Friday, October 3, 2008

ISI and Indian Mujahideen

This was an article written in the Times of Ideas column of the Times of India on 3rd Oct 2008 by K.P.S Gill, the former DGP, Punjab. Here are some excerpts from the article.

An incoherence of ideas continues to advance a false construct of 'Islamic' or 'Islamist' terrorism, while the reality is that, in both Afghanistan and India, what we are experiencing is, quite simply, ISI terrorism. This reality is, in no way, diluted by the fact that some of the perpetrators of terrorism are Indian citizens, with affiliation to extremist organisations created on Indian soil.

The core question, then, is, how does India tackle the ISI and the enduring Pakistani intention of harnessing terrorism to secure its own strategic goals? It is necessary to understand the precise contours of Pakistan's intent and objectives: the ISI and its terrorist proxies in India seek to recruit increasing numbers of Indians to carry out their dictates. To this end, they have created a network for ideological mobilisation and recruitment, both in India and abroad. They have also created networks of exfiltration, training and infiltration that allow recruits to be 'processed' on Bangladeshi or Pakistani soil, and redeployed in India after their 'preparation' has been completed. The ISI provides safe havens within Pakistan and platforms outside the country to terrorist groups.

It provides finances and other aid to these groups require across India. The ISI helps coordinate relationships and operational collaboration between various terrorist groups.

It also helps create fake human right groups who abuse the legitimate processes available in the country to embarrass security forces and induce paralysis in the intelligence and enforcement apparatus.

It helps build up a political and intellectual constituency in the media, legal and non- governmental fraternities, which will run to the defence of terrorist groups. It assiduously seeks to legitimise terrorist actions internationally by projecting 'Muslim grievances' and 'Indian atrocities' through its diplomatic channels, and through intellectual and non-governmental proxies. In all this, the ISI appears to have a life of its own, independent of the political scenario in Pakistan. Whether a military dictatorship or a supposed democratic dispensation presides in Islamabad, this enterprise continues uninterrupted.

There is also a proclivity, even among the most secular, to expect Muslims as a community to 'oppose terrorism'. But this is a communal trap that feeds the community's sense of siege, marginalisation and alienation, even as its leaders start apologising or issuing public statements and fatwas. It is no more the duty of Muslims to oppose terrorism and to cooperate with counterterrorism efforts of the authorities than it is of any other community. The Muslims do not have to, and should never be asked to, prove their loyalty and good faith any more than any other citizen of India.

Source: Look Across The Border, by K P S Gill, former DGP,Punjab