet the resolve to defend itself
against any aggression. Let this not be spoilt! (The writer is an ex-Chief
of Technical Cooperation Division of the United Nations ESCAP, and a
former Secretary to the Federal Government. email@example.com)
Pakistan Links: Opinion January 11, 2002)
AS IMPORTANT A TOOL AS ANY WEAPON
INDIA'S 'LONG-DELAYED' FITTING REPLY TO
'core issue' which stalled the 'then-historic' Vajpayee-Musharraf Agra
summit in July this year finally seems to have shown its ugly face.
Since the two leaders failed to find an 'acceptable-to-both' compromise
joint declaration then, bilateral relations between the two nuclear neighbours
have grown for the worst, currently looking headed for a military
showdown and, if
things go even worse, a nuclear conflict.
Though India had at that time (July) advocated to talk on other issues
as well to bridge the ever-widening gap between the two countries
against the military dictator's insistence on the 'core
issue' (Kashmir), things have certainly changed post- September 11
and December 13, the last being the day when India's Parliament, which
houses the world's largest democracy, was attacked by Pakistan-based
terrorists alleged by India to be masterminded by Pakistan's
intelligence agency - the ISI.
The different parameters Islamabad had adopted after September 11 -
branding militants on its west (Afghanistan), after pressure from the
US-led global force, as terrorists while that on its east (Kashmir) as
'freedom fighters' - doesn't seem to be acceptable anymore, especially
after the bloody October 1 attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and
the latest attack on Parliament.
Even the West, which had all these years been asking New Delhi to adopt
'restraint' in relation to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism (called as
'indigenous struggle in Kashmir' by Pakistan), seemed to
have done a volte-face when faced with a similar situation itself after
the deadly attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The US, along with other western allies, 'forced' Pakistan to join in
its global assault on terrorism and attacked terrorist camps in
Afghanistan to eliminate the al-Qaeda and the Taleban.
even as it continues its effort against terrorism, it still urges India
to exercise restraint, though finally accepting India's long-pending
demand to brand the Lashker-e-Toiba and the
Jaish-e-Mohammed as Foreign Terrorist Organisations. Foreign policy
experts say Washington's long-delayed announcement comes only after it
feared that the current build-up by India and Pakistan along then borders
as well as the 'so-far minor' skirmishes would escalate into a war,
shifting focus from 'its (so-called) global campaign against
Notwithstanding Pakistan's lukewarm response to India's demands to act
against terrorists, US President George W Bush on December 28 urged
India to take note of the fact that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf
was moving forcefully against terrorist organisations that New Delhi had
blamed for the December 13 attack on Parliament.
''I hope India takes note of that, that Gen Musharraf is responding
forcefully and actively to bring those who could harm others to
justice,'' Mr Bush said while talking to reporters at Crawford, Texas.
But all this seems to have been late, rather too late. Also, Pakistan's
response, if at all, seems just to be ''cosmetic'', as Indian External
Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh rightly termed it.
There is no word from Pakistan on India's demand for the arrest and
extradition of some of its Most Wanted men - underworld don Dawood
Ibrahim, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar, 1993 Mumbai blasts
accused Tiger Memon and Chhota Shakeel - just to name
Bilateral relations between India and Pakistan have sunk down to new
lows - India recalling its High Commissioner to Islamabad and
terminating the land route link between the two countries (Samjhauta
Express and the Lahore bus) on December 21.
Also, on December 27, New Delhi decided to reduce the strength of their
respective High Commissions (India and Pakistan) by half and banned
overflight facilities to Pakistani aircraft. The fresh set of stern
diplomatic measures announced by India also included restrictions on the
movement of the diplomatic staff of the Pakistan High Commission and
their families to the municipal limits of Delhi. The last addition
coming after many Pakistan High Commission
staffers were arrested by India, allegedly red-handed while involved in
Not surprisingly, Pakistan announced tit-for-tat measures in just an
hour after India's announcement.
It finally seems that India is heading in the right direction in its
relations with Pakistan. What was the point of hosting joint cultural
seminars and announcing other CBMs (Confidence-Building Measures) when
having cold, rather very cold, relations with Pakistan. The time for
CBMs and other friendly overtures seems good to be over.
However, it is noteworthy that India should carefully weigh the pros and
cons before launching a full-scale war or even limited strikes at
terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). It
should watch every step, as New Delhi should not forget that it is
walking on a razor's edge. Any military action should be ably matched by
endorsement from the West, which means diplomacy should be as strong as
the build-up along the borders.
As a former Indian Foreign Secretary said, ''having US friendship may
not amount to much, but its enmity could be disastrous.''
Among its diplomatic initiatives to isolate Islamabad on the
international front, India can go to the UN Security Council, laying
forth evidence of Pakistan's involvement in the Parliament attack
and assert India's right of self-defence.
New Delhi has rightly rejected Islamabad's ''anytime, any place and at
any level'' dialogue offer, the last being for the Kathmandu SAARC
summit which begins early January in the New Year.
It is time India said what needs to be said on terrorism - as Prime
Minister Vajpayee did on December 29 at the BJP's National Executive :
''All means and resources would be used to achieve the objective
(curbing cross-border terrorism) and no means will be spared.''
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