BREAKING NEWS: PAKISTAN ARMY TO DECLARE VICTORY IN SWAT AND MOVE IN
Before I go into the main article, I will deviate as a website DEBKA, known to be close to Israeli intelligence (and whose breaking news has been very accurate) is saying the following:
Pakistan hangs back from major Swat offensive, talks secretly to Taliban
While by no means a phony war, DEBKAfile's military sources report that accounts of a major Pakistan military offensive launched to flush Taliban out of their strongholds in the northern Swat Valley are generally inflated. This is not to say that hundreds of thousands of civilians are not fleeing the valley. Some half a million are on the move and will join the same number displaced since August, generating a large-scale humanitarian catastrophe.
According to our sources, the Pakistani army has so far not fought a single pitched battle with the Taliban. Neither have the insurgents been rooted out of any of the cities and villages under their control.
Islamabad's one-sided claims of some 200 Taliban killed in three days are not independently confirmed. At most, the Taliban have suffered some 50 dead combatants.
Pakistani troops are attacking Taliban positions with long-range artillery. Three to five warplane and helicopter strikes have been staged at most, as well as heavy machine gun fire on small Taliban groups on the move.
Pakistani prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's statement Wednesday, May 6, that the "armed forces were being called into to eliminate the militants and terrorists" is locally assessed as intended for Western ears rather than their own commanders. It was made when president Asif Ali Zardari was in Washington warding off criticism for not doing enough to fight Islamist terror.
However, our military sources do not at this point see the 15,000 Pakistani troops poised in the Swat Valley actually launching a major offensive against the 5,000 Taliban fighters standing against them.
One reason is that not all the armed men fighting in Swat belong to the Taliban; some are local Swat militia groups whose chiefs have made ad hoc deals with Taliban. It is far from certain that Pakistani troops will want to fight their own countrymen.
Furthermore, according to DEBKAfile sources, the Islamabad government and local insurgent chiefs are in secret negotiation to arrange for the army to move "victoriously" into the main Swat towns of Mingora and Kambar without facing resistance. Taliban would retreat to the countryside, undefeated and with minimal losses. Both sides would then revert to the original deal for the imposition of Sharia law in the province in return for a ceasefire.
The negotiations also provide for Taliban to pull out of Bunar province which is 90 kilometers from Islamabad.
Both sides allowed a refugee catastrophe to develop to generate an eve-of-battle climate – hence the lifting of the curfew for a few hours Sunday, May 10, to encourage the civilian exodus.
A breakdown of these talks may well result in the much-publicized Pakistani military push actually taking off. At the same time, military experts estimate that at least double the number of Pakistani troops deployed at present will be needed to regain control of the Swat Valley from Taliban and its allies.
This extremely volatile situation prompted Gen. David Petraeus, chief of the US Central Command, to remark Saturday, May 9 that it is "too soon to gauge the full magnitude or duration of the Pakistani response.
BACK TO MAIN ARTICLE : INDIAN TALIBAN
Ahmed Rashid, famous for his seminal books "THE TALIBAN" and "DESCENT INTO CHAOS" recently categorized Taliban into four broad groups:
THE AFGHAN TALIBAN
THE PAKISTAN TALIBAN
THE CENTRAL ASIAN TALIBAN
THE INDIAN TALIBAN.
After the fall of Taliban, foreign correspondents, army generals rode into Kabul with one book in their hands - "The Taliban" written by Ahmed Rashid. It was and remains the "BIBLE" on Taliban.
We have discussed and know about the first two. We will look at the fourth phenomenon which directly impacts INDIA - as this is home grown and is being bred and nurtured inside INDIA - waiting for an opportune moment to strike.
To be honest, THE INDIAN TALIBAN is not yet a force to reckon with. It finds its home in its spiritual home - the Deoband and Wahabbi seminaries in UP and its sister branches all over India. I had written an earlier article on DEOBAND - THE THREAT FROM WITHIN.
We Indians can be proud of one thing. If there is one thing more we have exported to Pakistan, it is the Deoband ideology from Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, INDIA. This strain of hardline Islam which is a clone of Wahabism is an Indian export and draws its inspiration and monetary sustenance from the deserts of Saudi Arabia.
Both Pakistan Taliban and Afghan Taliban are 100% students of Deoband madrassas and Wahabbi madrassas of Pakistan.
PAKISTAN ACKNOWLEDGES THE SWAY OF INDIAN DEOBAND ULEMAS OVER TALIBAN:
ABDULLAH HUSSAIN HAROON
The Deoband school had come in for attack from Pakistan. Mr Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Islamabad’s permanent envoy to the UN, blamed its ulema for fomenting trouble in his country as well as in India. “It is for the clerics in Deoband, who wield great influence in the NWFP territories of Pakistan and in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), to come to Pakistan, get together and embed, offer a fatwa in Pakistan against suicide bombings and killings of Muslims in Pakistan as well as in India,” he had said.
WITHIN INDIA THE ARC HELD DEOBAND RESPONSIBLE FOR TERRORISM - NO ACTION YET:
ECONOMIC TIMES: The Administrative Reform Commission’s (ARC) report on terrorism, which draws linkages between Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Deoband Dar-ul-Uloom, has left the Congress red faced, while, at the same time, giving an opportunity to the BJP to seek a ban on the Islamic seminary.
Thereafter, in January, 1994, Mohammed Masood Azhar Alvi arrived in India with the task of working out the reconciliation of the cadre of Harkat Mujahideen and Harkat-ul Jihad Islami whose parent organisations had merged to form the Harkat-ul-Ansar. His organisation’s main objective was to liberate Kashmir from Indian rule and to establish Islamic rule in Kashmir. He also interacted extensively with the leading figures of the Deoband Ulema,” it goes on to add.
The report, not surprisingly, has left the Congress deeply embarrassed. It was, after all, prepared by AICC media department chairman Veerappa Moily, who also doubles up as the head of the Administrative Reforms Commission. (The poor guy, Moily, has been sacked as the spokesperson of Congress Party, ostensibly for annoying Nitish Kumar).
If the Taliban in Pakistan (both Afghan Taliban and Pakistan Taliban) get their religious indoctrination from the ulemas belonging to the Deoband school, which is headquartered in INDIA - how long before we see an amalgamation of Sunni terror groups in India into a single entity - THE INDIAN TALIBAN - of the sort Ahmed Rashid was talking about? We have already seen JeM involvement with the Deoband. It is to be noted that both SIMI and Indian Mujahideen are organizations whose cadres are students of Deoband.
Deoband seminaries are India's ENEMY NUMBER ONE.
The faster we realize this the better it is for us. They are indoctrinating and sending in thousands of their students (Allah's warriors for a future fight against the kufr Hindus). They are taking over other Sunni mosques in cities over India and converting them to their hardline philosophy.
We have seen what this Taliban can do in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The rise of Taliban in India will not be easy as they will not have institutional state support or even Army support (the type ISI gives to Taliban in Pakistan). However the Deoband are adopting are different path for INDIA. They have formed a political party and will try to win votes in Muslim dominated areas, get their MPs into Indian Parliament and subvert our democracy. This insidious plan is ready and they have formed a political party.
DEOBAND's POLITICAL PARTY:
INDIAN EXPRESS: Muslims of the state, particularly Deobandi sect of Sunni Muslims, are set to float a new political party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Those who played a pivotal role in proposing the front are perfume king Maulana Badruddin Ajmal and Azamgarh-based Ulema council led by Maulana Amir Rasadi Nadvi, which had last month taken a trainload of protestors to New Delhi. Beside Ulema council, National Loktantrik Party led by Mohammed Arshad Khan, Parcham Party and few other Muslim outfits are also associated with the move.
“It will be a formidable organisation of the Muslims in the forthcoming elections as it will have the backing of all prominent Islamic institutions and organisations of the country, including Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband, Jamaat-ul-Ulema Hind, Jamat-e-Islami Hind and Nadwa tul Ulema,” said Shahid Akhlaque.
INDIA'S ENEMY WITHIN - MAULANA BADRUDDIN AJMAL:
Maulana Badruddin Ajmal Qasmi from Hojai, Assam, is, besides being the President of AUDF, a Fadhil degree holder is a successful businessman (perfumes - atar).
Ajmal got his Fadhilat from Darul Uloom Deoband, and he is associated with many prominent religious institutions and bodies of India. He is a member of Advisory Board of Darul Uloom Deoband, UP, and Central Working Committee, Jamiat Ulama-e Hind. He is the President of Assam unit of Jamiat Ulama-e Hind and Tanzim Madaris-e Qaumia. Tanzim Madaris is a Madrasa Board of all the non-government madrasas of Assam, numbering more than 400. Tanzim Madaris prepares the curriculum and conducts examinations. Besides, Ajmal is in the executive body of numerous other madrasas, yatimkhanas (orphanages), schools, and associations of Assam and other parts of India.
Maybe it will be a failed attempt. After all, religious parties did not get more than 2% popular vote in Pakistan. However, that did not stop the Taliban from taking over vast areas of Pakistan. This simple fact should not be lost.
Giving the Telegraph Kolkata (copyright Telegraph Kolkata) article (10th May) - in full: THE RISE AND RISE OF WAHABISM - by VELLY THEVAR:
On Bakri Id last year (2008), over 1,500 Sunni Muslims in Kandivali, a Mumbai suburb, found that they couldn’t enter their mosque to offer prayers. Some 700 Wahabis, a hardline sect of Sunni Muslims, from neighbouring Pathanwadi had taken over the shrine. The congregation, prevented from entering the mosque, finally offered prayers in a playground that December day.
The incident was the latest example of the growing influence of Wahabis in India. Intelligence agencies say there has been a spurt in the missionary and political activities of Wahabis after 9/11, though the ultra orthodox brand of Islamic faith, practised in Saudi Arabia, has been in existence in India for over a century. Intelligence reports suggest that since Wahabism embraces the ideology of militant jihad, it is pushing a section of Muslim youth towards fundamentalism.
Sarvar Khan, a Sunni Barelvi Muslim from Kandivali, says the loss of their mosque underlines the way the Wahabis are trying to overrun moderate Sunnis. Trouble started at Kandivali when three of the trustees switched to Wahabism. “It is not just the loss of a mosque — what bothers us is the jihadi ideology of the Wahabis,” says Khan.
Like Khan, a majority of India’s Muslims — about 86 million out of 130 million — is Sunni. Most are moderates and many pray at the shrines of Sufi saints, which the Wahabis consider heresy. The fight between the moderates and hardliners has been mostly on the way rituals — births, marriages and burials — are conducted.
Mosques are often the arena where the two sections fight. In recent months, the Wahabis have tried to dominate the Nakhoda and Mohan Bagan mosques in Howrah. They control three mosques at Chimur in Chandrapur in Maharashtra. A fracas broke out recently over the control of a mosque in Nagpur.
“Most of these mosques are in urgent need of repairs. Wahabis donate funds and then persuade some of the trustees into letting them appoint their own imam,” says Mohammad Salim, an official of IMAN Tanzeem, a moderate Islamic organisation.
The wrangle over controlling mosques often leads to violence. At the New Ahbab colony mosque in Nagpur, Salim claims, a group of Wahabis sprinkled red chilli powder on the congregation. “There was a free for all after two Sunni boys were thrashed by the Wahabi group. But we saved the mosque.”
Several followers of Wahabism declined to comment on these incidents, but Aslam Ghazi, Mumbai head of the Jamaat-e-Islami, which disseminates books by the organisation’s founder Maulana Maududi, may represent their position when he says, “We preach and propagate true Islamic values and teachings through peaceful and democratic means. We are involved in the reformation of Muslims. Contemporary Muslims are far away from Islamic rituals, teachings and faith.”
But the security agencies are concerned. According to intelligence reports, after Pakistan’s defeat in the Bangladesh war in 1971, then Premier Z.A. Bhutto used the Kashmir branch of the Jamait-e-Islami Pakistan to infiltrate the state’s madarsas with Wahabi ideology. Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq is said to have sent Wahabi jihadis to Kashmir to fuel its separatist movement.
Only a minuscule section of Wahabis is drawn towards terrorism, however. Says an observer, “Some Wahabis are and will be terrorists. But the overwhelming section has nothing to do with terrorism.” Still, the debate consuming Indian intelligence agencies is whether they can combat terrorism by countering Wahabi ideology. Al-Qaida and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist outfit that allegedly masterminded the November Mumbai attacks, are said to draw inspiration from Wahabism.
“If we have to seriously root out terrorism, we have to root out Wahabism. They are interlinked,” argues Saed Noori, who runs the Raza Academy, a Muslim rights and educational body in Mumbai.
Not everyone agrees that a link exists. B. Raman, a former intelligence official and now director of the Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai, doesn’t believe there is a “direct” link between Wahabism and terrorism. “But there is an attempt at spreading Wahabism through funding from Saudi Arabia,” he says. “You can see the response to their drive everywhere. More Muslim youths in Chennai don’t wear contemporary clothes; more women are wearing burkhas in colleges.
Bohra reformist Asghar Ali Engineer too doesn’t agree that Wahabi radicalism leads to extremism. “Among the Wahabis, the Deobands (followers of the Deoband seminary in UP) contributed to Indian nationalism right from the 19th century. They stood by the Congress and opposed the Muslim League. Though they have differences with other Sunnis, the extremism that we see today is a reaction to what is happening around us. The debate about terrorism only talks of Islamic fundamentalism. In India, the extremist policies of the Hindutvavadis have contributed to terrorism.”
Still, Wahabis have a firm grip on most of India’s madarsas. Shabeeb Rizvi, a professor at Rizvi College in Mumbai, points out that in 1947, the Indian subcontinent had 150 madarsas. “Today, there are more than 45,000 madarsas with over one million students. Most of them are Wahabi with Saudi funding. Wahabis believe that Muslims who do not subscribe to their ideas are to be purged. I really believe that the growing influence of Wahabi groups in India may lead to major strife in the future.”
Moderate Muslims are alive to the threat posed to their way of life by Wahabis. IMAN Tanzeem head Mohammad Hamid Engineer says that many major Sunni organisations, such as the Wakf Board and the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board, are now dominated by Wahabis. “I am sure that over a period of time the dargahs will cease to exist and will be replaced by Wahabi mosques,” he says.
When a clean-shaven Muslim was not allowed to offer prayers in a Deoband mosque in Saharanpur, leading to clashes late last year, Sultan Shahin, editor of newageIslam.com, said: “The Wahabi onslaught on Sunni Indian Muslims is now acquiring overtones of Talibani extremism and violence.”
Still, there are not too many apologists for the way Wahabis are pressing forward with radicalisation. Tele-evangelist Zakir Naik, a Wahabi, preaches orthodoxy on his channel Peace TV. Naik also runs the Islamic Research Foundation, which is described as a religious learning resource centre by the website of the Jamaat ud Dawa, Lashkara-e-Taiba’s parent body.
Peace TV is beamed to 60 countries. Last December, the information and broadcasting ministry confirmed in response to information sought under the RTI Act that the channel neither had permission to uplink from India nor downlink in India.
Most moderate Muslims are deeply uncomfortable with the growing influence of Wahabis. They feel that the spread of the Wahabi ideal of radicalism needs to be checked — for the good of the community and the country. Intelligence agencies could not agree more.