No body said it clearer than Neelam Irshad Sheikh, a leader of Imran Khan Niyazi’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party. A lot of people dismissed her expectations in a whiff, some made memes, some called her names, not just some ignorant people but the panelists on different news channels in India didn’t also take it seriously.
These days people dismiss people as stupid in less than a minute, Imran Khan is a puppet, Donald Trump is stupid, Neelam Irshad Sheikh is crazy. But the matter of the fact is that her idea that Taliban 2.0 will win Kashmir for them is not just her imagination, it is based on true experiences from the past. Why didn’t she name any other terrorist organization? She could have said that Irish Republican Army would win Kashmir on their behalf. Why didn’t she? Because there is no history reinforcing this thought. However, in this case there is a history and a compelling one.
What Taliban 2.0 can do or will do is another thing and only time will tell, but what they have done in the past is quite clear and straight forward. The only thing is, if we are willing to see and acknowledge that in the first place. You can be naive and say, its the new Taliban, the Taliban 2.0, and its different. Unfortunately, they are all the people with the same ideologies with different names at different points in time. You can refer to them as good Taliban or bad Taliban, Afghan Mujahideen or just Mujahideen. The order I mentioned is in reverse chronological, with Taliban 2.0 being the newest avatar and Mujahideen being the oldest.
Whenever there is a mention of militancy in Kashmir or separatist insurgency since 1989, the story starts from the rigged elections of 1987. While it is true that the militancy started after 1987, but it does not mean that it was as a consequence of the Congress’ rigging of the elections. Indian National Congress had been rigging elections all across the country, but the insurgency happened only in Kashmir, why? Rigging elections as a cause is just a justification of the large scale atrocities committed by Islamic Extremists in India by western media and countries like the US, the UK and Pakistan. By creating such an oversimplified cause and effect perception, they tried to hide the truth behind what happened in Kashmir in the 1990’s. The truth which a lot of people know for sure, but for their political and individual benefits don’t say.
The truth is that terrorism in Kashmir since 1989 was a by product of the cold war between the Americans and the Soviets. I guess it was called “cold” war only because American soldiers weren’t dying on the battlefield. It was Afghans who were getting slaughtered. The Soviet-Afghan war, that lead to almost a couple million Afghans dead and millions moved, ended up in Soviets moving out of Afghanistan in 1989. The counter Soviet forces that constituted of Jihadi/Mujahideen groups including groups like Osama Bin Laden’s al-qaeda were left operational after the Soviets left. Not just left, but left with the training and weapons accumulated over decades; where under the Operation Cyclone, the US funding officially began with $695,000 in 1979, was increased dramatically to $20–$30 million per year in 1980, and rose to $630 million per year in 1987. This funding was always disbursed via Pakistan and as a matter of fact Pakistan headquartered most of these terrorist groups or to say the Good Taliban in Pakistan’s main land.
In April of 1988, Geneva Accords was signed, according to which Pakistan and Afghanistan would not interfere in each others affairs. The very same accord identified both the US and Soviet Union non-intervention in internal affairs of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Now the question that people very comfortably forget to ask is “What does Pakistan do with more than 4000 Jihadi groups and the good Taliban within the country that it has been harboring for decades now?” If you try to find the answer to just this one question, you will right away find the answers to the insurgency in Kashmir since 1989.
The Mujahideens that were combating atheist Soviet communists were now transported to combat Kafir Hindus in India, starting from Kashmir but definitely not aiming to end it with just Kashmir. Quite Easily Done.
It was simply the logistical delay that took a terror group to reach the US in the form of 9/11, India was merely walking distance away from the terror factory, that was built and nurtured by countries the the US, the UK, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan’s Imran Khan Niyazi claims that Pakistan had been the biggest victim of terrorism. True! Hundred percent true. But what is also true is that Pakistan is the biggest factory and host to these terror organizations. Pakistan overestimated its ability to control and channel this poison to the outside world. Guess what, it blew in the country’s face and there is no one else to blame for it. There is a saying in Hindi that I learnt during my school days, quite apt for PM Khan now:
करता रहा सो क्यों रहा, अब करी क्यों पछताए |बोये पेड़ बबूल का, अमुआ कहा से पाए ||
It could loosely be translated in English as “Why were u doing whatever you were doing, now what’s the use of repenting. You have sown Babul tree seeds, how can you expect Mangoes.“
Whatever happens in Afghanistan or Pakistan can’t be controlled by India, but whatever happens within our own borders can be and should be controlled by India and India only. India’s only mistake was that it had a Corrupt, selfish and incompetent leadership at the center at that time. The government in an attempt to keep its vote bank politics relevant, never restricted the movement of such people across the border.
A Must read: Who let the pigs in?
Not only did the Indian government at that time let them in, but also brought them to the main stream by awarding them government jobs and that too in armed forces. The most astonishing thing that literally shook me to my core was a news article that I came across in 2018, that had the title: “A terrorist who became a decorated Armyman dies fighting for nation“. For once, I thought either it was an error in the title or was written to attract readers. But I was wrong, it was exactly what it looked like. The question hammering me was “How did a terrorist join Indian Army in the first place, let alone receive awards?”
You must definitely read Entangled Kashmir: A web of poor and selfish decisions. I wrote that in 2018, when for the first time I came to know that it was possible for a terrorist to join India Army at that time and even get gallantry medal.
The point of this entire essay is that situation today is not to make memes about, it is much more grim than it looks like, especially for India. Last time Taliban was trained like a Guerrilla force, however this time they have been trained like regular soldiers. Plus, what a lot of people have missed so far, the Afghan Army, an army of more than 350,000 trained soldiers. Whose orders will they be taking now? Did they resist Taliban? Taliban is now 350,000 plus 75,000. These are the numbers on which for a change both Donald Trump and Joe Biden agree.
This looks to me that we are inching towards very dangerous times at a great pace. We should brace for impact. The only two things, the two good things that have happened for India in the past few years is that 370 is dead and Congress is in the coffin. If by any chance either of the two resurrect and start breathing again, I suggest you run.
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