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#480, 8 March 2001
Philosophy of terrorism in Kashmir
Brig. SS Chandel

One of the characters of Jack Higgins, the insightful novelist, articulates the philosophy of terrorism thus: “The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize – Lenin said that in 1921. Michael Collins lived by that creed; he said it was the only way a small country could defeat a nation – you know how they (urban guerrillas) work. Indiscriminate bombing campaigns, motiveless terror, the deliberate slaughter of the innocent women, kids.” The terrorists of all hues – Muslim fanatics, early Zionists, IRA, LTTE and others, have followed this philosophy instinctively. No amount of pandering or rational dialogue, which has been used by their interlocutors such as Mr. Vajpayee and others, is likely to impress them. They will shoot their own leaders, sympathizers and colleagues like Abdul Ahad Guru the cardiologist militant advisor of the JKLF, Mir Waiz Mohammed Farooq and others, with the least remorse. Similarly, they will blow up buses carrying their co-religionists or throw grenades that will kill their own people. As GOI statistics reveal, till 1998, 8260 civilians had been killed compared to 1788 men of the security forces in J&K.



Impelling the nihilist terrorist philosophy further is the ferocious and uncompromising philosophy of Islam. The Quran is totally inflexible when it comes to toleration of the beliefs of other religions. Surah 9: ayat 123 commands, “Believers! Make war on the infields. Let them find harshness in you.” Surah 9: ayat 5 lays down “when the sacred months are over, slay the idol worshipers whereever you find them, arrest them, besiege them and lie in ambush everywhere for them.” Pages after pages of the Quran are full of fire and brimstone for the unbelievers. These teachings are being imparted with the greatest zeal in thousands of madarasas in Pakistan , Afghanistan , Iran and even India , which have become the breeding ground for the vicious and the unemployed and insecure Muslim youth, bereft of useful modern education. Their adamant bigotry is exemplified by the latest outrage by the Taliban destroying their own priceless heritage of two thousand years old statues of the Buddha by tanks and rockets, contemptuously defying the universal outcry against this vandalism. 



Further down, the fanatical leadership has benefited from such preaching. Rabita of Saudi Arabia , ISI of Pakistan, fanatics like Osama Bin Laden and others pour in crores and crores of rupees to fuel the Jehad. Muslim youth, volunteering to fight in Kashmir which, incidentally, is a ‘Gateway to India,’ get Rs 1,00,000/- for the family left behind, Rs 1,00,000/- as life Insurance cover, and Rs 5,000/- per month as pay. The leaders live in great luxury in their habitat like Muridke and wield enormous political clout. Even the powerful Pakistani Army hesitates to rein them because the rank and file, and officers upto the rank of Brigadiers, have been infiltrated by fanatical elements. The otherwise powerful Army brass could be assassinated in the manner of Anwar Sadat if they decide to curb these elements. Arms, men and methodology are available for such a scheme.



Thus the vicious cycle of violence being perpetrated in Kashmir is destined to continue, unless the Indian political leadership collectively displays the resolve to fight militancy in Kashmir and elsewhere to the finish. On the ground it should be manifested by (a) calling off all negotiations with the Hurriyat leadership and Pakistan; (b) coming down heavily on the anti-national media in Kashmir; (c) handing over development funds to the army so as to stop their siphoning off to personal coffers; (d) raising and deploying additional troops and resources to stop infiltration of mujahideens in Kashmir; (e) fencing the LOC whatever be the cost. It will not be more than the cost of the ditch cum bund stretching from Akhnoor in J&K to Fazilka in Punjab .




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