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Association of Retired Senior IPS Officers (ARSIPSO)

This is with reference to my letter No. ARSIPSO/GS-BSD-4/2023 dated. 10/08/2023 on the 4th B.S. Das Memorial Lecture, which had to be rescheduled for unavoidable reasons.

The 4th B.S.Das Memorial Lecture to be delivered by Shri Anil Kumar Sinha, IAS (Retd.), on the subject Disaster Management: Creating Safer Communities, has now been rescheduled for October 14, 2023 as per the following:

Conference Room No. 2, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi, October 14, 2023 (Saturday)



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  WHEN WILL WE WAKE UP ? - J P Sharma  
 


The attacks launched by the forces of Islamist Jihadi organizations against India during the last few months and the facts unveiled by the ongoing investigations into the attacks have brought into bold relief the threat posed to India's sovereignty, territorial integrity, economic prosperity, communal harmony and progress in the fields of scientific and technological knowledge. While we had for several decades grown used to attacks against the symbols of the Indian state's power, our religious places, our railways and buses and our cinemas and shopping crowds, the attack on the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (I I Sc) Bangalore and the list of targets selected for planned attacks by the Lashkar-E-Taiba including the Kaiga nuclear power plant, the Almati Dam and the Sharavathy power transmission lines in Karnataka should make every Indian sit up and realize that what we are up against is not a bunch of Islamic lunatics giving vent to their anger or frustrations over some real or imaginary grievances but a highly motivated, well organized, and resourceful enemy determined to pursue relentlessly its goal of balkanization of India and ultimately making it a part of a pan Islamic Caliphate stretching from Indonesia to Morocco.

SHADOWY ENEMY

Lashkar-e- Taiba (L-E-T) the Pakistani terrorist organization believed to have executed the 29 October serial blasts in Delhi and the 28 December attack on the I I Sc Bangalore has been well known for the series of attacks it has carried out against India since 1993. Initially starting with attacks in the Kashmir valley it extended its operations to the Jammu region of J&K and then to the whole of India. Some of the most notorious attacks carried out by the LET singly or conjointly with other terrorist outfits include the massacre of Sikhs at Chittisinghpura, attacks on the Raghunath, Akshardham and Ayodhya temples, attack on the Red fort in December 2000 and the attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 which brought India and Pakistan to the brink of a war. While Jammu and Kashmir has suffered the maximum number of strikes, LET attacks have spanned almost the whole of India.

Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the many Islamist organizations spawned by the Afghanistan jihad against the Soviet union, is the military wing of the Pakistani Islamic fundamentalist organization Markaz- ud -Dawa -wal- Irshad of the Ahle Hadith sect which has its headquarters at Muridke near Lahore in Pakistan. It is headed by Hafiz Mahammad Sayeed. A second headquarters is believed to have been established in Muzaffarabad in POK. It has close links with Al Qaida and other militant Islamic organizations like Harkat ul Ansar ,Harkat ul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkat ul Ansar al Islami etc. It is understood to be the most disciplined, best organized and heavily armed among all the jihadi outfits of Pakistan. Its cadres were involved in the fighting in Afghanistan and later in Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo etc.

LAKSHAR'S IDEOLOGY

The Ahle Hadith Sect follows a hard line Salafist brand of Islam. Lashkar-e-Taiba accordingly believes that Islam being the only true religion and Allah being the sole sovereign of the earth, the whole world must be brought under the domain of Islam. Every Muslim has the obligation to undertake Jihad, by violent means if necessary, to achieve that goal. In regard to India it believes that since it was under Muslim rule at one time the historical wrong of elimination of Muslim rule from India must be corrected and the whole of India once again brought under Muslim rule.

Declared as a Foreign Terrorist organization by the USA and supposedly banned twice by Musharraf Government the LET renamed itself as Jamaat ud Dawa and continues to function openly in Pakistan. The outstanding relief wok done by Jamaat ud Dawa and its associates in the quake affected areas of POK and Pakistan following the devastating earthquake of 8 October 2005 which stood in sharp contrast to the meagre and inefficient performance of the army and the civilian agencies of the Pakistan government has won the admiration of the people in the affected areas and in the rest of the country. Never short of martyrdom seeking volunteers or of financial contributions, LET has gained considerably in strength and popularity during the last three months and despite the loss of some cadres and infrastructure during the earthquake has emerged much stronger.

PAKISTAN AND THE JIHADIS

Ever since Pakistan's birth its leaders and the great majority of its population have been obsessed with the idea of seizing Jammu and Kashmir. Failure to achieve their objective after the wars of 1948,1965,1971 and the limited war over Kargil in 1999 has made no difference to the resolve of Pakistan's ruling elite except to convince them that taking on India in open war was not likely to get them their objective and may in fact prove disastrous. Pakistan's strategic thinkers increasingly veered to the view that the strategy most likely to deliver the desired results without much risk and with minimum cost was to seek disintegration of India by subverting the loyalty of its Muslim population, by promoting the Wahabi Deobandi brand of Islam, spreading disaffection and communal hatred, aiding the other malcontents in India and through terrorist action aiming to weaken the morale of the Indian forces and the Government. Several circumstances combined to work in favour of Pakistan's strategy.

The withdrawal of Soviet Union from Afghanistan left Pakistan in possession of a vast army of fanatic, triumphant, battle hardened Jihadi warriors with all the infrastructure for recruitment, motivating, training, arming, and funding of Islamic warriors created and perfected during the Afghanistan war Even though the US supply of money and arms came to an end the jihadis continued to receive financial, material and logistic support from the ISI and the Pakistan army besides contributions from their supporters in Pakistan, middle east and other countries .The aims of the Jihadis regarding India matched perfectly with those of Pakistan's rulers. Pakistan accordingly launched a new and undeclared war against India in which the Jihadi soldiers, mostly the sons of poor and credulous Pakistanis, lured by prospects of employment and hopes of rewards in the hereafter, took the place of the army regulars. The costs for Pakistan and the risks of condemnation and retaliation were extremely low.It is this war that India has been facing for the past several years without telling the Indian people and the world what it actually is and euphemistically calling it " cross border terrorism "

PAKISTAN'S HELPERS

Left to fend for itself Pakistan would have perhaps found it difficult to survive in one piece. For achieving its primary objective of seizing Kashmir it exploited the cold war and its links with the Islamic world to gain the financial, military and diplomatic support required to challenge India. It also received great help from China and North Korea for developing its nuclear and missile capabilities. Support of the western block, revived during the Afghanistan war also made the western powers to shut their eyes to Pakistan's nuclear weapon project. Becoming an ally in the USA led War against Terror has again helped to revive Pakistan's sinking economy and brought new military and diplomatic benefits. But what seems to have helped Pakistan's cause most is the utter ineptitude of the US policy makers in dealing with Pakistan. Despite the continuation of the Military Mullah Alliance with all its implications and Pakistan's preservation and use of its Jihadis against India, (and of the Taliban in Afghanistan) USA's policy makers seem to believe that (a) USA and its allies will win their War against Terror if they can kill or capture Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri and Pakistan will help them achieve this objective, (b) That the Islamic fundamentalists will take over Pakistan if Musharraf goes, (c) That a Musharraf led Pakistan will set an example in "Enlightened Moderation" which the rest of the Islamic world will gradually come to follow, (d) That Pakistan sponsored terrorism against India is not a matter of much concern and (e) That India should facilitate Musharraf's continuance in power and show accommodation on Kashmir.

INDIA'S RESPONSE

India's response to the Pakistani war by jihad can best be described as that of a nation in deep slumber gaining consciousness only momentarily after each serious attack and quickly returning to its comfortable repose. It is not only the Government which is afflicted by chronic somnolence. Opinion leaders, intellectuals, electronic and the print media all seem to exhibit the same symptoms. One external factor influencing India's response is the quiet pressure exercised by USA on India in favour of carrying forward the so called "Peace process". What exactly has this peace process got for us beyond facilitating the Jihadis and ISI agents infiltration into India and encouraging Musharraf to offer a reduction in Jihadi violence in Kashmir if Indian security forces are removed from Kupwara and Baramula !! Ours must be the only independent and powerful country in the world continuing to engage in peace talks with a relatively much weaker adversary who, secure in the knowledge that it will not face retribution, continues a charade of talking peace while relentlessly pursuing its design of destroying us. Countries much weaker than us have successfully withstood US pressure. Why can we not tell Musharraf and, if necessary, Condoleeza Rice that if Pakistan can not prevent its Jihadis from attacking us we will do whatever it takes to eliminate them from where they come?

But we are a tolerant, peaceful country cherishing the virtues of magnanimity and non- violence. There is no dearth of pacifists in our country who insist that we must resolve our disputes with Pakistan only through negotiations. The predominant voices in the national discourse are those of the escapists and dreamers within the establishment and outside who believe that People to People contacts, Track II Diplomacy and "Confidence Building Measures" will in due course cause the Pakistani leopard to shed its spots and become a peace seeking lamb. We also have the flag bearers of secularism who never tire of blaming Hindu communalism and the failure of the Indian state in ensuring justice for the victims of Hindu fanaticism for the success of Pakistani ISI in establishing Jihadi pockets in India . Then there are the human rights activists and other worthies who are never found wanting in maligning the security forces who have the responsibility of defending the country against the Jihadis .

Let us understand clearly that we are in the midst of a war of which Jihadi Terrorism and radicalization of our Muslim population are the two prongs. We have the strength to win provided those at the helm of affairs form a clear perception of the threat and mobilize the resources required to defend ourselves.

 


The views and facts stated above are entirely the responsibility of the author and do not reflect the views of this Association in any manner.

 
     
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