LeT owns up to Kupwara, Army fears worst not over

26 03 2009

Source: IBNLIVE

New Delhi: Terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba has claimed responsibility for the six-day long gunbattle between the Indian Army and terrorists in Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir.

Seventeen terrorists and eight Armymen are reported to have been killed in the gunbattle – one of the bloodiest in recent months.

The LeT on Tuesday sent a letter to a local newspaper in Kashmir last night owning up to the encounter. In the letter to Kashmiri daily Rising Kashmir, LeT spokesman Dr Abdullah Gaznavi writes, “We received prior information about the army movement and laid an ambush in the forest. Indian forces have lost 25 army men including a Major while 50 of them have been injured. Ten LeT Mujahideen also achieved martyrdom in the gunfight. India should understand that the freedom struggle in Kashmir is not over. It is active with full force”.

While firing in the area has stopped, combing operation is on in the area. Four AK-47 rifles and some ammunition have also been recovered from the site.

Among those killed are Major Mohit Sharma, a decorated Army officer and a 19-year-old trooper of the special forces Shabir Malik.

In a press conference organised by the Indian Army on Wednesday, Brigadier Gurmeet Singh confirmed the death toll and said most terrorists had been gunned down.

“The weapons that have been recovered from the terrorists in the two encounters signal that they were trained,” Singh said adding the infiltrators included “foreign militants”.

In what seemed to be a confirmation of Gaznavi’s warning, Brig Singh said Army feared an infiltration attempt by 300-400 terrorists in the area.

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‘Militants waiting to infiltrate across the border’

26 03 2009

Mir Ehsan Posted: Mar 25, 2009 at 1427 hrs IST
Source: Indian Express
The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped.The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped.

The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped.

Srinagar: As the combing operation in the forests of Kupwara is still going on, Army claims that all the slain militants were foreigners owing allegiance to Lashkar-e-Toiba. So far, seventeen militants and eight soldiers have been killed in the operation.

Brigade General Staff 15 Corps, Brigadier Gurmeet Singh said the operation is going on in the thick forests of Kupwara in the difficult mountainous terrain. “The militants were primarily an infiltration group attempting to infiltrate and a reception party,” he said. “The slain militants were foreigners owing their allegiance to Lashkar e Toiba.”

Singh said that the majority of the militants have been killed. “Remnants if any, will also be eliminated.”

The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped. “We have received latest weapons, communication system and maps from the slain militants,” he said adding that the items recovered from the slain militants are being used by the state.

Brigadier Singh termed it as a first major infiltration attempt and said that more militants from across the Line of Control are waiting to sneak into the Valley. “As per intelligence reports 300 to 400 militants are awaiting on other side of the Line of Control to sneak into the Valley. We are prepared to tackle any infiltration attempt,” he said.

Singh said this is the time when militants try to infiltrate into the Valley as not only border fencing is buried under the snow also the snow starts to melt. Besides, huge quantity of war like ammunition, army has so far recovered 23 AK rifles from the encounter site.





Pay-up time

12 02 2009

Source: Frontline
NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN

Pakistan: None of the first steps of the Obama administration has given the kind of unconditional reassurance that the Pakistanis want.

SHERIN ZADA/AP

A MAN CARRIES his elderly mother on his back as the family flees from the troubled Swat valley on February 1 as fighting between the militants and the security forces escalates.

THE bad news arrived quickly. Just three days after the Obama inauguration, the new United States administration made it plain to Pakistan that the winds of change sweeping America would not travel as far the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, at least not in the way that the rulers in Islamabad desired. If anything, the relationship might grow more difficult. The message came riding on two missile attacks on suspected militant compounds, within hours of each other, on the evening of January 23: one in North Waziristan and the second in South Waziristan.

The number of people killed in the attacks may have been 20. It is likely that there were both civilians and militants among the dead. It has always been impossible to verify such information. In Pakistan, the question is not so much if Al Qaeda operatives were among the dead. The missile attacks, launched from unmanned Predator aircraft, generically known as drones, are seen as violations of the country’s air space, territorial integrity and sovereignty.

There have been more than 30 such attacks since August 2008. Despite the Pakistani government’s protests against such incursions during the days of the Bush administration, the attacks continued, increasing in frequency and appearing to gain in precision. It led to the widespread belief that Pakistan’s civilian government was complicit in them. A Washington Post report in November 2008 said the Pakistan People’s Party-led government had given the Bush administration the green signal to carry out such attacks in the tribal areas. The understanding, according to the Post, gave Islamabad the right to protest against the attacks to keep domestic public opinion satisfied. Obama’s Defence Secretary Robert Gates told a congressional committee recently that the drone attacks would continue and that the decision had been conveyed to the Pakistani leadership.

The government has strenuously denied any secret understanding with the U.S. on the attacks. From President Asif Ali Zardari to Prime Minister Yusouf Raza Gilani to Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, all Pakistani leaders have made the point that the missile attacks were “counter-productive”: they fanned the flames of militancy that is eating the region – when civilians get killed, their fellow tribesmen, looking for revenge, swell the ranks of the Taliban and pro-Al Qaeda elements.

Pakistan’s influential media even went so far as to advise the government to stop the drones militarily, and, for a few days last year, the Pakistan Air Force flew sorties over the tribal areas in a sort of show of force. But as Qureshi once told reporters in his hometown Multan, when they asked him why the country could not stand up to the drone attacks in the same way that they had dealt with the alleged air space violations by the Indian Air Force in the wake of the Mumbai attacks: “Pakistan cannot equate the U.S. with India.” An indication that there was a limit to how far the government could go in challenging the drones. This also became evident when drones attacked a target in Bannu, which is not a territory in the lawless tribal region known as FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Area) but a “settled” district in North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Some days before the Obama inauguration, Gilani told the National Assembly, the lower house of the Pakistan parliament, that the incoming administration would not carry out missile attacks inside Pakistani territory. That turned out to be an incorrect reading of the new U.S. administration’s intentions.

In fact, none of the first steps of the Obama administration has given the kind of unconditional reassurance that the Pakistanis want from their patron country. In keeping with the new President’s campaign promise to focus on the “war on terror” in Afghanistan, his agenda for foreign policy, announced the day after his January 20 inauguration, gave top billing to Afghanistan and Pakistan, but not in the way Pakistan wanted.

The agenda document spoke about refocussing American resources to deal with what the document described as the “greatest threat” to U.S. security: “the resurgence of the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan”. It spoke of increasing troop levels in Afghanistan and asking the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to do the same, while promising more money for economic development to the war-torn country. The new administration has said it will make the Afghan government “do more” in terms of cracking down on the illicit opium trade and on corruption. For Pakistan, the new administration has promised more “non-military” aid, while holding it “accountable” for security in the border region with Afghanistan.

Hussain Haqqani, Islamabad’s Ambassador to Washington, told Geo television that if U.S. policy was not “positive”, Pakistan “will have to review its options”. He expressed the hope that President Obama would give a “patient hearing” to Pakistan’s concerns.

The increase in non-military aid is expected to come via the Biden-Lugar Bill, a bipartisan draft legislation sponsored by Joseph Biden – now the U.S. Vice-President – and adopted by the Senate in September 2008.

The Bill, which the House of Representatives is yet to take up – it lapsed with the inauguration of the new administration and will need to be reintroduced in the Senate – proposes tripling Pakistan’s non-military financial aid over the next five years in recognition of the need to stabilise the country’s economy and democratic institutions, making the bilateral relationship more oriented towards Pakistan’s people rather than its military. It also makes military aid conditional on greater accountability from the Pakistan security forces.

Specifically, the proposed legislation authorises $7.5 billion over the next five fiscal years ($1.5 billion annually) under the Foreign Assistance Act. It also advocates an additional $7.5 billion over the subsequent five years, subject to improvements in the political and economic climate.

ASIF HASSANAFP

JAMMAT-E-ISLAMI ACTIVISTS demonstrate against the missile strikes after Barack Obama took over as President, in Karachi on January 25.

It makes military assistance beginning in 2010, and new military sales beginning in 2012, conditional on certification by the U.S. Secretary of State that Pakistani security forces “are making concerted efforts to prevent Al Qaeda and associated terrorist groups from operating in the territory of Pakistan; are making concerted efforts to prevent the Taliban from using the territory of Pakistan as a sanctuary from which to launch attacks within Afghanistan; are not materially interfering in the political or judicial processes of Pakistan”.

The increased non-military aid would address Pakistan’s contention that militancy must be tackled not by the military alone, but through economic development of the border regions, giving people education and jobs and “mainstreaming” them.

Pakistan had also hoped that Obama’s promised special envoy to the region would be mandated to work with India as well to press for a solution to the Kashmir issue. During his campaign, Obama said in an interview that a solution to the Kashmir problem was vital for peace in Afghanistan. The reasoning: the Kashmir issue is the cause of Pakistan’s insecurity with India, leading to its continuing quest for “strategic depth” in Afghanistan through jehadist proxies. Therefore, a resolution of the problem is as vital for the stability of Afghanistan as it is for peace between India and Pakistan.

In the event, the appointment of the tough-talking Richard Holbrooke as Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan caused disappointment in Pakistan that Obama had backed down, in the face of aggressive Indian diplomacy, from his resolve that the U.S. must help find a solution to Kashmir. But Pakistani leaders have continued to emphasise that Holbrooke’s mandate must be expanded to include India and Kashmir. In fact, the Foreign Ministry press release welcoming his appointment studiously avoided mentioning the two countries included in his mandate, stressing instead the word “region”.

The concern in New Delhi is whether Holbrooke will lean towards Pakistan’s view of the Afghan crisis or whether he will lean on the Pakistan military to produce the keys that can unlock the puzzle. Accepting Pakistan’s position would be no less than accepting jehad and terrorism as legitimate instruments of foreign policy. Leaning on the Pakistan military, on the other hand, would amount to challenging the nature of the Pakistani state.

Finally, the realisation that jehad is unviable has to come from within Pakistan, as it now has over the Taliban takeover of Swat. The picturesque valley in the NWFP, once a holiday destination for tourists, is now under the grip of a Taliban group under the leadership of Fazlullah, a mullah with extreme views who has thrown in his lot with the South Waziristan-based warlord Beithullah Mehsud.

Fazlullah’s marauding militants run a virtual parallel government in Swat. They brook no defiance and have imposed their extreme version of Islam on the people, making men wear beards and salwars that must end above the ankles, and women wear the shuttle-cock burkha, which was once unknown in that part of the world. Disobedience means death, with the body hanging in the main square in Mingora, the big town in Swat. The chowk itself has come to be known as “khooni chowk” (bloody square) or “chowk zibakhana” (slaughterhouse square). The valley was known for its vibrant singing and dancing, but that has ended, and an estimated 300,000 people of the total population of 1.6 million people have fled the district. No elected representative from Swat has dared to step into his constituency in months.

After a national outcry against the Pakistan Army for doing nothing to bring the situation under control, Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited the valley in a prelude to a fresh round of operations.

But Pakistanis still tend to see the situation in Swat in isolation, as if it has no connection with the larger issue of jehadist militant groups raised by the Pakistani state for proxy wars in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

These groups and their virulent ideologies are eating at the very vitals of the country, threatening to tear it apart politically and socially, while their actions abroad threaten to push Pakistan out of the comity of civilised nations.

The message from Swat is that it is easy to start a jehadist war but containing it means a systemic overhaul that is not possible only by pasting a democratic face to the state. And in this lies the challenge for U.S.-Pakistan ties, as much as it does for the India-Pakistan relationship.•





Poonch encounter ends,finally :Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar

9 01 2009

January 09, 2009 02:14 IST
Last Updated: January 09, 2009 12:58 IST

Source: Rediff

The nine-day-long gun battle in the Bhatidar forest area of Poonch district has officially been called off even though deliberate searches shall continue in the area “to look for any tell-tale signs there”.

So far, two Army troopers, one special police officer (SPO) and four militants have been killed in this operation against the militants. But the bodies of the slain militants have not yet been recovered.

Having spilled over more than nine days, this is the longest operation carried out by the Army against the militants ever since the present violence started here in 1989.

“The possibility of the terrorists having slipped out taking advantage of the rugged terrain and the prevailing climatic conditions cannot be ruled out,” said the statement issued Friday by the Indian army’s [Images] 16th Corps whose trooped engaged the militants for nine days in the Bhatidar forests of Mendhar area of Poonch district.

Brigadier General Staff of 16 Corps, Brigadier Gurdeep Singh had ruled out the possibility of the militants having used concrete bunkers during the encounter with the army troopers in the area.

“They had used natural caves in the area as their hiding places. During the course of the flushing out operations a couple of natural caves were destroyed,” he said.

“Deliberate searches in the area will continue to look for any tell tales signs,” the army’s spokesman said.

Seven people, including four militants and three security personnel, were killed in the first three days of the battle that began Jan 1. But the army has not yet recovered the bodies of the killed militants.

A source in the army said no exchange of fire had taken place with the hiding terrorists throughout Thursday, though the troops had been on alert.

The soldiers had busted three hideouts and all they found were edible oil, dal, rice and cooking gas cylinders. “All the caves where the militants were hiding had two openings,” the army source said.

The battle started when terrorists killed two army men – a junior commissioned officer and a soldier – while they were laying a cordon.

The militants had taken away the rifle of the JCO, whose body was found two days later.

Singh had said the militants tried to breach the cordon Tuesday night “but the troops fired at them pushing them back into the jungle”.

Mendhar has always been a traditional infiltration route of militants sneaking into the Indian side from Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between the two countries. It provides access to the Kashmir Valley through mountain passes.





Pakistan-Bangladesh plan a Mughalistan to split India

30 12 2008

Source: Bengalgenocide

Mughalistan (or Mughalstan) is the name of an independent homeland proposed for the Muslims of India. This Mughal-Muslim state in the Indian subcontinent will include all of North India and Eastern India, and will be formed by merging Pakistan and Bangladesh through a large corridor of land running across the Indo-Gangetic plain, the heartland of India. This Mughalistan corridor will comprise Muslim-majority areas of Northern India and eastern India that will be partitioned for the second time in history.

The comprehensive plan for a second partition of India was first developed by the Mughalstan Research Institute (MRI) of Jahangir Nagar University (Bangladesh) under the patronage of the two intelligence agencies, Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Bangladesh’s Director General of Forces Intelligence, DGFI. The “Mughalistan Reaserch Institute of Bangladesh” has released a map where a Muslim corridor named “Mughalistan” connects Pakistan and Bangladesh via India.
The Pakistani Punjabi-dominated ISI’s influence on MRI is evident even in the Punjabi-centric pronunciation of the word ‘Mughalstan’ (without the “i”), instead of the typical Urdu pronunciation (Mughalistan). Islamic Jihadis in India have been well-armed and well-funded by the neighbouring Islamic regimes, as part of Operation Topac – the late Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq’s grandiose plot to balkanize India.

Not surprisingly, Osama Bin Laden has thrown his support behind the concept and creation of this Greater Pakistan to “liberate” the Muslims of India from the Hindus. The Mumbai underworld (led by Karachi-based don Dawood Ibrahim who executed the gruesome 1993 Mumbai bombings), Jamaat-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen have declared their unified support for creating this undivided Islamic nation in the Indian subcontinent. The Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Indian Mujahideen are working in tandem with the aforementioned organizations to waged Jihad against the Hindus of India.

It is important to note that in its “holy war” against India, the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba has openly declared Hindus to be the “enemies of Islam” who should all be converted or killed. The Lashkar-e-Tayyaba group has repeatedly claimed through its journals and websites that its main aim is to destroy the Indian republic and to annihilate Hinduism. Jaish-e-Mohammed has vowed to “liberate” not just Kashmir, but also to hoist the Islamic flag atop the historic Red Fort after capturing New Delhi and the rest of India.

SIMI has championed the “liberation of India through Islam” and aim to restore the supremacy of Islam through the resurrection of the Khilafat (Islamic Caliphate), emphasis on the Muslim Ummah (Islamic) and the waging of Jihad on the Indian state, secularism, democracy and nationalism – the basic keystones of the Indian Constitution – as these concepts are antithetical to Islam. The Indian Mujahideen have sent several emails claiming responsibility for several bombings in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad (in Uttar Pradesh), Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi in 2007 and 2008. The emails refer to notorious Islamic conquerors of India (Mohammed bin Qasim, Mohammad Ghauri and Mahmud Ghaznawi) as their role-models, refer to Hindu blood as “blood to be the cheapest of all mankind” and taunt Hindus that their “[Hindu] history is full of subjugation, humiliation, and insult [at the hands of Islamic conquerors]”.

The Indian Mujahideen’s emails warn the Hindus to “Accept Islam and save yourselves” and or else face a horrible fate: – “Hindus! O disbelieving faithless Indians! Haven’t you still realized that the falsehood of your 33 crore dirty mud idols and the blasphemy of your deaf, dumb, mute and naked idols of ram, krishna and hanuman are not at all going to save your necks, Insha-Allah, from being slaughtered by our [Muslim] hands?”


Background

Pakistan’s emergence in 1947 was as a “mutilated, truncated, moth-eaten Pakistan, in M.A. Jinnah’s own words, because the Muslim League’s original plan did not envisage the partition of Punjab and Bengal. Today, Mughalistan is Jinnah’s dream come true.

The Partition of India provided temporary respite to the Indians and merely postponed the inevitable outcome. By 1971, all across Sindh, Western Punjab, Gandhara (Kandahar) and Eastern Bengal, the native populations of the Indian Religionists (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains) have been wiped out almost entirely by conversion, massacre and mass exodus. Extrapolating this scenario, we find ominous results. This Islamic beach-head, which squeezes India from both sides (Pakistan and Bangladesh), gradually links up with a Fifth Column within India and gains fresh territorial and demographic victories within the last two decades (Kashmir valley, several districts of West Bengal and Assam, Malappuram district in Kerala and the Hyderabad-Deccan region). The Islamic Anschluss creeps steadily and bloodily, until the Western beach-head (Pakistan) is linked up demographically with the Eastern beach-head (Bangladesh) through the formation of a Islam-dominated belt called “Mughalstan”, that will then run through Jammu, Mewat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.

Jammu & Kashmir

It is an open secret that wherever the Muslims are in a majority, the rights and freedom of the non-Muslims are severely curtailed. Take for example Kashmir. It’s the only state in India which is a Muslim majority and let us see what happened there. Hundreds of temples were razed, Hindus were forced to flee, their women were raped, children were killed and houses forcibly occupied. The entire Kashmiri Hindu population (known as Kashmiri Pandits) having been driven away, killed or converted between 1990 and 2000 in a silent, mass genocide. The Muslims in Kashmir have been enjoying a special status under Constitution’s Article 370, hardly any central law is enforced there, the number of income-tax payers is among the lowest and unlike other poor states, J&K gets 90 per cent central financial assistance as grants and only 10 per cent as loans. Still there are complaints that a ‘Hindu central government discriminates’. The other minority, Buddhists mostly located in Ladakh, too, are harshly treated and discriminated against by the mainly Sunni Muslim governance in Srinagar. The Buddhist Association, Leh, has been submitting memorandums to the central government about how Buddhist youths are denied jobs and a fair chance to join the Kashmir Administrative service and professional colleges in spite of clearing the entrance exams. The number of Buddhist minorities is fast decreasing causing concern amongst their leaders. Even their dead are not allowed to be buried in Muslim-majority Kargil area and monasteries have been denied to be built. Leh district continues to see rampant conversions of Buddhist women to Islam.


The Kashmir Valley today has a 98 per cent Muslim population. Poonch district, which is contiguous with Pakistan, has a Muslim majority. Jammu district has seen regular attacks on Hindu civilians and temples. The Hindu-population of the adjacent district of Doda is being squeezed out by Islamic violence. As a result, Doda is now a Muslim-majority district, where the population ratio between the Muslims and the Hindus in Doda district is now 55:45. Doda town has a 90 per cent Muslim population. Out of the seven subdivisions, Banihal, Kishtwar and Balesa are Muslim dominated areas. Bhaderwah, Thathri and Ramban have a Hindu majority. In Ladakh, Kargil district has a Muslim majority.

Northern India

In the backward Mewat region of Haryana (and Rajasthan), Muslims form 66% of the local population. In 2005, the Congress (I) state government in Haryana quietly created a Muslim-majority district called Mewat, by vivisecting Gurgaon district. This move strengthened the clout of Islamic groups in the region. After all, it was in Haryana’s Mewat region in 1992, that Muslim mobs in Nuh town had hacked Hindus, destroyed Hindu temples and brazenly slaughtered cows openly on streets after seizing them from Gau Shalas (cow shelters). Today, the mass conversion of Hindu villagers to Islam, purchasing tens of thousands of Hindu girls for use as sex-slaves, cow-slaughter and social boycott of Hindus is common in Muslim families in Mewat. The average Muslim birth rates of 12-15 children per household in Mewat is increasing even more by cases like the Mohammed Ishaq family where the patriarch has sired 23 kids from his wife, Bismillah.

The 2008 bomb blasts targeting Hindu temples and civilians in Jaipur underscore the rising tension in Rajasthan.

Muslim-majority cities like Old Delhi and Malerkotla (in Indian Punjab) provide not only shelter to Jihadi terrorists, but also geographic continuity to Muslim-dominated districts of western Uttar Pradesh (UP), especially Agra, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Meerut, Bijnor as well as Muzaffarnagar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Bareilly, Saharanpur and Moradabad. Muslim attacks on Hindu religious processions, religious riots and bomb blasts are common place in UP as was seen in Mau, Ayodhya, Lucknow and Kanpur. The UP state population of Muslims has risen to 18% today.

Next door, Bihar has a 17% Muslim population and religious tensions are simmering.

Along the Indo-Nepal border of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, around 1900 Islamic seminaries have come up on both sides of the Indo-Nepal border in recent times. “There has been an exponential increase of Madrassas on both sides of Indo-Nepal border in the recent past of which around 1100 are in India while the rest are in Nepal,” revealed Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) Tilak Kak. These large number of Madrassas, which serve as have come up in a disproportionate way and are not proportional to the Muslim population in the area. India’s Task Force on Border Management, in its report of October 2000, wrote about the ominous developments along the India-Nepal border: “On the Indo-Nepal border, Madrassas and mosques have sprung up on both sides in the Terai region, accompanied by four-fold increase in the population of the minority community in the region. There are 343 mosques, 300 Madrassas and 17 mosques-cum- Madrassas within 10 kilometres of the border on the Indian side. On the Nepal side, there are 282 mosques, 181 Madrassas and eight mosques-cum- Madrassas. These mosques and Madrassas receive huge funds from Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Managers of various Madrassas and Ulema maintain close links with the embassy officials of those countries located at Kathmandu. Financial assistance is also channelized through the Islamic Development Bank (Jeddah), Habib Bank of Pakistan and also through some Indian Muslims living in Gulf countries. Pakistan’s Habib Bank, after becoming a partner in Nepal’s Himalayan Bank, has expanded its network in the border areas including Biratnagar and Krishna Nagar. It is suspected that foreign currency is converted into Indian currency in Nepal and then brought to India clandestinely. Madrasas and mosques on the Indo-Nepal border are frequently visited by prominent Muslim leaders, Tablighi Jamaats (proselytizing groups) and pro-Pak Nepali leaders. Officials of Pak Embassy have come to notice visiting Terai area of Nepal to strengthen Islamic institutions and to disburse funds to them. Pro-Pak elements in Nepal also help in demographic subversion of the Terai belt.”


West Bengal and Assam: The Weakest Links in the ChainAccording to the 2001 census, the Muslim population is 28% of the total West Bengal population. In Assam, the Muslim population comprises atleast 31% of the total state population.

Arun Shourie wrote this in the Indian Express in 2004:

“Muslims in India accounted for 9.9 per cent (of India’s population) in 1951, 10.8 per cent in 1971 and 11.3 per cent in 1981, and presumably about 12.1 per cent in 1991. The present population ratio of Muslims is calculated to be 28 per cent in Assam and 25 per cent in West Bengal. In 1991 the Muslim population in the border districts of West Bengal accounted for 56 per cent in South and North Parganas, 48 per cent in Nadia, 52 per cent in Murshidabad, 54 per cent in Malda and about 60 per cent in Islampur sub-division of West Dinajpur. A study of the border belt of West Bengal yields some telling statistics: 20-40 per cent villages in the border districts are said to be predominantly Muslim. There are indications that the concentration of the minority community, including the Bangladesh immigrants, in the villages has resulted in the majority community moving to urban centres. Several towns in the border districts are now predominantly inhabited by the majority community but surrounded by villages mostly dominated by the minority community. Lin Piao’s theory of occupying the villages before overwhelming the cities comes to mind, though the context is different. However, the basic factor of security threat in both the cases is the same.

Figures have been given showing the concentration of Muslim population in the districts of West Bengal bordering Bangladesh starting from 24 Parganas and going up to Islampur of West Dinajpur district and their population being well over 50 per cent of the population. The Kishanganj district (of Bihar) which was part of Purnea district earlier, which is contiguous to the West Bengal area, also has a majority of Muslim population. The total population of the districts of South and North 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Nadia, Malda and West Dinajpur adds up to 27,337,362. If we add the population of Kishanganj district of Bihar of 986,672, the total comes to 28,324,034. (All figures are based on the 1991 Census.) This mass of land with a population of nearly 2.8 crores has a Muslim majority. The total population of West Bengal in 1991 was 67.9 million and of these, 28.32 million are concentrated in the border districts, with about 16-17 million population of minority community being concentrated in this area. This crucial tract of land in West Bengal and Bihar, lying along the Ganges/Hughly and west Bangladesh with a population of over 28 million, with Muslims constituting a majority, should give cause for anxiety for any thinking Indian.’’
And what if, from these figures, I had advanced two warnings. First,
‘‘There is a distinct danger of another Muslim country, speaking predominantly Bengali, emerging in the eastern part of India in the future, at a time when India might find itself weakened politically and militarily.’’

And second that the danger is as grave even if that third Islamic State does not get carved out in the sub-continent into a full-fledged country? What if I had put that danger as follows?
‘‘Let us look at the map of Eastern India — starting from the North 24 Parganas district, proceeding through Nadia, Murshidabad, Malda and West Dinajpur before entering the narrow neck of land lying through Raiganj and Dalkola of Islampur sub-division before passing through the Kishanganj district of East Bihar to enter Siliguri. Proceed further and take a look at the north Bengal districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar before entering Assam, and its districts of Dhubri, Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar and Barpeta. A more sensitive region in Asia is difficult to locate…’’

To quote Sandhya Jain’s article “India’s Cancer Wards” in “The Pioneer”:

‘Mr. R.K. Ohri, ex-IGP, Arunachal Pradesh, cautioned that an Islamic Caliphate is rising on India’s flanks, from Bangladesh to West Asia, and that the shadow of the Mughalistan corridor is now visibly manifesting in various districts along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bangladesh border. The demand for a ‘Muslim Banghboomi’ has already been raised, warns ex-MP B.L. Sharma (Prem). Traveling in West Bengal to check out certain atrocities against Hindus some years ago, his convoy was attacked by Bangladeshis. When demographer J.K. Bajaj and his colleagues prepared a mathematical model of the demographic challenge facing India, they found it exactly matched the map prepared by Bangladesh’s Mughalstan Research Institute. Experts feel the latter has been prepared by the ISI because the ‘Mughalstan’ spelling indicates a Punjabi mind!

Bangladesh’s reputed human rights activist Salam Azad laments that Bangladesh is the best place in the world for the return of the Taliban. Madrasas, he said, are teaching that “Muslims are the best in the world; non-Muslims will be converted, beaten, killed, married, raped, because non-Muslim women are regarded as maal-i-ganimat (free war booty)… Minorities will be oppressed, indigenous people will be attacked, in my country there is oppression everywhere and this is being done by the so-called educated people of the madrasas.”

West Bengal BJP leader Tathagatha Roy said the extent of atrocities against Hindus in Bangladesh can be seen from the fact that in several districts there was not a single woman between the ages of seven to seventy years who had not been raped in that country. He apologized for the indifference of the BJP Government which did not grant refugee status to Hindus fleeing oppression in Bangladesh. North Eastern Students Organisation chairman Samujjal Bhattacharya said all 49 tribal belts and blocks in Assam have been occupied by Bangladeshis. The shadows have spread to Arunachal, Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya

Today, Hindus residing within a 50-km radius of the border are feeling the heat. They are being harassed on Indian soil and forced to move as the infiltrators establish themselves along this corridor, thus de facto extending the Bangladesh border into India.’

The West Bengal administration, which had taken a serious view of the problem in the initial stages of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government, now seems to have accepted it as a fait accompli. The chief minister had adopted some steps to contain the menace when the BJP strongman L.K.Advani was the union home minister from 1998-2004. But his initiative has slackened after the installation of the UPA government at the Centre since 2004.

In case the ramifications of the unfolding scenario are not yet clear to Indians, the bomb-blasts and religious riots are a roaring continuation of the 1400-year Jihad against India – an ongoing war that will culminate in the Islamisation of what’s left of Hindustan. Already the demographic battle is underway and the Mughalistan scenario looks feasible. The book “Religious Demography of India” published by A P Joshi, M.D. Srinivas and J K Bajaj of the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), Chennai, reveals that in 2001, Muslims comprise over 30% of the total population in the Indian-subcontinent (comprising India, Pakistan and Bangladesh). The total Muslim population zoomed from 12.5% (1991) to 30.3% (2001), in just 10 years (from ex-IAS officer V.Sundaram’s article in “News Today”: Deathly Demographic warnings for India).

According to the 2001 census report, Indian population is 1,027,015,247.3. Of this, 1.5 crore people are Bangladeshi infiltrators who are living in India. The Intelligence Bureau has reportedly estimated, after an extensive survey, that the present number is about 16 million. The August 2000 report of the Task Force on Border Management placed the figure at 15 million, with 300,000 Bangladeshis entering India illegally every month. It is estimated that about 13 lakh Bangladeshis live in Delhi alone. It has been reported that one crore Bangladeshis are missing from Bangladesh [August 4, 1991, Morning Sun] and it implies that those people have infiltrated into India. These infiltrators mainly settle in the north-east India and in West Bengal. This is shown by the fact that there has been irregular increase in the Muslim population in these states and many of the districts have become Muslim majority. The proportion of Muslims in Assam had increased from 24.68 per cent in 1951 to 30.91 per cent in 2001.Whereas in the same time period the proportion of Muslims in India increased from 9.91 per cent to 13.42 per cent. In West Bengal, the Muslim population in west Dinajpur, Maldah, Birbhum and Murshidabad 36.75 per cent, 47.49 per cent, 33.06 per cent and 61.39 per cent respectively, according to 1991 census.

This has not only caused the burden on the Indian economy, but also threatens the identity of the indigenous people of the north-east of India. In Tripura, another north-eastern state of India, the local population has been turned into a minority community over a short period of time by the sheer numbers of cross-border migrants from Bangladesh. In 1947, 56 per cent of Tripura’s population consisted of tribal (or indigenous) population. Today this stands at a 25% of the total. In many districts these infiltrators are the one who decides the outcome of elections. Outcomes of the 32 per cent of Vidhan Sabha seats in Assam and 18 per cent of seats in West Bengal are decided by them. This is due to the fact that political parties are helping them to get ration cards and voters ID and hence using them to win elections.

According to the report, at present there are 80 lakh Bangladeshi infiltrators in Bengal, 55 lakh in Assom, 4 lakh in Tripura and 5 lakh in Bihar (Katihar, Purnia and Kishenganj districts) and Jharkhand(Sahebganj district). As far as West Bengal is concerned, the concentration of infiltrators is quite marked in the border districts like North and South Dinajpur, Cooch Behar, Nadia, Murshidabad, Malda and North and South 24 Parganas. The affected areas in Assom are Dhubri, Goalpara, Karimganj and Hailakandi, while a similar scenario is noticeable in Kailashar, Sabrum, Udaipur and Belonia areas in Tripura. Pakistan’s ISI is believed to have a hand behind this large-scale infiltration which has been playing havoc with the economy of Bengal and Assam. Home ministry sources say Harkat-ul-Jehadi-Islami(HUJI), the dreaded militant outfit active in Bangladesh, has succeeded in sending a large number of militants along with the infiltrators to West Bengal.

The Home ministry had laid stress on an early completion of barbed-wire fencing along the borders with Bangladesh. Of the 2216 km-long border the fencing could be completed only along 1167 km till 2007. The continuous infiltration has brought about serious demographic changes to Bengal’s border areas and made the border-map, drawn after the 1974 Indira-Mujib agreement, somewhat irrelevant. The Centre has consequently sought a detailed report from the state government on changes in the population pattern in 66 blocks of nine border districts.

DGFI & ISI Plan To Capture West Bengal and Assam Through Vote Machinery

To facilitate Mughalistan and the concomitant partition of India and Bengal, the DGFI-ISI have jointly planned to change the demography of West Bengal and Assam on a priority basis.
As many as 53 out of 294 Assembly constituencies in West Bengal have a high concentration of voters who happen to be illegal Muslim from Bangladesh. Similarly, the fate of 40 Assembly seats in Assam depends on the votes cast by illegal Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators. All this has been revealed by a recent report of the union home ministry on infiltration from India’s neighbour. The report has been prepared on the basis of facts and figures provided by the Task Force on Border Management and Assam’s former governor S.K. Sinha.

As such the Bangladeshi Muslims can control the West Bengal Assembly, and dictate terms to the state government of West Bengal in all respects. The picture of plight of majority Hindu electorates worsened in the State, as Muslim electorates have a clear majority in three districts viz. Malda, Murshidabad & North Dinajpur and 63 (sixty three) blocks in West Bengal. Again, an analysis upon the projection into the 2001 Census hints at abnormal Muslim growth everywhere in West Bengal, where the Muslim population is 28% of the total state population.
There are at least 5 powerful Muslim ministers in the West Bengal state cabinet: Abdur Rezzak Mollah (Minister of Land & Land Reforms), Anisur Rahaman (Minister of Animal Resources Development), Mortaja Hossain (Minister of Agriculture, Marketing & Relief, Minster of State), Anarul Haque (Minister of State for Public Health, Engineering) and Abdus Sattar (Minister of State for Minority Development & Madrasa Education).

In West Bengal, there are 45 Muslim Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) out of 294 seats. There are 5 Muslim Members of Parliament from West Bengal out of 42 seats: Mohammed Salim (Calcutta North East), Abu Ayes Mondal (Katwa), Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury (Malda), Abdul Mannan Hossain (Murshidabad) and Hannan Mollah (Uluberia), all of whom strength the control of Islam in various government institutions and the police hierarchy.
As the UPA Central Government and the CPI(M) State Government have paid no attention for the threat of Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators in West Bengal, the Bangladeshi Muslims have captured land, money and unequalled power of voting throughout the border districts in Bengal in many places.

With the passive support of both the UPA Central Government and the CPI(M) State Government and with the active support of all the political parties in West Bengal (except for the BJP) for winning the Muslim votebank’s support, the DGFI & ISI has actively put down roots in the soil of West Bengal for their purposes. Not only are they successful in the ongoing demographic change of West Bengal by means of mobilizing the election machinery of Bengal, they have also opened their fronts everywhere in smuggling, trafficking, drug peddling, illegal cow smuggling, trans-border gang robbery and of course terrorism, with the active grassroots support to the Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami-Bangladesh (HUJI-B), Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Now in its most advantageous position, the DGFI & ISI’s joint collaboration is now promoting activities of Mughalistan in Kolkata, Howrah & other districts. The Dhaka-based Mughalistan Research Institute has identified various areas marked as “Mini Pakistan” in W.Bengal & Eastern India. This Mughalistan, as we know, comprises the entity of Greater Pakistan, right from Afghanistan to Myanmar including Bangladesh, whole of W. Bengal, Assam & many other portions of India. This Pan-Islamic movement gets petro-dollars from the Arab World and fake Indian Currency from Pakistan and Bangladesh for the maximum manifestation of their plans. The Muslim infiltration from Bangladesh gives oxygen to the Pan-Islamic movement in India. Now they have direct access into the West Bengal State Assembly and into the Ministry of Bengal within Writers Building, Kolkata. But sadly, West Bengal’s vote politics undermine the situation by turning a blind eye to this colossal tragedy, unabashedly providing voters’ ID cards to the Muslim infiltrators and setting a dangerous peril for Bengali Hindus and India.
The North-Eastern region is connected to rest of India by a small strip called “The Siliguri Corridor” or “Chicken’s Neck”. The Islamists have planned to isolate the North-East of India from the rest of India, in order to facilitate the creation of Mughalistan. This Operation is named as “Operation Pin code”. For this they have planned to infiltrate 3000 Jihadis into North Eastern region. According to the Task Force, there are 905 Mosques and 439 Madrasas along Indo-Bangladesh border on the Indian side.

Some excerpts from the report, “Demography survey on eastern border” by Bhavna Vij-Aurora in “The Telegraph” are startling. “There have been reports that more Madarsas and mosques are sprouting along the borders, which in itself is an indication of increased Muslim population in the area,” disclosed an intelligence official. The last such study was done by the Intelligence Bureau and the home ministry in 1992, and their report kept a secret in view of the sensitive findings. It was ultimately leaked and the estimated number of illegal migrants from Bangladesh was anywhere between 1.5 crore and 2 crore. It’s time for a fresh survey, according to sources. There have been renewed intelligence reports that militants are using madarsas and mosques as safe havens, and also for storing arms and ammunition. According to reports, the largest number of madarsas and mosques has come up in bordering areas with Nepal, lower Assam and Bengal. This complements another secret survey that has revealed that nearly 40 per cent villages in the border districts of Bengal are predominantly Muslim. There are reports that concentration of the minority community, including the Bangladeshi immigrants in the villages, has resulted in the majority community moving to urban areas. Along with madarsas and mosques, a large number of Muslim NGOs have sprung up in the area bordering Nepal. Most of these madarsas are used for anti-India activities by Pakistan-backed terrorists. The NGOs ostensibly work for the social and educational uplift of the Muslim community and receive substantial and completely unregulated funding from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya and other Islamic countries,” an intelligence report said.”

When India was partitioned in 1947 on religious grounds and Muslims got West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), they had a vulture´s eye on the entire north-east. Muslims were not satisfied with both the Pakistans. They wanted the whole of the north-east region (undivided Assam) integrated with East Pakistan. Manul Haq Chowdhury, Jinnah´s private secretary, who remained in Assam and later became a minister in Assam assembly, wrote to Jinnah in 1947: “Quaid-e-Azam, wait for the next thirty years, I shall present Assam to Pakistan on a platter.” Since then, a sinister game plan to ‘grow more Muslims in the north-east’ has been going on surreptitiously.

Today, out of the total 24 districts of Assam, six districts, namely, Nagaon, Goalpara, Dhubri, Karimganj, Barpeta and Hailakanndi have 60 per cent Muslim population while other six, namely, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Kamrup, Nalbari, Darang and Cachar districts have above 40 per cent of them. Out of the 126 assembly seats, the election of 54 MLAs depends on the Muslim vote bank. There are 28 Muslim MLAs and four ministers, namely, (i) Rocky Bul Hussain (Nagaon), Minister of State for Home Affairs; (ii) Ismail Hussain (Dhubri), Minister for Flood; (iii) Dr Nazurul Islam (Doboka), Minister for Food and Civil Supply, and (iv) Misabul Hussain Laskar (Borkhola, Cachar), Minister for Cooperatives.

There are two Lok Sabha MPs in Assam, namely, Anwar Hussain from Dhubri and A.F. Gulam Osmani from Barpeta and one Rajya Sabha MP, Smt. Anwara Timur (Nagaon). The Muslim community of Assam has provided one former Muslim Chief Minister—Smt. Anwara Timur (Nagaon) and one former President of India—Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (Lakhtokia, Guwahati). Earlier, in the Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) Ministry, headed by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, there were two Muslim ministers, namely, Maidul Islam Bora from Kamalpur, Kamrup district and Sukur Ali from Barpeta. Several high-ranking officers including deputy commissioners are from this community. Obviously, the Muslim community, including the Indian Muslims and the Bangladeshi Muslims, have become a dominant group in Assam and it is they who decide who would be the Chief Minister of Assam and what would be the major policies of Assam pertaining to detection and deportation of illegal Muslim migrants and care of Muslim welfare.

Tarun Gogoi, the Congress(I) Chief Minister of Assam, is giving all protection to these Muslims due to political compulsions. The Assamese community has been overpowered by Muslims. These Bangladeshi Muslims are sneaking into upper Assam too, creating serious problems for the Assamese. The demography of Assam has drastically changed and the very existence of the indigenous people is threatened. The manifold growth in Muslim population has overburdened Assam and the Assamese people are feeling harassed and tortured. The livelihoods of the local people are getting snatched away by these illegal Muslim migrants. The Janjati (indigenous tribal) communities in Assam are not organized. Therefore, their land and forests are very often forcefully occupied by these Muslims. The Nelli massacre in 1983 was the worst clash between the local people and Bangladeshi Muslims in which several Lalung Janjati people were reportedly killed and many Lalung villages were burnt.

These Bangladeshis have illegally sneaked into Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura too. They are marrying the local girls of influential people and are thus getting protection from their in-laws’ families. After marriage with a Janjati girl, they convert her to Islam. They purchase land in the Janjati belts in the name of their Janjati wives by producing Janjati certificates in her name. Now, the new generation of Muslims, i.e. the Janjati Muslims, is growing. They give Muslim names to their children but the clan remains that of local wives, like Saidullah Ningrum, Azad Lingdoh (Khasi Muslims), Nizamuddin Semia, Akram Semia (Naga Muslims), Shahabuddin Chowdhury, Akbar Laskar (Assamese Muslims) and others. In Assam, Muslims are using Assamese surnames like Hazarika, Barbhuian, Bargohain, Bhuiyan, Bora, Gohain and others. There are Meitei Muslims too in Manipur.

In Nagaland, the Muslim menace is more serious. Dimapur has become the den of these Bangladeshi Muslims. They constitute the leading labour force in the agriculture sector owned by the Naga community. The majority of rickshaw-pullers, auto-drivers and other manual labourers is now of Bangladeshi Muslims. This has given rise to robbery, theft, illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs and liquor, smuggling of pornographic films and vulgar literature and an unprecedented rise in crime, flesh trade and prostitution. This influx has narrowed the jobs of lay workers too.

The Nagaland state capital, Kohima, has become the second biggest haven for the illegal migrant Muslims who occupy most of the shops in the main market, P.R. Hills and other localities. They marry Angami girls and become sons-in-law of the Naga people.

Similarly, all the district areas such as Mokokchung, Wokha, Zunheboto, Phek, Mon and Tuensang are infested with them. They are sneaking into the interiors of Nagaland. In places like Jalukie in Zeliang area, Naginimora, Tizit and other central places of Nagaland, the pain of the presence of migrant Muslims is felt by the local Naga populace. Some ten years before, the students´ bodies had agitated against these foreigner Muslims. But the agitation was silently withdrawn reportedly due to threats from Bangladesh that the Government of Bangladesh would demolish all the camps of Naga undergrounds established in the territory of that country if the Bangladeshi Muslims were harassed in Nagaland. On seeing this unprecedented growth of Muslim population in Nagaland, S.C. Jamir, the then Chief Minister, once stated, “Muslims are breeding like mosquitoes in Nagaland.”

As a result of such illegal migration of Bangladeshi Muslims and their nuptial ties with the local Naga girls, a new community called Semiya or Sumias has already emerged in the state. Their number is estimated to be several thousand. The concentration of the Semiyas is the highest in Dimapur and Kohima districts respectively. There are fears among many that the voters’ list might have been doctored to accommodate the Semiyas as well other immigrants. The result of such immigration is gradually being felt in the state.
According to a Dimapur-based newspaper, on any Muslim religious day at least half of the shops in Kohima and some 75 per cent in Dimapur remain closed. It is also a fact that control over business establishments is fast receding from the hands of the locals. A recent survey conducted by the state directorate of Agriculture showed that 71.73 per cent of the total business establishments are being controlled and run by non-locals. Out of the 23,777 numbers of shops in the state, the local people own only 6,722 shops. Since the illegal migrants provide cheap labour, they are aggravating the unemployment problem. Besides, they pose a threat to the internal security as well. Reliable sources indicate that they are also involved in various unwanted activities like drug peddling and flesh trade.

The Big Picture

The following map shows the concentration of Muslims and Hindus in the Indian subcontinent today. The highlighted areas show riot-prone regions of India where aggressive Muslim populations range from atleast 20% to 100% of the population.

Lest one mistakenly thinks that Mughalistan is the culmination of the Islamisation of India and that somehow the rest of India will be spared its fate, it must be stressed that this second partition of India is only the beginning. In Hyderabad of Andhra Pradesh, northern districts of Karnataka and certain areas of Maharashtra, the growth of Muslims is very high. Likewise, in Kerala, the Muslims now constitute 25% of the state’s population. Malappuram district was carved out to create a Muslim majority district by the Communist government headed by E.M.S Namboothiripad. Today, the entire Malappuram district enforces the weekly holiday on Friday (not Sunday) for schools and businesses, while Hindus in neighbouring Kozhikode (Calicut) and Kannur are intimidated through high-profile massacres like in Marad. The planning and execution is well underway to ensure a continuing Anschluss where several Muslim majority pockets such as Moplahstan (in Kerala) and Osmanistan (in the Deccan) will gradually spread in size and link up with Mughalistan to form a Greater Mughalistan.
This Greater Mughalistan is of strategic significance as it will provide a contiguous, strategic corridor linking the Ummah into a pan-Islamic Caliphate. The ISI-DGFI-Indian Jihadi triumvirate has fondly nicknamed this pan-Islamic Caliphate as Islamistan (meaning “Land of Islam”), a synonym for `Islamic World’ or `Dar-ul-Islam’. This geographical Islamic crescent will link the Islamic Middle-East to Islamic South-East Asia, with the new Islamic World stretching all the way from Morocco and Bosnia in the West to Malaysia and Indonesia in the East.

There are Muslims in India today who dream of “Mughalistan” and are working relentlessly towards a further partition of India by creating “Mughalistan” in the UP-Bihar-Bengal-Assam corridor. It remains the focus of mainstream groups like the Tablighi Jamaat (who have methodically radicalised the ordinary Muslims) as well as underground terror groups like the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Indian Mujahideen, who have blown up several Indian cities killing thousands of people. Until Mughalstan is achieved, Indians will continue to see serial bomb-blasts, attacks on Hindu festivals and temples, killings of Hindu activists, conversions of Hindu women and socio-economically backward sections, and brazen cow-slaughter that will continue endlessly until the Hindu mind becomes too numb and shell-shocked to look at the bigger picture, or comprehend the future – that Mughalistan is inevitable (“Mughalstan Paindabad”).
Lessons of history have been quickly forgotten. Indians have become twisted “politically correct” escapists who prefer to turn a blind eye to reality. Now it is not about just Kashmir any more, it is all of India that Pakistan wants. And the creation of Mughalistan is not a question of “If”, but “When”. Unless we stand up and stop it.
All Indians, secularists and nationalists alike, must act quickly. We should ponder upon the future of India that we will bequeath to our children in the near future, if the plan of Mughalistan is allowed to proceed unhindered. Indians have to start taking responsibility for their future generations. We must do everything in our might, to ensure that the tide of Islamic expansionism is restricted and reversed, beginning right now.
The common man should take all possible measures politically, socially and economically to single-mindedly achieve this goal.




2008 J&K polls: End of separatist forces

29 12 2008

NEW DELHI: The 2008 J&K assembly poll has scored over the 1996 and 2002 polls, not only in terms of minimal violence and high turnout, but als
o due to the fact that the “azaadi” rhetoric of the separatist forces was seen making way for development issues in shaping the voters’ mind.

According to a senior official closely associated with the conduct of assembly poll in J&K , the declining infiltration and militant activity in the state had laid the foundation for good voter participation in this assembly election. The official pointed out a good turnout was seen in almost all by-elections held following the 2004 parliamentary poll, the latest being the one in Baderwah where the then chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, won by an impressive margin.

The high voter interest is seen to be linked with the low levels of militancy and infiltration seen over the last couple of years, thanks to Pakistan’s pre-occupation its domestic matters and fencing of border stretches in J&K. The reduced interest of Pakistanbacked terror groups like Hizbul Mujahideen ensured that no candidate was killed this time compared to 2002 when 50 political activists, including two candidates, were killed.

The NC bore the brunt of the political killings, losing up to 30 political workers including its candidate from Lolab constituency, the then law minister Mushtaq Ahmed Lone. The absence of a similar bloody show in 2008 was enough to instil confidence in the voter to come out and exercise his franchise.

About 220 civilians and 148 security personnel were killed during the poll period in 2002. The comparative casualty figures for 2008 polls are 12 civilian and five security personnel. The impressive 86% fall in militancyrelated incidents between the assembly polls in 2002 and 2008 may never have been anticipated in the pre-poll scenario, which was marred by the Amarnath agitation and its apparent fallout in the Kashmir region.

The agitation was milked by the separatist forces to renew their ‘azaadi’ rhetoric: So much so, at one point of time, all the parties in J&K including PDP and NC were doubtful of holding assembly in the first place. But the Election Commission stood its ground and decided to call the separatists’ bluff by going ahead with the poll, even at the risk of a low turnout.

Of course, in the end, the people rejected the separatists’ call for a poll boycott with an overwhelming response during polling spread over seven phases.

The Union home ministry did its bit by not only providing the requisite Central forces — over 700 companies — for keeping vigil during the poll but also quietly restricting the movement and public appearances of key separatist leaders like Mirwaiz Omer Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani while the poll process was on.

This put the separatist issues on the back burner, enabling the J&K electorate to focus on what may well have been real issues like development and infrastructure . As a senior official put it, the six years of governance in J&K, that too reasonably peaceful, may have added to popular expectations that developments works and welfare schemes would be given a push.

The EC too left no stone unturned to ensure that poll is free of any rigging and there was no coercion whatsoever of the voter by the Army or other security forces. It is believed that the Commission had even spoken to the military brass in Jammu and Kashmir in this regard. The three-member EC mostly worked from behind the scenes, leaving the deputy election commissioners to interact with the chief electoral officer on the conduct of poll.

By deploying micro-observers , the EC ensured that each and every act of the pollrelated officials and police personnel was subject to close scrutiny, leaving little scope for any poll irregularities.

That the state administration and security forces fully cooperated with the EC is obvious from the conducive atmosphere in which the campaigning took place. Due to the secure environment provided by security forces and police , as many as 4,277 election meetings were held by various political parties across the state, up from a total of 2,031 poll rallies held during the 2002 election.

SRINAGAR: A resurgent National Conference emerged the single-largest party in a hung Assembly in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday and is all poised to

Omar Abdullah in Ganderbal

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah waves to supporters during a victory celebration in Ganderbal, Srinagar. (AP)

stake claim for forming the next government with Congress support. ( Watch )

NC, which has got 28 seats, exactly the same number that it had in the dissolved Assembly, said it will approach “like minded” Congress, which bagged 17 seats, for forming the next government after the five-week seven-phased polls that recorded a high 61 per cent turn-out defying separatists’ boycott calls and militant guns. The Congress lost three seats.

Back-channel talks have already begun between the two parties, sources said, adding Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who is said to have good equations with Omar, is expected to play a key role in forging a partnership.

An NC-Congress combine can cross the magic half-way mark of 44 in a House of 87 but there there are six independents besides the three-member Panthers Party from whom it could also count on for support.

The PDP, which shared power with Congress on a rotational basis for last six years, came second with a tally of 21 seats, a gain of five over the 2002 elections.

Cashing in on the Amarnath land row, the BJP put up an impressive performance clinching 11 of the 37 seats at stake in Jammu region. The saffron party had only one seat in the last Assembly. The CPI-M could only win one of the two seats it had.

The 38-year-old Omar Abdullah, the scion of the Abdullah family, who steered NC for a shot at power, said his party would approach the Congress for forming the next government.

That the state administration and security forces fully cooperated with the EC is obvious from the conducive atmosphere in which the campaigning took place. Due to the secure environment provided by security forces and police , as many as 4,277 election meetings were held by various political parties across the state, up from a total of 2,031 poll rallies held during the 2002 election.





LeT is looking at India through the global lens

29 12 2008

Source: TOI
Were the masterminds and perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage influenced by al- Qaida, the chief proponent of global jihad? In future, will sub-continental terrorists prefer to attack the ‘crusader and Jewish’ target set identified by the global jihadists as opposed to ‘Indian government and Hindu’ targets? The Mumbai attack was unprecedented in target selection; of the five pre-designated targets. Was the target selection influenced by India’s alliance with the US and Israel? The method of operation was classic al-Qaida style – a coordinated, near simultaneous attack against high profile and symbolic targets aimed at inflicting mass casualties. The only difference was that it was a fidayeen attack, a classic LeT modus operandi.

With the US deepening its political, economic and military ties with India, will Muslim extremist groups in the subcontinent come under the operational and ideological influence of al-Qaida? The Mumbai attack was a watershed. It demonstrated the stark departure by the LeT from being an anti-Indian to both an anti-Indian and an anti-western group. LeT’s direct and operational role in Mumbai attack surprised the security and intelligence services of Pakistan, India and other governments. Very much a group founded to fight the Indian presence in Kashmir, LeT has evolved into operating against targets throughout India. Today, it has moved further from a national to a regional and a global group.

Although its rhetoric has been anti-Indian, its anti-western rhetoric has grown significantly since 9/11. The mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi directed LeT military operations even outside the Indian theatre. He dispatched LeT trained Pakistani and foreign operatives to Chechnya, Bosnia and Southeast Asia. And since 2003, they have been sent to assess the situation in Iraq, and later to attack US forces in Iraq. Although LeT operatives have been arrested in the US, Europe, and in Australia, LeT was not a priority group for the international community. It is because LeT did not align itself with al-Qaida and refrained from operating in Afghanistan. But it maintained relations with al-Qaida at an operational level.

Until Mumbai, LeT has been in the category of Islamist nationalist groups. Some groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hizbul Mujahideen remained Muslim nationalist groups. In contrast, groups in Egypt, Algeria and Indonesia that began with local agendas transformed into groups with regional and international agendas.

After the US intervention in Afghanistan, the epicentre of international terrorism has shifted from Afghanistan to tribal Pakistan. The influence of al-Qaida is profound on groups in tribal Pakistan such as Tehrik-e-Taliban and on mainland Pakistani groups. The insurgency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas is spilling to NWFP and beyond. To contain their influence, the Pakistan government proscribed a number of militant groups. By 2008, exploiting the political instability, a number of these banned groups, that adopted new names, began to operate openly.

Over time, both New Delhi and Islamabad are likely to realise the need to fight a common threat, both ideologically and operationally. Mumbai has demonstrated that the pre-eminent national security challenge facing both India and Pakistan is terrorism and not each other.

The writer teaches at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, one of the world’s largest counter-terrorism centre. He is the author of the bestselling Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror