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Thursday, May 19, 2022
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Opinion

ISIS Threat To J&K

If the security environment of J&K State is what it is today, then the tragedy is likely to unfold sooner, than later.

ISIS Threat To J&K
ISIS Threat To J&K
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

According to ISIS – India, the 'Hindu nation' is possibly the next major objective for Islamisation; or beheading, or whatever! Sikhs, Christians, Budhists, Shias, Atheists, Parsis, and all the hundred or so religious denominations are also going to see the sharp end of the sword, unless converted to Islam.

World domination has always been their long term terror plan; but in the short term, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) appeals to their quest as a stepping stone for South Asian ambitions. This is not unrealistic. The World is already on the threshold of calamitous political and social upheaval in the Middle East. If the security environment of J&K State is what it is today, then the tragedy is likely to unfold sooner, than later.

The government's discernment so far, to this intended part fulfilment of the Caliphate, has been to watch this distant tragedy unfold with a measured indifference, such as the bailing out of stranded Indians trapped in the conflict, or bringing to the notice of the UN the pronouncement of 1000 Imams that what the ISIS is doing is horrific and does not reflect any aspirations for Muslims in the sub-continent, despite the recruitment drive for ISIS in South India and Kashmir, or the ISIS flag being waved energetically in Kashmir, and even an Indian citizen, a woman from Hyderabad, declaring that a Caliphate will be established in the World.

This may seem insignificant in our great diversity as a nation, but the undercurrents of Terrorism, Religious Fanaticism, and International Political subterfuge, are not so easily discernible. Somehow, this dream of World conquest shows no indication of compassion for Syrian refugees by Muslim nations.

In the Middle East and Africa — two remote destinations — Indian politics is scrutinising the success or failure of the Caliphate; however, ominous forebodings for India are evident. The World is witnessing a deadly fratricidal turmoil in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Egypt; the whole of the Arabian Peninsula; even Libya, parts of West Africa, and the fringes of Turkey, are inflicted with schismatic upheaval. The terror is rapidly spreading to Europe. All these States contribute in large or small measure to the Global economy. Instability here, affects the World.

No one nation, or group of nations, so far, has been able to temper the ongoing brutal slaughter of people, nor the wanton destruction of World Heritage sites. The world seems dumb-struck with this senseless terror. Some nations, like Saudi Arabia, are dictating their own deliberate agenda in next-door Yemen; while Turkey has activated Kurdish enmity in areas bordering Iran. Both nations, inadvertently, or, even consciously, are serving the aims of ISIS.

Russia has provided unstinted militarily support to the Govt of Syria. The US and some European nations, and Australia, are supporting the rebels in Syria; a most confusing political scenario that promises greater instability. This is not a war of clockwork continuity; it has its peaks and troughs depending on various unconnected factors, the most important being threats for terror funds, particularly a Black Market in oil, recruitment world-wide, and a pursuit of Arms that have chemical and nuclear content.

Amazingly, the battle is being fought by the Islamic State on an unstructured and formless military strategy, but a firm political objective of 'world domination'. This is the ideal strategy that allows 'melting' into the host country and city, with little target presentation for the Opposition. Thus, military forces using highly technological hardware, have to utilise maximum 'fire power' on virtually indistinguishable target objectives that only result in maximum civilian casualties and destruction, thus contributing to the terror and refugee dimension.

The Caliphate aims to unite Sunni Muslims against the rest of the world. Political frontiers don't matter. This loose assemblage of dedicated terrorists have only one aim — to scatter organised resistance in the name of Allah. Organised armies have little scope to bring this mercurial enemy to battle.

The fluid alteration of International Borders is watched impotently by the UN. There is no 'serious' aggressive ground response except for air and missile attacks that have escalated over the landscape of three continents. These air attacks, are more like target practice for evaluating the latest technology rather than physically eliminating the IS. The length and breadth of disorganised engagement signifies the military and psychological success of the Caliphate, and the near total collapse of organised resistance by affected States to curb this scourge of religious terror.

Presently, IS activity has a Western oriented progressive movement, to include North Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. East of the Arabian Peninsula are more fertile grounds such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and even India's State of Jammu and Kashmir. This entire region is dangerously vulnerable to religious belligerence where populations are motivated by spiritual aggressiveness. This is extremely difficult to reconcile in the short term. Attempts at re-education and reconciliation at this point of time in Jammu & Kashmir will only fall on indoctrinated deaf ears. Firm political will, and military resolve, is necessary in this region.

America faced a similar dilemma when fighting the Viet Cong, and despite its technological superiority, were decisively defeated; virtually by 'sticks and stones' through a determined Vietnamese patriotic fervour built over decades of passionate love for their country. India does not have a matching motivation. We are a soft democratic nation with a very high corrupt content. Our anxiety to improve the lot of uneducated, poverty stricken millions will take decades to fructify.

We are an attractive target country with over 150 million Muslims who must be protected from this torrent of mind exploitation. So far, there is little evidence to indicate any success. The exploitation is from within the sub-continent; ISIS is only the instrument of motivation. In the name of democratic religious freedom we have encouraged religious theology to segregate the population of India for the last six decades. Now, it is extremely difficult to psychologically suppress mind exploitation in the short term to overcome the damage to national unity. Fanaticism has flourished for decades, and now it intends to crush us. It is too late to transform a twisted mind. Bold surgical methods are needed. The Political and Military consequences, and preparations, are predictable.

We must apprehend the possibility of a sudden, even rude awakening within our midst. Terrorism has become a 24 hour threat to the people of Europe. Our unconcerned multicultural society with poor security awareness is on the fringe of unsuspecting tragedy. "Returnees" from the Middle East, in Hyderabad, are advocating a Caliphate. The consequences of this snarling threat, recalls the views of a Chinese General who predicted the future break-up of India into 31 States.

The unity of the Country is under immense pressure from within the State of Kashmir. 68 years after Independence it remains in a state of limbo after erroneously being granted a special status. Militancy, hatred, and blatant insults to the nation have grown at a fast pace. The Kashmir Govt turns a blind eye to undignified and aggressive posturing by its population. The IS flag waving youth in Kashmir exhibit extremely disturbing religious self-righteousness that excludes all other beliefs. The Pakistani flag has been a common sight for decades. Two generations of indoctrination, seditious build-up, and defiant anti Indian aggressiveness within the population has become difficult to contain.

J&K is a fractured State.  A large area extends beyond the Line of Control (LOC) with Pakistan, as well as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. The resultant LOC and LAC have hardened and is now an impermanent Border between India and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), and, China's Claim on Aksai Chin. The overall political environment and suppressed social turmoil within the State, presages an internal struggle for Kashmir. This will fulfil in large measure the local geographical and political aims of Pakistan and China; and in the long term, the piecemeal disintegration of India. Kashmir is the springboard for the Islamic state, and Pakistan, and China, will reap the benefits.

Most importantly, we are flanked by two predominantly Muslim States, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and to the North a belligerent China. Pakistan has always been antagonistic to India, while Bangladesh is now plagued with IS terror Cells that have spread to West Bengal, Assam, and Bihar. We are in a cleft that can only be defeated by a physical and psychologically powerful patriotism; difficult to develop, and sustain, in the foreseeable future. The Islamic State has lit a dangerous psychological fuse in Kashmir. The situation is explosive. The long term outcome is intended to reach the shores of the sub-continent beyond which there is no refuge. A political surgical thrust, together with the need for defensive Security is necessitated.

Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin and some of our Northern areas, are bitterly contested by China with little hope of a solution. Our neglected Eastern States have had a militant problem since Independence, and inter tribal wars are yet to receive a negotiated settlement; these unsettled regional problems are an indication of external influence and pressures to keep the plot of militancy alive. A controversial border with China, together with furtive growth of IS hegemony in J&K, Bangladesh, and an increased militancy in our Eastern States, subjects India to a slow but sure dismemberment on ethnic and religious lines.

The most vulnerable segment of our society are the 40% uneducated and poverty stricken millions. The chasm between the rich and poor is unbridgeable. This poverty stricken sector is susceptible to anyone prepared to give them better opportunities. The Syrian refugees in Europe are demonstrating the ease with which conversion allows citizenship. 

Pakistan and China are silent spectators with their own agendas. They understand that India has a virtually impossible task, to overcome a religious 'IS cause' in a predominantly Muslim Kashmir, which, in the scheme of a future 'conquest', is the facilitator for disintegration of India. The UN will not intervene as Jammu & Kashmir has been a debatable issue for nearly seven decades. They will welcome a solution either way since the problem involves active involvement of three nuclear States.

Militant support to the local population of J&K has increased by frightful proportions. Intelligence Agencies, and Counter Intelligence, estimate numerous 'sleeper cells.' The churning of discontent and restlessness in the population is far greater than originally believed. Militant organisations in Pakistan, such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, together with Pakistan Intelligence, have prepared a short term and long term operation for the annexation of J&K from within, by the People of the State. Indian Intelligence Agencies, and Counter Intelligence, lack the means to off-set anticipated activities in, and outside the State. It should be assumed that the local police are diffident to an Indian ethos, possibly aware of future consequences.

China, will remain a menacing threat on our North, and Eastern frontier, till the collapse of J&K, and thereafter forcefully assert military pressure to occupy her claims to include Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin Plateau. This will snowball into insecurity in Assam and West Bengal and our Eastern States. In the NW there are multiple threats from Pakistan, China, and IS/Taliban. These are not going to cease in the foreseeable future.


Lt Gen N Foley, Retired Veteran, was a former member of Parliament of the 12th Lok Sabha; nevillefoley[at]gmail[dot]com

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