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The US and Pak-based terrorists

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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).
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Ghazavatu’l-Hind: A Matter of Faith

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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: 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).