Pakistan shifts terrorist camps to Afghanistan: Part of a grand-design 

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Pakistan’s decision to shift the camps of Pak based terrorist outfits like LeT and JeM to Afghanistan has broadly three objectives. First to maintain deniability, which has become extremely important in view of FATF’s focused attention on the Pak support to terrorists. Second, to have a stronger hold on Taliban by assisting them to continue with violence against the Afghan security forces and to keep the Taliban under the close watch of its trusted outfits which would ensure that a Pak friendly dispensation governs that country in case of any agreement taking place. The aim is to have control over the geopolitics of the region. Third, to utilise the Taliban, particularly the Haqqani network for supporting the demand for restoration of Article 370 in J&K.

Several inputs have been received indicating that Pakistan ISI is not only shifting the camps of terrorist outfits but is also trying to reorganise them and create new outfits as also reviving dormant outfits. The camps of the prominent outfits shifted include LeT commanded by Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and Talha, Hafiz Saeed’s son and JeM controlled by Masood Azhar supported by his siblings Maulana Ammar and Azhar Ibrahim.

ISI is trying to revive Harku-ul Mujahideen (HuM), which had participated in operations against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. In 1993 it merged with Harkat-ul-jehad-al-Islami (HuJAI) to form Harkat-ul Ansar. In 1997, after US proscribed this outfit, it again changed its nomenclature to Harkat-ul-Ansar to avoid the repercussions of the ban. The other group formed out of the HuJAI is JeM.  Both these groups have strong linkages in Afghanistan. The JeM is reported to have a significant number of HuM cadres. HuM had collected funds from Saudi Arabia and Islamic State besides Pakistan and India.

Pakistan has close links with Haqqani faction of the Taliban, which had been used against the Indian interests in Afghanistan. Currently Sirajuddin Haqqani is number two in the Taliban and it appears that the Pak based terrorist groups have been placed under him. The recent reports indicate that he was sent to Helmand by Pakistan where multiple attacks on Afghan National Defence and Security Forces on the 11th October were organised. Haqqani had been assigned three-fold task. First to launch coordinated attacks. Second, ensure safe passage to the Pak terrorists involved in the attacks and motivate them to stay in Afghanistan until the FATF meeting to save Pakistan from getting black-listed. Third, meet important Taliban leaders and influence them to represent Pak interests at the Doha Conference. At present all the heads of Taliban Commissions are in Helmand.

The recent serial attacks in Helmand province indicate the kind of support Pakistani terrorist outfits are providing to the Taliban. Yasin Khan, the Governor of Helmand province has pointed out that LeT, JeM and Al Qaeda are providing assistance to the Taliban in the battle and training to them in military tactics and bomb making. This clearly confirms the Pak duplicity. On the one hand it is supporting the Taliban to raise the level of attacks on the Afghan security forces and on the other it is supporting the peace process at Doha.

Pakistan’s attempts to create problem in J&K continue unabated. Fulvio Martusciello, a Member of the European Union in an article has highlighted how Pakistan is distorting the historical facts in Kashmir to create trouble there as a part of its grand design to enhance its power, territory and influence in the region. He exhorted the International Community to recognise the fact that the Kashmir issue has been concocted by Pakistan for its gain and hold Pakistan accountable for the current turmoil inflicted in Kashmir. He also pointed out that the Pak disinformation and deception campaigns have misguided the youth for decades and they should be told the truth. He also mentioned that Maj Gen (Retd) Akbar Khan of the Pak Army has revealed in his book the desperation and machinations of the Pak political establishment to occupy the Kashmir region.

The internal problems of Imran Khan are increasing. The opposition unitedly is launching a strong protest campaign against his government. Under these circumstances, the Pak establishment led by the Pak Army is likely to raise the bogey of threat from India in an effort to divert the attention of Pakistanis. Hence in coming period, the terrorists supported by ISI and Pak Army are likely to intensify attacks in J&K and Indian interests in Afghanistan. These require proactive steps in J&K both political and military. The Pak intelligence agencies would be exploiting the protests by some local leaders for the restoration of Article 370. This should be kept in view and suitable prophylactic steps be undertaken urgently.

Simultaneously, diplomatic steps to corner Pakistan supported by China in the nefarious game plan of creating troubles. The Afghan National government should be asked to provide evidence of Pak complicity in the attacks to the International Community. China is the Pak partner in international intrigues causing troubles in the J&K and Afghanistan.  They are also partnering in crimes against the humanity, in proliferation activities, in supporting terrorism, in violating international laws and in the land grab activities. Their inclusion in the UN Human Rights Council reflects the urgent need for reforms in this body. A clause needs to be added to ensure that violators of this magnitude are not admitted in the world body. Alternatively, India should also withdraw from this body like US and use other avenues to protect and promote universal human rights.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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