The US and Pak-based terrorists

By K.N. Pandita

The US is showing no relent in its reproach of Pakistan for allowing safe haven to terrorists – individuals as well as organizations – operating in Afghanistan. There are many individuals involved in raising and transferring funds, and providing logistic support to terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, Taliban and LeT that are either based or have their hideouts in Pakistani. Pakistan army and intelligence circles including some senior bureaucrats are well aware of these antics. At the end of the day elusive Osama bin Laden was captured in a house just few kilometres away from the GHQ in Rawalpindi.

Pronouncement of the Treasury contains details of their connections and the specific support they were rendering to these terrorist organizations in their bid to disrupt peace and order in other countries. They are primarily accused of raising funds and disbursing these among terrorist organizations enabling them to follow their terror agenda of mayhem and killing of innocent people in different parts of the world, particularly in the neighbouring Afghanistan and India.

The fact is that Pakistan-based terrorist organizations have developed a vast network in Asian, African and European continents mostly through their Diaspora. It is actually a vast resurgence movement of Islamists. The more radical among them have taken to gun as the means of establishing supremacy of Islam. They strongly believe that the Muslims are enjoined by the diktat of their scriptures to wage a jihad for the promotion and propagation of Islamic faith. In other words, they believe that only their faith has the sanction for survival and the rest cannot exist simultaneously and must be wiped off.

However, today what we call religious extremism and the jihad movement is actually a struggle within the Islamic fold between the orthodoxy and liberalism. This clash started soon after the large big conquests made by the Arabs of non-Semitic lands and peoples in the continent, particularly when Greek science and philosophy reached the nascent Muslims and they took great interest in logic as the key to all knowledge. The 11th century ushered in an era of logic which was gall to the orthodoxy, and hence the clash. With the passage of time and with feudalism remaining entrenched in Muslim lands in the Asian continent, orthodoxy maintained the upper hand in Islamic socio-political structures and the clergy or ecclesiastical chapter became the instrument of political power …

The problem with Pakistan is that it was created on the premise that Muslims will not live together with the people of other faiths, especially the Hinds in the Indian sub-continent because they are governed by a superior socio-political and economic order. Moreover, they are enjoined by the faith to make that order prevail in the world because Islam is no less a mission than a faith. Therefore, Pakistan, coming into being as a sequel to that understanding, enjoys the privilege of considering itself the champion of bringing that far-reaching change in the world polity. The meaning of Pakistan having “an Islamic bomb” has to be understood in that context.

A comprehensive and in-depth understanding of this line of thinking will make it clear that Kashmir issue is actually no-issue; it is only a ploy to undertake the execution of the real agenda of radical Islam.

The fault of the US is that it inducted the component of politics into its handling of Islam so as to serve her immediate but unimaginative interests. The US looked at Islam and the Islamic world from anti-Soviet prism and thereby gave a regrettable proof of its myopic vision of world outlook. There was a time when the US, particularly its intelligence agency, grossly interfered in the internal affairs of Iran and supported the then monarchy against the popular demand for a democratic arrangement. There was a time when the US considered Pakistan more aligned than the allies and gave outright support to Pakistani Generals who usurped power and authority by arbitrarily ousting democratically elected governments. America’s hegemonic attitude has bred anti-American venom among more sensitive segments of the Muslim ummah in many parts of the world especially the Khurasan region which has ultimately turned into a hotbed of bloody clashes and relentless fighting.

The question is that previously as well the US designated individuals and organizations. Has that penalizing changed the ground situation and has that contained regional or international terrorism? Of course, not. Will new sanctions bring about any palpable change in ground situation, perhaps not? From 9/11 to present day, the US has been demanding Pakistan to wind up terrorist structure on her soil. It cut no ice with Pakistanis. Continuing to issue such warnings is nothing less than their expression of frustration over debacles in Afghan war and hence making a mockery of the American super power status. Pakistani authorities unanimously interpret American pressure tactics as a sequel to the US-led NATO failure in Afghanistan. Recently Pakistani foreign minister is said to have accused the world’s largest and the strongest democracies “forming a nexus” against the Islamists, who, incidentally are no sympathisers of Westminster type democracy.

The simple question before the US and the West is this: Do you want democracy to survive the onslaught of radical Islam or not? This was the very question that world leaders we obliged to debate before they decided to go for the WW II. Therefore there is the need of handling radical Islam with new thinking, new understanding, new vision, new approach, new planning and new strategy. There is dire need of new alignments – regional as well as global – if Theo-fascism is to be defeated the way Nazism was. Tabling of a bill in the Congress seeking a ban on military aid to Pakistan is a reflection of new thinking and new approach in the US law making body.

The really effective force that can contain and dispel the blitzkrieg of radical Islam is the rational, tolerant and humane Islam which wants to be liberated from the siege. This is the line which India, a country with second largest Muslim population, is experimenting. If there is a nexus between the US and India along these parameters, it is a welcome development.

(The writer is the former Director of the Centre of Central Asian Studies at Kashmir University, India).
The End

Ghazavatu’l-Hind: A Matter of Faith

By K.N. Pandita

These days, top leadership of Pakistani religious extremist organizations like Jaysh-i-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Tahiru’l Qadiri and others has become vociferous about Ghazavatu’l-Hind meaning the Indian crusade. They whip up anti-India hysteria while addressing huge crowds. The common theme of their claptrap is that the way of liberating Kashmir is through an armed crusade of India. Destruction of India is their war cry.

The histrionics is first to provoke India for precipitate action and then play the victim of aggression by the arch enemy (of Islam). In doing so Pakistan will find a way of wriggling out of isolation into which the terror tag has pushed her.

For such motivation Pakistani Islamists have pulled out a rather controversial prescription from Islamic traditional fund with interpretation of its decisiveness for the Faithful (momin).

Ghazavatu’l-Hind, the on-going narrative in Islamic social and political circles these days is no figment of imagination; it has roots in hadith (tradition), which we shall examine briefly.

The debate is dimensional. Ghazava (plural ghazavat or ghazavi) is an Arabic word meaning armed campaign. The Prophet of Isla m (PBUH) personally led many campaigns during his lifetime against his adversaries. Muslim historians have recorded these with considerable detail.

Commentators argue that a ghazava is one in which the Prophet personally led the campaign. Therefore, a campaign led by the faithful against India, but not physically headed by the holy Prophet, as deduced from ahadith (traditions) cannot be called ghazava even if the campaigners assume the title of mujahedeen. According to them the proper nomenclature would be “jang-i-Hind“ (Indian war) like ‘jang-i-Ohod or jang-i-Siffin’.

But a characteristic of the ghazavatu’n-nabi (campaign headed by the Prophet) is that victory always was for the Prophet. In the same vein complete success is also prophesied for the faithful in the ghazavatu’l-Hind.

The science of hadith (tradition) has great credibility in Islamic history, notwithstanding varying interpretations of some of these by celebrated scholars.

The term ghazavatu’l-Hind is rooted in at least5 ahadith (traditions):
1. Hazrat Abu Hurairah records: “ In this ummah (community), the troops would be headed towards Sind and Hind”. This hadith is reproduced in at least 19 subsequent works of Islamic scholars including Al-Tarikhu’l-Kabir of celebrated theologian Imam Bukhari.

2. In his second hadith, Abu Huraira records: “Definitely some of your troops would fight a war with Hindustan; Allah would grant success to those warriors, as far as they would bring their kings by dragging them in chains/fetters. And Allah would forgive those warriors, whose Muslims would return, they would find Hazrat Isa bin Maryam in Syria (Shaam). This hadith is reflected in two subsequent works.

3. Hazrat So’ ban records: “Two groups amongst my ummah (community) would be such whom Allah has freed from fire. One group would attack India and the second would be of those who accompany Isa ibn Maryam”. This hadith has been reproduced in at least 12 works of later Islamic scholars including Jami’au’l-Kabir of Imam Syuti and Al-Tarikhu’l-Kabir of Imam Bukhari.

4. Hazrat Kaa’b records: “A king of Jerusalem (Baitu’l-Muqaddas) would make warriors move onwards to Hindustan. The warriors will destroy the lands of Hind; would seize its treasures; their king would use those treasures for the adornment of Jerusalem. That troop would bring the Indian kings in front of the King of Jerusalem. His warriors by king’s order would conquer all the areas between East and West: and would stay in Hindustan till the appearance of Dajjal”(Antichrist). Imam Bukhari’s teacher Naeem bin Hammad has reproduced this hadith in his work al-Fitan.

5. Hadith related to Hazrat Safwan bin Omro: Some people of my ummah will fight with Hindustan. Allah would grant them success; even they would find the Indian kings being trapped in fetters. Allah would forgive those warriors when they would move towards Syria, then would find Isa bin Maryam over there.”

Under the heading ‘ghazavatu’l-Hind: Myth or Truth,’ Pakistan Defence website has listed some of the surprising prophesies of Hazart Ne’matullah Shah Wali (900 years ago), which, according to the author, have come true. Reposing trust in Ne’matullah’s spiritual vision, the website writes as this: “Hazrat Ne’mat Shah said: The people of Kabul would also come out to kill kafirs (atheists), who would run around from pillar to post and would make petty and trifling excuses to save their lives. They would literally beg the Muslims for their lives. The frontier would quiver and quake with the foot-beats of ghazis (Islamic warriors) and mujaheds of the frontier who would suddenly emerge out of nowhere. This event would take place after Eid-ul-Azha and the next Eid ul Fitr.

Wali said that River Attock (Kabul) would be filled thrice with the blood of kafirs, during that period. The Muslims would capture the whole Punjab (including Lahore city), Kashmir, the land situated between River Ganges and Yamuna (Uttar Pradesh province) and the city of Bijnaur. This war would remain among the human beings for good about six months and ultimately, God willing, the Muslims would be victorious. All the enemies and the ill-wishers of Islam would be killed and the whole India would be clean of Hinduism and Hindu traditions. Suddenly there would be a great roar. It would be a catastrophic earthquake like the doomsday. It would cause great devastation and disruption in Sindh and Hind (India).

Islam would dominate India for at least forty years until Dajjal (Antichrist) would emerge from the city of Esfahan (Iran). There would be a lot of sedition, disturbance, violence and war in the region. Khurasan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq would not be an exception. The war would devastate and desolate these countries as well until the Best Year as described by the Holy Quran would come. Imam Mehdi would attain prominence. He would appear during the Hajj days and suddenly he would become famous the world over. In my opinion, Imam Mehdi would appear before Dajjal’s appearance.

The Wali further predicts Dajjal’s (Antichrist) forces would be in Esfahan and his army would be consisted of Jews and Christians and I am clearly seeing it. I can also see a dust storm rising up from Kufa (Iraq). Jesus Christ would also descend from the heavens. I can see thousands of riders accompanying the Christ and finally Jesus, the son of Mary, would kill Dajjal with his own sword. Look Ne’mat Shah! Stop and do not disclose the secrets of Allah. I am predicting these events in the Islamic year 548 Hijra. Allah knows best.” (Source: http://defence.pk/threads/ghazwa-e-hind-myth-or truth.95279/#ixzz3AOiTNztx).

Some Islamic historians pose a question. They ask whether the Indian campaigns of Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 A.D, Muhammad Ghaznavi in 999 A.D., Muhammad Ghori, Amir Timur in 1391, Abdali and Nadir Shah, Babur in A.D. 1524 or of Pakistan in 1971 cannot be categorized as Ghazvatu’l-Hind? Interpreters of these ahadith say that these campaigns did not fulfil the precise objective of the ghazava viz. total destruction of the community of non-believers of Hindustan. They believe that the jihadis in this century will accomplish the task.
(The author is the former Director of the Centre of Central Asian Studies of Kashmir University, Srinagar).

The roots of Afghan war

By K.N. Pandita

A US official spokesman said that the Saturday devastating attack in the centre of Kabul city was planned and executed by Taliban and the Huqqani Network. 103 people were killed and hundreds wounded. A UN observer called it” massacre”. Taliban and Haqqani Network have intensified attacks and bomb blasts in recent weeks and months in Afghanistan. Continue Reading…

South Asia: Re-alignments on the anvil

By K.N. Pandita

In bilateral relations, there are no permanent friends or foes: there are only permanent interests. US-Pakistan relations almost reached nadir when President Trump; twitted “lies and deceit”. Nobody had anticipated that relations between Pakistan – a country once more aligned than allies – with the US would sink to such depths. Continue Reading…

Trump–Pakistan jihad love

By K.N. Pandita

The news has come that Pakistan has imposed a ban on Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation from collecting donations. Pakistani media have given wide publicity to this news in print and in electronic media. Since some years the organization and its chief have been actively collecting donations in the name of ‘crush India.’ Continue Reading…

Trump’s new security strategy

By K.N. Pandita

Addressing his nation from the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, President Donald Trump has enunciated his administration’s new national security strategy. The strategy paper identifies four vital national interests, or “four pillars” namely (a) Protect the homeland, the American people, and American way of life; (b) Promote American prosperity; (c) Preserve peace through strength; and (d) Advance American influence. Continue Reading…

Cannibal of Mumbai carnage walks free

By K.N. Pandita

Acquittal of Hafiz Saeed by Lahore High Court is a slap on the face of the US and the UN. They have classified Saeed’s organization JuD as a terrorist group and forefront organization for terrorist outfit LeT responsible for 26/11 Mumbai attack in which 166 innocent persons including six American nationals were killed. Continue Reading…

How much neutral is Switzerland?

By K.N. Pandita

Around the year 2000, I was in Switzerland working with an African NGO at the Human Rights Council (then it was called Commission). A story was making rounds in the town that some WW II German Jewish refugees had claimed that their close relatives had deposited certain amounts of money in Swiss banks which should be returned to them. Continue Reading…

Iran-US relations: the nuclear spat

By K.N. Pandita

The US and North Korea are on the verge of nuclear clash. By implication, Iran also figures in the imbroglio. But why and how, let us see. Continue Reading…

Pakistan: Compulsions for Realigning Regional Strategy

By K.N. Pandita

Pak watchers have noted a flurry of events taking place in succession during a couple of weeks in recent past at GHQ with drop scene in Washington. While GHQ is mulling realignment in Trump era, Pakistan foreign office is in hectic activity at Washington to do some damage controlling exercise. These events need to be examined along with their hindsight. Continue Reading…

Change of guard on subcontinent

By K.N. Pandita

US Defence Secretary James Mattis recently met with his Indian counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi. Two subjects took precedence over a variety of items on their agenda for talks. These were (a) meeting the challenge of global terror and (b) strategic defence partnership. Continue Reading…

PM reshuffles his ministerial team

By K.N. Pandita

For the first time ever since Narendra Modi formed NDA government in 2014, a major reshuffle has been made in the ministerial team. Continue Reading…

Jadhav albatross in Pak army’s neck

By K.N. Pandita

Pakistan was over confident of its safe passage at The Hague. Therefore the unanimous ruling that laid bare its Jadhav conspiracy came as a rude shock. Continue Reading…

President Pranab Mukherjee presents Padma Awards

President Pranab Mukherjee presents Padma Awards, 27.22 min, uploaded by DD News, April 13, 2017.

Excelsior columnist Dr. Pandita gets Padma Shri

Published on Daily Excelsior, Jan 26, 2017:

.70p K.N. Pandita, Daily Excelsior.

Correspondent – JAMMU, Jan 25: Eminent Scholar of the State, a veteran columnist associated with Daily Excelsior a leading newspaper of J&K State and a dedicated social activist, Dr Kashi Nath Pandita is among the 75 noted personalities of the country who were conferred with Padma Shri Award one of the highest civilian awards of the country on the eve of 68th Republic Day. Continue Reading…

Demonetization – a national priority

By K.N. Pandita

The fracas created by the opposition on demonetization issue shows that it has failed to show due respect to the verdict of the majority of people in this country. It has also to learn that sitting in the opposition does not absolve the opposition of becoming realists about the development of the country. Continue Reading…

Ethnic cleansing in Bangladesh

By K.N. Pandita

In its editorial of November 16, 2016, The Washington Post carried the story of brutal attacks in Bangladesh killing scores of bloggers, foreigners and members of Hindu religious minorities. A Hindu tailor was killed in April, and a Hindu priest was hacked to death in July last. Over almost two years, radical Islamists have carried out a string of brutal attacks on Hindu minority. July attack in Dhaka left 22 Hindus dead. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her governing Awami League accused Islamist opposition of fomenting terrorism. However, involvement of some leaders of the ruling party is not ruled out. Continue Reading…

Surgical strike on black money

By K.N. Pandita

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav calls PM’s ‘operation black money’ as election stunt. Kejriwal calls it “big scam”. Rahul Gandhi stands in queue to change his Rs. 500 note, and the mercenary media gives it TV hype. During Vajpayee regime, American Enforcement functionaries had detained Rahul at JF Kennedy airport with one lakh US Dollar notes in his baggage. Vajpayee intervened. Modi’s adversaries had begun lampooning his election slogan of eradicating corruption from administration. Continue Reading…

Evaluating Indo-US defence agreements

By K.N. Pandita

Energy, counter terrorism and defence stand out prominently in eight Indo-US agreements signed recently.

The civilian nuclear agreement opens the path for preparatory work on sites for six AP1100 reactors in India to be built by Westinghouse with US Import-Export Bank assuming financing role. India is energy starved. Continue Reading…

On the chessboard of South Asian defense strategies

By K.N. Pandita

Is the South Asian region (or Khurasan according to Islamic exegesis) emerging as the battlefield of a decisive clash of ideologies? Khurasan, originally an Avestic word, stands for the ‘lands to the East’. In geographical terms it could be Eastern part of Iran, Afghanistan and Baluchistan including its oceanic outreach.

The outcome of recently concluded Nuclear Security Summit in Washington is elusive if not controversial.   Continue Reading…