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Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Fraudulent Theory of 'Non-State Actors' - Part I

For over sixty years now, India has faced an enduring conflict from Pakistan. What started as irredentism has acquired different dimensions since that fateful day on Oct. 26, 1947 when Indian troops had to be airlifted to save the Princely State of J&K (Jammu & Kashmir ) from marauding tribesmen directed by regular Pakistani Army. Pakistan denied that it was at all involved in the operation and claimed fraudulently that the attack was spontaneous, and arising due to the draconian rule of Maharajah Hari Singh and his ‘scorched earth policy’. The lie of Pakistan’s denials was nailed later on as we shall see subsequently. Anyway, that incident set the precedent for Pakistan to adopt the same strategy of relying on ‘non-state actors’ (or proxy fighters) for the next six decades, in its quest against India.

We all know that Pakistan has always maintained ‘plausible deniability’ in its terrorist operations, some times even in its military operations till the fa├žade gets blown apart in almost every instance. In spite of the bluff being repeatedly called, Pakistan has continued to conduct its terrorist operations against India under the cloak of ‘non-state actors’. Though the term of 'non-state actors' might have been of more recent origin, after the 26/11 terrorist attack in circa 2008, the technique and the intent have been the same since Pakistan gained Independence. It is as if Pakistan had no responsibility at all to capture these ‘non-state actors’ before they crossed over into India or after they returned alive to Pakistan from their ‘missions’; or punish their sponsors and dismantle their infrastructure and support base. In fact, the leaders of Pakistan such as Jinnah, Liaquat Ali, Suhrawardy et al carried their same pre-Independence tactics of violence and terror to manage the new State’s policies vis-a-vis India. A further addition, in later years, to this policy of ‘terror as a tool’ was the creation of ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan that helped Pakistan spawn even more virulent jihadi  ‘non-state actors’ to implement the policy of ‘a thousand cuts to bleed India’. In this process, even the rest of the world has suffered as Afghanistan became a sanctuary for Al Qaeda, under the patronage of Pakistan and its creation, ‘the Taliban’. This game had gone way too far in Pakistan that the Daily Times opined editorially on August 8, 2009 thus: “What India wants from us we can’t do because the power of the clergy and the non-state actors is still too overwhelming.” That powerlessness against the non-state actors has only progressively worsened since the time that editorial was written.

Who are these ‘non-state actors’ and why is Pakistan so ‘powerless’ to control them even as it is invariably proved of their involvement in cross border terrorism directed against India and other countries ? These seemingly simple questions have a long history of facts behind them. Lying at the root of this question is the fierce motivation that drives Pakistan to be one-up on India which it perceives as an implacable and mortal enemy. The different factions of the Pakistani society, though united on that single objective of enmity with India, display different shades of and reasons for that thought. The clergy want India to be conquered religiously, while the military wants India to be defeated and avenged for the series of debacles it has suffered in its wars with that country especially the humiliating defeat in 1971 and the historic surrender of 93000 soldiers. On the other hand, the common folk Pakistani citizens and elites who having been yanked off their identity right from the beginning, and thus raging with castrated impotence, have a consequential hatred for India, while the politicians want to be seen going with all these various groups.

The role of the clergy and the clergy-producing Islamists (who run the madrasseh where the clergy are produced in their thousands in an assembly-line like fashion) is the most crucial in the state of affairs that obtains in Pakistan today. The irony was that in the then undivided India, most of the Islamic clergy, notably of the  JUH (Jama’at-Ulema-e-Hind), were opposed to a partition of India though in the final stages of the act, some of them decided to go with the wind. Some of the Muslim clergy, who later migrated to Pakistan, offered a strange argument that the Prophet founded his Islamic nation on bloodshed and not ahimsa (non-violence) as the Hindu Mahatma Gandhi was doing at that time and so they could not be part of that struggle or of a nation born out of that unIslamic process. Such thoughts permeate Pakistan even today when they think that only violence gets benefits and only Muslims are good at it while non-Muslims are passive. The Deobandi school supported the Hanafi madhdhab. (The Hanafi school of Deobandis, led by Husain Ahmed Madani, supported a united India and the freedom movement of the Congress. Maulana Madani even issued a fatwa in October, 1945 against muslims joining the Muslim League.) However, a small but vociferous section of Deobandi Hanafis led by Maulana Zafar Ahmed Usmani, forbade a united India unless jurisprudence in free India was based on Islam, which meant that Islamists ruled the country. One of the students of Maulana Shabbir Usmani (who was the brother of Maulana Zafar Ahmed Usmani) was Maulana Yusuf Banuri who founded the famous Banuri seminary in Karachi that has been in the forefront of jihad ever since.

Anyway, this dissembling led to the discovery of other such dis-similarities which Jinnah used to advance as reasons enough for a separate Muslim nation. Again, these were based on violence and terror such as ‘Our heroes are your villains’ etc. referring to savage Muslim invaders such as Mahmud Ghaznavi, Shahabuddin Ghori, Ahmed Shah Abdali etc. This passion for violence resulted in the gory 'Direct Action Day'. Little did they realize that in the process they were glorifying the savage Turks (Ghaznavi and Ghori) and Pashtun (Abdali), who looted, plundered and massacred their own ancestors living in the parts which are currently Pakistan. Missiles are named after these 'heroes' in today's Pakistan. Prominent Pakistani public speakers frequently refer to these names to whip-up public sentiment and passion against India. Thus, there has been a convergence of views among the clergy, political class, the Army and the masses as far as India went. The complete support for violence and terrorism among all sections of the Pakistani society and the State is therefore a continuum and can be directly traced to the players like Quaid-e-Azam, Quaid-e-Millat and the clergy.

Pakistani Islamists spread the myth that India is a land where Muslims are persecuted and hence in need of a jihad to liberate their ummah from the kafir and mushraqeen (religiously deviant polytheists, pagans, idolators) Hindus. They wanted to start with J&K (Jammu & Kashmir) which being a Muslim majority State straddling the two countries, rightfully belonged to them, in their scheme of things. An underlying and common thread between the above two views is that Pakistan has been cheated of J&K  and other Muslim princely states (riyaasat) like Hyderabad, Junagadh etc. by the conniving and cunning Hindu Indians and the British at the time of the Partition and so it is their duty to retrieve them from the land of jahliyyah (the dark period of ignorance before Islam was born) in a Ghazwa-e-Hind (Conquest of Hindustan by the Believers). The Ghazwa-e-Hind is itself based on a hadith of doubtful authenticity. This is a reference to a hadith that purportedly says that “A Muslim Army (probably Pakistan army) would Conquer India, after that Hazrat Isa will return and this army would join him in the Middle East to fight the Jews.” For this purpose, various actors of Pakistan whip up ‘war-like passion’ among the Pakistani masses. Stories are told, some of which could be true but most are either apocryphal or utter lies.

(To be continued . . .)

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3 comments:

  1. Great article, looking forward to the next part.

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  2. The black layout makes reading the whole blogpost very straining on the eyes ...

    A somber colour selection would enhance readability ....

    Great work btw.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nirav J, thanks for the feedback on the layout. It will be addressed shortly.

    SS

    ReplyDelete