Islamic Terror and Bamboo Curtain
THE help and support that the Pakistanis have been extending to Islamic terrorists worldwide has been again underlined. This time it is their old friend China that has demanded stern action against Islamic terrorist groups. It is worth remembering that Sinkiang is a Muslim majority province in Western China and despite all strong measures that the Chinese Communists had taken against the fundamentalist Islamists, the power of these Islamist elements is rising. Earlier, the Chinese have held Pakistanis responsible for the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in their land. The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement and Eastern Turkistan Liberation Organisation are the two major Islamic fundamentalist organisations active in Sinkiang. It is to inform that Sinkiang is a strategically sensitive area and borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. Recently the fears have been expressed and the Chinese have also begun to state it in clear terms to their Pakistani friends that the terrorist organisations like Al Qaeda have been promoting Islamic terror in that part of the world.
The Chinese Government, according to a PTI dispatch, has given a list and profiles of terrorists and their organisations to Pakistan for ?investigation? through diplomatic channels. The Chinese Government is concerned in particular because they believe that Osama bin Laden has been instrumental in providing training as well as funding. The Chinese are concerned for the integrity of China, which the Islamists are threatening. They want to carve out an East Turkistan from the Chinese region of Sinkiang. Terror is coming as a handy and useful tool for them to achieve their political aim. The Islamic terrorists have been active in this region for a long time and after the 9/11 attacks, their morale has gone up and they have intensified their efforts to split the Chinese territory. That is why China signed an extradition treaty with Pakistan during the China visit of General Musharraf.
With the two record attempts on the life of General Musharraf, Chinese would also be feeling jittery about the safety of Pakistani Nuclear Weapons. If these weapons fall into the hands of the terrorists, then India, the United States and Israel would not be the only ones to be targeted; even China may become a target due to its opposition of the formation of an Islamic state of East Turkistan. Presently China depends upon the Musharraf regime. But if Musharraf is removed from the seat of power by the Islamic terrorists, then China also stands to lose a lot of feeling of security in its North Western region. Such a scenario also puts a question mark on the Chinese wisdom of putting too much reliance on Pakistan and remaining hostile to India. That may be one of the reasons why China is taking liberal view of India today. A lenient approach to the border question may also be expected. The Islamic terror has changed the geo-strategic realities of the present-day world. The Indian diplomats have to extract the maximum out of the new situation.
Palestinian Women Bombers
The use of women as suicide bombers is not new. The LTTE had used Dhanu to kill our Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The Islamic terrorists have seldom used women though they have their own Islamist groups among women like the Dukhtaran-i-Millat in Jammu and Kashmir. But the Palestinians are making a change in the views of the Islamists in this regard. A twenty-one-year-old Muslim woman, Reem Raiyshi exploded herself, killing four Israeli soldiers and herself besides hurting another four Palestinian women. The important factor of this suicide attack is that not only Hamas has claimed responsibility for this attack, but also Al Aqsa Martyrs? Brigade, a terrorist organisation linked to the so-called liberal groups? Fatah movement of Yasser Arafat, has also claimed responsibility. Though a report of Associated Press has described the suicide bomber Reem Raiyshi as a Hamas activist, the claim of responsibility by an ancillary of the Fatah movement has exposed the so-called liberal attitude of Yasser Arafat.
Moreover, the Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia has also declined to condemn the attack. He explained his stand citing the Israeli attacks and restrictions on the Palestinians. He claimed that this was leading to more escalation on both the sides. The Islamic politicians apart, the use of women suicide bombers in Palestinian terrorism have been supported by Islamic theological leadership also. Earlier the impression was that the Hamas-linked theologians were against women being sent as suicide bombers. But it has now changed. The Hamas ?spiritual leader?, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin said that the use of women was unique but added that the jihad was an obligation of all Muslims, men and women alike.
Though Pakistan, under Western and Indian pressures, claims to have made some changes in its policy of supporting the Islamic terrorism, there seems to be no positive change in Palestinian attitudes. In reality, there appears to be a change for worse as it is clear from the claim of responsibility of the suicide attack by Yasser Arafat'sgroup. Another indication of this change for worse is the open support to terror by the Palestinian Prime Minister. The Islamic theologians? support to terrorism is nothing new but their supporting women being used as suicide bombers has once again exposed their mindset. Ignoring such important factors can hardly prove to be any strength in the struggle against the Islamic terror.