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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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

Added to all these are the extremist sectarian outfits that appeared in late 70s and were consolidated during the 1980s using funds from sources abroad. The State identified itself with the Sunni-Hanafi Wahhabi and Deobandi strains of Islam leading to violent clashes with the predominant Berelvis, Sufis and Shi’as. The ‘mother of all terrorist outfits’, Sipah-e-Sahaba-Pakistan (SSP), came into being from which were to emerge later other dreaded Punjab-based terrorist outfits usually referred to as ‘Punjabi Taliban’. The ‘Bear Trap’ that the US devised to disintegrate the USSR led to the immoral use of religion and drugs in the region to launch and sustain the covert war, the effects of which later became devastating for Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Thus, there has been an easy availability of men, material and causes that sustain extremism and jihadi terrorism in Pakistan. The geo-strategic interests originally enunciated by Sir Olaf Kirkpatrick Caroe of the British Empire (the last Foreign Secretary of the British Raj 1939-1945 and later Governor of NWFP March 1946 to June 1947) and later adopted in toto by the United States, placed Pakistan at the centre as far as the Western interests went in the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East. This has given an undue advantage to Pakistan. Pakistan’s continued reception of largesse from the Western countries and their allies (especially the US, the UK, China, Saudi Arabia and Japan), usually referred to as the ‘3½ Friends of Pakistan’, and a lack of punishment for its crimes have emboldened that country to continue along the same trajectory it set for itself sixty-three years back.

Within Pakistan, the enterprise of ‘non-state actors’ is managed by the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID), which was set up in c. 1948 by Maj. General W.J. Cawthorn of the British Army who was serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Pakistani Army then, and then developed and nurtured by the CIA during the days of Afghan jihad. As ISID became the sole conduit for the distribution of arms and funds pouring in from the US, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and other Arab states during the Afghan jihad days, it developed an enormous clout with the various mujahideen groups which it used to its advantage later in the Punjab and Kashmir fronts with India. The ISID has become far too powerful and sinister that its activities are all encompassing today and go way outside its original charter, earning it the sobriquet ‘state within the state’. The opportunistic support for the Pakistani Army by the United States and its allies never allowed civilian institutions to develop thus turning the country into a security state, many call it as a praetorian state, whose sole purpose has been to defeat India. It thus became easy for the ‘non-state actors’ to thrive under the patronage of the security apparatus of the state. Today, Pakistan boasts of at least three dozen major terrorist outfits and in the eight years since 9/11, Pakistan and Pakistanis have been implicated in over 150 terrorist incidents all over the world for reasons such as providing training, funding, sheltering or supplying manpower.

Pakistan’s single minded obsession to subjugate India has made it use against India whatever means that are available to it. Thus it was that the tribesmen from Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA) were mobilized against the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir in Oct. 1947. They, along with de-commissioned Indian National Army (INA) soldiers were sent in as a mercenary force by Pakistan under the command of Major Akbar Khan (later Major General) who operated under the pseudonym, ‘Gen. Tariq’, a reference to the Islamist General who invaded Andalusia in the 8th Century A.D. In his memoirs, “Raiders in Kashmir” published in 1970, and in the interview he gave, Maj. Gen. Akbar Khan has clearly spelt out how everyone in the political and military set up of Pakistan, from Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan down to a lowly Muslim League functionary, was involved in planning and helping the invasion by the tribesmen. These facts have been corroborated by Gen. Mohammed Musa who retired as Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army, in his book, “Jawan to General: The Recollections of a Pakistani Soldier” (published 1985).

Another and more important source is the British themselves, especially the then Governor of NWFP, Sir George Cunningham. He had earlier served as a British Political Agent in North Waziristan in 1923-24 and was later also Private Secretary to the Viceroy of India. He was thus well connected with the affairs of the NWFP. By no stretch of imagination was Cunningham a friend of the Congress Party or India and on the other hand, he was close to Mohammed Ali Jinnah. His papers and diary are available in the India Office Records (now part of the British Library in the UK). From his diary jottings ( MSS Eur D670/6 Cunningham Diary File), we can see clear references to how Pakistan employed the tribesmen. On Page 13 dated October 6, 1947, Cunningham states the following: There is quite a lot of talk now of the danger of actual war between Pakistan & India. The Pakistan Government however, will, I am certain, do all they can to avoid it as they feel conscious of their present weakness both in men and particularly in material. Yet them seem to me to wink at the very dangerous activities on the Kashmir Border, allowing small parties of Muslims to infiltrate into Kashmir from this side. This might easily become a casus belli. Page 17 of the above diary is a clincher in more ways. In that page, Cunningham writes: I sent for ABDUL QAYUM, my Chief Minister, last evening and told him what I knew, or pretty well all that had been going on, and who had been instigating our tribesmen to go to Kashmir. He grinned. (Khan Abdul Qayum Khan was the Chief Minister of NWFP between 1947 and 1953) The diary goes on to state in an entry dated October 26, when the invasion had reached outskirts of Srinagar: ISKANDER MIRZA arrived last night from LAHORE. He told me all the underground history of the present campaign against Kashmir and brought apologies from Liaqat Ali for not letting me know anything about it sooner. Iskander Mirza was the Defence Secretary of Pakistan at that time. Of course, the terminology, ‘non-state actors’ had not been coined at that time, but, from the foregoing, the strategy had nevertheless been framed in the very nascent days of Pakistan.

There is considerable evidence that Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammed Ali Jinnah himself blessed the plans of invasion by the ‘non-state actors’ as he was promised celebration of Eid in Srinagar on October 28. In his meeting with Governor General Mountbatten in Lahore on November 1, 1947, Jinnah promised to pull back the tribesmen if Indian troops were also withdrawn, thus inadvertently admitting to who was behind the invasion of the ‘non-state actors’. Again, the Governor of NWFP, Sir George Cunningham states categorically (Page 17 of the same reference cited in the previous paragraph) that when informed of the tribal invasion of J&K as early as two weeks before the actual D-Day, Jinnah replied, “Don't tell me anything about it. My conscience must be clear”.  There is more clinching evidence of Jinnah's direct involvement. Tariq Ali writes how Jinnah decided to use force and chose Capt. Sikander Hyat Khan,  who was the uncle of Tariq Ali and the grandson of the former Chief Minister of the undivided Punjab Sir Sikander Hyat Khan and the son of close Jinnah confidante Shaukat Hyat Khan, to lead the operation.

When the need arose for the Pakistani Army to intervene, following the debacle of the tribesmen who were more interested in plunder and rape at Baramulla as maal-i-ghanimat (war booty), Jinnah even requested the British officers who were then managing the affairs of the Pakistani Army to help them.. Thus, Pakistan used ‘non-state actors’ as the first-line of offence and for reasons of ‘plausible deniability’ from the day that country was born. Later when Pakistan-inspired terrorism was ignited in J&K in c. 1989, the former Director General of the ISI, Lt. Gen. Hameed Gul, admitted to noted Pakistani journalist Zahid Hussain that “It is the years of our work that has resulted in the armed uprising against the Indian forces in Kashmir” thus belying the propaganda that the latest onset of trouble in Kashmir was also an indigenous one.

Pakistan employed a variation of the tactic of ‘non-state actors’ in c. 1965 when it felt that the Indian Army’s morale was low enough for it to take advantage of, especially after a skirmish in the Rann of Kutch where the Indian Army tactically withdrew. It sent this time regulars disguised as local tribesmen until they were discovered by the local shepherds who promptly informed the Indian Army. Though, Pakistan did not use ‘non-state actors’ this time, it claimed the regular Pakistani soldiers as ‘non-state actors’ hoping that India will therefore not be able to escalate the limited attack in J&K across the international borders either in the Punjab or across the Rajasthan-Sind Border. The large scale capture of these Pakistani soldiers along with their identification papers put paid to their lies, but Pakistan was not deterred. History was repeated once again in 1999 in Kargil when the same tactic was employed. This time around, Pakistan sent in its Northern Light Infantry (NLI) disguised as mujahideen 'non-state actors' and even claimed so. India released the wiretapped telephonic conversation between Lt.General Mohammed Aziz, Pakistan's Chief of General Staff and the Army Chief General Parvez Musharraf that nailed the lie. In order to lend credence to its lies, Pakistan even refused to accept the bodies of its slain soldiers, the only country in the world to disrespect dead Army soldiers, all for the sake of  sustaining the lie of the theory of ‘non-state actors’. The large number of casualties in the NLI led to protests in Gligit that had to be handled by the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visiting there personally and rewarding the affected families generously. Pakistan, indeed, placed a lot of reliance and stake not only on ‘non-state actors’, but also fake ‘non-state actors’.

(To be continued . . .)

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