Day after day after day one hears of terrorist attacks whether in Srinagar or elsewhere in India and the Government of India finds itself voiceless. The latest attack is on the RSS headquarters in Nagpur by Lashkar-e-Toiba militants dressed deceptively in police uniforms and carrying AK-47 rifles and hand grenades. Three militants were killed but all that the Prime Minister could do is to ?condemn? the attacks. This has become standard procedure – and a cruel joke.
Is the Prime Minister'scondemnation of an attack going to dissuade terrorists from carrying out their murderous activities? When will the Government finally take effective action? The usual excuse given by the ?secular? media is that Islamic terrorism against Indian targets is a consequence of the ?pogrom? initiated by Narendra Modi in Gujarat following the Godhra ?incident?. That absolves Muslim terrorists of all crimes committed against innocent people. What the media needs to be reminded of is the statement made by Mohammad Amir Shakeel Ahmed as long ago as 1999 at a conference of Students? Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) that his nation is not India, but Islam. Listening to him was one of the founding fathers of the Laskar-e-Toiba'sIndian operations, Azam Ghauri who happened to be killed six months later in a shoot-out with the Andhra Pradesh Police.
But the L-e-T is very much alive and kicking. According to Frontline (June 2), last month the Intelligence Bureau learnt that a major consignment of arms was to be ferried through Maharashtra to a Lashkar unit in Gujarat. On May 9, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra chased a speeding jeep on the Aurangabad-Manmad Highway and managed to capture it. Inside the jeep were found over two dozen kilograms of lethal RDX, eleven AK-47 assault rifles and ammunition.
Noted Frontline: ?Despite self-congratulatory official polemic on Indian Muslims? minimal participation in Islamic terrorism, there is real reason for concern. Not a decade ago, the Lashkar'span-India operations were heavily reliant on Pakistani nationals..? Today, neither the Lashkar nor HUJI has great trouble finding local recruits? Terror strikes in India are growing in frequency? Some experts believe this is just a new variant of Pakistan'slong-standing search for strategic leverage against India? Policing is a palliative, not a cure. What is needed is vigorous political intervention to isolate Islamic forces, founded on the principles of justice and equality.?
Growth of Islamic terrorism within India has been slow but apparently it is gathering strength. This has to be analysed. After the Partition of India, Muslim communalism slowed down. First, there was a sense of achievement that a Muslim homeland has been established. Second was a sense of fear that without leadership there could be a Hindu backlash that could be devastating. Third was a sense of guilt of dividing India. Nehru'ssecularism saved them from fear, but the Muslims kept their heads down, stayed away from communalism and took refuge in the Congress to mutual satisfaction. Now Islamic communalism is raising its ugly head again and this is a disturbing development. And for this we have not only to blame Pakistan but the United States as well. It was the United States, in its determination to oust the Soviet influence in Afghanistan that was the first not only to actively encourage Islamic communalism but the jehadists as well, without for a moment giving thought to the likely consequences once its objective was achieved. And we have evidence of that in a study conducted by one of Pakistan'sforemost investigative journalists, Amir Mir, a former editor of the Weekly Independent and now bureau chief of Gulf News in Lahore, entitled The True Face of Jehadis: Inside Pakistan'sNetwork of Terror.
According to Mir?and he is not saying something new?after the Soviet withdrawl from Afghanistan, the new agenda for thousands of Pakistani militants became the ?liberation? of Indian administered Jammu & Kashmir and that ?by the end of 1989 most of the Pakistan-based jehadi groups and veterans of the Afghan War were joining the jehad in Kashmir?. By 1992 the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was operating thirteen permanent, eighteen temporary and eight joint military training camps for the Kashmiri youth and by the beginning of 1993 an estimated 20,000 young Kashmiris had been trained and armed by Pakistan to fight the Indian forces in J&K. Worse still, the ISI has been subsidising the Lashkar-e-Toiba in its nefarious anti-Indian activities right in India. And the United States has been doing nothing. General Musharraf has been playing a dangerous game. On the one hand he has been trying to mollify the United States by getting second and third rank jehadists arrested while, on the other, he has been quietly encouraging these very people to stir up trouble in India.
As Mir himself writes: ?Pakistan'srelationship with radical Islamic terrorism remains dangerously ambiguous. Historically, military leaders, including General Musharraf (have) openly used the Taliban and terrorist groups in Kashmir to advance Pakistan'sstrategic objectives.? And India is the victim. Liberal Muslims in India keep maintaining a discreet silence. Either they are afraid to speak out openly against the traitors in their midst or they tacitly accept their aims and objectives. The secular media keeps attacking Hindu ?fundamentalists? as being responsible for Islamic terrorism. The Congress-led UPA government seems paralysed and helpless. And the more the media keeps criticising Hindu ?fundamentalists?, the RSS, the VHP and Narendra Modi, the more free do Islamic terrorists feel justified in indulging in constant violence, claiming that they have merely taken recourse to violence in self-protection.
What was the self-protection they were seeking in attacking the RSS headquarters in Nagpur? With the secular English media'sthoughtless support, Islamic terrorism is gaining ground and the media itself may one day find itself at the end of the Islamic stick. But what is disturbing is the total paralysis of the UPA Government, which has been reduced to condemning violence as a standard procedure. Today the target is the RSS headquarters. Tomorrow it will be the Army headquarters. The Parliament has already had a taste of Islamic terrorism. When will the UPA government wake up and dare to tell both Washington and Islamabad that there is a limit to its patience? Let it be known: behind the Laskhar-e-Toiba'sattacks is the hand of Pakistan. And solidly behind Pakistan is the might of the United States. But in the end it is left to Muslims leaders themselves in India to contain the terrorists in their midst. That is their special responsibility.