Dr Shabir Choudhry 23 September 2013
My contacts have revealed that Jamat Ul Dawa, a parent organisation of Lashkar e Taiba, which is best known for its new brand of Islam and terrorist activities committed in name of Islam and Jihad are setting up new Masjids (Mosques) and Madrassas (religious schools) in various localities near the Line of Control.
Once a Masjid is built, whether it is small or a big or whether it teaches true Islam or violence and hatred in name of Islam could not be destroyed, especially in rural areas, unless a bigger one is built in its place.
It is alarming to learn that the groups that promote violence and terrorism in name of Islam; and who have been very active in sending jihadi warriors across the LOC to commit acts of violence are setting up masjids and madrassas in the Neelam Valley and other areas near the LOC. Incentive for the local people are:
· They don't have to pay for the cost of construction;
· Pay for the Imam and other teachers;
· Pay the maintenance costs;
· Children get free education and free meals.
Danger, however, is that with a network of Masjids and Madrassas the Jihadi groups will have access to all areas. They will have support from the local people, which previously they did not enjoy. Resentment against these jihadi groups was so strong in the past that the local people even the women came out in protests against them.
All this will change if the Jihadi groups have their way. The danger is that they will have a strong hold in the region which is used as a launching pad to send armed militants across the LOC. Above all they will have local boys, trained and groomed as a new breed of jihadi warriors to promote a new jihadi or a terrorist agenda and create havoc in the region.
The Jihadi nurseries that were set up during the Zia Ul Haq era were for a specific agenda; and to meet the requirements of that time. These Jihadi nurseries flourished with an official patronage, help and guidance. Wise people cautioned about consequences of this policy, but a big majority remained quiet, as it was projected as a war to save Pakistan and Islam.
The same policy continued even after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Pakistani policy makers wanted a 'strategic depth'; and they also found a new theatre for the Jihadi warriors in Kashmir. The Pakistani policy of promoting and exporting Jihad has come to haunt them; and now no one feels safe in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
However, sad thing is despite the fact that these Jihadi groups are now challenging the writ of the Pakistani government and seriously damaging the fabrics of the Pakistani society, the policy of grooming and supporting the militant groups has not changed. Still within the Pakistani establishment and political circles there is no will to eliminate these groups or seriously challenge them. As a result of wrong policies and bewilderment the entire region is suffering; and even our future generations will pay price for our negligence and complacency.
After 9-11 the situation changed dramatically, and the jihadi warriors faced enormous pressure; and encountered many challenges. With some official support and guidance, they withstood that pressure and formulated new strategies and fiercely fought back. After many years of struggle and suffering, they seem to be having an upper hand. They are calling shots at will in Pakistan, and in view of some commentators, they are virtually dictating the terms and establishing their writ in various parts of Pakistan.
It is sad that tens of thousands of innocent people have perished in Pakistan due to violence and terrorism. Hindus, Christians and even Muslims are not safe in a country that was created in name of Islam and for Muslims. Political leaders, religious scholars, and now even army Generals are becoming victims of the jihadi warriors who take pride in killing innocent people in name of Jihad. Despite all that, sad thing is that those who matter and have ability to control and eliminate this menace do not look ready to take up the challenge.
Impartial analysts wonder why the strong Pakistan army – seventh strongest army in the world is not crushing a few thousand jihadi warriors? Is it because these jihadi outfits are still perceived as 'strategic assets' or there are some other reasons? For the sake of peace and stability of Pakistan and the region, Pakistan has to take a firm decision and crush them with full military might.
I have confirmed reports that Jihadis are setting up Masjids and Madrassas in various parts of LOC, again people are quiet and complacent that they are teaching religion. However, after 15-20 years a new breed of Jihadi warriors will be available from this region to make our lives hell in the name of Maslik and jihad.
Those groomed and trained as the Jihadi warriors during the Zia era had a different and, to some extent, a limited agenda. The agenda of new jihadi warriors is different this time; and if they are not nailed down they will cause a blood bath in the region. After accomplishing the act 'cleansing' Pakistan of non- Muslims they will kill us Muslims by calling us 'Mushriks'. This fitna – menace supported and promoted with petro dollars must be confronted for the sake of peace and stability and for the sake of future generations.
Writer is a political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.Email:firstname.lastname@example.org View: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com www.k4kashmir.com
Dr Shabir Choudhry